The Devil in Winter (Wallflower Series #3)

The Devil in Winter (Wallflower Series #3)

4.5 372
by Lisa Kleypas

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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

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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.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Wallflower Series, #3
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.72(w) x 10.88(h) x 0.87(d)

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Devil in Winter

By Lisa Kleypas

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 Lisa Kleypas
All right reserved.

ISBN: 006056251X

Chapter One

London, 1843

As Sebastian, Lord St. Vincent, stared at the young woman who had just barged her way into his London residence, it occurred to him that he might have tried to abduct the wrong heiress last week at Stony Cross Park.

Although kidnapping had not, until recently, been on Sebastian's long list of villainous acts, he really should have been more clever about it.

In retrospect Lillian Bowman had been a foolish choice, though at the time she had seemed the perfect solution to Sebastian's dilemma. Her family was wealthy, whereas Sebastian was titled and in financial straits. And Lillian herself had promised to be an entertaining bed partner, with her dark-haired beauty and her fiery temperament. He should have chosen far less spirited prey. Lillian Bowman, a lively American heiress, had put up fierce resistance to his plan until she had been rescued by her fiance, Lord Westcliff.

Miss Evangeline Jenner, the lamblike creature who now stood before him, was as unlike Lillian Bowman as it was possible to be. Sebastian regarded her with veiled contempt, pondering what he knew of her. Evangeline was the only child of Ivo Jenner, the notorious London gambling club owner, and a mother who had run off with him -- only to quickly realize her mistake. Though Evangeline's mother had come from decent lineage, her father was little better than gutter scum. Despite the inglorious pedigree, Evangeline might have made a decent enough match if not for her crippling shyness, which resulted in a torturous stammer.

Sebastian had heard men say grimly that they would wear a hair shirt until their skin was bloody rather than attempt a conversation with her. Naturally Sebastian had done his utmost to avoid her whenever possible. That had not been difficult. The timid Miss Jenner was wont to hide in corners. They had never actually spoken directly -- a circumstance that had appeared to suit both of them quite well.

But there was no avoiding her now. For some reason Miss Jenner had seen fit to come uninvited to Sebastian's home at a scandalously late hour. To make the situation even more compromising, she was unaccompanied -- and spending more than a half minute alone with Sebastian was sufficient to ruin any girl. He was debauched, amoral, and perversely proud of it. He excelled at his chosen occupation -- that of degenerate seducer -- and he had set a standard few rakes could aspire to.

Relaxing in his chair, Sebastian watched with deceptive idleness as Evangeline Jenner approached. The library room was dark except for a small fire in the hearth, its flickering light playing gently over the young woman's face. She didn't look to be more than twenty, her complexion fresh, her eyes filled with the kind of innocence that never failed to arouse his disdain. Sebastian had never valued or admired innocence.

Though the gentlemanly thing would have been for him to rise from his chair, there seemed little point in making polite gestures under the circumstances. Instead, he motioned to the other chair beside the hearth with a negligent wave of his hand.

"Have a seat if you like," he said. "Though I shouldn't plan to stay long if I were you. I'm easily bored, and your reputation is hardly that of a scintillating conversationalist."

Evangeline didn't flinch at his rudeness. Sebastian couldn't help but wonder what kind of upbringing had inured her so thoroughly to insult, when any other girl would have flushed or burst into tears. Either she was a pea wit, or she had remarkable nerve.

Removing her cloak, Evangeline draped it over one arm of the velvet-upholstered chair, and sat without grace or artifice. Wallflower, Sebastian thought, recalling that she was friends not only with Lillian Bowman, but also with Lillian's younger sister, Daisy, and with Annabelle Hunt. The group of four young women had sat at the side of numerous balls and soirees all last season, a band of perpetual wallflowers. However, it seemed that their bad luck had changed, for Annabelle had finally managed to catch a husband, and Lillian had just brought Lord Westcliff up to scratch. Sebastian doubted that their good fortune would extend to this bumbling creature.

Though he was tempted to demand her purpose in visiting him, Sebastian feared that might set off a round of prolonged stammering that would torment them both. He waited with forced patience, while Evangeline appeared to consider what she was about to say. As the silence drew out, Sebastian watched her in the gamboling firelight, and realized with some surprise that she was attractive. He had never really looked at her directly, had only received the impression of a frowsy red-haired girl with bad posture. But she was lovely.

As Sebastian stared at her, he became aware of a slight tension building in his muscles, tiny hairs rising on the back of his neck. He remained relaxed in his chair, though the tips of his fingers made slight depressions in the soft-napped velvet upholstery. He found it odd that he had never noticed her, when there was a great deal worth noticing. Her hair, the brightest shade of red he had ever seen, seemed to feed on the firelight, glowing with incandescent heat. The slender wings of her brows and the heavy fringe of her lashes were a darker shade of auburn, while her skin was that of a true redhead, fair and a bit freckled on the nose and cheeks. Sebastian was amused by the festive scattering of little gold flecks, sprinkled as if by the whim of a friendly fairy. She had unfashionably full lips that were colored a natural rose, and large, round blue eyes . . . pretty but emotionless eyes, like those of a wax doll.

"I r-received word that my friend Miss Bowman is now Lady Westcliff," Evangeline remarked in a careful manner. "She and the earl went on to Gr-Gretna Green after he . . . dispatched you."


Excerpted from Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas Copyright © 2006 by Lisa Kleypas. Excerpted by permission.
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.

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Devil in Winter 4.5 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 372 reviews.
sha2011 More than 1 year ago
I am a new reader of Lisa Kleypas. She has completely touched me with this story. I prefer romance novels in which the heroine is not perfect. Evie was truly refreshing and her blossoming relationship with the so-called rake St. Vincent was a page turner. I liked that Kleypas did not hide Evie's stutter or St. Vincent's past history as a womanizer ( as if just seeing her for the first time reformed him). For a romance novel, it was realistic and entertaining
Jezz More than 1 year ago
I thought this was an excellent book. If you are a big romantic at heart and like the idea of two people who on the surface seem polar opposites but then find their way to love you are going to really enjoy this treat. Her books are interesting enough to catch your attention but not too far fetched that you lose interest. I love how the characters reveal themselves and then find themselves tested. This is by far one of my favorite books that she has created. It is not for those who are dower but for the everlasting romantic that likes to live and believe romance is still alive. I highly recommend reading this and the other wallflower books.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It started out with a proposal that offered cash on his part, and freedom on hers. This sensual story begins with a carriage ride where St. Vincent and Miss Jenner are to be wed. Only condition, made on her part, is that after the first consummation, there would be no more love making. Being St. Vincent, gifted with the art of seduction, he sets himself to bend the repulsive proposition. But a few stolen kisses, wicked words, and sensual skin to skin contact, would never budge Evie. Determined, St. Vincent strained himself with work while he makes plans to stay women free for 3 months. Little did this god like creature, with a heartless soul, know that his cold heart would be warming up to the love the shy flower, Evie, had to offer.
Guest More than 1 year ago
St. Vincent was introduced in the previous two books (Summer and Autumn) and he could have been dismissed as a cad or a one-dimensional character. But that would have been too easy, too predictable. There had to be more to this guy than what we had been shown and there had to be the right woman to bring out the good. Enter Evangeline Jenner, the shyest of the Wallflowers. These two are by far the most interesting couples in romance and ones you root for the most.
Eternal--Love78 More than 1 year ago
Each story line is enticingly satisfying in ever way, with completely different scenarios. When she writes the sensual passionate scenes between all the characters involved it isn't just gratifying, they are intensely unbearable. Every single moment that is shared, your pulse is repeatedly thundering against your skin, a mile a minute, past the point of no return. Your loins become immensely moistened, and lite a blaze. Your attention is captured as a fish dangling on a mightly hook. Unable to cease reading due to the fact you might miss something. And lack of sleep doesn't become an issue; especially when your mind is wrapped around the concept and hope that the hero & heroine will be satified with each other at the very end. Knowing Lisa Kleypas's writing abilities very well with the numerous novels by her I've read thus far; she always writes with a happy ending in mind. However, discovering the journey that is taken is truly magnificent and inspiring. AN EXCELLENT WRITER/AUTHOR BEYOND COMPARE.. EVERY SINGLE ONE OF HER NOVELS DESERVES WELL BEYOND A 5 STAR RATING!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
One of my favorite Kleypas books - I loved it. Evie is an unexpected heroine with quiet wisdom and strength, and although St. Vincent begins the story as a somewhat unlikable rake, your feelings for him will evolve as his feelings grow for Evie. Unfolds in a lovely way - a very enjoyable read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have read pretty much all of Lisa Kleypas' books and I must say that this is one of the best she's written. I could not put it down...I finished reading it over a weekend. It's better to read the first two books ''Secrets of a Summer Night' and 'It Happened One Autumn''before this one as you will understand the story and the characters much better.
Loves2ReadKR More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. I am a huge fan of Lisa Kleypas, and I was not disappointed. I was really looking forward to reading this book, and it was just as good as I hoped it would be. Evangeline Jenner and Sebastian, Viscount St. Vincent were a great match. At first, Sebastian definitely comes off a bit arrogant. However, from the beginning, I could see traces of a true hero. Evangeline came out of her shell beautifully. The various events that LK included added to the story. From the death of Evie's father to Evie's near "kidnapping" to the celibacy oath to Sebastian's own sickroom struggle, the plot kept you on your toes. It was well written and very romantic.
CryJohnson More than 1 year ago
This is the best one of the wallflowers series
Guest More than 1 year ago
I can't believe some of these reviews that didn't like the book! This was one of the most fantastic reads of my life, to be honest. I picked it up used and was excited to read a Kleypas because Julia Quinn spoke so highly of her. I could not put it down! St. Vincent was one of the most perfect hero's I've ever read - watching his transformation was so great. And Evie, likewise, is one of the best heroines. I did have to put the book down periodically during the blood-letting scene as I was actually sick to my stomach (and riding the bus, too!), but that did not at all hinder my enjoyment. After I read Devil, I read the rest of the series, and Devil is still my absolute favorite.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is Lisa Kleypas¿ third book of the Wallflower series. Continuing with the girls introduced in Secrets of a Summer Night, Devil in Winter focuses on the characters Evangeline Jenner (daughter of Ivo Jenner introduced in Dreaming of You) and Sebastian, Lord St. Vincent (from It Happened One Autumn). Though strikingly beautiful, Evie is painfully shy and when under duress has a notable stutter. An heiress, she is overlooked by any suitor and left to the confines of her verbally abusive and constraining relatives on her mothers side. Her mother had scandalized her family wilth her relationship to club owner, Ivo Jenner and had died during pregnancy. Now, with her father ailing, Evie is pressured by her family to marry her cousin in order for them to receive her inheritance and maintain the control over her life. Wanting to be with her father during his final days and obtain her own freedom she arrives uninvited at the home of St. Vincent with a proposal of marriage. Though this meeting could scandalize her for life, Evie is hoping that her wealth will convince Sebastian to marry her, for he has recently been depleted of his funds. Sebastian, a dashing rake is as different from Evie as night is from day. With the looks of Adonis and the tongue of the devil he is confident, powerful and suave and has charmed most of the women in England. Now the question remains: will he marry her for money alone, or will the heart of the devil succumb to love¿s mysterious power? Because ¿who knows the heart of The Devil in Winter¿?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great characters - good story.
Alison818 More than 1 year ago
Sebastian is the rake you have to love (and every woman wants to tame), and Evie the stuttering, shy wallflower. This was my favorite Wallflower Book, and I did really love all of them. The story starts at the end of It Happened One Autumn. You really can't appreciate this story if you haven't read the first two wallflower novels. It was the first real revelation of Evie's life away from the wallflowers and you experience watching her come out of her shell and show how much courage she really has. Both married out of desparation, Sebastion for money and Evie for protection. After many trials throught the early stages of thier marriage arrangement, they begin to realize they really do have a "love match".
eobMD More than 1 year ago
Becoming acquainted with Sebastian, Lord St. Vincent, in "It Happened One Autumn", does not prepare you for the total transformation he unwillingly and unwittingly undergoes in "Devil In Winter". He appears to be the epitome of a self-absorbed, smug, aristocratic, leech. The only thing missing in St. Vincent's life is substance. He has made his life a quest of women, and his own idle pursuits. Sebastian is empty and shows no indication of a want or need to improve himself. Until he finds he is without money, power, and a best friend that had always stayed by him. He is at the depths of despair when an unexpected proposition comes his way; one that could quite possibly change him from such a miserable excuse for a human being to a hero. It seems impossible to him, but something in Evie, urges him to become something he could never envision himself to be.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The story of St. Vincent and Evie was very sweet and enjoyable but I found that the character development was too fast. St. Vincent suddenly changed from a bad to a reformed rake too quickly for my taste. i would have loved to see a little more spice in their story but over all it was nice. i liked the fact that we get to see the previous characters of the other wallflower series. I like to see them with their couple and so happily at that!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love this book soooo much!!! It was the first Lisa Kleypas I read and I was hooked. I adore these kinds of books, where a shy/bookish wallflower and a rake with a heart of gold fall in love. The thing I ahve trouble with is that sometimes when romance writers write their heroines they just either end of being bitchy and unlikeable or kinda ditsy. But Lisa Kleypas has the best heroines and I especially love Evie. I relate to being the shy girl that guys treat like a piece of furniture'hey! I'm not a coat rack:''. And with he help of her hero she comes into her own, becomes more confident and finds love. I also love St Vincent. I feel like he's a real rake, but in the end, even though his still wicked, he really loves Evie. I fell in love with this book and these characters.And in the end it is also one of the sweetest romances I've read. Highly Recomended!! One of my fav books ever!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book could be the greatest book ever written (okay I may have gone too far). This book is definitely a great read. I couldn't put the book down. It had me rolling with laughter at some parts and delightfully shocked at the other parts. I read all the other reviews and they were great but no one said anything about Cam. I would love to read about Cam, his life and how he finds the one true love. All in all, Devil in Winter is a great book to read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The third installment in Kleypas¿ Wallflower series is possibly its best. The plot is tight and there is a sweet mixture of both romance and reality. Sebastian, Lord St. Vincent and Evie Jenner are not Kleypas¿ typical characters. There is no swooning (Secrets of a Summer Night), no shrewish antics (It Happened One Autumn & Scandal in Spring) but a rational approach to how two married strangers would react to one another. Yes, the sex scenes are explicit but at first this is the only thing, other than money, both characters have in common. But tragedy unfolds and each sees that they can¿t live without the other. Bravo to Kleypas for creating likeable characters, and doing her homework to create a believe 19th century setting.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought this book was a great read. Aside from what other reviewers have said, I found the book rather interesting and finished in one evening. I like Evie and Sebastian very much and thought they were a great couple. I've read one other of the Wallflower's series and though I enjoyed it very much also, I think I may have preferred this one.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think a lot of people didn't get into this story that much is because it was a bit regular. There isn't a lot of action. There isn't a lot of drama but there is a lot of passion and tenderness. It's not a steamy romance and the heroine is not hard-headed or head-strong. One has to really understand Evie and the definition of shy to appreciate this story. I thought it was lovely and I recommend it with knowing ahead of time that the characters aren't going to frustrate and anger you. Evie and Sebastian just grow on you.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book supplanted Honor's Splendor as my favorite historical romance novel. The torment of Sebastian and his growth to being 'a better man' is believable, and watching Evie come into her own with a man she knows will never be violent with her, and protect her always is a delight.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was one of the best romance novels that I have ever read. I was recently introduced to Lisa Kleypas' books and I have been thoroughly impressed. Her books have exceeded my expectations
Anonymous 2 days ago
My 1st Lisa Kleypass book, couldn't put it down. A great love story
Anonymous 8 days ago
Anonymous 9 months ago
Great characters!