This is my first book by Julia London, and after this, I will be checking out some of her other titles. I really enjoyed this story. It had some mild bondage, which isn’t really my cuppa tea, but I was really ok with how it was done and its context in the story. This is the second installment in the Cabot Sisters series, and it held up just fine as a standalone (though I will be going back to read book 1.)
As the story begins, we are introduced to Grace Cabot in her heyday. She and her sister are the toast of society and virtually any man is hers for the taking. Fast forward just two years and she is on the brink of social ruin. Her step-father is dead and her mother is losing her mind. The only way to secure a future for herself and her sisters is to wed. So she decides to manipulate her favorite suitor into a situation where he has no choice but to marry her.
It doesn’t work out the way she planned. Instead of snaring her quarry, she accidentally entices his brother into a dark room where they are caught in a rather compromising position. Grace is mortified to find herself tied to the Earl of Merryton, who is widely known to be dour and very proper. But he isn’t any happier about it than she is.
Jeffrey has problems. He is very OCD and he prefers a bit of kink in the bedroom. This may not sound like the end of the world, but to Jeffrey, it kind of is. He hates himself for his obsession with order and the number 8. What’s worse, he castigates himself constantly for his fantasies about women. It’s nothing crazy by today’s standards: he is turned on by a little girl-on-girl and he liked to tie his lovers up. In his eyes, though, he is a pervert, and he wants to shield his new wife from his predilections. The secrets he keeps almost destroy their budding marriage.
What I liked about this book was the fact that the author really put me in the headspace of both characters. Poor Jeffrey really mucked things up sometimes, but he remained very sympathetic, thanks to our time spent in his POV. I believed in how little he thought of himself and how he was trying to protect Grace, just as I felt her frustration and need for more than he could give. The sexual tension is really well done too. It felt like these two could combust at any moment. Their bedroom scenes were integral to the plot and showed a lot about how their relationship was progressing. I loved how those scenes evolved along with the characters, yet showed their passion for each other throughout.
Jeffery is definitely a damaged man, but I loved him as a hero. And Grace was just the right woman for him. I’m going back to check out book 1, The Trouble With Honor, next. Hopefully, I will enjoy it just as much.
*ARC provided by publisher
Click to purchase: Amazon
The Devil Takes a Bride
by Julia London
Release Date: January 27, 2015
Publisher: HQN Books