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A Deal With the Devil by Liz Carlyle

A Deal With the Devil (edition 2004)

by Liz Carlyle

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245446,947 (3.98)3
Title:A Deal With the Devil
Authors:Liz Carlyle
Info:Pocket Star (2004), Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
Collections:Your library, Favorites
Tags:Romance, Romance Historical, Romance Historical Regency

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A Deal With the Devil by Liz Carlyle



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With this story we finally get to read about Giles Lorimer's, Earl of Walrafen, happily ever after. I have been hoping for this book for some time. Giles has seemed so sad and lonely since Cecilia married David Branthwaite, Viscount Delacourt. There was no indication of where Lord Walrafen’s home estate was since there has been no mention of it in the earlier books. I learned why in this story. I guess with the sad and angry memories that Giles has of the place I wouldn’t want to go there either. It is hard to read parts of this story because of the things we humans will do for power, greed and obsession. Giles is an honorable man that wants to make things better for the lower classes. He knows that if something isn't done then there will be revolution (that is never spelled out in the story but it is hinted at). While I wasn’t happy with the way that Giles neglected his home estate he does come around to liking much more when seeing through Aubrey’s eyes.

Aubrey Farquharson a/k/a Aubrey Montford as she is known throughout most of the story is quite the unusual woman. She has done what she must to save her nephew. She hides away in a remote estate in England hoping to get sometime for her nephew, Iain, to grow and be able to claim his title. Aubrey is very intelligent and hardworking. She is also a perfectionist with all that she does. She is also scared of anyone finding out who she is and sending her home where she and her nephew would be in grave danger. I was glad that she finally trusted Giles with her secret.

We get to see Lord and Lady Delacourt, Max de Rohan or Lord Vendenheim as he is referred to now and George Kemble. I had a good laugh at some of the scenes with George and Max as they travel north in search of Aubrey true identity. There are also some very sad moments when Giles is saying good bye to his beloved uncle. I was very glad that Ms. Carlyle was so sympathetic toward soldiers and what they sacrifice in the execution of their duty to keep us free. While I will probably always enjoy her books this book has solidified her on my must buy list for words Aubrey says to Giles about soldiers. As always Ms. Carlyle’s talent for character and plot line development shine throughout this story giving us the readers a fast paced and enjoyable book. ( )
  LadyIsis | Mar 18, 2014 |
I'm not sure why I haven't picked up a Liz Carlyle romance in a while, probably just because I've been too busy with review books and other novels that caught my attention. She has never yet failed to give me a great read, and A Deal with the Devil was no exception. It was a pleasure to see Giles, a character I'd really liked in A Woman of Virtue, finally get his HEA. Even though it had been a long time since I'd read one of Liz Carlyle's books, I managed to almost instantly fall right back into step with her complex character web, and really enjoyed visiting with some of the characters from her previous novels.

When the story opens, Giles is obviously still holding a tendre for his former stepmother, Cecilia, a woman who he had pursued in A Woman of Virtue and the heroine of that book. Giles does grudgingly like and respect her husband, David, but he simply never quite got over loosing Cecilia to his father, her first husband. He also holds some strong unpleasant memories associated with his father and the castle that is his family seat. When Aubrey takes over as housekeeper of Cardow and begins plaguing him with letters regarding problems at the castle, Giles tries to dismiss them as nothing but nagging, but they clearly have a deeper effect on him. The reader can almost see him beginning to fall in love with her before he's ever met her. Giles can be a bit blustery when he's upset or annoyed, but he has a very sensitive, caring side too. I really liked that he was an involved politician who truly wanted to make a difference in the lives of his fellow countrymen. Once Giles meets Aubrey, he can scarce stay away from her even though he feels rather guilty for becoming involved with his employee. What I loved and admired most about Giles was the way he always believed in Aubrey and his incredible patience in waiting for her to be ready to tell him the truth. Even when the evidence started stacking up against her and everyone else thought her guilty of murder and even when some of her lies were exposed, he never wavered in his conviction that she was innocent and had good reasons for not telling him the whole story. For me, an immutable trust like that is a very romantic thing. On top of that, he was even willing to marry Aubrey before she had told him everything, just to quell any potential gossip, in spite of what it might have done to his career and social status.

Aubrey was a very strong woman who had been through experiences so horrifying it made her desperate enough to want to work as a mere servant in a dreary old castle for a temperamental codger like Elias. She showed her intelligence by calling upon Elias to fulfill an old debt to her father, asking him to take her on as housekeeper without asking questions and wouldn't take no for an answer. Then she immediately set about remaking the castle into a place where Giles was eventually able to start feeling at home again even after so many years away and so many painful memories. Aubrey wasn't afraid to go toe to toe with Elias and then with Giles too when he arrives. She is a very caring mother to Iain, always protecting him and looking out for his welfare above all. Underneath her stoic facade though, Aubrey holds many deep, dark secrets which make her feel as if the weight of the world is upon her shoulders. When she begins to connect with Giles, Aubrey is like a sponge, soaking up all his passion and affection like a woman starving, and in an emotional way, she was. I became a tad frustrated with her unwillingness to fully trust Giles with her story or to marry him, especially when Giles proved over and over how much he believed in her and trusted her implicitly. I sort of felt like she should be giving back to him in kind, but eventually, I realized that the ordeal she had been through was so terrifying, she didn't feel like she could trust anyone but herself, and she was also trying to protect Giles from the scandal of being involved with someone like her.

Giles and Aubrey have a really beautiful relationship. I loved all of the quiet, little, getting to know you moments they shared, like in the stable during the rainstorm. When they first met, this couple had a pretty contentious relationship which made the sparks fly every time they tried to talk about almost anything, but I completely understood why each of them harbored some ill feelings toward the other. It was also an obvious sign of their underlying attraction. When they finally gave in to that attraction, their first love scene admittedly wasn't quite perfect. There were a couple of bumps in the road, but it was still one of the most beautiful love scenes I've ever read. Liz Carlyle is incredibly talented at writing hot, sexy scenes that really make the pages sizzle.

As I mentioned before, I very much enjoyed revisiting some past characters. Cecilia and David (A Woman of Virtue) were there to support Giles in his time of grief. Lady Isabel Kirton, a secondary character throughout Liz Carlyle's books was mentioned early and then popped in for a cameo during the epilogue. Max (No True Gentleman) came at Giles request and put his sleuthing skills to work investigating Elias' mysterious death. He was accompanied by the scene-stealing George “Kem” Kemble, another long-time secondary character. As always, Kem was hilarious with his fussiness, and the way he can slickly get information out of almost anyone is pure genius. No wonder they want him along on investigations.:-)

A Deal with the Devil pretty much had it all: a wonderful hero and heroine, a fabulous supporting cast, some mystery and intrigue, heart-stopping romance, and a passionate love affair. Everything simply came together to make this another great read from Liz Carlyle's fertile imagination. I can't wait to continue reading her books, so I'll have to try harder to not set her aside for so long next time.

Note: Ms. Carlyle's didn't used to officially consider her books as series, but recently she began grouping them together on her website. A Deal with the Devil is now listed as book #4 in the Lorimer Family & Clan Cameron series. However, I would advise readers that Ms. Carlyle's character web is very complex, with past and future characters popping up throughout all of her books. With this in mind, it is my opinion that the reading experience would be greatly enhanced by beginning with Ms. Carlyle's first book, My False Heart, and continuing to read them in their publication order. The entire backlist, in order, can be found on her website. ( )
  mom2lnb | Dec 4, 2012 |
Aubrey Montford claims to be a widowed housekeeper with a young son. Desperate to keep her new post -- and her secrets -- she transforms desolate Castle Cardow into a profitable estate. Yet soon after her employer, Lord Walrafen, returns from long years of absence, Aubrey is suspected of murdering Walfren's uncle. Walrafen has reluctantly returned to the childhood home he loathes. He's drawn to Aubrey and is determined to find out her secrets. But Aubrey is afraid to reveal her past which includes a murder trial and the abduction of her nephew. The danger to Aubrey is cleared up a bit too easily, but overall a satisfying story of people learning to be true to themselves and trust one another. ( )
  mlorio | Sep 25, 2010 |
Carlyle has written several books set in early nineteenth century England, using the same set of core characters. I read and like them all, but the first few in the series were edgier, darker, and, for me, much more interesting.

Aubrey Montford needs a place to hide, so she becomes a housekeeper for Major Lorimer, who lives in his nephew's family home, Castle Cardow. The major dies mysteriously and Aubrey is of course the first suspect. Enter Giles, Lord Walrafen, who is determined to find his uncle's killer and discover all of Aubrey's secrets. You can take it from here.

I like Carlyle's style and her characters. But she seemed to throw away the plot at the end - the old - "I've reached my page requirement, so let's put this puppy to bed" thing?

grade: B Because I know that she could have done better. ( )
  dianaleez | Feb 27, 2009 |
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To my beloved husband.

Fortis in arduis.
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Winter along the Somerset coast was said to possess a certain bleak beauty.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0743470036, Mass Market Paperback)

The acclaimed author of The Devil You Know pens a shimmering novel about a Scottish noblewoman on the run from her past and a powerful English lord brought to his knees by desire.

Aubrey Montford claims to be a widowed housekeeper. Desperate to keep her new post -- and her secrets -- she transforms desolate Castle Cardow into a profitable estate. Yet soon after her employer, Lord Walrafen, returns from long years of absence, Aubrey is suspected of murder. Sparks and tempers ignite whenever she and the smoldering earl meet, but he may be her only hope.

Walrafen returns reluctantly to the childhood home he loathes. Cardow is said to be haunted -- by more than the earl's sad memories -- but it was no ghost that murdered his uncle. Is the castle's beautiful chatelaine a murderess? At the very least, she's a liar -- he has proof. Yet the truth of his soul is that he's drawn to her with a kind of fierce passion he's never known....

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:15 -0400)

Scottish noblewoman Aubrey Montford masquerades as a widowed housekeeper and uses her talents to transform desolate Castle Cardow into a profitable estate, but her pretense is threatened by the return of her employer, Lord Walrafen and an accusation of murder.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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