A Deal with Lord Devlin by Jennifer Ann Coffeen

A Deal with Lord Devlin by Jennifer Ann Coffeen
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Historical
Length: Short Story (57 pgs)
Heat Level: Hot
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Charlotte, the infamous Lady Mallen, has divorced her husband for his rakish ways, even taking his dog when she left. Now she wants only to be accepted by the ton, a nearly impossible desire. The Earl of Devlin’s cousin has romanced her but is announcing his betrothal to another. Forsaken and snubbed at the engagement party, she burns his love notes, one by one, in the drawing room where she has taken refuge.

When the Earl of Devlin pulls her back from his fireplace, rescuing her from a fiery mishap, he also pulls from the fire the means to redeem his family’s fortune. A scandalous deal is struck, her love letter in exchange for his help in repairing her reputation. Their bargain is sealed with a kiss that quickly spirals out of control.

So what will the Earl and his independent lady choose — honor, family loyalty, or true love?

He’s practically penniless and she is has a reputation in tatters – how can they be perfect for one another? Sometimes you just have to live for your own dreams and refuse to survive on the dictation of others – but what has to happen for someone to take that step? This short little story delivers the answers to those intriguing questions.

The tale opens up with Lord James being forced to wear the most hideous of clothing. The description of which was almost painful to witness but it does an excellent job of helping me understand the pressure that the hero is under. He’s not in a good place in his life and he’s not too sure what to do about it. Inspiration comes from an unlikely source.

Lady Charlotte Mallen walks into a ball like she owns it. However, that’s only a surface description. The author wasted no time in presenting me a heroine who at a crossroads in her life. She’s done her duty but at this point, she’s come to a realization that duty isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Life should be…more. Nothing proves that with more clarity then time spent observing an Oriental rug up close. It’s very entertaining.

As you can imagine, Charlotte and James strike sparks off one another and it shocks them both. What happens next is very spicy as a whirlwind passion overtakes them. When they both give in to their basic needs something happens. Before the revelation is presented, the hero and heroine explore a no holds barred interlude that has flavored elements of BDSM and a bit of oral fun. The author used mild language to describe the events but there’s no doubt that Charlotte lets loose her inner vixen and James ends up being the one seduced beyond control. Those scenes were quite potent.

As cute and entertaining as this story was, the weakest link is the dialogue. A few of the verbiage choices seemed either a bit modern or out of time. Sometimes it didn’t seem to fit the characters. The tone came across as having a younger voice, far younger than the protagonists are depicted. She’s a divorcee and he’s a man who seemed more mature yet sometimes they acted and said things that didn’t fit the scene, their age or the circumstance. The only time that it was perfect is when they are seducing each other. Then the dialogue compliments the scenes.

The flow of the story seemed a bit disjointed at times but the overall plot was cute and it kept my interest. The happy ever after seemed a bit too fairy tale-ish. As far as I’m concerned, there are still a few practical matters that they will have to face and it seemed a bit premature to end it the way it was ended. However, as a piece of whimsical romantic fiction with its goal being entertainment, I’d say this book succeeded.

A Deal with Lord Devlin is a cute bit of writing that was easy to read. I liked the premise, the passion and what Charlotte did with those offensive hideous clothes of James’. I think that was one of my favorite parts. If a reader is looking for a quick bit of fluff to pass the time, this novelette should do nicely.

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