Devil in Spring, by Lisa Kleypas

I have long treasured Lisa Kleypas as one of the world's most consistently entertaining historical romance novelists. Unfortunately, her most recent series is putting a dent in that image, which I find very upsetting. I rely on you, Lisa Kleypas!

The hero in Devil in Spring is Gabriel, Lord St. Vincent (the son of Devil in Winter's Sebastian and Evie). When a moment of gallantry leads to a scandal, Gabriel finds himself semi-betrothed to Pandora Ravenel. He's pretty sure he should be appalled by the situation he's in... but his feelings are nothing compared to Pandora's. Pandora has designed a board game that shows every sign of becoming a huge success, and the last thing she wants is to turn over the results of all of her hard work to a husband, no matter how handsome he is.

In Devil in Spring, Kleypas is wrestling with the same problem that routinely trips up Nora Roberts: her characters are too well-adjusted to generate much conflict. Gabriel and Pandora are freaking adorable, and zoom from first meeting to a happily-ever-after in a matter of weeks. That would be fine, if there were an outside conflict to provide drama and structure. But while dramatic storylines are introduced in this novel, absolutely nothing gets resolved. There isn't even a cliffhanger worthy of the nameā€”the story is just unfinished. Readers end up paying $7.99 for an implausibly sunny romance, a blancmange recipe, and slightly less than one half of a decent suspense storyline.
Posted by: Julianka


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