*NOTES* THE DEVIL YOU KNOW is the third book in my erotic historical romance series entitled THE DEVIL DEVERE after the protagonist who connects all the characters from all the books. It may be read stand alone but is best read in sequence. It is darkly erotic with elements of mystery and intrigue. It is also part one of DeVere and Diana's two part story that conclude with THE DEVIL'S MATCH (coming August 24, 2012)
When dealing with the devil, it's easy to be burned…especially when passion ignites the flames.
Who can find a virtuous woman… Beautiful, respectable, and dutiful, Lady Diana Palmerston-Wriothesley, has long resigned herself to her twelve-year loveless and childless marriage to a feckless husband…until his gambling pushes them to the brink of financial ruin.
Sometimes the devil is in disguise…as a gentleman… Viscount Ludovic, "The Devil DeVere," is a man accustomed to taking what he wants, according to his whim and heedless of the cost…until he encounters a woman who won't be had at any price.
When dealing with the devil, it's easy to be burned…When Diana discovers a secret that shatters the carefully built façade concealing her private pain, she seeks aid and comfort from the most unlikely place…the devil's arms. But will a single night of heavenly passion damn them both forever?
(mature content warning)
He was sprawled on his back, arms outstretched in the confident repose of a king or some other invincible being. A sheet draped over a thigh and a portion of torso left the other half of him bare to her ravenous gaze. She devoured the vision of lean, sculpted muscles that closely resembled a god manifested in all his masculine splendor.
"Enter these arms, for since thou thought'st it best not to dream all my dream, let's act the rest. You are called forth from my dream," he whispered. "I knew you would come."
She stepped back with a gasp. "But how could you know that?"
"Because this is ineludible, you and I. You can't escape it." He reached out a hand, his voice husky with desire. "Come to me now, my magnificent huntress."
The words were an irresistible magnetic lure that drew her to him. Untying the sash at her waist, the silk wrapper slithered from her shoulders to pool softly at her feet.
His pupils flared beneath sleep-heavy lids as she stood before him, unabashed in her nakedness. She let him look his fill, his lazy inspection sending mixed anticipation and trepidation washing over her in tiny waves. He peeled back the sheet and sat up. Her gaze was riveted at once to the jutting proof of his arousal. She licked her lips, the wicked promise of unknown delights filling her with a sharp-edged hunger.
He drew her into his arms, and the game began. Their mouths met and melded, his tongue darted over her lips, his teeth grazing them lightly. He pulled on the lower, sucking it into his mouth and then urged her to open to a hungry, breath-stealing match of capture and release that heated her blood. Their tongues met in a simulated lovers' dance that became an explosion of sublime sensation, sending blazing jolts to her belly and a hot pool of moisture between her thighs.
He cupped her breast, teasing her nipple with his thumb. His mouth broke away from hers to ply hot, open kisses to her throat that left her gasping. Of their own volition, her hands engaged in a tactile exploration of his body, reveling in the erotic abrasiveness of his coarse hair against her own smooth skin. She roamed his hard chest, the rigid plain of his stomach, the powerful thigh muscles that now encased her hips, pulling her closer, tighter, and anchoring her against him until she could feel the hot pulse of his jutting manhood against her most private place.
He took her hand in his, guiding her to his rigid staff and enclosed her fingers about it. It was thick and hard and hot and pulsing."I make no secret of how much I want you," he said, low and hoarse. "Tell me you do, too, Diana. Say you want to take me into your body."
"But I'm here," she whispered. "Is that not proof enough?"
"No." He released her hand, but his probing gaze kept her captive. "Though I would worship you with my body, only you are in control of your pleasure. You must tell me you want this."
She licked her lips, her breathing coming in ragged puffs.
"You have only to say yes, Diana, and I will lay paradise at your feet."
At last, a reply sounded from her throat. "Yes."
He caught the whispered exhalation with his mouth. His hands slid down her back to palm and squeeze her buttocks. He lowered his head to her breast, kissing, gently biting, his tongue rasping her nipple, sending racking rivulets of pleasure to her womb. As her arousal rapidly escalated to a blinding need to feel the hot, hard length of him in her passage, she writhed and ground against him with a fierce cry.
Diana awoke with a sob, her body fevered, her sheets discarded, and her night rail tangled about her waist. She lay in this heightened state of arousal, panting, disoriented, and aching to her very core, until at last, she sought her own release.
Confessions From Romaholics
The Devil You Know is the third story in the series and the first of two books telling the story of Diana Palmerston-Wriothesley and Ludovic "The Devil DeVere”.
You Gotta Read Reviews
If I didn't know there was a sequel coming out, and if I didn't already have that sequel in my tablet ready to read, I would be upset at the ending of this story. The first two b...
THE DEVIL YOU KNOW is the third novella in the Devil DeVere series and the first of two to center on Devil and Diana. Finally, we learn the history between Diana, Baroness Palmerston-Wriothesley and Lord Ludovic DeVere. The action, and lots of it, takes place at Devil’s newly acquired country estate, Woodcote Park near Epsom, purchased for it’s abutment to the racecourse and the added bonus of it’s scandalous history.
THE DEVIL YOU KNOW reveals the crux of Diana’s antipathy for DeVere.
From the moment Diana and DeVere (Devil) set eyes on one another to their most recent encounter at the beginning of Devil’s Match the whole sordid story is revealed. The lady doth protest too much, methinks.
We’re treated to a bittersweet look at Ned and Annalee in happier, albeit stressful, times. Ned’s guilt is firmly rooted in fact and not a result of excessive grief over Annalee’s death in childbirth. Poor Ned blamed himself and his sexual needs for Annalee’s delicacy when it was her insistence on giving him an heir combined with a constitution that didn’t take well to childbearing.
Taking Diana’s childless widowhood into consideration as well as her closeness to Ned and Annalee it’s easy to see why she stepped in to help Ned raise Vesta. It also highlighted for me why it would have been a disservice to them if they had taken their friendship further.
Shady malevolent characters, one of whom is unfortunately Diana’s husband, Reggie, abound. In addition to being a poor excuse for a husband, Reggie is a wastrel whose penchant for drink and gaming has imperiled Diana’s money and home. Diana, as was common, had no say. Her marriage was a financial decision by her father to keep the money and lands in the family with no consideration for Diana or the man he was marrying her to.
While Diana may be savvy regarding the running of her estate and breeding horses she’s hardly worldly and woefully unprepared for the viciousness and vindictiveness of Caroline, Duchess of Beauclerc. The Duchess is proof positive that a title and wealth do not automatically imbue one with class or character.
Diana has need of her dignity and backbone. During her few days at Woodcote Park she has to deal with Caroline’s dangerous jealousy spurred manipulations, Reggie’s secret, his profligacy and its consequences, as well as murder. Oh, and let’s not forget the sizzling allure that exists between her and Devil. Getting to see this Diana has caused me to really like and admire her. Any niggling doubts regarding her worthiness as Devil’s heroine have been dispelled by THE DEVIL YOU KNOW.
Devil’s conduct and efforts to assist and shield Diana are a far cry from his carefully cultivated reputation as a degenerative rascal. Valiant is the word that springs to mind when I think of his sacrifice on Diana’s behalf, one that she’s totally unaware of. Devil played his role exceedingly well. His decision at the end of the weekend speaks volumes about the personal cost of his actions; indeed, it’s a price he continues to pay. I’m even more enamored with Devil now.
Racing, gambling, and sex were expected occurrences at Devil’s weekend racing revelry. Diana’s potential penury, unanticipated emotions, and murder were the unexpected events that cast a pall over the weekend at Woodcote Park. THE DEVIL YOU KNOW, with the murders and denied strong emotional connection and conflict between Devil and Diana, reads darker than A Wild Night’s Bride and The Virgin Huntress. For me this didn’t detract from the series but added serious emotional depth. I have so many questions regarding how Devil and Diana resolve the deep schism between them. They truly deserve a HEA and I can’t wait for The Devil’s Match.
If you’re looking for a sensuous historically rich read you can’t go wrong with the Devil DeVere series.
Manic Readers receives books from authors, publishers, and publicists which are given to
reviewers in exchange for their honest opinion. Each review represents the opinion of the reviewer
which may or may not have been influenced by receiving the book at no cost.