Thursday, November 8, 2012

Review: The Devil's Match by Victoria Vane (e-novella)


George Santayana said that "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." After four years apart, Ludovic DeVere and Diana find themselves together again because of Vesta (their goddaughter) and Hew (DeVere's brother).

Four years has not diminished the anger and resentment they both feel after their last parting -- but it has also not diminished the attraction and desire either.

This is the fourth installment in Victoria Vane's The Devil DeVere series and provides the ending to DeVere and Diana's story. We have been teased about the history of these two from the first novella, A Wild Night's Bride and knew that it was inevitable that they would meet again after The Virgin Huntress and finally found out the details of what happened to them in The Devil You Know --

So where do our hero and heroine go from here? Back, of course. Because they have not learned the lessons of their past. And I love how Vane parallels the events of four years ago to now --

The engagement of Vesta and Hew take our characters back to Woodcote Park and to another horse race. And Diana still wants to rebuild her stables and needs the blunt to do so. And another wager is made.

Four years have proven that our hero and heroine still want each other. They never use the word "love" but their relationship reveals it. They are brighter, more animated versions of themselves when they are together. When they trade barbs and hurtle angry words at each other, you can feel the chemistry between the two of them.

"Your carriage, your form ... your scent," he answered. "They are all imprinted upon my brain. I would know you among a hundred women, Diana. Every time."
- p. 107

But it isn't all the same. Diana is older and wiser and more in control of herself -- she enters into this new "relationship" with DeVere on her own terms.

"No, my lord." Diana turned on him. "I shall come to you a promised, but it shall be at my own leisure."
- p. 88

The story takes a bit of a detour when Diana meets Salime (from a brothel) but I understand why it needed to be done. In their previous encounters, DeVere was the more knowledgeable one, the one in control -- Diana wants to take over the reins this time around.

I have to applaud Victoria Vane for a well-planned and well-written series of e-novellas. I loved the roller coaster of emotions from the lighthearted AWNB and the outrageous TVH before plunging us into the breathtaking (and heartbreaking) story of DeVere and Diana in TDYK --

The Devil's Match provides a satisfying conclusion to DeVere and Diana's story. (Fans of the series, don't despair! There's a 5th installment to the series and the author has also announced that she is writing a series of vignettes, which feature characters from The Devil DeVere series. Devil in the Making is the first vignette and is out now!)


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