Sunday, December 13, 2009

Devil's Cub

Devil’s Cub by Georgette Heyer
Product ISBN: 9781402219535
Historical Romance
Reissued by Sourcebooks, originally issued in 1932
Publication Date: November 2009
Review Copy from the publisher
The Burton Review Rating:Four and a Half Fun & Witty Stars!
See my other Heyer reviews

Synopsis:

Devil's Cub is one of Georgette Heyer's most famous and memorable novels, featuring a dashing and wild young nobleman and the gently bred young lady in whom he finally meets his match…
Like father, like son…

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 make her his mistress instead. In his rush, however, he seems to have taken the wrong woman…
A young lady of remarkable fortitude…

Determined to save her sister from ruin, virtuous Mary Challoner intercepts the Marquis's advances and throws herself into his path, hoping Vidal will release her upon realizing his error. But as the two become irrevocably entangled, Mary's reputation and future lie in the hands of a devilish rake, who finds her more fascinating every day…

Hooray for another fun-tabulous Georgette Heyer novel! This one is more Georgian than the typical Regency novels she wrote, but reads just as well. In Heyer's Devil's Cub, she brings to life the Lord Vidal, otherwise known as Dominic, who is yet another dashingly irresistible debonair gentleman that every blushing beauty would like to get her hands on. Some he happily obliges, but then he promptly walks away. This time, in typical Heyer tragical comedic fashion, Mary attempts to save her naive sister Sophia from Lord Vidal but in doing so, Mary threatens to ruin her own chances at a respectable future.

This is the second in the series of the Alastair trilogy (Heyer really liked these characters); the first book of the series, These Old Shades (1926), perhaps in fitting Heyer comedic fashion, arrived 26 hours too late at my doorstep, forcing me to read this series out of order. Once I had gotten thirty pages into Devil's Cub, the arrival of These Old Shades wasn't enough to deter me from this one. Let me stop right here and pronounce the fact that I am a Georgette Heyer fan (possibly upgradeable to junkie status). She is devilishly clever in her stories, and she makes me laugh (oh.. all right, except for once). I love the way she can take the same sense of a plot and make each of her books new and clever, illustrating how she expertly develops her characters. (I say this because the plot in The Convenient Marriage resembles this one somewhat.) Yet, Devil's Cub was no exception to Heyer's ability to breathe laughter and life into age old plots. For some reason in all the regency novels I've read, there is always the pressing need to find an eligible bachelor for the young girl who needs to get out of her mama's house.

(an older cover version shown here)
I couldn't make up my mind, though, if I should loathe or love Vidal. Oddly enough, our heroine had the same conundrum. 'Strait-laced' Mary knew what type of man he was, but of course that glitter in his eye made Mary wonder if there were more to him than just charm and arrogance. But I was getting a little unnerved at the fact that every time a pistol was near Vidal it invariably would go off. Murderer! (Dueling was still the rage then). Or, was he and his pistol always in the wrong place at the wrong time? And it is just this occasion that sends Vidal packing to Paris, fleeing England, but unbeknownst to him, he is bringing along Mary and not the silly Sophia. And hoity-toity Vidal gets his comeuppance and is shot by none other than Mary herself!!!

The melodramatics continue when all of the main characters and their family members collide in Dijon, where Mary consented to marry a Mr. Comyn as opposed to Lord Vidal, and more misunderstandings occur when the mom and dad (who are featured in These Old Shades) get into the middle of it. (Funny little side note was that the parson in Dijon that they were counting on doing the marrying would not do it for them anyway).

There were quite a lot of supporting characters in this one and many cousins and uncles for which I getting ready to draw a genealogical chart if one more relation was mentioned. I was getting confused! But that didn't detract from the hilarious adventures and the witty dialogue that is seemingly typical Heyer traits. I loved this one, and can't wait for my next Heyer romp.

Not wanting to give the rest of the plot away, and there is indeed a lot more that could be said, I'll simply say that was another win for Georgette Heyer.. she is my go-to-gal when I need a pick-me-up and I am so happy to report that this one did just that. The sequel to Devil's Cub is An Infamous Army.

If you are lucky, maybe you can find These Old Shades, Devil's Cub, and An Infamous Army in the 2006 omnibus shown here:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I simply adore Devil's Cub. It was a book on my literary list for a Uni course. Having not read Heyer before and not being overly interested in Romance I wasn't to thrilled to have to read it, but as soon as I began I couldn't stop!
One of my all time favorite novel's and I can't wait to read my next Georgette Heyer!