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Book Review: The Devil in Winter

Updated: Jul 26, 2023

In order escape her abusive relatives to care for her father at the end of his days, shy, stammering Evie comes up with a audacious plan. She’ll convince Sebastian St. Vincent, notorious rake and the man who kidnapped her best friend on the eve of her wedding, to marry her. After all he needs money, and she’s got it. And she needs a protector, someone strong enough to stand up to her aunts and uncles who are determined not to let her, and her money, slip from their grasp. It’s a marriage of convenience. So why are both of them falling in love?

This is the first book by this author that I’ve read. And it’s… Okay?

I mean, It’s fun, lighthearted, and has some pretty decent characters. But after all of the hype surrounding Lisa Kleypas and even this book I was just… whelmed? I guess.

I mean the book wasn’t bad. And I would absolutely read more by the author… unlike another certain big name author I could name. But it didn’t match the hype. And maybe that’s a me problem.

I really liked Evie and I liked watching her come out of her shell. Sebastian is the perfect dilettante who, through no fault of his own, starts falling in love with his wife. The romance was believable. And I like the fact that it grew incrementally through actions and deeds and not contrived circumstances.

I was less happy with the first sex scene which is fairly non-consensual initially. Pro Tip: if your new virgin bride is asleep, waking her up by performing oral sex on her is probably not your best bet. She can’t consent and unless something like that has been negotiated in advance it’s non-con. Look, I have opinions about this… probably because in the real world this would be sexual assault. So while I don’t hold that all literature has to be pure, I do think that romance needs to model healthy romance because for many people this is the only sex ed they’ll get. And scenes like this will be used to justify rape… I know this because it’s what happened to me. So yeah.

My favorite character straight up was Cam Rohan. A Romani worker at Evie’s father’s gambling establishment. And he wasn’t called the g-slur but Romani. Which let me tell you made me super hella happy. Cam was absolutely delightful. The chemistry between him and Daisy, another wallflower, was palpable. And I’m saddened that they will not be in the next couple in the series. Like so very sad, you don’t even know.

Like it was a missed opportunity of the most epic proportions.

There are other little things that lessened my enjoyment of this book but in all it was a fun read. It stands on its own for the most part, although I would recommend probably reading the second book of the series since it directly relates to this book. So because it can’t fully stand on its own and because of the other things I’ve mentioned I’m going to give this: Four Stars

If this is your jam, you can get it here.

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