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The Devil in Disguise by Stefanie Sloane

The Devil in Disguise (2011)

by Stefanie Sloane

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This is my first book by Stefanie Sloane and I have to admit that I found it just average. I adored Joanna Bourne's spy books so I had high hopes for this one but I found it slow going in the first 4 or 5 chapters in the book. Plot was not bad ... a notorious sexy rake who’s really a spy in disguise uses a prized stallion to entice a very rich and stunningly beautiful woman into a courtship so he can protect her from an assassin’s kidnapping plot. However, it's a bit too cliche for me with the hero a sexy duke and heroine a fabulously weathly (the richest woman in England no less) and beautiful too. I'm really tired of those types of characters in historical romances. It's getting boring. The characters all seemed rather flat. Except for the three funny aunts but we don't see too much of them. Then about half way through the plot just went downhill and I started skimming. Not good. ( )
  reneebooks | Nov 7, 2014 |
I have always adored spy regency romances, it adds a bit more spice than what regular regency romances offer. Ever since I first noticed the covers of this series, its been on my list. I have heard some many great things about this series. And so since my local library has all of them, I decided I could start from the beginning of the series. So With The Devil In Disguise, we see a story that begins with Lucinda looking for a husband, and then William displays some real interest that she reciprocates. William is part of the "Young Corinthians", a network of british spy's. I enjoyed seeing these two begin a courtship, even though at first William's intentions is strictly professional and all about completeing his mission. The Devil In Disguise was a sensual read that is packed with a witty dialogue, a plot full of intrigue and mystery, and a romance to captivate hearts!! REMARKABLE! ( )
  addictofromance | Apr 19, 2014 |
People who sneer at romance novels, take note: Stefanie Sloane's THE DEVIL IN DISGUISE is excellent fodder for your horrible snap judgments. It's every bit as bad as the meanest literary snob could hope.

Heroine is Lady Lucinda Gray. She's the richest woman in England. She's heart-stoppingly beautiful. She's popular and well-respected. She's got powerful friends and, as an orphan without a husband or brothers, nobody tells her what to do.

For the first half of the book she complains a LOT about what a horrible BURDEN it is to have to field so many marriage proposals from so many men. Like, if that's the worst you can come up with...I just...I'm sorry. I've never been able to make a list of my problems that only has one item on it and reads, "TOO MUCH OF EVERYTHING I WANT", and I can't muster a whole lot of sympathy for Lucinda.

Hero is half hardened spy and half dissolute rake but, in this case, his halves don't add up to a whole. He's a horrible spy - which, you know, spying is hard so I'll cut him some slack there. But he's also a horrible rake. His raking consists entirely of sleeping around a little, a little bit of drinking, and swearing more than is entirely proper. His behavior is too moderate to be really rakish.

Everything about the romance is flat, dull, distancing. The hero and heroine seem really poorly matched as a couple and, if their story continued, I suspect we'd get a depressing novel about a failed marriage. The romance is not romantic and the sex scenes are cringeworthy. ( )
  MlleEhreen | Apr 3, 2013 |
Okay, Lady Lucinda Gray has had some really BAD examples of marriage in her family, and she's REALLY not convinced that marriage is for her. And she's turned down almost every eligible bachelor in London.

William Randall, DUKE of Clairemont, is a spy who has NO intention of settling down. His parents' marriage was HORRIBLE. His dad was a SUPREMELY EVIL guy (emotionally and physically abusive, threatening, flaunting mistresses in his wife's face, etc.)... A REALLY good looking man, but a wolf in sheep's clothing... and Will looks just like him. He's a ladies' man. Not interested in marriage, like I said. Has a pretty... dark... reputation. Never attends "proper" ton events. Yadda yadda... you get it.

Anyway, there's a bad guy who, for some reason that I never really got or cared about, wants to kidnap Lucinda... For money, as she's really rich... I guess he was planning to hold her for ransom? Meh. Don't care. So Will is assigned to protect her. And the way he approaches it is to court her... He's not too worried that she'll get attached to him as she's turned down everyone else, but there was a bargain involving a horse that he owned that she wanted for her aunt so they could breed him and make awesome-beyond-comparison horses. Meh. Don't care. The bargain basically ensured that he could stick close to her for 3 months, while they caught the bad guy.

Anyway, Lucinda and Will end up spending quite a lot of time together, and they're such a fabulous couple, it evokes that I-don't-care-why—it's-just-awesome attitude you see above. They were just so GREAT together. It was fun to see Lucinda (who REALLY should have gone by Lucy!) being really attracted to Will but trying NOT to be. (Like maybe if she chants "I'm just in it for the horse!" enough times, it will magically be true.) And it was great to see Will struggling to court her, but being SO out of the proper loop that he doesn't really know how it's supposed to be done...

Except Will didn't plan on LIKING Lucinda. There was a great line of his: "Of course I want to bed her. A man would have to be dead and buried not to. No, I want to talk to her. I like talking to her. Dammit, the bedding part is natural. Wanting to spend time with her outside the bedchamber is not." I loved that. He likes talking to her.

Anyway, I really liked it. I thought the plot was strong. The characters' issues were appropriate and worked. Like how Will's horrible family makes it really hard for him to come to terms with the fact that he loves her. It was so FRUSTRATING, because we're TOTALLY with Lucinda at that point, but it made sense. The side characters were great, from her aunts (the Furies) to her best friend and her husband.

The only real issue was the EDITING. Every once in a while, you'll find a typo in a book, but there was one every 25 pages! And noticeable things that SPELL CHECK should have caught! That was annoying and distracting! :P ( )
  saraferrell | Apr 3, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Featured at An Abundance of Books

The Devil in Disguise was an entertaining read but not a super duper one. While we can all admit that the premise of Regency Era spies is not new it remains a fun idea. William and Lucinda were nice characters, not bland, just "nice". Lucinda was raised by aunts who have had negative dealings with marriage. They understand that as women, the only freedom they can have is as spinsters. They wanted their niece to grow up strong and self reliant, but they also (possibly unwittingly) taught her to not trust marriage. William had an abusive father and his mother simply ignored it (or so it seemed). He has grown up with a deep distrust of relationships and has avoided marriage. I did enjoy that fact that Will was floored by Lucinda's beauty when he first saw her. Gawking is not normally what we expect of our romance heroes. While they were clever and the witty banter was funny, they just never connected with me. It was like I was observing Will and Lucinda through a window, watching them go through their little adventure.

My main problem with The Devil in Disguise was that the story didn't develop so much as it seemed to make leaps and bounds. I understand that relationships in romance novels develop quickly but they make sense within the realm of the book. William an dLucinda's relationship felt that it moved to quickly with no warning. And it's not like the characters were wishy washy, I'm talking major advances with no warning. It actually started to distract me.

The Devil in Disguise was not the best Regency Era spy romance that I've read. I enjoyed Soane's characters, her writing made me chuckle, but I just didn't get invested in the characters and the story didn't flow as nicely as I would have liked.

Read full review HERE ( )
  AbundanceofBooks | Dec 23, 2011 |
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Book description
Lord William Randall, the Duke of Clairemont, is a rake with little regard for society—a most unlikely suitor for Lady Lucinda Grey. But his latest assignment for the Young Corinthians, an elite spy organization, involves protecting her from a kidnapping plot. To do this, the notorious “Iron Will” must use his devilish charm to seduce Lucinda and convince her he’s worthy of her attention. William never planned to become enthralled by the lovely Lady Grey—or to lose his own heart in the bargain.

Beautiful and fiercely intelligent, Lucinda has managed to gracefully sidestep even the most persistent suitors. Until the Duke of Clairemont, that is. She’s tempted by his sinfully sensuous mouth and piercing eyes, and finds it hard to resist the champion thoroughbred he offers her in exchange for the honor of courting her. Can she keep him at arm’s length when his touch begs her to let him so much closer?
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Ordered by the Young Corinthians, an elite spy organization, to protect Lady Lucinda Grey from a kidnapping plot, Lord William Randall, a notorious rake with little regard for society, must convince this proud beauty that he is worth her time.

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