THE DEVIL'S LOVE by Lane Harris

Pub. Info: Dell, 2/1981
Setting: Caribbean & France, 1768
Genre: Historical Romance
Bodice Ripper? Yes
My Grade: C

SHE WAS A FEVER RACING THROUGH HIS BLOOD

Untamed, unpredictable, utterly captivating, Christina was determined to live free as the wind--yet was fatally bound to the one man whose passion could imprison her forever.

HE BURNED LIKE A FLAME IN HER HEART

A handsome privateer, the banished son of a Scottish earl, Kade roamed the seas, thriving on danger and the intrigue of a turbulent age. From her lush Caribbean paradise. Christina fled to the dazzling salons of Paris. But Kade had vowed to pursue her across the world... to make her see that at the end of her perilous journey lay the ecstasy they were powerless to resist and a glorious destiny forged by...The Devil's Love.

MY THOUGHTS: This story spans about three years. Christina Evrion is the heroine and is seventeen when it starts. She has blonde hair and light blue eyes. Kade Renault is the hero and his age wasn't given but I'm assuming he's in his thirties. There's usually a big age gap between hero and heroine in these old books. He has black hair and blue eyes.

Christina is a strange heroine. I think French is her native tongue. Until the end she never really even liked Kade and wanted a divorce. They'd met briefly once. Christina's father died and she couldn't inherit her money until she married. She had a terrible relationship with her stepmother, Hilda, and needed to get away from her and live on her own. Christina needed to marry to claim her inheritance so she asked Kade to marry her. She assumed he was going to die within a few days because he'd been captured by the Spanish. They married and much to her horror, he didn't die. She wanted to get a divorce but he didn't want to.

I liked Kade alright but Christina seemed slightly arrogant to me. When they were together I was just uninterested because nothing really happened between them. During the story they lived apart most of the time. He did cheat on her once with her childhood nemesis, Carlotta, while Christina was in France for over a year visiting relatives.

Really the only interesting part of the whole story took place during the last 100 pages or so when she was in France. Her male cousin, Dominique (curly blond hair and green eyes) is a very interesting character, in my opinion. He masquerades as a highwayman, robbing and murdering people. She's staying at his parents's home with him and his sisters. He becomes obsessed with her and ends up drugging and raping her. He also uses women terribly and when he gets yet another one, named Gabrielle, pregnant and wants nothing to do with her, she goes off the deep end and does something terrible...to them both.

The most boring part of the story is near the beginning over a chapter was devoted to how her Scottish father came to live in the Caribbean and how he met her deceased mother. I couldn't have cared less about their backstory.

There was some typical bodice ripper violence near the end when Kade traveled to France to be with Christina. He smacked her once and another time, spanked her. He's clearly physically and verbally abusive (calls her a cold bitch often) but I don't think the title suits him at all.

I'm disappointed with this book but did really like the last part and all the things involving Dominique. Sadly, this isn't a keeper.

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