Saturday, May 1, 2010

Re-read Challenge: Blue Eyed Devil

Blue Eyed Devil
Lisa Kleypas
Contemporary Romance
Travis series/Book 2
St. Martin's Press/March 2008

From the inside cover ~


His name is Hardy Cates. He's a self-made millionaire who comes from the wrong side of the tracks. He's made enemies in the rough-and-tumble ride to the top of Houston's oil industry. He's got hot blood in his veins. And vengeance on his mind.


She's Haven Travis. despite her family's money, she refuses to set out on the path they've chosen for her. But when Haven marries a man her family disapproves of, her life is set on a new and dangerous course. Two years later, Haven comes home, determined to guard her heart. And Hardy Cates, a family enemy, is the last person she needs darkening her door or setting her soul on fire.


The first time I read Blue Eyed Devil I had been looking forward to reading Hardy's story. We were first introduced to Hardy in Sugar Daddy, the first book in the series. I liked Hardy a bunch and couldn't wait to read his story because I knew he had to have a story. Well, he does get a story and a HEA but it wasn't what I was expecting. I was a little disappointed that Hardy wasn't featured more in the story. If this were a movie, IMO, Hardy's name would be below the title, with only Haven's name above it. I think this time around I enjoyed it more because I knew what to expect. I knew that it was more Haven's story than Hardy's. I knew that Haven was featured more prominently than Hardy. I knew that it was told in Haven's POV. Knowing all of that changed my expectations this time around.

The second novel in Lisa Kleypas' contemporary series is not exactly a typical contemporary romance. First off it's only told in the heroine's POV. We usually get at the least, the hero and heroine's POV and sometimes secondary characters as well. This time it's just Haven's voice we hear. First time reading it, I wasn't crazy about it. This time I was fine with it. I also liked Haven more this time. The first time she bugged the heck out of me, the way she put up with the horrible treatment from her boss. I wanted so badly for her to stand up for herself. But this time, I found myself more tolerant of her actions, or lack of actions as it was.

Haven is in a really terrible marriage that she is finally able to break free from. Her ex-husband did some serious damage to her self esteem, grinding her into the ground and making her doubt herself. She comes from a family of strong, opinionated men and going home to those men isn't easy. That's why it takes her so long to make that final step. She doesn't want to believe she made such a bad choice so she keeps making excuses for her husband. Then the breaking point happens and she leaves.

Let me just say that Kleypas is an amazing writer. The grief and despair that Haven feels when she's leaving her husband and calling for help comes through so strong. Kleypas does a wonderful job making Haven's feelings and actions in her situation realistic. I couldn't help but worry about Haven and want her to be safe. I was so relieved when she finally got to Gage and felt that she was finally safe from her rat bastard husband.

Haven slowly gets her life moving forward by getting a job and her own place. She does accept the help of her brother Jack, she goes to work for him and takes an apartment in his building. She does have to work hard, she doesn't want any special treatment because the boss is her brother. I get why she feels like that but I do still think she put up with way too much crap from her immediate boss.

Hardy Cates and Haven meet early on but that's more of an "oops" meeting in a wine cellar. Then a few years later they meet up again when Haven is starting out her new life after leaving her abusive husband. Haven knows Hardy is not a person her family trusts or wants her associating with but she finds herself intrigued by him. She's attracted to him and what really surprises her is that she's not completely afraid to be around him. He's a big, well muscled guy from working on the oil rigs and yet Haven isn't afraid of him.

I liked the way Haven and Hardy got to know each other away from the Travis family. Hardy learns quickly not to pressure Haven and he suspects something had happened with her ex but he wasn't sure what exactly it was. The way he treated her and showed her he respected her went so far in helping Haven learn to trust him. I really liked Hardy and wished there had been more of him in the story. They made such a wonderful couple, with their diverse backgrounds they still had much in common.

So this read was better than the last. I didn't review it the first time but I would have rated it a B/B-. The re-read I liked it better. Still wish there had been more Hardy. :)

Rating: B+


  1. I love this trilogy, but I've got to say 'Blue Eyed Devil' was my least-favorite book. I never quite got over Hardy's betrayal in 'Sugar Daddy'... and I never really warmed to Haven. I was sympathetic to her plight in 'Blue Eyed Devil', but I just remember her introduction in 'Sugar Daddy' was saying to Liberty something along the lines of "it's unfair what the US Government does to your people!" and from there on in I just thought she was a tool.

    But I still really enjoyed this one. 'Smooth-talking Stranger' and 'Sugar Daddy' just rated higher for me.
    Great review.

  2. Leslie, I'm glad you enjoyed this book more this time around.

    I loved this book and remember it stayed with me long after I closed the last page when I first read it. I thought Kleypas did an amazing job of researching and then writing a story about not only narcissistic abusive behavior, but also the way victims respond to the abuse. I admired Haven for having gone through it and for being a survivor of such abuse.

    Hardy and Haven's story remain an unforgettable story for me -- I was so happy they found each other.

  3. Danielle ~ I should re-read Sugar Daddy since it's been a while. I do remember being mad at Hardy for what he did to Gage and Liberty.

    Hils ~ Kleypas did a great job getting those emotions of abuse on the page. She makes the reader feel like your right there with Haven, going through it. She didn't skimp on the darkness of abuse.

    I just wish there had been more of Hardy, but I already said that. :)

  4. Great review, Leslie.

    I agree with you that this novel is definitely more Haven's story than it is Hardy's, so the title and cover art are quite misleading. I forgave that though, because the guts of the book was so wonderful. I basically echo exactly what Hilcia stated in the second paragraph of her comment. As sad and as horrible as it is, those aspects of the book were incredibly realistic and well written.

    I love Lisa Kleypas' three contemporaries and wish like mad she had plans for Joe's book, but as of now she isn't planning on it. I feel so incomplete! LOL

    Wasn't that "oops" scene in the wine cellar just made of all kinds of awesome? I LOVE that scene.

  5. Christine ~ If a reader went by the cover they might be disappointed with the lack of Hardy in the first half or so of the book.

    I wish for Joe’s book too. We just skimmed the surface of him but he seemed different than Gage and Jack, not so business oriented.

    Ha – the wine cellar scenes was hot. What a lovely case of mistaken identity. :)

  6. BED is my favourite in this trilogy. I just loved the way she wrote Haven and how she overcame what was done to her.

  7. Kristie ~ yes, she did an amazing job getting you into Haven's head and making you feeling what Haven was feeling. Strongest part of the book imo.

  8. Great review, Leslie! I still have to read this one. Kristie convinced me to buy it last year, but I still haven't read it, sigh. However, I'm glad you enjoyed it :D

  9. nath ~ You should read it. I think you'd like it. :)

    Did you read Sugar Daddy? The hero of BED, Hardy, is introduced in Sugar Daddy.

  10. Nah, still haven't read Sugar Daddy... the title of that book simply puts me off, sigh.