Review: A Wild Night's Bride by Victoria Vane

Wednesday, April 25

Title:  A Wild Night's Bride*
Author: Victoria Vane
Series: The Devil DeVere #1
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Breathless Press
Format: E-book
Date/Year:  April 27, 2012
Reviewed by: Andrea

*This book was provided to the reviewer by the author in exchange for an honest review

Summary from the publisher:

WITH THE DEVIL IN CHARGE...THERE WILL BE HELL TO PAY... What happens when a struggling actress and a grieving widower come together in a night of unbridled debauchery orchestrated by a bored and machinating rake?

She’s a lonely lady down on her luck...
Phoebe Scott, alias Kitty Willis, is a struggling Covent Garden actress with a bruised heart and a closely guarded secret.

He’s steadfast and eminently respectable
Sir Edward Chambers, Ned to his intimates, is guilt-ridden over his beloved wife’s death and avowed to live out a rustic and mundane life … of celibacy.

With the devil in charge — there will surely be hell to pay.Devil in disguise, Viscount Ludovic DeVere, is determined to return his best friend, Ned, to the land of the living. His meddling machinations result in a night of mind blowing passion after which “dull dog Ned” awakes to find himself in the King of England’s bed!

 My Musings:

Ned has come to London for the first time since his wife’s death.  He’s still dealing with his guilt over her death and grieving her.   He’s in London because he has to move forward for his daughter’s sake.  She’ll soon be having her first season and he needs to find a house for them during the season.  He meets up with his old friend DeVere while he’s in the city.

DeVere is always seeking entertainment and makes it his mission to add some excitement to Ned’s life.  DeVere is determined to get Ned to wake up and enjoy life again.  The plan is to take Ned to a Feast of Venus which will feature sensuous delights and ceremonial fertility rites.  He’s sure this will get Ned’s blood pumping.

Phoebe is trying to make it as an actress.  She’s tried to do it on her own for years and has now accepted that she can’t do it without a benefactor.  The more powerful the benefactor, the better the roles on stage.   On the advice of a friend she decides to examine her possible choices at the Feast of Venus.   All three meet at the party and an impossible dare turns into a midnight adventure.

Everything in this novella is flamboyant and over the top.  It all starts with the main characters.  They don’t come across as real people, their stereotypical personalities didn’t make them believable.  The dialogues are also extravagant and flashy.  The theatrical qualities of the book are not a negative, it’s all setting up a story that’s clearly an ostentatious fantasy.

I was able to separate myself from reality and enjoy the story...until the romance started to develop.  I had no connection with the characters so I didn’t feel the chemistry between Ned and Phoebe.  It didn’t worry me too much since I was expecting nothing more than a wild sexual romp between them.  That’s not what I got.  The sex scenes were a little bland when compared to the imagery that was so well done with the rest of the book.  I was disappointed by that.  When they woke up the following morning the story took a dramatic twist.  Suddenly, Ned and Phoebe were fairly normal people trying to have a relationship.  I had bought into the make-believe fantasy of their wild night so much that when it was over, and Phoebe and Ned transitioned into a romantic couple, I couldn’t make the switch with them.  It was too much and too fast a leap for me.  By the end of the story I was actively disliking them.  Overall, the book was different from anything else I’ve read, but the end left me disappointed.

Ratings:

Overall: 2.75
Sensuality level: 3.25
(Surprisingly, the sex scenes were pretty sedate.)
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