The Devil Takes a Bride

The Devil Takes a Bride

4.2 37
by Julia London
     
 

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Publishers Weekly calls the Cabot Sisters the free-spirited, well-intentioned and irrepressibly exuberant bad girls of high society! 

A plan born of desperation… 

Once the toast of society, Grace Cabot and her sisters now await the shame of losing high status and fine luxuries upon the death of the Earl of Beckington. The dire

Overview

Publishers Weekly calls the Cabot Sisters the free-spirited, well-intentioned and irrepressibly exuberant bad girls of high society! 

A plan born of desperation… 

Once the toast of society, Grace Cabot and her sisters now await the shame of losing high status and fine luxuries upon the death of the Earl of Beckington. The dire circumstances are inevitable unless, of course, Grace's wicked plot to seduce a wealthy viscount into marriage goes off without a single hitch. But once a stolen embrace with the wrong man leads her to be discovered in the arms of Jeffrey, the Earl of Merryton, her plan takes a most unexpected—and scorching—twist. 

…and altered by passion 

Governed by routine and ruled by duty, Jeffrey had no desire for a wife before he succumbed to Grace's temptation. Though his golden-haired, in-name-only bride is the definition of disorder, he can't resist wanting her in every way. But once her secrets meet his, society might consider their lives to be ruined beyond repair…while Jeffrey might just see it as a new beginning.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
06/23/2014
Propriety, perfection, and order must yield both to practicality and chaos in the face of the Cabot sisters (introduced in The Trouble with Honor), London’s free-spirited, well-intentioned, and irrepressibly exuberant bad girls of high society. Second sister Grace, hoping to arrange her own marriage before her mother’s madness becomes common knowledge, tries to lure the attractive Lord Amherst into a compromising situation, but mistakenly catches his taciturn brother, Jeffrey Donovan, Lord of Merryton. Isolated at a sparse, regimented estate with a husband who barely speaks to her, faces away from her when they are intimate, and has a strange obsession with the number eight, Grace puts her energies toward flowers, unruly puppies, and figuring out Jeffrey’s secrets while earning his trust. London’s writing bubbles with high emotion as she describes sexual enthusiasm, personal grief, and familial warmth. Her blend of playful humor and sincerity imbues her heroines with incredible appeal, and readers will delight as their unconventional tactics create rambling paths to happiness. (Feb.)
From the Publisher
"Julia London writes vibrant, emotional stories and sexy, richly-drawn characters."—New York Times Bestselling author Madeline Hunter

"London knows how to keep pages turning." -Publishers Weekly

"The Last Debutante is another successful merger of witty writing and passionate romance that gracefully delivers everything romance readers could want." – Booklist

"...London's story is satisfying as it builds on the excellent chemistry of the leads, gracefully unfolding with the perfect amount of tension."- Publishers Weekly review of The Revenge of Lord Eberlin

"Exceptionally entertaining...sinfully sexy." - Booklist on The Dangers of Deceiving a Viscount

"As London explores the intricate, authentic-feeling relationships blossoming among the players, her masterful ability to bring characters to life makes this romance entirely absorbing."- Publishers Weekly on The Dangers of Deceiving a Viscount

"London's love story is tense and tender, held aloft by endearing, dynamic characters."- Publishers Weekly review of The Perils of Pursuing a Prince

Kirkus Reviews
2014-11-20
A desperate young woman tries to trap a charming rogue into marriage but accidentally traps his severe and proper older brother instead. London (Return to Homecoming Ranch, 2014, etc.) returns with the second installment of her Cabot Sisters series. Grace Cabot and her sister Honor are desperate to marry now that their stepfather has died and their stepbrother is approaching his own marriage. If they don't, their mother's madness will become common knowledge and there will be no hope of a husband for either sister—or for their two younger sisters still in the schoolroom. Grace decides her best bet is Lord Amherst, who has been one of her favorite flirts for two years and will make a tolerably amusing husband. But when Grace orchestrates a scene where she will be caught kissing Lord Amherst by the local vicar, she accidentally lures his older brother Jeffrey, the Earl of Merryton, instead. While Jeffrey and Grace both struggle in a new marriage to a stranger, Grace becomes increasingly aware that Jeffrey suffers from some torment. He finally reveals that he is ashamed of his own vivid erotic fantasies. He has learned to control his base desires by maintaining perfect symmetry and order and by an obsession with the number eight. Grace naturally helps him overcome the worst of his mental health problems, even as she herself grows to love his austere and quiet country home. The book's premise is courageous. It's not easy to make a hero like Jeffrey with obsessive-compulsive tendencies into a sympathetic character. The heroine is less successful, beginning the book as a self-centered flibbertigibbet and ending as a boringly dutiful wife. Strong prose and adventurous sex scenes make the book worth reading.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781460336656
Publisher:
Harlequin
Publication date:
01/27/2015
Series:
Cabot Sisters , #2
Sold by:
HARLEQUIN
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
21,212
File size:
601 KB

Read an Excerpt

The Devil Takes a Bride


By Julia London

Harlequin Enterprises Limited

Copyright © 2014 Harlequin Enterprises Limited
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-373-77890-4


CHAPTER 1

Spring of 1812

The Franklin sisters of Bath, England—one a widow, the other a spinster—presided over a small tea shop on the square near the baths and the abbey. It was their pleasure to serve tea and fresh-baked pastries to the denizens and visitors to their fair town. They knew most everyone by name. They lived above their shop and were open every day, without fail.

The sisters reasoned that, being as close to the abbey as they were, they might offer up their daily prayers in a more official manner than in their rooms, and every evening, at precisely six o'clock, they closed their shop. Those who resided near the abbey knew that they were so exact and so regular that even the abbey's grounds-keeper had noticed and had quite literally set the abbey clocks by them.

Once their daily prayers were offered, the sisters returned to their shop, lit a pair of candles and shared tea or soup and nattered on about their day. On certain special occasions, such as those evenings when a chorale was sung in the abbey, Reverend Cumberhill accompanied them back to the shop, and a bit of brandy was poured into the tea.

Grace Cabot was depending on the sisters' routine. A routine she was confident went undetected by most of the fashionable people in Bath, as the fashionable people in Bath were not in the habit of attending evening prayer. She knew this because she was one of that set that spring, and she was in the habit of attending one soiree after the next along with the rest of them.

Had it not been for a chance call to her old friend Diana Mortimer, who lived near the abbey, Grace wouldn't have known about the sisters' routine. But she had made that call, and Diana had remarked upon it.

Diana Mortimer was also the one to tell her about the famed Russian soprano's upcoming performance at the abbey. "The Prince of Wales has favored her," Diana said. "And you know very well that if the prince has favored her, there won't be an empty seat."

That was the moment Grace hit upon the perfect plan to lure Lord Amherst into her trap.

She risked everything to set her plan in motion on the night the Russian soprano sang. It all hinged on the Franklin sisters arriving at the precise and most inopportune moment.

Grace did not think she was the sort to be annoyingly proud of her accomplishments, but this meeting with Lord Amherst, on this night, had taken exceptional cunning to arrange. She'd come to Bath a month ago after hearing his lordship had come for the waters, for the sole purpose of convincing him that she was quite sincere in her esteem of him, without appearing too wanton. But Grace had made her social debut at the age of eighteen, and in the three years hence, she'd learned her lessons in the finest salons of London and knew a thing or two about how to entice a gentleman, especially one like Amherst.

And yet, Amherst had surprised her. In spite of his reputation for being a randy and rambunctious rake, in spite of declaring his esteem for her more than once, he'd not been persuaded that a private meeting with Grace was the thing to do.

Grace had not anticipated his reluctance when she'd devised her plan. On every occasion they'd met in London, Amherst had been attentive—one might even say eager—to please and charm her. He was forthright about his esteem for her, and Grace had been certain his affection would lend itself to a clandestine meeting. Indeed, when Grace had arrived in Bath, and made the necessary rounds to the necessary parlors, Lord Am-herst had not been the least reluctant to whisper in her ear during the Wickers' soiree. Nor had he been reluctant to walk with her in the park near the Royal Crescent or keep his hands from her as they strolled.

But he'd absolutely refused to meet her in private when she'd first suggested it.

She had wondered if he had suspected her and her motives, but quickly dismissed that notion—she'd been too clever in her deceit. Having three sisters and a stepbrother had taught her how to connive. Then perhaps she'd not been conniving enough, and in the privacy of the room she'd taken in the home of her mother's dear friend Cousin Beatrice she'd thought hard about what she must do.

One night, it came to her—no one could resist a secret. Not even Amherst. She'd told him that she had something very important to tell him, something that no one else could hear. And Grace had been right— Amherst couldn't resist and had agreed to meet her.

One might assume that Grace wanted to seduce Amherst for her own pleasure, but nothing could be further from the truth. This scheme had become necessary because her stepfather, the Earl of Beckington, had recently died. Grace, her mother, Lady Beckington, and her sisters Honor, Prudence and Mercy had been completely dependent on the earl. Completely. Now, her stepbrother, Augustine, was the new earl, and every day that passed with her mother under Augustine's roof was a day that her mother's terrible secret could be discovered: Lady Beckington was going mad.

That secret would ruin the Cabot sisters, for if it were known among the ton that Lady Beckington was mad, and her four unmarried daughters now had modest dowries instead of generous ones, no one would have them. No one. There wasn't a gentleman in London who would chance introducing madness into his family's lineage, especially without the incentive of grand wealth. More important, Grace had two younger sisters who were not yet out. They would have no opportunity to make a good match.

She and Honor had worried over it for weeks now, and while Grace didn't like that it had come to this, that she should find herself in a position of having to conspire to something so morally reprehensible, she could see no other viable or expeditious solution. She must marry Amherst before her secrets were discovered.

Everything was set. The little tea shop across the square from the abbey was closed at six o'clock. There was quite a crowd gathered at the abbey this evening to hear the Russian soprano. Grace knew the Franklin sisters would return after the chorale with Reverend Cumberhill. She'd even stood across from the tea shop, watching when the Franklin sisters departed for the abbey at six o'clock, then testing the door herself. It was open. It was always open—the abbey was only steps from the shop.

Tonight, Grace's life would change forevermore. She would suffer a great scandal, would no doubt be made a pariah among polite society. She was prepared for it—at least her younger sisters would have what they needed.

At the chorale, she caught Amherst's twinkling eye. Just as they'd planned, she stood and walked briskly from the abbey's sanctuary before the chorale was ended. She knew that Amherst would be right behind her, unsuspecting that the Franklin sisters and the reverend would be right behind him.

A light rain had begun to fall, and that worried Grace. A few moments too early, a few moments too late, and everything would be ruined. She pulled the hood of her cape over her head and hurried across the abbey courtyard to the tea shop. She had a moment of breathlessness at the realization she was actually stooping to such wretched manipulations—up until this moment, it had been nothing but a scheme—but that was followed by an exhalation of desperation. She had never in her life been so desperate as this.

At the door of the tea shop, she pushed her hood back to look around her before she opened the door. There was no one about—everyone was in the abbey, hearing the last stanzas of the chorale.

Grace reached for the handle and pushed. She knew a moment of panic when the door would not open—but she put her shoulder to it and it opened with a creak so loud she expected the entire town of Bath to spill out of their doors and accuse her of thievery. Grace slipped inside, leaving the door slightly ajar so that Amherst would know it was open, and paused, listening for any sounds that would indicate she'd been seen.

She couldn't hear a thing over the pounding of her heart.

The room was very dark; the embers at the hearth were so low she could hardly see her hand before her. Another bolt of panic hit her—she hadn't thought of the dark. How would Amherst find her? She was too fearful to speak. She'd stand near the door; she'd reach out and touch him when he entered.

Grace began to feel about for the furnishings. She'd been in this tiny tearoom many times, and knew there were two small tables just at the door, a desk to her right. With her hands sweeping slowly in front of her, she brushed against the back of the chair at the desk.

All right, then, she had her bearings. She knew where she was standing, where the door was.

Grace removed her cloak and dropped it somewhere nearby, then nervously smoothed her hair. Her hands were shaking; she clasped them tightly together, waiting. A clock was ticking somewhere, and every second that ticked by, her heart beat harder.

She heard the footfall of Amherst as he strode across the abbey courtyard. He was walking quickly, purposefully, and suddenly Grace's breath deserted her entirely. She gulped for air, straining to hear. She heard Amherst pause just outside the door and swallowed down a small cry of tension. It sounded as if he was moving about, and Grace imagined Amherst was having second thoughts. He moved away from the door, and she gasped softly.

But he came back almost at once.

A silence followed, and Grace could not quell the shaking in her. Why did he not open the door? When he did, pushing the door so that it swung open, a rush of cool damp air swept across Grace's face. Her breath was so shallow she felt faint; her hands were so tightly clasped that she was vaguely aware of her fingernails digging into her skin.

Amherst stepped cautiously over the threshold. He looked taller than he normally seemed, which Grace attributed to the bit of light outside that framed him in the doorway. He turned his head to one side, as if he were listening for her.

Her nerves would strangle her. "Here," she said.

His head snapped around to the sound she'd made, and in a moment of sheer panic, Grace launched her body at him. She expected him to say something, but he froze, as if she had startled him. She threw her arms around his neck; he caught her by the waist with a soft grunt, and stumbled backward to keep them from falling. Somehow, Grace found his mouth in the dark. It was much softer than she would have thought. It was lush, wet and warm, and—

And he was suddenly devouring her lips. Hungrily. Grace hadn't expected such a powerful kiss. She couldn't say what exactly she'd expected, but it wasn't this. Her blood felt hot in her veins, sluicing through her. She was a pot boiling over, and she liked it. His tongue swept into her mouth, and she was rocked by the prurient sensation of it. She felt strangely free and anonymous in the dark, not like herself at all. Not a debutante with at least some sense of propriety. His kiss was stunningly arousing, and Grace pressed against him without regard for herself or her reputation, feeling the hard length of him—

He suddenly picked her up by the waist, and Grace cried out with surprise against his mouth. He knocked into the chair at the desk, and she heard it crash to the planked floor. He sat her on the desk, and something there dug into her back, but Grace didn't care—his tongue was stroking her mouth and driving her wild. He nipped at her lips with his teeth, drew them into his mouth, and Grace realized now exactly how Amherst had derived the reputation for being something of a rake, for his kiss was the most exciting thing that had ever happened to her.

She was sliding down a very sensual path. She felt too damp, too hot in her clothes, pushed to the edge of reason by every stroke of his tongue in her mouth, every bite of her lips.

He suddenly moved, and his mouth was on her decol-letage, his fingers digging into the fabric of her gown. Grace thought she should stop him before this game went too far, but his hand had found her leg, was under her gown! And his fingers were tracing a burning path up her leg.

Stop him, stop him now! She wanted to be discovered in a fierce embrace, not in the full throes of lovemaking. Where were the Franklin sisters, for God's sake? Grace couldn't find her voice—rather, she didn't want to find her voice. She much preferred to close her eyes and feel the extraordinary sensations. She dropped her head back and allowed herself to experience every moment of this carnal onslaught. His fingers dug into the meaty part of her thigh, and she gasped with the tantalizing sensation of a man's hand between her legs. She sank her fingers into his hair as his lips closed around the hard tip of her breast through her gown. She could not believe she had accomplished it! She would be happy with him, if this is what she might look forward to.

He freed her breast with a yank to the fabric of her gown. He took it in his mouth, suckling it, and the sensation was so shocking, so arousing, that it pooled in her groin.

Amherst growled against her breast, a guttural, animal sound of desire, and Grace's body reverberated with it. When his hand moved deeper between her thighs, Grace brazenly lifted her leg. His fingers slipped into the folds of her sex. She gasped for breath, lifting off the desk. She hardly knew herself!

"I wasn't sure you'd come," she whispered into his ear.

His hesitation was so slight she wasn't sure it was real. But he said nothing as he moved to her other breast and pressed an erection against her that both alarmed and incited her. She'd never felt a man's desire, had never seen it. It felt mysterious and hard against her leg, and the lusty image of how it would fit inside her filled her head as a strong current of desire skated down her spine, overwhelming her senses, tingling in every patch of her skin.

Everything began to fall away. Grace forgot her deceit, or even where she was. She forgot everything but the way he was making her feel, the way her body was responding, wanting more, craving more. So when a lantern of light suddenly filled the room, she was startled and cried out.

Amherst whirled about, spreading his cloak to cover Grace while she desperately sought to cover herself.

"My lord!" Reverend Cumberhill cried, his voice full of censure and alarm. "God in heaven, what have you done?"

Grace frantically tried to remember her part in this theater. "Please," she said. Please what? She looked down and realized that Amherst had actually torn the bodice of her gown. She held the fabric together with her hand, and cast frantically about for her cloak.

"My lord, this cannot stand!" the reverend cried. "You have taken cruel advantage of this girl!"

"Young lady, are you harmed?" one of the sisters demanded, and suddenly light was shining on Grace. She heard the Franklin sisters' twin cries of shock at her appearance. Grace spotted her cloak and dipped down for it.

"Miss Cabot!" one of them cried. "Come, darling, let me help you," she said, and Grace felt her hands on her shoulders, felt her pulling the cloak around her neck.

"By God, Merryton, I never thought you capable of rape! I will call the authorities!"

Rape! Merryton?


(Continues...)

Excerpted from The Devil Takes a Bride by Julia London. Copyright © 2014 Harlequin Enterprises Limited. Excerpted by permission of Harlequin Enterprises Limited.
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

Julia London is the NYT, USA Today and Publisher's Weekly bestselling author of historical romance, contemporary romance, and women's fiction with strong romantic elements.  Previous series include the Secrets of Hadley Green and Homecoming Ranch.  She is a six-time finalist for the RITA Award of excellence in romantic fiction, and the recipient of RT Bookclub's Best Historical Novel.  She lives in Austin, Texas

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The Devil Takes a Bride 4.2 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 37 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a very good book..it was a different book not the same old typycal historiccal romance. This was about dealing with ocd, and in our time it would be called sex addiction and sexual fantasy ' s . she did a great job with this book dealing with the emotions and the embarrassment thinking you're mad..also had lots of hot steamy romance..a must read.
KerryACroucier More than 1 year ago
Grace Cabot has a plan, which of course, goes wrong. The Cabot sisters are used to the comfort of their step-father's wealth. When he passes away, they know it is only a matter of time before their Step-brother's fiancee becomes his wife and makes changes. On top of that, after a carriage accident, their mother started going "mad" and they need to find an answer quick. Second oldest, Grace has a plan to take care of herself, her three sisters, and her Mother. It involves a trip to Bath and getting caught in a compromising position with handsome and likeable Lord Amherst. After all, they get on well and seem to have many things in common. Although Honor, the oldest, warns her not to do it, Grace steams ahead. Part of the plan goes well, she gets caught in a compromising position...but with the wrong man, Amherst's older brother, Geoffery, Earl of Merryton. With no way out of the pickle she is in, she marries the Merryton, knowing only that he prefers to be far from society. Geoffery grew up with the importance of the family name and the need for perfection literally beaten into him by his father. This has resulted in certain quirks and the need to have control over everything in his environment. Grace is not who he would have chosen, and he is terrified of the chaos she will and does bring into his life and his ability to handle it. After her initial reaction, Grace decides that she will do her best to make her marriage workable and tries to get to know her husband, and find out why he is so scared of opening up and letting her. My heart broke for Geoffery whose father gave him such a skewed view of life that he didn't know what was normal or how to deal with things that were imperfect. As these two start to get to know each other, Grace, with a little help, finds that there is a different side to her husband and begins to understand how his past shaped him. In the process, she brings chaos and imperfection in to Geoffery's world as he realizes that Grace is a much better match for him. I enjoyed watching the development of these two characters, and especially enjoyed Grace's realization that here is more to life than London society and parties. Both these characters needed understanding and not judgement, and luckily they both found it in each other. I love the humor that is woven into this novel, as well as the writing style. Though it is a part of the series, it can stand alone without the reader feeling as though they are missing and important part. I can't wait to find out what kind of scrapes the next Cabot sister will get into!
kronan1 More than 1 year ago
Different.......................... And that's saying a lot for this type of book.  For a change it's the hero not the villain who has a few kinks in his sex outlook.   Fortunately the heroine isn't faint hearted.    I thought the brother Lord Amherst character was confusing and childish.  One minute it was showing  him as a selfish and  shallow and the next a devoted and caring father.  It cost the story a star. It's an easy read.  About 250 pages.
KahlanMercy More than 1 year ago
Cabot Sisters Book Two Grace is determined to fix her family's problems by trapping the charming Lord Amherst into marriage. She catches the wrong brother, however, when Lord Merryton stumbles into the tea house she had planned to meet John in. Jeffrey is a completely different sort of man. He is ruled by the number eight and must keep complete order to stay sane. If you're looking for a sexy, deep historical, this is the book for you!
RomancingTheNook More than 1 year ago
A heartbreaking hero and a determined heroine Grace Cabot needs to wed and needs to wed fast.  If word gets out that her mother is going mad, no one would want to marry the Cabot girls.  So she concocts a scheme to trap Lord Amherst in a compromising situation and her problems will be solved.  Only it’s not Lord Amherst that meets her in the darkened tea room... Jeffrey, the Earl of Merryton, will do anything to keep his family name scandal free.  On the outside he seems very proper and everything has to be perfect.  Only on the inside, Jeffrey is anything but perfect.  He suffers from OCD and counts on the number 8 to keep order in his head.  In addition, his thoughts often stray to lustful, kinky images.  So when it is he who is caught with Grace in the tea shop instead of his brother, he does the proper thing and marries her. This is book 2 of the Cabot sisters but can definitely be read as a stand alone.  I really enjoyed reading about Grace and Jeffrey.  To be honest, in the beginning I wasn’t quite sure if I was going to like Jeffrey.  But he grew on me as he did Grace.  She never gave up on him and it was interesting to see their story unfold.  Once they start being honest with one another, they realize that this forced marriage can work.  It was a nice change to read a story where the hero had issues that were beyond his control and how he had to deal with these demons on a daily basis.  Julia London did a wonderful job weaving their story and I’m sure any romancer reader would take Grace and Jeffrey into their hearts.
Mydogiscuterthanyours More than 1 year ago
In an attempt to save her mother and sisters from certain ruin, Grace Cabot decides to throw herself at a man so only she would be ruined. Unfortunately, her plan goes awry and she throws herself at the wrong man; Jeffrey, the Earl of Merryton. Jeffrey, who was anything but merry, liked things a certain way, order and routine were paramount in his household. Until Grace moves in like a whirlwind, tearing through his life and his heart. Can he trust her enough to tell her his secret? A secret that can set them both free. I completely understood Jeffrey. I was right there with him when Grace did something to disrupt the flow of things. I know exactly how he felt. Grace is a fun character, she's something of a bad girl trapped in a good girls body. Great plot and the story flowed very nicely. I wholeheartedly recommend this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a place to talk about anything. Youcan go to any res past this for a chatroom. So hang and chill. Blah and do whatever..........Description:a room with scarlet cushioned seats with lights above the seats and a wooden table in the middle. Oh and the medical ward is at meds res three. Starter: how old are you REally? Till next time!)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it! Can't wait for the next one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ms London is a great story teller. I could not put the book down. The Cabot sister's stories are a little different from the typical historical. Loved it. Cannot wait to read the 3rd installment for this series. The reviewer who said this was a Fifty Shades wanna be could not be further off track and clearly has not read very many books in the many genres of romance or any other kind before she read the crap that is Fifty Shades of Grey. This book is fifty times better than that.
loverofromance More than 1 year ago
Summary  Grace Cabot and her sisters are put in a horrible position, and she knows that she will need to marry before all of England learns that their mother is mad. Their mother suffered an accident a couple of years previous, and her mind has deteriorated, and it is growing steadily worse. Now she has decided that she needs to take matters in her own hands. So she plans on seducing a scoundrel, that would make an amiable husband. But her plan goes awry, when she seduces his older brother, the Earl of Merryton. Now they are forced to wed, and Grace realizes how wrong she was, and she starts to realize the consequences of the scandal, married to a man who is proper and firm in his orderly life. At first she doesn’t know what to make of her husband, who is aloof and withdrawn, and is obsessed with the number eight, and everything in their estate, has to run with perfect order. And there is nothing to do, Grace is used to do the frivolities of London and the entertainments, not being left alone and missing her family more than ever. But Grace is determined to find the truth behind Geoffrey, but will she stand by him when she learns his secrets… The Hero  Geoffrey, the Earl of Merryton, grew up with hard childhood. He was painfully shy and reserved, and his father was cruel and harsh on his expectations. Then when he evolved into a young man, he started to suffer from images that aren’t normal, images that haunt him, and only counting with his numbers helps maintain his control. He travels to Bath often, hoping that he can find something to help heal what is wrong with him. But when he finds himself married to Grace, his control is slipping more than ever, and he wonders if he can keep the ‘beast’ contained, for his lovely wife who deserves an honorable husband and got Geoffrey instead. What I loved about Geoffrey, was how human he came off to appear…not perfectly fake. He had real challenges, he has many faults, but we see him change and you see how love changes him slowly…into a man who is strong and determined to be better. The Heroine  Grace, is used to a busy life, and a chaotic one at that. She finds herself facing consequences of a scandal. Grace is the second in her family, and always felt she was never good enough for her family…it was always Honor who was great at everything, and the only thing Grace can do is make conversation and small talk. Grace finds herself living in a cold household with a cold husband and she is determined to know him and see what is beneath that aloof exterior. Grace is bold and is willing to take matters in her own hands…which creates problems and stress for her husband and their staff who are used to order and NOT chaos. Grace bothered me at times, she seemed not to care about consequences of her actions very non chalantly, and that bugged me, but I liked her character other than that. She is lively and energetic, and is protective of animals and takes in strays all the time. I love her caring and gentle nature….its needed to aid in her husbands problems. Plot and Story Line  The Devil Takes A Bride is a riveting tale of how healing love can be. I was not sure how I would handle this story or how much I would enjoy it…but I liked it way more than The Trouble With Honor…maybe because Grace seemed more engaging than Honor. I liked Grace way more than Honor. She takes crazy risks that results in horrid scandal, but unlike Honor, she feels the repercussions more, and admits that she was wrong. This story was much more emotional as well and really tugged at my heartstrings at times. I don’t want to reveal too much about the problems that Geoffrey is suffering from, but its something that would be quite scandalous back in the day. So you see how real his trauma is, and how it’s affecting him emotionally and mentally. Its straining him, and soon you see how close he is to breaking…and that just about broke my heart…seeing how much he needed to be accepted and loved for who he is. He has never known love or a gentle hand since he was a boy with his governess. What was even better…was seeing how Grace fully accepts him, knowing everything and how willing she is to be open to him and love him unconditionally. This is a story that is one of the best of Julia London….provacative, riveting in emotion, and strong in plot and building of characters. The Cover  I have to say I love poses like the one we have here…I adore red covers,,,a very bold and sensual color, and it works great with this one. Overall View  The Devil Takes A Bride is a truly sensational tale of the power of love….how it can heal and give one strength and provoke sensation. A Sensual tale that will sweep you away. A SPLENDID TALE!!
skelley55 More than 1 year ago
This book is different from most romance novels.   I never grew to like the hero the Earl of Merryton  - even at the end he is still having sexual urges toward other women.  Yes, I know in real life love does not conquer all but I dont read romances to  deal with real life.  I ended up liking Grace but she was the only character I truly enjoyed.  So, reading the whole book was due to -  the unusual plot, the erotica?, or the inability to look away from a car wreck. 
SummerSnowFalls More than 1 year ago
Grace Cabot, once the unblemished gem of London society, is desperate to marry Lord Amherst before her mother’s madness is discovered. It’s not that she loves Amherst, but he is a bit of a rake and would eagerly come meet her if Grace encouraged a secret tryst. One that just so happens to be discovered by the Reverend. Except that it’s not Amherst that shows up – it’s his brother, the stoic and aloof Earl of Merryton, Geoffrey Donovan! Geoffrey is definitely the protagonist of this novel, which is a bit of a switch from the traditional female lead of romance novels. He is painfully OCD and strives for order and decorum in all aspects of his life. His aloof, commanding nature hides the dark, erotic images that seem to plague his every thought. Geoffrey was so stiff and controlled throughout much of the novel, that I didn’t really start to even begin liking his character until almost the end. Grace wavers between passiveness and defiance, family honor and selfishness. I found her a difficult character to connect with emotionally. For a large portion of the novel, I thought she was selfish and shallow without an interesting thought in her head. NOT a charming heroine. I warmed up to her as the novel progressed, particularly by the end, but still cannot say that I really like her character. I wasn’t really sure what the plot was in this novel. The beginning is somewhat interesting, if not very flattering to Grace, but what then follows is an awkward series of sexual encounters interspersed with Geoffrey’s dirty thoughts and struggles with OCD. Yet, for as often as Geoffrey seems to struggle with prurient thoughts, the sex scene are remarkably short. Although, in the beginning that is a good thing because of the following (Which I put in a separate paragraph to clearly warn those who need/want to know about these scenes in romance novels): Trigger warning!! Geoffrey and Grace’s first sex scene is borderline rape. The third sex scene is absolutely rape as Grace explicitly says “No” and Geoffrey has sex with her anyways! It is degrading and disgusting and really makes me dislike Geoffrey as a supposed “hero.” Accordingly, I didn’t think there was much chemistry between Geoffrey and Grace, which is surprising given how long this book is. I did like the idea of introducing mental illness into the novel since serious issues like this are not often addressed in historical romance. However, I can’t really forgive boring or unlikeable characters placed in a plod-along plot. I’ve read other works by this author and loved them, but this one just fell flat for me. Originally posted at Plot Twist Reviews [dot] Com
zeeba More than 1 year ago
The Devil Takes a Bride is the 4th book I read by Julia London and her writing is great with interesting plots. This is an enjoyable read, I really like the heroine but it took me a while to like the hero. From the title of the book I thought the hero would be a scoundrel and rake, but his character was a surprise for me. This book had too many hot scenes for a historical romance, still an enjoyable read. Thank you Julia London
Tinalou70 More than 1 year ago
Grace Cabot is a strong intelligent woman who is on a mission to help save her family. Her sister chose to marry for love but that's doesn't help the family's financial troubles. She doesn't want to sacrifice love to marry but she knows her duty and will do what she must. She sets her sights on one man who she doesn't love but at least knows of his interest but her plans go slightly awry when she ends up married to his older brother instead. Jeffrey, The Earl of Merryton was NOT Grace's first choice and if he'd had his way, she would not be his either. He thought to save his brother from disaster and found himself knee-deep and firmly tied in the matrimonial noose. He has issues and he and Grace have to come together to assist the other with their problems or they may never find the love they both long to share with each other. I've read very few stories where a hero/heroine is dealing with something other than a physical deformity so it was a refreshing idea to have a hero dealing with anxiety and OCD. I received an ARC of this story for an honest review and Ms. London never disappoints. She writes her characters with such depth and emotion that you can't help but route for their HEA. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and can not wait for the future stories of the remaining Cabot sisters.
MariannaC18 More than 1 year ago
Erotica meets Regency!    Julia London’s new book The Devil Takes A Bride is a fun, sexy, heartfelt romp! The second in the Cabot Sisters series, this story follows Grace, the second oldest sister. Grace is a desperate woman. She needs to marry for her family, so she thinks. She tries to lure a man into marriage, and finds herself with the wrong man. Or is he? The Earl of Merryton is a very proper man. He needs constant order in his life to tame the demons within. His lustful desires make him feel ashamed and depraved. And Grace is anything but proper and order!! It is a tough and rough road for these two people. Each trying to understand the others mind and spirit. Julia spins a tale of heartbreak for our hero that makes you want to comfort him and help him face his demons. She makes Grace into the savior he never knew he needed. As the story progresses, you see how they fall in love and how their respective secrets and burdens transform them into a couple that needs each other to survive. The transformation is beautiful and touching. By the end of the story, you can feel the love they have for each other. So, yes, get this book! I could barely put it down! It took me less then a day to read. It is that good! Well done Julia! I can’t wait for Prudence’s story later this year!
samanthajayne13 More than 1 year ago
A very heartfelt emotional read. Julia London does a wonderful job of writing a book that gets your attention from start to finish. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Devil Takes a Bride by Julia London is not your usual historical romance. Typically, it is the perfect hero meets the perfect heroine, bad guy comes along, they conquer their problems together, and live happily ever after. In The Devil Takes a Bride - the hero,  the Earl of Merryton, is flawed and the heroine, Grace Cabot, is calculating. While it did take me a minute or two to warm up to the both of them, I found that their personalities allowed them to blend together wonderfully. The story also gives a more realistic feel, showing that not all problems can be solved overnight. Because of the nature of the problems that the couple faced, however, it did seem like more a serious romance novel then I usually read.  That being said, I would still recommend it to everyone I know! It was a wonderful change in historical romance.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ugh, the sex is overwhelming by the ugly, the romance and character development contrived. I read ten or so pages and thought I had a good  book. It is in the trash where it belongs.
Justpeachy1 More than 1 year ago
Julia London continues the story of the Cabot Sisters in her latest book, The Devil Takes a Bride. London gives readers a different take on Regency, England in this historical romance with a hero that is anything but typical. When the stepfather of the Cabot sisters suddenly dies and their mother isn't quite right, Grace takes matters into her own hands, and what follows is a remarkable story about finding the right person in an unexpected way. Bravo, to London for giving us something refreshing and different from the ton! This is first of all a great series, by a seasoned historical romance writer. London is one of my favorites in the genre for a lot of reasons. She has a certain style that pervades all of her books. It is obvious that she wants to give her readers novels that are intensely romantic, yet not the same old story. She goes for creative characters that don't always fit the norms. She puts her characters in circumstances that are unexpected and in so doing, gives readers a new take on a classic period. Always well written and full of surprises, her books are some of my all time favorites. The Cabot Sisters series centers around four sisters that are used to having their way around the ton. They had wealth, beauty and the attention of almost everyone. And then the unthinkable happens. Their stepfather dies and their mother has a terrible accident leaving her with increasing dementia. It's up to Grace to figure out what to do. Dementia was one of those scary mental disorders that ended up with people in asylums and that sort of thing back in the day. I thought London did a wonderful job of showing the strain something like this would put on a family and how they would go about dealing with it. It's a subject you don't often see in Regency romance and I found it intriguing. Grace decides that she must wed quickly before anyone realizes her mothers condition and before they realize that the Cabot's have lost nearly every penny to their name. She decides to set up a situation that will get her caught in a compromising position with Lord Amherst. But what she doesn't count on is his very shy and rigid brother showing up in the dark instead. The Earl of Merryton isn't your typical Regency hero. He stays strictly out of society, he is very succinct and somewhat OCD. He has some eccentricities that stem from harsh treatment from his father. Let's just say he some very 'singular tastes' when it comes to everything from eating breakfast to his sexual fantasies. What an amazing character. I loved Grace, her beauty, her style and the way she was so kind and generous with her affections. She was the perfect match for Jeffrey in every way. But Jeffrey stole the show entirely. He was so different. Mind you he had his issues. He had a mild anxiety disorder, a bit of OCD, and a sexual issue. He had some wicked fantasy's to say the least. But he was a very well created character and the way that London deals with his problems is genius. I liked everything about him. To say that flawed heroes are my favorites is probably and understatement. Bottom Line: This was a great novel and a great addition to the series. It may not suit all Regency readers because the characters don't conform to the norms of society, but that was the main thing I liked about it. Jeffrey was intense and refreshing and Grace the perfect compliment to him. I think London did a great job with this addition to the Cabot Sisters series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Okay but not spectacular