Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Review: A Wild Night's Bride by Victoria Vane (e-novella)

Phoebe Scott is an actress still awaiting her big break when her theater closes and she's out of a job. She does what every actress from her theater company does: she goes out to find a protector. Except, Phoebe doesn't really want to. She's been hurt once before and had wanted to make an honest living for herself.

Edward Chambers is in London looking for a townhouse to rent during the Season and has decided to call on a friend, Ludovic DeVere. Dull Dog Ned would rather get this social obligation over and done with so he could return to the country and resume mourning for his wife, who died three years ago. But the Devil DeVere has other things in mind -- being the force of nature that he is, he convinces Ned to accompany him to some private entertainment at King's Place, (Yes, it's a bawdy house).

Under normal circumstances, Ned and Phoebe would never have met but, circumstances are anything but normal, especially when there's a Devil who badly wants to play.

Victoria Vane's preface perfectly sets up the story. There's humor and confusion and a straight-laced man waking up in the bed of the King of England.

How did he get there?

This was a fun, playful story and reminded me of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. Instead of Puck making mischief, we have the hand of Ludovic DeVere. There is nothing magical about him -- he's very human and prone to very human excesses.

"Why the devil would any man choose to deny himself an essential element of life? Every man has needs, Ned."
- p. 9

"I am also a man of caprice ... one who lives entirely upon my whim. My attention is easily captured, but sadly, difficult to maintain for any duration. Ennui, you understand. ..."
- p. 40

All the central action (and the damage) happen in one night -- First, a wager is made between DeVere and the Prince of Wales. Then the trio find themselves sneaking into St. James Palace.

It isn't all fun, though -- as the night progresses, Phoebe returns to the starting point of her current story and we learn about her past -- but Phoebe has no intention of making the same mistakes. This time, she's older and wiser -- and more capable of expressing her own needs and wants. This time, she's in control. (See p. 60 and Chapter 10)

The reparation happens the morning after and Dull Dog Ned finally awakens from his half-lived life. (See Chapter 13.)

I do have questions about the suddenness of the resolution of Ned and Phoebe's story -- but, given the unusual nature of their meeting and their time together (and that this is an e-novella ^_^), the whirlwind romance isn't entirely implausible.

This is the first book in Victoria Vane's The Devil DeVere series. The series continues in The Virgin Huntress, which was released last June 2012. The third installment, The Devil You Know is scheduled for release July 29, 2012.

A print edition that compiles the first two novellas, The Devil DeVere Volume 1, will be released this August 2012.

To find out more about the author and her works, visit her website. She's also on Facebook.

Disclosure: Review copy provided by the author. Yes, this is an honest and sincere review.

Final note: I am definitely interested in how the author plans on taming the Devil DeVere. This is a series I intend to follow.



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