Devil's Cub

Devil's Cub

by Georgette Heyer

Paperback(Reprint)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781492677666
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Publication date: 01/01/2019
Series: Georgette Heyer Signature Collection Series
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 47,521
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Georgette Heyer's novels have charmed and delighted millions of readers for decades. English Heritage has awarded Georgette Heyer one of their prestigious Blue Plaques, designating her Wimbledon home as the residence of an important figure in British history. She was born in Wimbledon in August 1902. She wrote her first novel, The Black Moth, at the age of seventeen to amuse her convalescent brother; it was published in 1921 and became an instant success. Heyer published 56 books over the next 53 years, until her death from lung cancer in 1974. Her last book, My Lord John, was published posthumously in 1975. A very private woman, she rarely reached out to the public to discuss her works or personal life. Her work included Regency romances, mysteries and historical fiction. Known as the Queen of Regency romance, Heyer was legendary for her research, historical accuracy and her extraordinary plots and characterizations. She was married to George Ronald Rougier, a barrister, and they had one son, Richard.

Read an Excerpt

There was only one occupant of the coach, a gentleman who sprawled very much at his ease, with his legs stretched out before him, and his hands dug deep in the capacious pockets of his greatcoat. While the coach rattled over the cobbled streets of the town, the light from an occasional lantern or f lambeau momentarily lit the interior of the vehicle and made a diamond pin or a pair of very large shoe-buckles f lash, but since the gentleman lounging in the coach wore his gold-edged hat tilted low over his eyes, his face remained in shadow.

The coach was travelling fast, too fast for safety in a London street, and it soon drew out of the town, past the turnpike, on to Hounslow Heath. A faint moonlight showed the road to the coachman on the box, but so dimly that the groom beside him, who had been restive since the carriage drew out of St. James's, gasped presently, as though he could no longer keep back the words: "Lord! You'll overturn us! It's a wicked pace!"

The only answer vouchsafed was a shrug, and a somewhat derisive laugh. The coach swayed precariously over a rough stretch of ground, and the groom, clutching the seat with both hands, said angrily: "You're mad! D'you think the devil's on your heels, man? Doesn't he care? Or is he drunk?" The backward jerk of his head seemed to indicate that he was speaking of the man inside the coach.

"When you've been in his service a week you won't call this a wicked pace," replied the coachman. "When Vidal travels, he travels swift, d'ye see?"

"He's drunk—three parts asleep!" the groom said.

"Not he."

Yet the man inside the coach might well have been asleep for all the sign of life he gave. His long body swayedeasily with the lurch of the coach, his chin was sunk in the folds of his cravat, and not even the worst bumps in the road had the effect of making him so much as grasp the strap that swung beside him. His hands remained buried in his pockets, remained so even when a shot rang out and the vehicle came to a plunging standstill. But apparently he was awake, for he raised his head, yawning, and leaning it back against the cushions turned it slightly towards the off-window.

There was a good deal of commotion outside; a rough voice was raised; the coachman was cursing the groom for his tardiness in firing the heavy blunderbuss in his charge; and the horses were kicking and rearing.

Someone rode up to the door of the coach and thrust in the muzzle of a big pistol. The moonlight cast a head in silhouette, and a voice said: "Hand over the pretties, my hearty!"

It did not seem as though the man inside the coach moved, but a gun spoke sharply, and a stabbing point of f lame f lashed in the darkness. The head and shoulders at the window vanished; there was the sound of a fall, of trampling hooves, of a startled shout, and the belated explosion of the blunderbuss.

The man in the coach drew his right hand out of his pocket at last. There was an elegant silver-mounted pistol in it, still smoking. The gentleman threw it on to the seat beside him, and crushed the charred and smouldering portion of his greatcoat between very long white fingers.

The door of the coach was pulled open, and the coachman jumped up on to the hastily let-down step. The lantern he held lit up the interior, and shone full into the face of the lounging man. It was a surprisingly young face, dark and extremely handsome, the curious vividness overlaid by an expression of restless boredom.

"Well?" said the gentleman coldly.

"Highwaymen, my lord. The new man being unused, so to say, to such doings, was late with the blunderbuss. There was three of them. They've made off—two of them, that is."

"Well?" said the gentleman again.

The coachman seemed rather discomposed. "You've killed the other, my lord."

"Certainly," said the gentleman. "But I presume you have not opened the door to inform me of that?"

"Well, my lord—shan't we—do I—his brains are lying in the road, my lord. Do we leave him—like that?"

"My good fellow, are you suggesting that I should carry a footpad's corpse to my Lady Montacute's drum?"

"No, my lord," the coachman said hesitatingly. "Then—then— shall I drive on?"

"Of course drive on," said the gentleman, faintly surprised.

"Very good, my lord," the coachman said, and shut the door.

The groom on the box was still clasping the blunderbuss, and staring fascinated at the tumbled figure in the road. When the coachman climbed up on to the box again, and gathered the reins in his hands, he said: "Gawd, ain't you going to do anything?"

"There isn't anything you can do for him," replied the other grimly.

"His head's almost shot off!" shuddered the groom.

The equipage began to move forward. "Hold your tongue, can't you? He's dead, and that's all there is to it."

The groom licked his dry lips. "But don't his lordship know?"

"Of course he knows. He don't make mistakes, not with the pistols."

The groom drew a deep breath, thinking still of the dead man left to wallow in his blood. "How old is he?" he blurted out presently.

"Twenty-four all but a month or two."

"Twenty-four! And shoots his man and leaves the corpse as cool as you please! My Gawd!"

He did not speak again until the coach had arrived at its destination, and then he seemed to be so lost in meditation that the coachman had to nudge him sharply. He roused himself then and jumped off the box to open the coach door. As his master stepped languidly down, he looked covertly at him, trying to see some sign of agitation in his face. There was none. His lordship sauntered up the steps to the stone porch, and passed into the lighted hall.

"My Gawd!" said the groom again.

Inside the house two lackeys hovered about the late-comer to take his hat and coat.

There was another gentleman in the hall, just about to go up the wide stairway to the saloon. He was good-looking in a rather f lorid style, with very heavily-arched brows and a roving eye. His dress proclaimed the Macaroni, for he wore a short coat decorated with frog-buttons, fine striped breeches with bunches of strings at the knee, and a waistcoat hardly reaching below the waist. The frills of his shirt front stuck out at the top, and instead of the cravat, he displayed a very full handkerchief tied in a bow under his chin. On his head he wore an amazingly tall ladder-toupet, dusted with blue hair powder, and he carried in his hand a long tasselled cane.

He turned as my lord entered, and when he saw who it was, came across the hall. "I hoped I was the last," he complained. He raised his quizzing-glass, and through it peered at the hole in his lordship's coat. "My dear Vidal!" he said, shocked. "My dear fellow! Ecod, my lord, your coat!"

One of the lackeys had it over his arm. My lord shook out his Dresden ruff les, but carelessly as though it mattered very little to him to be point-de-vice. "Well, Charles, what of my coat?" he asked.

Mr. Fox achieved a shudder. "There's a damned hole in it, Vidal," he protested. He moved forward and very gingerly lifted a fold of the garment. "And a damned smell of powder, Vidal," he said. "You've been shooting someone."

His lordship leaned against the bannister, and opened his snuff-box. "Some scum of a footpad only," he said.

Mr. Fox abandoned his affectations for the moment. "Kill him, Dominic?"

"Of course," said my lord.

Mr. Fox grinned. "What have you done with the corpse, my boy?"

"Done with it?" said his lordship with a touch of impatience. "Nothing. What should I do with a corpse?"

Mr. Fox rubbed his chin. "Devil take me if I know," he said after some thought. "But you can't leave a corpse on the road, Dominic. People might see it on the way back to town. Ladies won't like it."

His lordship had raised a pinch of snuff to one classic nostril, but he paused before he sniffed. "I hadn't thought of that," he admitted. A gleam, possibly of amusement, stole into his eyes. He glanced at the lackey who still held his damaged greatcoat. "There is a corpse somewhere on the road to town. Mr. Fox does not wish it there. Remove it."

The lackey was far too well trained to display emotion, but he was a little shaken. "Yes, my lord,"he said. "What does your lordship want done with it, if you please?"

"I have no idea," said his lordship. "Charles, what do you want done with it?"

"Egad, what is to be done with a corpse in the middle of Hounslow Heath?" demanded Mr. Fox. "I've a notion it should be delivered to a constable."

"You hear,"said his lordship."The corpse must be conveyed to town."

"Bow Street," interjected Mr. Fox.

"To Bow Street—with the compliments of Mr. Fox."

"No, damme, I don't take the credit for it, Dominic. Compliments of the Marquis of Vidal, my man."

The lackey swallowed something in his throat, and said with a palpable effort: "It shall be attended to, sir."

Mr. Fox looked at the Marquis. "I don't see what else we can do, Dominic, do you?"

"We seem to have been put to a vast deal of inconvenience already," replied the Marquis, dusting his sleeve with a very fine handkerchief. "I do not propose to bother my head further in the matter."

"Then we may as well go upstairs," said Mr. Fox.

"I await your pleasure, my dear Charles," returned his lordship, and began leisurely to mount the shallow stairs.

Mr. Fox fell in beside him, drawing an elegant brisé fan from his pocket. He opened it carefully, and held it for his friend to see. "Vernis Martin," he said.

His lordship glanced casually down at it. "Very pretty," he replied. "Chassereau, I suppose."

"Quite right," Mr. Fox said, waving it gently to and fro. "Subject, Télémaque, on ivory."

They passed round the bend in the stairway. Down in the hall the two lackeys looked at one another. "Corpses one moment, fans the next,"said the man who held Vidal's coat."There's the Quality for you!"

The episode of the corpse had by this time apparently faded from Lord Vidal's mind, but Mr. Fox, thinking it a very good tale, spoke of it to at least three people, who repeated it to others. It came in due course to the ears of Lady Fanny Marling, who, in company with her son John, and her daughter Juliana, was present at the drum.

Lady Fanny had been a widow for a number of years, and the polite world had ceased to predict a second marriage for her. Flighty she had always been, but her affection for the late Mr. Edward Marling had been a very real thing. Her period of mourning had lasted a full year, and when she reappeared in society it was quite a long time before she had spirits to amuse herself with even the mildest f lirtation. Now, with a daughter of marriageable age, she was becoming quite matronly, and had taken to arraying herself in purples and greys, and to wearing on her exceedingly elaborate coiffure turbans that spoke the dowager.

She was talking to an old friend, one Hugh Davenant, when she overheard the story of her nephew's latest exploit, and she at once broke off her own conversation to exclaim: "That abominable boy! I vow and declare I never go anywhere but what I hear of him. And never any good, Hugh. Never!"

Hugh Davenant's grey eyes travelled across the room to where the Marquis was standing, and dwelled rather thoughtfully on that arrogant figure. He did not say anything for a moment, and Lady Fanny rattled on.

"I am sure I have not the least objection to him shooting a high-wayman—my dear Hugh, do but look at that odd gown! What a figure of fun—oh, it is Lady Mary Coke! Well, small wonder. She never could dress, and really she is become so strange of late, people say she is growing absolutely English.Yes, Hugh, I heard it from Mr. Walpole, and he vowed she was mad—what was I saying? Vidal! Oh, yes, well, if he must shoot highwaymen, it's very well, but to leave the poor man dead on the road—though I make no doubt he would have done the same to Vidal, for I believe they are horridly callous, these fellows—but that's neither here nor there. Vidal had no right to leave him. Now people will say that he is wickedly blood-thirsty, or something disagreeable, and it is quite true, only one does not want the whole world to say so." She drew a long breath. "And Léonie," she said— "and you know, Hugh, I am very fond of dear Léonie—Léonie will laugh, and say that her méchant Dominique is dreadfully thoughtless. Thoughtless!"

Davenant smiled. "I make no doubt she will," he agreed. "I sometimes think that the Duchess of Avon will always remain, at heart— Léon, a page."

"Hugh, do I beseech you, have a care! You do not know who may overhear you. As for Avon, I truly think he does not care at all what happens to Dominic."

"After all," Hugh said slowly, "Dominic is so very like him."

Lady Fanny shut her fan with a snap. "If you are minded to be unkind about my poor Avon, Hugh, I warn you I shall not listen. Lud, I'm sure he has been a perfect paragon ever since he married Léonie. I know he is monstrous disagreeable, and no one was ever more provoking, unless it be Rupert, who, by the way, encourages Dominic in every sort of excess, just as one would expect—but I'll stake my reputation Avon was never such a—yes, Hugh, such a devil as Vidal. Why, they call him Devil's Cub! And if you are going to tell me that is because he is Avon's son, all I can say is that you are in a very teasing mood, and it's no such thing."

"He is very young, Fanny," Hugh said, still watching the Marquis across the room.

"That makes it worse," declared her ladyship. "Oh, my dear Lady Dawlish, I wondered whether I should see you to-night! I protest, it's an age since I had a talk with you…. Odious woman, and as for her daughter, you may say what you choose, Hugh, but the girl squints! Where was I? Oh, Vidal, of course! Young? Yes, Hugh, I marvel that you should find that an excuse for him. The poor Hollands had trouble enough with their son, not but what I consider Holland was entirely to blame—but I never heard that Charles Fox ever did anything worse than lose a fortune at gaming, which is a thing no one could blame in him. It is very different with Vidal. From the day he left Eton he has been outrageous, and I make no doubt he was so in the nursery. It is not only his duels, Hugh—my dear, do you know he is considered positively deadly with the pistols?"

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Devil's Cub 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 73 reviews.
beckymmoe More than 1 year ago
Since Alistair #1 (These Old Shades) creeped me out just a bit with the whole relationship between the duke and his "page" (seriously, he's still calling her his "enfant" in this one, and their son is in his twenties), I was relieved to see that the two of them had supporting roles in this book. They're there in the beginning and the end, with the duchess having a small solo part toward the middle and the duke with his own at the end. Most of the story focuses on the next generation--Dominic, the marquis; his cousins, Fanny's children; and Sophia and Mary Challoner, the pretty but rather vapid girl whom Dominic hopes to make his mistress and her older sister who is determined to prevent him. In true Heyer style, the plot is a comedy of errors, with disguises and duels, elopements and escapes, and misunderstandings galore. It was a slow start, as I've found many of her books to be, but once the plot gets going, hold on for a wild ride!
Lisa_RR_H More than 1 year ago
This is the second part of a trilogy dealing with the Alastair family that began with <i>These Old Shades</i> and concludes with <i>An Infamous Army</i>. Some of the author's works can found in general fiction, and I know plenty who usually eschew romance novels who love Heyer--A.S. Byatt is a fan. Her Regency novels were published from 1921 to 1972 so I think we can put her into near-classic status--although <i>Devil's Cub</i> is actually set in the earlier Georgian Era. The book is a good example of the omniscient point of view--I hate the sloppy point of views you often seen in romance books that switch between characters thoughts within scenes, or even paragraphs, but a true omniscient point of view, done consistently from the beginning and with a strong voice is an exception to that rule--and Heyer does it well and with a lot of humor. Not that hers is a style I find completely graceful. The "she marvelled" and "he interjected" and the like in the speech tags accompanied by the most awkward adverb abuse--I felt as if bounced on a trampoline by them--and it's hard to read "he ejaculated" with a straight face. It's really great, witty dialogue--I wish Heyer would have got out of its way. (Though "chit" is used so often, I think I now know where hack romance novelists get it from.) There is a wealth of period detail--slang, fashions, etc.--I couldn't help but think of what I once read of Jane Austen though--that she eschewed a lot of details because she felt it would date her works, rather than making them universal, and early on all that description struck me as cluttered, but eventually I came to see it as part of Heyer's charm. This was my first Heyer, and I have to admit that besides the style issues, I initially had a problem with the titular character--I might have dropped the book a third way through if many I trust didn't tell me they love Heyer. The romantic hero, Dominic Alastair, Marquis of Vidal, is a rake, who in the first six chapters seems a cold stone killer and seducer. I detested him. About a hundred pages in he abducts the heroine, Mary Challoner, who obstructed his plans to make her sister his mistress. I thought, well, maybe I chose the wrong book. But then Mary endeared herself to me forever: Reader, she shot him. With his own pistol. After that, I started enjoying myself :-) She's no Jane Austen, but she is heads above the usual romance writer and did charm me.
shanin More than 1 year ago
This is one of my favorite books by Georgette Heyer. The two main characters are supreme examples of 'opposites attract'. The story is entertaining and fast paced so that I could hardly put it down. Fans of Regency romance are ,of course, fans of Heyer and this is one of her more outrageous and fun adventures.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is an absolute must to read for all those people who are die-hard fans of Rebency Romances. This book is full of gaiety and melodramas, duels, abductions and escapes. It is simply another feather in Georgette Heyer's cap. All in all , it is an enticing tale woven by Heyer's genius and eloquence. It's romance is unparalleled.The book thoroughly keeps the reader out of bed until one has not devoured its last page!
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you love the polite circles of the Regency era, dashing heroes, brilliant heroines, fencing Lords and captivating ladies, don't wait to read Georgette Heyer. She'll spoil all other books for you, laying a precedent that few authors have been able to match. Devil's Cub is the sequel to 'These Old Shades' both of which deal with the noble Alastair family and their vivacious, sometimes chilling, protagonists as they sally forth on unforgettable adventures. The language of Georgette Heyer is so beautiful that your household will start quoting her in random instances. She's Jane Austen with verve. Please buy this book! P.S. I'm so pleased B&N is carrying more Georgette Heyer titles. By buying this book you will encourage the printing of more books by GH- a must have in any Anglophile reader's library.
Fricka More than 1 year ago
Devil's Cub--Excellent Romantic Reading Devil's Cub is the second in Georgette Heyer's Alastair family chronicles. it's one of my favorite Heyer books to re-read, with excellent character portraits, a clever plot line, and the glimpse into the upper-class lifestyle enjoyed by the aristocracy of England and France, during the Georgian period. Readers don't have to have read the first book, These Old Shades, to enjoy Devil's Cub, but those who have will find familiar characters and the events more enjoyable. For example, Justin Alastair, his grace of Avon, is reduced to a minor role in this book, but there are frequent references to him, and he makes a striking appearance towards the end of the book, where there's a wonderful denouement when he comes to the aid of his probable future daughter-in-law, Mary Challoner, and since he has not informed her of his identity, hears himself described by her as "sinister,' and "unscrupulous"-- a joy to the reader, and even, it seems, amusing to the Duke himself. They are interrupted shortly thereafter by Alastair's son, the Marquis of Vidal, who has come in pursuit of Mary, and is then surprised and chagrined to find her in the company of his father. Readers of the first book, recalling the Duke's falling in love with his ward, Leonie, now the mother of his son in this book, , will enjoy this further installment of the family chronicle. There's even an echo of the "elopement" trip taken by Rupert, the Duke's younger brother, and Leonie. Another joy of reading the book is Heyer's deft interweaving of French phrases, as most English aristocrats either had French bloodlines on at least one side of the family, or traveled to that country frequently, so the higher up socially they were, the more competent their ability to communicate in French. Of course, the main attraction of this book is the gradual taming of Dominic Alastair, the Marquis of Vidal, who quite lives up to his moniker, "Devil's Cub," through his dissolute lifestyle of drinking, dueling, and debauchery. This rake is tamed and finds salvation in his growing admiration and then love of Mary Challoner, after she has thwarted his attempt to elope with, and ruin, her sister, by substituting herself instead. His character grows as he realizes the harm he's done to Mary's reputation by kidnapping her, and by her refusal to accept his solution of marriage. By the time the end of the book comes, the reader realizes that like his father before him, he's being saved by his ability to feel love for the right woman. The edition I have re-read also has an introduction by Linda Howard, which is brief yet sets up the reader for an enjoyable time spent in the world created by Georgette Heyer. Highly recommended.
AuntBelles More than 1 year ago
Well defined characters. Good descriptions of locales
bridget3420 More than 1 year ago
Dominic has decided who wants to have as a lover. When he is exiled after losing a duel, he decides that he wants to take this woman with him. In the end, that woman's sister, Mary, comes between them. Mary is a strong woman who will bend to no man. She even shoots Dominic when he gets a little too comfortable with her. Soon, Dominic's family discovers that Mary is just what Dominic needs. This was a very fun book that perfect for an afternoon of relaxation.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Heye has always written great Regency romances. I find myself qouting lines out of her books in everyday life. Not many people understand what I mean when I say 'Stop trying to fob me off!' Devil's Cub is one Heyer I never had the priveledge to read before it was rereleased. I can't believe what I was missing! Heyer never misses a beat with the witty lines, Regency details of dress or speech, or the romance that speaks to the heart. If you could combine the traits of the Marquis of Vidal from Devil's Cub, Mr Beaumaris from Arabella, and Mr. Knightly from Emma (Jane Austin) you would have the perfect man! You have to read this! You and your friends will be addicted!
jmchshannon on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I love romances, and I love history. I particularly love when those two come together into one book. Knowing how many people love Georgette Heyer, I was absolutely convinced that any of her Regency romances would be exactly what I love. Alas, it was not meant to be. Before you draw and quarter me, let me explain.From a purely historical perspective, I thoroughly enjoyed Devil's Cub. The detail was phenomenal. The pomp and circumstance afforded Dominic, the morals of the society portrayed in the book were foreign to today's society but understandable given the historical context of the book. Ms. Heyer paints a tremendously vivid picture with her words, so that I knew exactly what each character was wearing, what it felt like to ride in a carriage, what it was like to attend social events in high society and what it was like to travel. From that aspect, I was highly impressed.My issue with this book was the familiarity of it. My opinion of the book may have been different had I not grown up reading as much historical romantic fiction as I possibly could. It has been said that as creator of the genre, modern authors have sought to copy Ms. Heyer's style. I believe this to be true because I found Devil's Cub to be predictable, formulaic and even eye-roll inducing. Another caveat is that I have always avoided Harlequin romances, and this smacked of the Harlequin style. Yes, it is important to remember that this was written before modern romances, including the Harlequin branch of books, but my distaste for that genre was something I really had difficulties overcoming.Another bone of contention that distracted me from the story was the grammatical errors scattered throughout the book. Much of the book is in dialogue, and I honestly thought that if I read "she don't" or "he don't" one more time, I was going to scream. I also found that Dominic's name was spelled about four different ways throughout the book, including the very feminine way of adding a -que to the end of his name. Again, it bothered me. Perhaps it should not have, but I found it distracting.Given the popularity of historical romance novels, it is completely understandable why Georgette Heyer ranks up there as one of the most popular romantic authors. I will admit that I did find Devil's Cub to be charming and witty at times. The characters are so over the top that one cannot help but laugh at their dramatics. I even suspect that because the whole novel is so exaggerated, Ms. Heyer may be slyly mocking the Regency era. However, I believe that this type of novel is just not for me. I prefer my historical romance to be a bit edgier, more suspenseful, saucier with the romance more a backdrop to the overarching story. I am glad I got to experience my first Heyer novel and look forward to reading what others have to say about her works as the tour progresses throughout the rest of March.
BoredJewel on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Even though I enjoyed reading it, I felt a bit lost in some parts.I mean, I think it was supposed to be funny, but I didn't find it funny at all.Especially the part with the Valet and the clothing and habits descriptions.I was also a bit put off by all the Wigs and Powders and Rouge description, it took away from taking the men seriously and liking them.I found our herione interesting in some parts, but she just did stupid things, one after the other, and she kepts running away!!??Overall, the story was interesting and I might read another Heyer sometimes.
LisaMaria_C on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the second part of a trilogy dealing with the Alastair family that began with These Old Shades and concludes with An Infamous Army. Some of the author's works can found in general fiction, and I know plenty who usually eschew romance novels who love Heyer--A.S. Byatt is a fan. Her Regency novels were published from 1921 to 1972 so I think we can put her into near-classic status--although Devil's Cub is actually set in the earlier Georgian Era. The book is a good example of the omniscient point of view--I hate the sloppy point of views you often seen in romance books that switch between characters thoughts within scenes, or even paragraphs, but a true omniscient point of view, done consistently from the beginning and with a strong voice is an exception to that rule--and Heyer does it well and with a lot of humor. Not that hers is a style I find completely graceful. The "she marvelled" and "he interjected" and the like in the speech tags accompanied by the most awkward adverb abuse--I felt as if bounced on a trampoline by them--and it's hard to read "he ejaculated" with a straight face. It's really great, witty dialogue--I wish Heyer would have got out of its way. (Though "chit" is used so often, I think I now know where hack romance novelists get it from.) There is a wealth of period detail--slang, fashions, etc.--I couldn't help but think of what I once read of Jane Austen though--that she eschewed a lot of details because she felt it would date her works, rather than making them universal, and early on all that description struck me as cluttered, but eventually I came to see it as part of Heyer's charm. This was my first Heyer, and I have to admit that besides the style issues, I initially had a problem with the titular character--I might have dropped the book a third way through if many I trust didn't tell me they love Heyer. The romantic hero, Dominic Alastair, Marquis of Vidal, is a rake, who in the first six chapters seems a cold stone killer and seducer. I detested him. About a hundred pages in he abducts the heroine, Mary Challoner, who obstructed his plans to make her sister his mistress. I thought, well, maybe I chose the wrong book. But then Mary endeared herself to me forever: Reader, she shot him. With his own pistol. After that, I started enjoying myself :-) Heyer's no Jane Austen, but she's heads above most romance writers and did charm me.
nmhale on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is only the second Heyer book that I've read so far, and I had a lot of fun with it. According This is only the second Heyer book that I've read so far, and I had a lot of fun with it. According to reviews and comments, this is one of her more popular tales, and I can see why. Dominic Alistair is the Marquis of Vidal, a rake who likes to drink and gamble and duel, but is a good guy despite all that. The quintessential bad boy. Mary, on the other hand, is straight laced. She is also the sister of Sophia, a flirty girl who is letting herself be seduced by the Marquis. In an effort to save her sister, Mary compromises herself with Dominic, who decides that he has to marry her to save her reputation.The romance is appealing, but more important to the success of the story is the wit and the characterization. The characters' escapades are silly and far-fetched, but so amusing to read. I love the repartee between just about everyone, and all of the side characters are quirky and add a lot to the story. Especially Dominic's mom, who was feisty and adorable. I laughed out loud several times while reading this. I agree with comments of others that I have read, that Heyer's language can become clunky at times, but the frothy fun in the story outweighs her awkward constructions and repetitions, and it is such a fast read that it's easy to just skim over those problems and focus on the characters and the story.My biggest problem wasn't the writing, but the attitude towards women that the Marquis, and other men and women, exhibit. Just because Mary acted in a brazen way when she was attempting to trick Dominic does not at all justify his decision to abduct her and later try to rape her. That made me crazy. Just as crazy as everyone implying that Sophia deserves to be ruined because she is flighty. She's definitely not a likable character but that does not mean she deserves what the Marquis is planning. The chauvinist attitude towards women is completely in accord with its setting and the time when Heyer was writing, but it still grates on my feelings. However, I just accepted it as a sign of the , and therefore, though it irritated me, it did not detract too much from my enjoyment in reading.
bridget3420 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Dominic has decided who wants to have as a lover. When he is exiled after losing a duel, he decides that he wants to take this woman with him. In the end, that woman's sister, Mary, comes between them. Mary is a strong woman who will bend to no man. She even shoots Dominic when he gets a little too comfortable with her. Soon, Dominic's family discovers that Mary is just what Dominic needs.This was a very fun book that perfect for an afternoon of relaxation.
runaway84 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I don't know if it's me, or what, but I didn't enjoy this. I simply adored These Old Shades, and perhaps I was looking for a These Old Shades Part Deux. Alas, no.I found Vidal to be utterly detestable, but not in an endearing way like so many heroes from historical romances are. In some scenes he disgusted me and in other scenes I just want him to shut the heck up. Mary I liked, up to a point, but I couldn't understand how she could fall for him.The return of characters from These Old Shades made this somewhat enjoyable. Leonie and Rupert made me giggle like in the predecessor. And Fanny was her usually flitty self.I don't know if it was just the character of Vidal that ruined this book for me, or what, but no scenes stood out to me and I didn't become attached to any of the brand new characters. Sad that I could dislike a Heyer book so much, but I can not tell a lie. I think I need to take a Heyer break.
WisteriaLeigh on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Devil¿s CubGeorgette HeyerSourcebooks Inc.Published 12/09, c. 1932978-1-4022-1953-5From the Cover....¿Dominic Alistair, Marquis of Vidal and fiery son of the notorious Duke of Avon, has established a rakish reputation that rivals his father¿s, living a life of excess and indulgence. Banished to the Continent after wounding his opponent in a duel, Vidal schemes to abduct the silly aristocrat bent on seducing him into marriage and makes her his mistress instead. In his rush, however, he seems to have taken the wrong woman....¿Instead of Sophia Challoner, the Marquis is dumbfounded to find he has abducted her sister, less beautiful, but intricately more clever. The plan to deceive the Marquis in order to spare her sister¿s ruin backfires on Mary. His temper is legend, and he is enraged by the pretense. Instead of letting her go as she expects, he takes her on board the Albatross as his captive. When he realizes that Mary is a woman of honor and rectitude, his compunction for licentious intentions abruptly end. The story continues with a surprising direction as the Marquis tries to rectify Mary¿s ill conceived plan. The story centers around the family of the Duke and Duchess of Avon, and their son the Marquis of Vidal. He is a source of challenge and concern, and his exploits keep them on their nobel toes. The story contains a complicated family tree of characters who intersect to create an exciting, funny and romantic plot. I loved this Heyer novel. There is quick adroitly executed humor that flows easily in the dialogue. You can visualize this novel as if it were a play performed live. The personalities of the characters as so precise. I recently read No Wind of Blame, a Heyer mystery, and I much prefer her romantic novel genre. I highly recommend this deliciously engaging and fun read.
cmbohn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Sequel to These Old Shades
DeltaQueen50 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I am running out of superlatives to use when describing Georgette Heyer¿s work. In The Devil¿s Cub we are treated to another exquisite work of historical romantic fiction. All her usual ingredients are here; a smart heroine, a dashing hero, amusing and interesting secondary characters and clever dialogue that enthrals while tickling the funny bone.This classic plot has been reworked many times, most recently Lauren Willig paid homage in her book, The Deception of the Emerald Ring, an elopement that goes awry with the wrong sister being spirited away. In Heyer¿s deft hands we are provided with the Marquis Vidal and with his rakish good looks, strong temper and masculine yet boyish ways, he is the perfect foil to Mary, the quiet, gentle yet practical elder sister who wishes to protect her younger sister¿s reputation. This along with the secondary plot about Vidal¿s cousin, Julianna¿s involvement with an unsuitable man gives us lots of family upheaval and excitement. Of course, even better is that this is the Alastair family that starred in another of my favorite Heyer books, These Old Shades.The Devil¿s Cub plastered a smile on my face during the whole read. Finally, a deserving heroine with just the right amount of spunk gets her ¿bad boy¿ and he turns out to be worth the trouble. A playful, joyful read.
robin4now on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This review is for all of the literary snobs out there. Get off of your high horse and try this amazingly funny book. The fact that these books have a much higher vocabulary level than most books of today may help soothe your erudite qualms. Georgette Heyer's regency romance books, which are the prequel to the Harlequin Romances, are several cuts above today's smarmy love stories. While the plot of these stories always hinges on a romantic situation, it is the witty and humorous dialog that makes these books the treasures that they are. They are all light, funny and satisfying reads but "The Devil's Cub is one of Heyer's best.
riverwillow on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Another entertaining read and although it's not quite up to the standard of it's prequel, "These Old Shades", it's still one of Heyer's best. Mary Challoner is one of Heyer's no-nonsense heroines and is more than up to the challenge of dealing with the Marquis of Vidal, who is a "wild, passionate" character, prone to shooting his adversaries. Bliss.
jdquinlan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars Within two pages of meeting Mary she makes fun of both her mother and her suitor and I knew right away I was going to like this girl. After telling her suitor that the color he is wearing, puce, does not become him, he continues nevertheless to flatter her with favorable comparisons to her sister:"In my eyes," declared Joshua, "you are the prettier."Miss Challoner seemed to consider this. "Yes?" she said interestedly. "But then, you chose puce." She shook her head, and it was apparent she set no store by the compliment.Mary's younger sister, Sophia, is a beautiful empty-headed girl who has caught the eye of Vidal, London's most notorious rake. (And he's not just a rake with the ladies; by page 54 he's already shot two men.) Mary knows Vidal has no intentions of making an honest woman of Sophia once he's had her, and when she stumbles across his plans to spirit her sister away, Mary takes action. Her plan works, but she never considered the repercussions of her actions and Vidal is not a man to be trifled with. He gets his revenge on Mary by forcing her to flee the country with him, thus ruining her reputation. Mary takes it all in stride until Vidal physically threatens her virtue and then she does what any sensible girl would do: she shoots him. Vidal in turn does what any sensible gentleman would do: he proposes.And thus begins the romance dance of two seemingly incompatible people, falling in love and denying it at every opportunity, until the moment when it seems they must confess or be lost to one another.This was my first Georgette Heyer romance and it is easy to see why her books have stood the test of time. The characters are engaging, the dialogue is smart and witty, and Ms. Heyer manages to create a very sensual feel throughout the story while remaining chaste and G-rated. I have only two complaints: In the beginning I was confused by all the name dropping and introductions to London society, but that didn't last long. I also felt too much time was spent with their relatives back in London when all I wanted was to get back to Mary and Vidal. But during the course of reading I realized this book was a sequel to These Old Shades, and Vidal's mother and aunt were characters in that book, so had I read that first, I may not have minded spending so much time with them in this book.All in all, a light-hearted, fun read!
Anniik on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is the sequel to "These Old Shades," but is perfectly readable as a stand-alone as well. Dominic, the Marquis of Vidal, is the son of Justin and Leonie Alastair. Perhaps lacking in morals even more than his father, he is forced to flee after almost killing someone in a duel. He schemes to take a girl with him - an innocent (yet stupid) girl he wants to make his mistress - and to save her reputation, her older sister goes in her place, impersonating her. He finds out quickly and furiously takes her with him anyway, and the romance between them begins from there. This is a sweet and fun story, and it is fun to see Justin and Leonie again - Dominic is very much like his mother!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
doesn't matter if you haven't read the first novel of the trilogy...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
fun story to read