Review: The Devil’s Match by Victoria Vane

Format read: e-ARC provided by publisher
Release Date: 24 August 2012
Series: Book #4 in the Devil DeVere series
Number of pages: 132 pages
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Formats available: ebook
Purchasing Info: Goodreads, Author’s Website, Amazon


Once burned twice shy… but when old flames come together…passion reignites…

When burned once… Arriving in London as her goddaughter’s chaperone, Baroness Diana Palmerston-Wriothesley wants to avoid her erstwhile lover at all costs. Once nearly consumed by passion, four years has reduced the former inferno to bitterness and ashes.

By an old flame… A world-weary master of seduction, Ludovic “The Devil” DeVere is bored with his chosen life of debauchery. When Diana’s charge disappears, she is forced to seek help from the devil’s lair, and their mutual desire reignites with undeniable ferocity.

Fire is best fought with fire… While DeVere is hell-bent to have her back for keeps, Diana is equally determined to bring him to his knees…by acquiring some sensual secrets of her own.

My Thoughts: Everything has been leading up to this. Which might be both good and bad. It’s possible to read A Wild Night’s Bride, The Virgin Huntress and The Devil You Know on their own and enjoy them as much as I did Bride and Devil, or didn’t in the case of Huntress, but The Devil’s Match is the culmination of the story begun in the other three books. You need to have read at least The Devil You Know (or, one could say you need to already know how Diana knows the Devil) in order for The Devil’s Match to have the resonance it should.

The “match” in the title of The Devil’s Match could just as easily mean a matchstick for lighting fires as a mate. And, come to think of it, one brand of matches in the early 1800’s was known as “lucifers”, yet another name for the devil. Entirely too appropriate, because the unfinished business between DeVere and Diana makes them set each other off like, well, tinder and matches.

The Devil’s Match picks up right where The Devil You Know ends. Diana stalks into DeVere’s house in the middle of a orgy, Really, an orgy! Full of righteous indignation because DeVere’s brother Hew has kidnapped her goddaughter Vesta (see The Virgin Huntress). There are half-naked women everywhere, and DeVere himself is in the middle of getting serviced while this conversation is taking place! Diana’s speech, and her maintenance of outward composure, is astonishing.

It’s too bad for Diana that DeVere has all too clear an idea of what’s going through her head, and that’s she wrong about who kidnapped whom between Hew and Vesta, admittedly with DeVere’s connivance.

But just like Diana’s assumptions about Vesta’s supposed kidnapping, very little about that scene is exactly what it appears to be. And that’s what made the resolution of this four book long story so interesting (not that the erotic scenes weren’t steamy!) DeVere starts out as merely a sybarite and a rake. A consummate puppet-master out for his own amusement. As the layers peel back, DeVere turns out to be the prisoner of his own fears, too worried about making the same mistakes his parents did to trust his own heart. Or even to trust that he has one.

Verdict: I dove straight from The Devil You Know to The Devil’s Match. I had to find out exactly how the Devil got his due! Once I finally found out how DeVere and Diana end up in the positions (hah!) they are in at the beginning of the series, I couldn’t wait to find out how they got out of the mess.

The Devil’s Match isn’t as frothy as A Wild Night’s Bride, but it’s even more delightful in some ways. Watching the rake not only admit that love just might be possible, but actually reform, is a far better ending for him than anything the reader might have expected when he first sauntered onto the pages of A Wild Night’s Bride. Bravo!

I gladly give The Devil’s Match 5 fiery stars.

***FTC Disclaimer: Most books reviewed on this site have been provided free of charge by the publisher, author or publicist. Some books we have purchased with our own money and will be noted as such. Any links to places to purchase books are provided as a convenience, and do not serve as an endorsement by this blog. All reviews are the true and honest opinion of the blogger reviewing the book. The method of acquiring the book does not have a bearing on the content of the review.

Silver: Humanotica, Book 1

I’m not quite sure where to begin in my review of Silver by Darcy Abriel. This book is book one in her Humanotica series, and I will also be reading and reviewing Haevyn, which is book 2 for Book Lovers Inc.

The thing about Silver is that I’ve never had a book bother me quite so much. On the one hand, it definitely captured my attention. On the other, some of that capture was in the perturbation factor.

Silver is a science fiction romance. I generally like SFR.

Silver takes place in an empire that has probably hit the downward spiral. Think of Rome under the really, really bad emperors, like Tiberius, or Caligula. You know, electing horses to serve in the Senate. Or Star Wars under that fellow we all know and love, the Emperor Palpatine. Remember him? He turned out to be way out there on the Dark Side of the Force.

Decadent empires can give rise (pun possibly intended) to all kinds of disgusting, and manipulative poltical practices. Including the use of sex, and blackmail about sex, as political maneuvering.

Very decadent imperial citizens are often too lazy to work (back to Rome again) so they employ slaves.

In the case of Quentopolis, those slaves are humanotics. Any person with 51% or more cybernetic parts is automatically sold into slavery, if they are caught.

Women are second-class citizens anyway. The reason for this isn’t explained, it just is. But then again, it so frequently isn’t explained, even in real life.

Silver used to be a normal woman, but she was caught pretending to be a man in order to attend a prestigious scientific academy. Her sentence; to become a humanotic and be sold into slavery.

Her new owner, Lel Kesselbaum has a fetish for male humanotics. With cybernetics, this is a complicated but not impossible problem. Lel has this formerly independent woman transformed into a trinex.

What’s a trinex? In this case, female from the waist up, male from the waist down, and more than 51% cybernetic. There are a lot of descriptions of the sexual aspects of Silver’s nature.

But what keeps driving me wacky is the change in Silver’s personality. She was fiercely independent, and now she’s submissive to Kesselbaum’s Dominor. (Dominor being both a political title and a sexual reference in this case).

In male/male romance, there’s a trope named “gay for you”. This story made me wonder if there is a similar trope in BDSM fic called “sub for you”. During the story, Silver discovers she likes to be dominant with other lovers, but not with Kesselbaum. With him, she’s always the submissive, and she loves it that way.

There’s is a slave revolt being planned. Entreus is the leader of that revolt. When he enters the picture, Silver discovers that her master is playing a very long game, and is not quite what he seems.

But there’s never any doubt about what choices she will make.

Escape Rating C-: I found the world fascinating, but I’m very glad that Entreus is the main character for Haevyn. He has more agency, and is in more control of his actions than Silver is.

For more of my thoughts on this book, head on over to Book Lovers Inc.