Scenes of domestic abuse and the journey to recovery make Kleypas's modern romance anything but fluff. A Wellesley grad and daughter of a Houston energy baron, Haven Travis is an unlikely romantic heroine until her brief but ardent encounter with a man who turns out to be Hardy Cates, the East Texas roughneck from Sugar Daddywho worked his way up from poverty and then outmaneuvered the Travis clan in a business deal. Haven's engaged to Nick Tanner-a man her dad thinks is unfit for her-and though she and Hardy have a charged interaction, she elopes with Nick, and her father cuts her off. Nick turns out to be a bad guy, and a beaten and bruised Haven returns to Houston, where Hardy's still at odds with her family. Their passion proves as fervent as ever, but demons from Haven's recent past-as well as strife with her family and troubles at work and in bed-stand in the way. Kleypas isn't a literary stylist, but she delivers a page-turning, formula-breaking romance that takes on social issues and escalates passion to new heights. (Mar.)Copyright 2007Reed Business Information
Blue-Eyed Devilby Lisa Kleypas
Volz (California State U., Fullerton) offers common-sense advice to help theater producers, artistic directors, and managing directors, as well as middle managers preparing to move into executive positions, with the tasks they have to deal with every day: organizing time, running board meetings, charting fund-raising strategy, communicating audience development plans, and following through. He combines basic arts management procedures and strategies with tips for time, life, and personnel management and long-term career-planning. Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR
"A page-turning, formula-breaking romance that takes on social issues and escalates passion to new heights."Publishers Weekly
"A sexy story. Hero Hardy Cates is charming women the world over!"Lifetime Entertainment
"HOT. Kleypas's strongly emotional story presents an inside look at what can happen when love turns out to be the desire for complete control."Romantic Times
Read an Excerpt
By Lisa Kleypas
St. Martin's PressCopyright © 2008 Lisa Kleypas
All rights reserved.
I first saw him at my brother's wedding, at the back of the reception tent. He stood with the insolent, loose-jointed slouch of someone who'd rather spend his time in a pool hall. Although he was well dressed, it was obvious he didn't make his living sitting behind a desk. No amount of Armani tailoring could soften that build — big framed and rugged — like a roughneck or a bull rider. His long fingers, clasped gently around a champagne flute, could have snapped the crystal stem with ease.
I knew from a glance that he was a good ol' boy, able to hunt, play football and poker, and hold his liquor. Not my type. I was interested in something more.
Even so, he was a compelling figure. He was good-looking, handsome if you overlooked the crook in a nose that had once been broken. His dark brown hair, as thick and lustrous as mink fur, was cut in short layers. But it was the eyes that seized my attention, blue even at a distance, a volatile color you could never forget once you'd seen it. It gave me a little shock when his head turned and he stared right at me.
I turned away immediately, embarrassed to have been caught staring. But awareness continued to spread over my skin, a heat so insistent that I knew he was still looking. I drank my champagne in fast swallows, letting the arid fizz soothe my nerves. Only then did I risk another glance.
Those blue eyes glinted with an uncivilized suggestion. A faint smile was tucked in one corner of his wide mouth. Definitely wouldn't want to be alone in a room with that guy, I thought. His gaze moved downward in a lazy inspection, returned to my face, and he gave me one of those respectful nods that Texan men had raised to an art form.
I deliberately turned away, giving full attention to my boyfriend, Nick. We watched the newlyweds dance, their faces close. I stood on my toes to whisper in Nick's ear. "Our turn next."
His arm slid around me. "We'll see what your father has to say about it."
Nick was going to ask Dad for permission to marry me, a tradition I thought was old-fashioned and unnecessary. But my boyfriend was being stubborn.
"What if he doesn't approve?" I asked. Given our family history, of me rarely doing anything that warranted parental approval, it was a distinct possibility.
"We'll get married anyway." Drawing back a little, Nick grinned down at me. "Still, I'd like to convince him I'm not such a bad deal."
"You're the best thing that's ever happened to me." I snuggled into the familiar crook of Nick's arm. I thought it was a miracle that someone could love me the way he did. No other man, no matter how good-looking, could ever interest me.
Smiling, I looked to the side one more time, wondering if the blue-eyed guy was still there. I wasn't sure why I was so relieved that he was gone.
My brother gage had insisted on a small wedding ceremony. Only a handful of people had been allowed inside the tiny Houston chapel, which had once been used by Spanish settlers in the seventeen hundreds. The service had been short and beautiful, the air suffused with a hushed tenderness you could feel down to the soles of your feet.
The reception, by contrast, was a circus.
It was held at the Travis family mansion in River Oaks, an exclusive Houston community where people told a lot more to their accountants than their ministers. Since Gage was the first of the Travis offspring to get married, my father was going to use the occasion to impress the world. Or at least Texas, which in Dad's view was the part of the world most worth impressing. Like many Texans, my father firmly believed if our state hadn't been annexed back in 1845, we probably would have ended up in charge of North America.
So in light of the family reputation and the fact that the eyes of Texas would be upon us, Dad had hired a renowned wedding planner and given her a four-word instruction: "The checkbook is open."
As all creation knew, it was a big checkbook.
My father, Churchill Travis, was a famous "market wizard," having created an international energy index fund that had nearly doubled in its first decade. The index included oil and gas producers, pipelines, alternative energy sources, and coal, represented by fifteen countries. While I was growing up, I never saw much of Dad — he was always in some far-off place like Singapore, New Zealand, or Japan. Often he went to D.C. to have lunch with the Federal Reserve chairman, or to New York to be a roundtable commentator on some financial show. Having breakfast with my father had meant turning on CNN and watching him analyze the market while we ate our toaster waffles.
With his full-bodied voice and outsized personality, Dad had always seemed big to me. It was only in my teens that I came to realize he was a physically small man, a bantam who ruled the yard. He had contempt for softness, and he worried that his four children — Gage, Jack, Joe, and me — were being spoiled. So when he was around, he took it upon himself to give us doses of reality, like spoonfuls of bitter medicine.
When my mother, Ava, was still alive, she was an annual cochair of the Texas Book Festival and went for smoke breaks with Kinky Friedman. She was glamorous and had the best legs of any woman in River Oaks, and gave the best dinner parties. As they said in those days, she was as fine as Dr Pepper on tap. After meeting her, men would tell Dad what a lucky bastard he was, and that pleased him to no end. She was more than he deserved, he announced on more than one occasion. And then he would give a sneaky laugh, because he always thought he deserved more than he deserved.
Seven hundred guests had been invited to the reception, but at least a thousand had shown up. People milled inside the mansion and out to the enormous white tent, which was webbed with millions of tiny white fairy lights and blanketed with white and pink orchids. The humid warmth of the spring evening brought out the pillowy-sweet fragrance of the flowers.
Inside the air-conditioned house, a main buffet room was divided by a thirty-two-foot-long ice bar laden with all kinds of shellfish. There were twelve ice sculptures, one of them formed around a champagne fountain, another featuring a vodka fountain studded with pockets of caviar. White-gloved waiters filled frosted crystal cylinders with biting-cold vodka, and ladled caviar onto tiny sour cream blinis and pickled quail eggs.
The hot buffet tables featured tureens of lobster bisque, chafing dishes filled with slices of pecan-smoked tenderloin, grilled ahi tuna, and at least thirty other entrées. I'd been to many parties and events in Houston, but I had never seen so much food in one place in my life.
Reporters from the Houston Chronicle and Texas Monthly were there to cover the reception, which included guests like the former governor and mayor, a famous TV chef, Hollywood people, and oil people. Everyone was waiting for Gage and Liberty, who had stayed behind at the chapel with the photographer.
Nick was a little dazed. Coming from a respectable middle-class background, this was a shock to his system. I and my fledgling social conscience were embarrassed by the excess. I had changed since going to Wellesley, a women's college with the motto non ministrari sed ministrare. Not to be served, but to serve. I thought it was a good motto for someone like me to learn.
My family had gently mocked that I was going through a phase. They — especially my father — thought I was a living cliché, a rich girl dabbling in liberal guilt. I dragged my attention back to the long tables of food. I had made arrangements for the leftovers to be taken to a number of Houston shelters, which my family had thought was a fine idea. I still felt guilty. A faux liberal, waiting in line for caviar.
"Did you know," I asked Nick as we went to the vodka fountain, "that you have to sift through the equivalent of a ton of dirt to find a one-carat diamond? So to produce all the diamonds in this room, you'd have to excavate most of Australia."
Nick pretended to look puzzled. "Last time I checked, it was still there." He ran his fingertips over my bare shoulder. "Take it easy, Haven. You don't have to prove anything. I know who you are."
Although we were both native Texans, we'd found each other in Massachusetts. I had gone to Wellesley and Nick went to Tufts. I'd met him at an around-the-world party that was held in a big rambling house in Cambridge. Each room was designated a different country, featuring a national drink. Vodka in Russia, whiskey in Scotland, and so forth.
Somewhere between South America and Japan, I'd staggered into a dark-haired boy with clear hazel eyes and a self-confident grin. He had a long, sinewy runner's body and an intellectual look.
To my delight, he spoke with a Texas accent. "Maybe you should take a break from your world tour. At least until you're steady on your feet."
"You're from Houston," I'd said.
His smile had widened as he heard my accent. "No, ma'am."
"Austin? Amarillo? El Paso?"
"No, no, and thank God, no."
"Dallas, then," I said regretfully. "Too bad. You're practically a Yankee."
Nick had led me outside, where we'd sat on the doorstep and talked in the freezing cold for two hours.
We had fallen in love very fast. I would do anything for Nick, go anywhere with him. I was going to marry him. I would be Mrs. Nicholas Tanner. Haven Travis Tanner. No one was going to stop me.
When I finally had my turn to dance with my father, Al Jarreau was singing "Accentuate the Positive" with silky cheerfulness. Nick had gone to the bar with my brothers Jack and Joe, and he would meet me in the house later.
Nick was the first man I'd ever brought home, the first man I'd ever been in love with. Also the only one I'd ever slept with. I had never dated much. My mother had died of cancer when I was fifteen, and for a couple of years after that I'd been too depressed and guilty even to think about having a love life. And then I'd gone to a women's college, which was great for my education but not so great for my love life.
It wasn't just the all-female environment that kept me from having relationships, however. Lots of women went to parties off campus, or met guys while taking extra courses at Harvard or MIT. The problem was me. I lacked some essential skill for attracting people, for giving and receiving love easily. It meant too much to me. I seemed to be driving away the people I most wanted. Finally I had realized that getting someone to love you was like trying to coax a bird to perch on your finger ... it wouldn't happen unless you stopped trying so hard.
So I'd given up, and as the cliché went, that was when it happened. I met Nick, and we fell in love. He was the one I wanted. That should have been enough for my family. But they hadn't accepted him. Instead I found myself answering questions they hadn't even asked, saying things like "I'm really happy," or "Nick's majoring in economics," or "We met at a college party." Their lack of interest in him, in the history or future of our relationship, aggravated me beyond bearing. It was a judgment in itself, this ominous silence.
"I know, sweetie," my best friend, Todd, had said when I called to complain. We had known each other since the age of twelve, when his family had moved to River Oaks. Todd's father, Tim Phelan, was an artist who'd been featured at all the big museums, including MoMA in New York and the Kimbell in Fort Worth.
The Phelans had always mystified the residents of River Oaks. They were vegetarians, the first ones I had ever met. They wore wrinkly hemp garments and Birkenstocks. In a neighborhood where two decorating styles predominated — English Country and Tex-Mediterranean — the Phelans had painted each room of their house a different color, with exotic stripes and swirling designs on the walls.
Most fascinating of all, the Phelans were Buddhist, a word I'd heard even less often than "vegetarian." When I asked Todd what Buddhists did, he said they spent a lot of time contemplating the nature of reality. Todd and his parents had even invited me to go to a Buddhist temple with them, but to my chagrin, my parents said no. I was a Baptist, Mother said, and Baptists didn't spend their time thinking about reality.
Todd and I had always been so close that people assumed we were dating. We hadn't ever been romantically involved, but the feeling between us wasn't strictly platonic either. I'm not sure either of us could have explained what we were to each other.
Todd was probably the most beautiful human being I had ever seen. He was slim and athletic, with refined features and blond hair, and his eyes the opulent blue-green of the ocean in Caribbean travel brochures. And there was a feline quality about him that set him apart from the big-shouldered swagger of other Texan men I knew. I had asked Todd once if he was gay, and he had said he didn't care if someone was a man or a woman, he was more interested in the person's inside.
"So are you bisexual?" I had asked, and he had laughed at my insistence on a label.
"I guess I'm bipossible," he had said, and pressed a warm, careless kiss on my lips.
No one knew me or understood me as well as Todd did. He was my confidant, the person who was always on my side even when he wasn't taking my side.
"This is exactly what you said they would do," Todd said when I told him that my family was ignoring my boyfriend. "So, no surprise."
"Just because it's not a surprise doesn't mean it's not aggravating."
"Just remember, this weekend's not about you and Nick. It's about the bride and groom."
"Weddings are never about the bride and groom," I said. "Weddings are public platforms for dysfunctional families."
"But they have to pretend it's about the bride and groom. So go with it, celebrate, and don't talk to your dad about Nick until after the wedding."
"Todd," I had asked plaintively, "you've met Nick. You like him, don't you?"
"I can't answer that."
"Because if you don't already see it, nothing I say could make you see it."
"See what? What do you mean?"
But Todd hadn't answered, and I hung up feeling mystified and annoyed.
Unfortunately, Todd's advice went by the wayside as soon as I started a foxtrot with Dad.
My father was flushed from champagne and triumph. He'd made no secret of wanting this wedding to happen, and the news about my new sister-in-law's pregnancy was even better. Things were going his way. I was pretty sure he had visions of grandchildren dancing in his head, generations of malleable DNA all at his disposal.
Dad was barrel-chested, short-legged, and black-eyed, with hair so thick you could hardly find his scalp beneath. All that and his German chin made him a striking man, if not a handsome one. He had some Comanche blood on his mother's side, and a bunch of German and Scottish ancestors whose futures had been hamstrung back in their native countries. So they had come to Texas looking for cheap, winterless land that only needed their labor to bring forth prosperity. Instead they got droughts, epidemics, Indian raids, scorpions, and boll weevils the size of their thumbnails.
The Travises who had survived were the most purely stubborn people on earth, the kind who relied on their backbones when their wishbones were broken. That accounted for Dad's stubbornness ... and for mine too. We were too much alike, Mama had always said, both of us willing to do anything to get our way, both of us eager to hop over a line the other one had drawn.
"Punkin." He had a gravelly voice, edged with the perpetual impatience of a man who never had to ingratiate himself with anyone. "You look pretty tonight. You remind me of your mama."
"Thanks." Compliments were rare from Dad. I appreciated it, even though I knew my resemblance to my mother was, at best, slight.
I was wearing a light green satin sheath, the shoulder straps fastened with two crystal buckles. My feet were strapped in delicate silver sandals with three-inch heels. Liberty had insisted on doing my hair. It had taken her about fifteen minutes to twist and pin the long inky locks up into a deceptively simple updo that I could never hope to reproduce. She was only a little older than I, but her manner had been maternal, gentle, in a way my own mother had seldom been.
"There," Liberty had murmured when she was finished, and picked up a powder brush to dust my nose playfully. "Perfect."
It was really hard not to like her.
As Dad and I danced, one of the photographers approached. We leaned close and smiled into the blinding white flash, and then resumed our previous distance.
"Nick and I are going back to Massachusetts tomorrow," I said. We were flying commercial — I had put two first-class tickets on my credit card. Since Dad paid my Visa bill, and went over it personally, I knew he was aware that I'd bought Nick's ticket. He hadn't said anything about it. Yet.
Excerpted from Blue-Eyed Devil by Lisa Kleypas. Copyright © 2008 Lisa Kleypas. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Meet the Author
Lisa Kleypas is the RITA Award-winning author of many contemporary and historical romance novels, including A Wallflower Christmas, Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor, and Love in the Afternoon. Her books are published in fourteen languages and are bestsellers all over the world. Kleypas graduated from Wellesley College and published her first novel at the age of 21. In 1985, she was named Miss Massachusetts in the Miss America competition. She lives in Washington with her husband and two children.
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I absolutely loved this book. This is my favorite of Lisa Kleypas hands down. It takes a serious issue(abuse) and takes it to a whole nother level, I didn't really like Haven OR Hardy in Sugar Daddy so I didn't have high expectations for this book, but I fell in love with Haven, and by the end I was in love with Hardy too. These characters grow so much. Most books about spousal abuse are very depressing and sad to read, but in this book Lisa makes Haven overcome a great deal,without making the readers feel that Haven is weak. Most times when you read about spousal abuse you get very frustrated when the victim doesn't just leave, but Lisa writes this in a way where you understand Haven and why at first stays. I couldn't put this book down and I have reread it a dozen times. You have to read this. The plot was and characters were very well developed. This book keeps you hooked no doubt. I would recommend many of Lisa Kleypas but this one is by far one of her best.
This is a contemporary romance where Haven Travis, who was born with a silver spoon in her mouth, the daughter of a Houston Energy Tycoon, has issues with her family, her abusive spouse and herself. This in an insightful peek at the impact the aftermath of abuse has, then there's Hardy Cates who is her opposite, having grown up in East Texas poverty. They meet and sparks fly, but she is engaged to Nick Tanner, who her dad believes is not good enough for his beloved daughter in spite of his affluent background. The bond is that Hardy and Haven are both survivors. This is a wonderful, realistic look at abuse, survival, real passion, courage and strength, an exciting read to please. This reminds me of another perfect and exciting read, EXPLOSION IN PARIS, that I am still seeing in my dreams!
WHAT CAN I SAY, LISA KLEYPAS HAS LEFT ME SPEECHLESS! NO OTHER WOMAN COULD BE A BETTER MATCH FOR HARDY CATES, THAN A TRAVIS. HAVEN TO BE EXACT, THE YOUNGEST & ONLY DAUGHTER OF THE TRAVIS FAMILY. EVEN THOUGH I WAS SECRETLY HOPING & PRAYING HARDY WOULD END UP W/LIBERTY. HOWEVER, I'M EXTREMELY IMPRESSED BY THE TURN OF EVENTS THAT LEAD THESE 2 STRONG-WILLED INDIVIDULAS TOGETHER. THEY HEALED & MENDED EACH OTHERS DEEP-ROOTED WOUNDS EXQUISITELY. THIS NOVEL IS AN EMOTIONAL, HUMOROUS, SEXUALLY GRATIFYING, JOYRIDE. LEAVING YOU GRASPING FOR AIR EVERY MOMENT THAT IS SHARED BETWEEN HARDY & HAVEN, AND THE REST OF THE TRAVIS FAMILY. THANK YOU, LISA YOUR WRITING IS GETTING HOTTER & HOTTER!! KEEP IT COMING! LK DESERVES NOTHING LESS THAN A 10 STAR RATING FOR THIS NOVEL!!
Blue-Eyed Devil was an amazing book. This book is powerful, romantic, and tackles a very prevalent issue plaguing our society. The book, which finds our heroine, Haven, in a physically abusive marriage, takes a deep look at both the psychological trauma experienced by victims as well as the healing process. More than anything, this book is a testament to the healing power of love. The characters were well-developed and truly human. You feel like you know these people. The secondary characters are also developed well. Lisa Kleypas has done a beautiful job taking a difficult topic and creating a story that is hard to put down and powerful to the last page. You cannot help but find the hero, Hardy Cates, irresistible. You find yourself rooting for these two characters from the get-go. While the story line is a bit heavy, Kleypas does a great job of not overwhelming the reader. Definitely a must read.
I have read all of Lisa's books and this is by far the best one. It is so intense. Themes of narcissistic personality disorder and domestic violence were addressed in a way that made you feel for both characters. Haven goes through a lot and her hero, Hardy is there to rescue her and give her a shoulder to lean on. The development of characters and plot is very strong in this novel. It is a must read. It is the second book in three. Sugar Daddy is the first, Blue-Eyed Devil is the second, and Smooth Talking Stranger is the third. If you read Sugar Daddy first, it will give you more detail about Hardy. The story in Blue-Eyed Devil begins where Sugar Daddy leaves off. It truly is a must read. Loved it! Sugar Daddy, in my opinion, was not Lisa's strongest book, but it is important to read this one to have a better understanding of the characters and their life experiences. However, I absolutely loved Smooth Talking Stranger. Very Hot! The issues in these books are very real. Smooth Talking Stranger deals with mental illness, narcissism, and child abandonment. I love all Lisa Kleypas books.
This book is sooo good. Lisa Kleypas delivers again. She makes Hardy Cates delicious. This story is soooo romantic. I had to read this book again it was so good. It will remain in my permanent library. Along with all her others. Ms. Kleypas has switched over to contempory admirably. I hope she continues to keep the balance of her switches from romance to contempory romance in the future... so far so good. Keep up the good work.
I have never written one of these reviews before and am an avid reader..especially romance, but had to take a minute to tell everyone if you do not read this you are missing out! Sensational is one of the few words that comes close to summing up the book. I read her first one sugar daddy a while ago and walked away smiling and loving it, but this I could not put down. I started reading it at 10pm before bed and was still reading it at 6 am. I read straight through the night and finished early morning. the only problem was at the end I felt depressed because I wanted something equally as good and heart warming to pick up that night and knew I just would not find it. Its heartwarming and romantic without any of that cheezy stuff. I like how kleypas introduced the abuse into the book, seeing domestic violence is so prevelant but yet unspoken about. MUSY READ THIS BOOK. You will put down the book feeling happy, giddy and like a true romantic. True love and fairy tale is out there and this book just makes every little girl believe in it.
The book synopsis on the Nook tablet does not match the book nor does the cover give it justice. I have passed this book over many times until I decided to read the book reviews. This book made me cry. There were some passages that were so intense that my skin felt cold as if I was dumped over the head with ice water. Yet, I was compelled to read more of Haven's tragic story. As a survivor of domestic violence myself the story was a powerful reminder of how someone else can take another person's power. However, this book was also a testament of how a victim can take their power back. Lisa Kleypas showed herself to be a master storyteller and not just a historical romance writer. She proved that she could be current and flexible. I am her biggest fan!!!!!!!!!!
The author really did her research for this book. Yeah it was a fun, quick read romance, but it also had deep insight into the narcissitic pesonality. The book very quickly throws you into the twisted marriage of Haven and Nick, and his controlling ways. The author also knows how to create a character for any girl to drool over. The bad-boy with the secret sensitive side always draws in the romantic. The story was fun, but at the same time it allowed you to sit back and wonder if you know anyone like Nick who could turn your life from fairy tale to nightmare in a blink. This was the first book by Lisa Kleypas that I read, but I will no doubt be reading more, and suggest anyone else to do the same.
Lisa does it again in this 2nd book in the Travis family trilogy! I could not put it down. I read it in one day. This one is a real emotional read. I love this series. Hope there will be a fourth for Joe!! Highly, highly recommend!
I couldn't put this book down. The first line of this book immediately grabbed my attention and it only got better. There is never a dull moment. If you love romance and drama and REAL men you will love this book!
This was an all-nighter for me! I couldn't get away from the book! Kleyplas gave us real characters and a real situation. It dealt a lot with domestic violence, which is the most underreported violence committed against women. I was enchanted by Haven's character who showed, admitted, and dealt with her flaws. I also loved Hardy Cates. He was the perfect hero. Despite past troubles with the Travis family and Haven's past history with abuse, he deals with everything that comes his way. We even see a more vulnerable side of him. Finally, a book where the female isn't the only one emotionally involved. It also helped that I fell in love with both characters. I felt connected to them as real people. A great story lets me feel every emotion; this book did more in bringing reality with all its emotions and a overwhelming sense of hope in life and in other people.
I loved reading Blue-Eyed Devil. The characters were smart and witty. The protagonist, the hard working blue-eyed devil, and the heiress were electric. The twist to the poor guy/ rich girl plot was neat. The novel is a winner, and I can't wait for another Lisa Kleypas's book.
It has been awhile since I read this book. I enjoyed it very much and hiighly recommend it
Havens Travis character in this book was beautiful, shes strong but kinda stumbles along the way, and hardy helps her overcome her struggles. Hardy Cates is that smoldering sexy Texas man, and he is Delicious!!! (probably my favorite male character in kleypas's books) A must read, it even gave some insight on Liberty and Gage!! you will not be disappointed.
I enjoyed this book very much, it's better than watching soap opera. The scenes are unforgetable and vivid. This is one of my favorite novels by Lisa Kleypas. I also reccommend Sugar Daddy, Lisa's first contemporary novel.
The charcters in this book are just about as real as you can get, and to be able to see what the main character is seeing through this whole book is just amazing. It made me feel that I was with her throughout.
Blue-Eyed Devil impressed me, but then again, Lisa Kleypas's writing touches me. Female authority and the importance of relationships are topics she analyzes with depth and appetite. This is a book to enjoy.
I have read all of Lisa's books and have yet to read one that I don't like. I could not put this book down. I have been looking forward to this book since I heard it was coming out and was not disappointed. I love the reality of the book with its real situations that are going on in the world today. This book will give abused women hope that there is something better out there.
The daughter of a Houston energy tycoon, Haven Travis was born with a golden spoon. Hardy Cates is her opposite having grownup in East Texas poverty. They meet and sparks fly, but she is engaged to marry Nick Tanner, who her dad believes is not good enough for his beloved daughter in spite of his affluent background.------- When Haven elopes with Nick her father cuts her off without a cent. An angry Nick blames Haven and batters her. She flees for the safety of her home where she finds her father and Hardy squabbling over a business deal. Hardy offers her comfort as they fall in love, but she fears commitment following the beatings Nick gave her and the estrangement with her family especially her father.------------- The key to this entertaining strong contemporary romance is the lead female character who has issues with her family, her abusive spouse and herself that show up at her job and even in bed. Readers who appreciate reality in their romances will want to read this insightful look at the aftermath impact of abuse long after the physical wounds have healed love and passion do not necessarily heal the mental trauma even with the nurturing passionate care of a loving person.----------------- Harriet Klausner
I loved this story!!! It is not your typical love story, the main character in this story, Haven has been badly abused this is her story of getting back to herself, finding her strength and her heart again. Hardy Cates is just the man to help her do that. He is patient and strong, he knows just what to do to help her. He loves her!!!!! He isn't the most popular choice with her family but he grows on them as he helps Haven. I really didn't want this story to end. I loved the strength and softness of Hardy. He was so patient and steadfast in his love for Haven and in helping her find her heart again.
SEP'S trademark storytelling about a painful topic. Satisfying like good food.
5 Stars! I have been in love with Hardy Cates since I first met him way back in 2007 when I first read Sugar Daddy. The teenage girl that now occupies this old ladies body still swoons a little bit every time I even think about Hardy Cates as a teenager. Where were the boys like Hardy back when I actually was a teenager? Even when Hardy does something a little wrong, I can forgive him. When this book came out in 2008, I drove to my local Borders and grabbed a copy just as soon as they opened for the day. I loved it then and I still love it today. Just be aware that this review is not unbiased because it is nearly impossible to be unbiased when you are in love. Haven first meets Hardy at her brother Gage's wedding when she slips into the wine cellar. Haven thinks she has found her boyfriend, Nick, and things heat up really quickly. Once she realizes her mistake, they both move on with their lives. Haven knows that Nick is her future and she is willing to do whatever it takes to be with him...even if it means she is cut off financially from her wealthy father. The lack of money doesn't bother Haven as she tries to be a good wife to Nick. Nick becomes increasingly resentful and angry. Nothing Haven does is good enough for Nick. He doesn't care what Haven wants or what she thinks because the only thing that matters to him is himself. Haven eventually leaves Nick after he becomes abusive. She starts a new life with the help of her family. She starts working at a property management office for her brother, Jack. She soon crosses paths with Hardy once again. Her family warns her against Hardy but she takes a chance anyway. I was just as moved by Kleypas's description of the abuse that Haven endured as I was the first time I read the book. I think that she did a remarkable job of demonstrating how out of control Nick had become. I was frightened for Haven and wanted to take her away and protect her just like her brothers wanted to. Haven is strong. She asks for help when she knows that she needs it and then works to change the things in her life that she can change. Would I love Hardy as much as I do if I hadn't already read the first book in this series? I don't know and it is really hard to guess because I was already in love with him before this book started. Hardy listened to Haven and tried to be what she needed. The chemistry between Haven and Hardy is phenomenal. I am still trying to figure out how Haven ever pulled herself out of the wine cellar at the very beginning of the book. I like Haven and Hardy as a couple. I listened to the audiobook on this read through and I have to admit I had a hard time with the narration at the beginning of the story. I kept listening and starting liking the narration more and more and by the end of the book I didn't notice the narrator anymore because all I could think about was the story. I got lost in the story which is exactly what I look for in an audiobook. I would highly recommend this book to others. I would suggest that readers start with the first book in the series, Sugar Daddy, because it really gives a lot of background, not to mention it is an excellent book. I am planning to re-read the next book in this series very soon and can't wait to get my hands on a new book by Lisa Kleypas.