The Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas
Series: The Wallflowers #3
Also in this series: Again The Magic, Scandal in Spring (The Wallflowers #4), A Wallflower Christmas
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: October 13th 2009
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"I'm Sebastian, Lord St. Vincent. I can't be celibate. Everyone knows that."
Desperate to escape her scheming relatives, Evangeline Jenner has sought the help of the most infamous scoundrel in London.
A marriage of convenience is the only solution.
No one would have ever paired the shy, stammering wallflower with the sinfully handsome viscount. It quickly becomes clear, however, that Evie is a woman of hidden strength—and Sebastian desires her more than any woman he's ever known.
Determined to win her husband's elusive heart, Evie dares to strike a bargain with the devil: If Sebastian can stay celibate for three months, she will allow him into her bed.
When Evie is threatened by a vengeful enemy from the past, Sebastian vows to do whatever it takes to protect his wife . . . even at the expense of his own life.
Together they will defy their perilous fate, for the sake of all-consuming love.
It’s no secret that I adore this book, everything from Sebastian to Evie. I know many will claim Derek Craven, the hero from Dreaming of You, is better, but I completely disagree. Not only do I find Sebastian to be the better hero, but I like the heroine and overall story better in this book as well.
We meet Sebastian in the previous book, It Happened On Autumn, where he’s cast as a villain (by his own actions). The thing I love best about him in this book is that he’s no different than he was in the previous book. He is un-apologetically a bastard. He doesn’t just act like an ass to cover a true heart of gold, he really just is an ass. But events in the book and Evie start to change him. I love watching his transformation.
Evie undergoes her own transformation in this story. Though she’ll always be a shy wallflower, she really blossoms and matures in this book. She’s shown to be a strong woman who’s willing to fight for what she believes in. I wasn’t sure about her in the beginning but she really captured me as the story went on.
The chemistry between Evie and Seb practically leaps off the pages, but that isn’t enough for Evie. She wants more from Sebastian than what he’s given every other woman in London – she wants his heart. And she fights for it. Though she knows she shouldn’t want the love of a rake – one who has shown himself to be a complete bastard – she longs for it anyway. I think her practicality is something that really saves this book from becoming like so many others. Evie knows what she wants is silly to wish for, but she can’t help but wish for it anyway.
As the story progresses, we actually see the changes in Sebastian and know he’s coming to care for Evie. When Sebastian falls ill and Evie nurses him back to health..well, his vulnerability and Evie’s strength really touches me. I think the role-reversal really shows us how far each character has come.
Sebastian really is the perfect anti-hero, and Evie the perfect woman to change him.
5 out of 5