Review: In Bed with the Devil by Lorraine Heath


“I’ve always been of the opinion that a woman would be far more satisfied lying in bed with the devil than with a saint.” —Lady Catherine Mabry

They call him the Devil Earl—a scoundrel and accused murderer who grew up on the violent London streets. A proper young lady risks more than her reputation when consorting with the roguishly handsome Lucian Langdon, but Lady Catherine Mabry believes she has no choice. To protect those she loves, she would do anything—even strike a bargain with the devil himself.

Lucian desires respectability and a wife above all else, but the woman of his choosing lacks the social graces to be accepted by the aristocracy. Catherine can help Lucian gain everything he wants. But what she asks for in exchange will put their very lives in jeopardy. When danger closes in, Catherine discovers a man of immense passion and he discovers a woman of immeasurable courage. As secrets from his dark past are revealed, Lucian begins to question everything he knows to be true, including the yearnings of his own heart.


“When you love a  man, you will do anything to gain his favor.”

“Even allow him to beat you?”

This did not work out. At all.

I read this while spending Xmas with the family. I didn’t have much time to read, but I fit it in. I read my brothers some of the passages annnnnddd….Snortmas of 2014. There may have been beer and eggnog involved so, it may not have been as funny as we were making it out to be. Oliver Twist? More like Oliver shoves his dong in a haughty dame. Tra-la-la-la-la-la-LA.

The cheese. Oh my….the CHEESE. So much cheese in this novel.

“Oh, papa, I’ve done something terribly silly. I’ve fallen in love with someone, and he loves another. The strange thing is, as much as it hurts, I only want him to be happy. 

Choking noises.

Why is romance always about sacrifice? I get very annoyed when the heroine is the “I always do the right thing even when it’s dangerous” type. I don’t get that. For one: often they do rash things that end up with them doing something stupid, like flinging your hand out to protect the hero from a bunch of bandits.

Even though I have misgivings about this book, I still really loved Heath’s writing. I think she’s a good writer. I just think this particular novel rubbed me the wrong way. I’ll continue to search for a book of hers that I’ll love.

FOR SHAME:

I had many many problems with this novel, but the big one that made this a one star instead of a two star is the heroine shaming her friend. She shames her friend again and again for not standing up to her husband. Ordinarily I would like people to stand up to their abuser. But if you have never been an abusive victim you don’t fucking get to voice your opinion. You’ve never been in that person’s shoes. You don’t know shit about what it’s like to be a rape victim, an abuse victim, or a domestic abuse victim. You can’t say what you would have done because you’ve never been there. The heroine saying that she’s stronger than Winnie and is sure she would stand up to her abuser is total crap. She’s never been a victim. Never. Ever. Do this. No one has the right to do this. This is despicable, heinous, and disgusting. From the moment she asserted that she’s better than her friend because she wasn’t as weak made me hate her from then on. I can never ever get past this.

Sure, her friend could have handled it better. Or I’d like to think in this modern day any woman would. But women were treated differently back then. This notion that Regency was a progressive time for women is not necessarily true. In some regards that may be true, but when it comes to marriage during that time women were seen as property. Men could abuse their wives and that is the case here. But women during this time were raised and taught to obey and serve their husbands in all ways. Her friend was historically accurate for the time. While there were a lot of really cool proto-feminist women during this time, that does not include all women. But to say that you would do differently when you’ve never been in an abusive relationship like that is idiotic.

Oliver Twist the Aristocrat:

I really hate it when romances have to make the hero into this perfect ideal of a man. There are certain things I like. For example, making sure there’s no way they are in any way cheating. But, why can’t he be evil? What’s wrong with that? It would have been so much more interesting had he not been a stand up citizen instead of a cheesy sap.

The novel drew on the cliché that the hero was without morals in the beginning. Then by the end those very things that made him immoral weren’t acutally true. You have this guy. He’s a murderer (not a spoiler). He stole a title that didn’t belong to him (again not a spoiler) . He’s without any morals. Right. Then the author uses her godlike powers and BAM! Heroine arrives at doorstep. The fall in love. You know the deal. Turns out he didn’t kill that guy willy nilly. He deserved it for being a sadistic fuck. Oh and then SHAZAM! He has memories that prove he’s the rightful heir. NO. I hate this trope. I hate it when the author has to make the hero into a guy who is no short of perfect when it regards his past. They have to remake him into something honorable. Why can’t he have bad shit in his past. Why does it have to be reworked or explained so you make him into this honorable hero? Can’t he have a shitty past and have the heroine forgive him of that past?

Just Forget it.

SMEX:

So…..this being a romance I guess I’m not spoiling it by saying they have sex? SHMEX. I skimmed it.

She peaked. He thrusts. She rocked. He climaxed. She escalated. Snerk.

My problem with this is that when they have sex, there’s a little bit of a chance that they cheated. Frannie is the woman he wants to marry, but she doesn’t want to marry him. Frannie worries about the aristocratic society and being accepted into since she’s not one of them. He convinces her to learn about how to be one of them. Okay. That’s the setup to what I’m about to tell you. Frannie clearly doesn’t want to marry him and hasn’t said yes. But she hasn’t said no either. She’s still deciding whether she wants to marry him. Catherine and Luke have sex even despite the fact that Luke intends to marry Frannie. Many. Many. Times. And the cherry: Frannie decides she doesn’t want to marry him by telling him that he loves another. She decides for him. And then three paragraphs later, he decides to marry Catherine because hey he’s no longer gonna marry Frannie. SECOND BEST IT IS.

And that was so not a spoiler. It’s a romance novel people! We already know they are going to end up with each other and that there’s going to be sex. Get off my back.

The hero is the protag: WHEEEE!

My last problem is that this seemed like it was Luke’s romance instead of Luke and Catherine’s story. It was like he was the protagonist and Catherine was just the love interest. She was like a side character.

This just didn’t work out.

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