For my own greedy purposes, this was way too short. The 3rd book in Lisa Kleypas’s ‘The Ravenels’ picks up after Helen and Rhys have started their family. They’ve had a child. If you read any of the previous two stories this should meet your need for more. If you’ve not read the previous stories you can still enjoy this as a stand alone, but I would highly recommend Marrying Winterborne – absolutely brilliant that is.
Pandora Ravenel is a women ahead of her time and she’s very unlike her sisters, Cassandra and Helen. Pandora has no interest in marriage because to do that would mean she’d lose her own identity and her endeavors to create her board game would relegate to the bottom of her responsibilities. She doesn’t want that. At least until she meets Gabriel. Gabriel’s not only charming, smart, and funny – he’s quite good looking too. Takes after his father.
I’m pretty sure that Gabriel is the son of Sebastian and Evangeline ‘Evie’ in Devil in Winter from The Wallflower Series. I’ve not read that book but Jen did, and I know she really enjoyed it.
It’s unfortunate for Pandora that ‘things’ just seem happen to her. For us the audience, these things are quite funny and move the story along at a fast steady pace. Pandora knows of her short comings and while some are self-induced, much of it is from a physical limitation that has to do with her inner ears. When she’s describing her actions and reactions – some of it is quite funny and made me laugh out loud, but when Kleypas puts me in the moment with her – I felt her anguish. It’s a nice bit of feelings tug of war.
During a social outing, Pandora –in the middle of trying to help someone retrieve a lost earring– gets stuck in a settee and Gabriel comes to her rescue only to land in a comprising situation himself. It’s not too long before their situation is witnessed and Gabriel is being told that he must marry Pandora. Pandora doesn’t feel the same way and she lets Devon, the head of the Ravenels, know it. It takes a talking to from Kathleen (Devon’s wife) and Helen to make Pandora see reason.
In a compromise to Pandora, the Ravenels descend on the St. Vincent’s home in order for Pandora and Gabriel to become acquainted. The conversation between these two flow easily. There’s no subterfuge. No hiding of emotions. Pandora succinctly lays her side of the argument and Gabriel does the same. I really enjoyed their communication. It was honest, even the discussion about Gabriel’s mistress.
Although I enjoyed Gabriel tremendously, I have to admit that Pandora was a pleasure. Her voice in the story was well done. We really got to see her be a grown up and we understand a lot of the ‘why’.
The pacing was spot on for this story. I thought the expansion of Garrett’s role contributed nicely and I’m very much looking forward to her story. There’re a few new characters (Dragon’s my new favorite land pirate!) who all lend valid support. And the questions about Ransom are begging to be asked. While I wait for book 4, I’m going back to read Evie and Sebastian’s story because I really liked them as a couple. I’m a relatively new reader to Kleypas’s historical romances but she does have a very big fan in me.
*Note: This review is for the audio version; the narrator Mary Jane Wells does a wonderful job of bringing life to Kleypas’s characters.
Happy reading folks!
Click to purchase: Amazon
Devil in Spring
by Lisa Kleypas
Release Date: February 21, 2017