Back Blurb-MEET THE BLUE-EYED DEVIL
His name is Hardy Cates. He's a self-made millionaire who comes from the wrong side of the tracks. He's made enemies in the rough-and-tumble ride to the top of Houston's oil industry. He's got hot blood in his veins. And vengeance on his mind.
MEET THE HEIRESS
She's Haven Travis. Despite her family's money, she refuses to set out on the path they've chosen for her. But when Haven marries a man her family disapproves of, her life is set on a new and dangerous course. Two years later, Haven comes home, determined to guard her heart. And Hardy Cates, a family enemy, is the last person she needs darkening her door or setting her soul on fire.
WATCH THE SPARKS FLY...
Where to begin? I just read Sugar Daddy, the "prequel" to this book. Both stand alone, but this book. Well, it touched me in a way I haven't been touched in a long time. Okay, that sounded bad, but you know what I mean.
The story starts out in the past. Haven is dating Nick, her first boyfriend and they're serious. It's Gage's wedding day and she's worried because Nick will be asking her father if he can marry her. She's also intrigued by this dark-haired, blue-eyed man she sees from across the room.
Anywho, mistaken identities insue, she gets married and the abuse begins. I have to state right up front that I usually don't like abuse stories; not because of the abuse, but because of the way it's usually handled. The story always goes one of two ways; the heroine will be a martyr and boohoo through the whole book without doing anything to end the abuse or she'll be the exact opposite & becoming the avenging angel.
I'm not saying that I think abuse is ridiculous...not by any means. I've had many friends who've suffered all types of abuse. I even suffered from abuse, by my peers all throughout school. However, there's nothing like being abused by the person you love, whom you marry thinking you'll spend the rest of your life with them forever and be happy all the time. Only to have them do a complete 180 after the marriage license is signed and you're stuck.
In this case, Haven is stuck. She's suffered from issues all her life; her self-esteem is in tatters and she's never felt loved by anyone. When Nick comes along, she's thrilled to have someone who loves her. This is the start of a downhill struggle that just gets worse and worse.
The final straw that sends her away gave me shivers. It's brutal and horrible and will make you want to kill him. Makes me mad thinking about it all over again. She's beat up pretty bad and has to swallow her pride to call Gage to come get her.
I like the way Ms. Kleypas handles the abuse. It's blunt and to the point and never sugar-coated. It is what it is. I also like how Haven handles herself. She doesn't get all Woe is me and stuff. She files for divorce, gets herself into therapy and tries to heal herself.
And when Hardy comes back into her life? Whooo...sparks fly. Nick was the first guy she'd ever slept with and she's got some hard-core intimacy issues, but she desperately wants to jump Hardy's bones. I can't say that I blame her.
Hardy...see, I didn't like him all that much even at the beginning of Sugar Daddy. I understood him, but I didn't like him. However, he fully redeemed himself in Blue-Eyed Devil. He understands there's something more going on with this woman he's gaga over and he treats her in a way that just made me melt. If I could find a man like him...*sigh*
And because Haven has intimacy issues, the sex keeps getting interrupted, but when it finally happens??? *fanning self* It's hot, sexy, tender, beautiful and almost made me cry. :)
All in all, this book was fantastic. It's one of my top reads of 2008 so far. If you like a story with an emotional rollercoaster of a ride, but also a sweet, tender romance, then this is the book for you. It'll make you feel so good by the time it's over. I can't recommend it enough.
My Rating: A+