Kleypas, Lisa. Devil’s Daughter. New York: Avon Books, 2019.
Hardcover | $26.99 USD | ISBN-13: 978-0062890702 | 264 pages | Victorian Romance
Devil’s Daughter is a return in a few different ways for Lisa Kleypas: she revisits many of her beloved characters from the Wallflowers series, but on a more personal level for me, it’s a bit of a return to form for her, especially after the divisive misfire that was Hello Stranger, which I would even argue is almost skippable, but for West’s involvement, which is saying a lot as someone who prefers to read in order.
That brings me to one of the major reasons I adored this book. West himself is a character I loved from book one, and is one of the main things I still remember about the series, only having read each book once. And part of it is the way he is a character who has evolved into a better person from the wastrel he was before. West for me strikes the perfect balance between becoming a better person on his own and the needing someone to lean on after having been through such tough times. This can be hard path to walk without it seeming like the woman changes him purely through love, which I’ve often found unrealistic, so I appreciate the way he was written to be different.
I did not know what to expect from Phoebe, given that she was Evie and Sebastian’s daughter, and that’s the main thing that defined her prior to my meeting her as the heroine of this book. But I ended up really warming to her when I saw what Kleypas’ intent with her was. I loved that she was a caring soul, but the situation she’s left in in the wake of her husband’s death has left her a little out of her depth. I find that such an interesting dynamic, especially in terms of how that led to the beginnings of Phoebe and West’s relationship.
The one who stole the show for me, however, was Sebastian, formerly Lord St. Vincent, now Duke of Kingston. I vaguely remember some lovely scenes with him and Evie in their prior appearance in Devil in Spring, but I loved seeing them play a more prominent role, especially given the parallels between Sebastian’sand West’s respective pasts. There’s a lovely scene between Sebastian and West where West makes his claims that he’s not worthy of Phoebe, but Sebastian gives him the most amazing pep talk, and it’s everything I could have asked for and more.
This was, in short, my favorite book of the Ravenels series, capturing the magic both of the returning Wallflower characters and providing a satisfying HEA for my favorite character. This book is a must read for any Lisa Kleypas fan, and I would recommend this (after having read the Wallflowers and the other Ravenels books, with or without Hello Stranger) to anyone who loves a wonderfully nuanced, yet funny historical romance.