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Climbing Stories

I love politics & I am a bit of a history buff. I have a weakness for romance & that includes erotic smut! I'm a serious reviewer, but I can read almost anything. A new genre or a deft writer can make a story sing.

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Marie Hall
Bound by Vengeance (SKALS, #2)
Adriana Noir
The Devil in Winter - Lisa Kleypas 3.5 stars
Sebastian (one of my favorite names) was not a character I really felt anything about. Meeting him in the second Wallflower book was like acknowledging that while a perfect sculpture is nice to look at, and can be a novelty if it talks as well, it hardly has a tenth of the appeal or temptation of a wolf or lion. Wolves and lions are dark and mysterious; they make you dare to want them, deign to tame them, while at the same time encompass you with their intensity. Mckenna, Simon Hunt and Westcliff did this(in the previous books); Sebastian St. Vincent did not.

Gifted with perfect looks, a hidden intelligence and bedroom talent, Sebastian is sadly given only one thing that makes him interesting and that is indifference. He doesn't give a good goddamn about anything! First, this is boring as he seemingly cat-walks and poses around like a 19th century metrosexual, saying things like "Oh Gawd (and yawning)," "How droll(with an exaggerated, pampered aristocratic inflection)," and "I simply can't be bothered, ma dear" [or at least this is how I pictured him at first]. And I don't know whether to find him just plain comical or entirely too polished for my reading taste.

Then there is Evie, the freckled-skinned, blue eyed, red-headed, stuttering "stepchild" of the Wallfower bunch, who has had spots of suspicious disappearances in the two previous books and tugs at your heartstrings because she's a cross between little orphan Annie and the Little Princess, stuck in the attic with a dream of seeing her father and simmering with spunk and a touch of stubbornness to just make you believe she might dare. I enjoyed Evie and the way she quietly seeps in to crack the veneer of Sebastian's peacock perfect facade.

Like taking away layers on an onion, Kleypas reveals reasons for the reader to see Sebastian as a man capable of bouts of heroism. One "bout" lending him ample credit in Evie's affections(and mine as well). Yet, Sebastian will never make it to stand up there with the alpha heroes, the swoon-worthy heroes, or even the plain and quintessential heroes. He does a stupid thing to a friend that he has to atone for in this book and by the end, the reader sees that he has a long way to go to completely shed his slightly villainous, outwardly wastrel pretty-boy facade (though he DID do quite enough to shed the ugliest parts of it, LOL). So, he stands as a male character designed to make this romance reader think, "He's not bad a'tol. I'll take 'em!"

Of course, Sebastian's backstory could have been more fleshed out, and scenes of Evie braving the ton as Mrs. St. Vincent would have supported Sebastian's regard for her.

Devil in Winter was good and though I enjoyed the 1st full Wallflower book more, though I think Again the Magic [Wallflowers #0.5] is the best so far of the series (McKenna made my heart flutter), I have really enjoyed the series so far. This could be helped by the fact that I listened to the audiobooks, which are done quite well.