The Devil's Love
If I could distill what it is that makes some heroines come across as warm, lovable and kind while others with very similar characteristics come across as fluffy girls, I’d bottle and sell it. Abigail Carrington in The Devil’s Love is the kind of heroine I love and she is the best thing in the book.
The Devil’s Love is Julia London’s first book. It begins when Michael Ingram, Marquis of Darfield meets Abigail Carrington. Abbey is a child, the daughter of the Captain of the ship that Michael is serving on. When we first meet her, Abbey is a bit of a spoiled brat and Michael does not like her at all. She is soon put ashore to finish her education and Michael quickly forgets her.
Years later, Michael meets Abbey again. Her father has drawn up his will in such a manner that Abbey and Michael have to marry or he will forfeit his home. Abbey has grown up into a lovely and talented woman who has been told all her life that Michael loves her and is looking forward to marrying her. To be met with a cold and bitter stranger after her father’s death is a blow to Abbey, but she cherishes her father’s memory, accedes to his wishes and marries Michael.
The exasperation factor is high here – Michael sulks and pouts about his forced marriage for too long. Finally, just as Abbey and Michael are coming to love and trust each other, Abbey’s cousin comes forward with another copy of her father’s will that throws a monkey wrench into everything.
Abbey was as warm and loving a heroine as I’ve met in a while. She was kind and talented and not a doormat, thank goodness. As for Michael – he almost, but not quite, ruined the book for me. We’ve all encountered the stubborn hero who persists in his bad opinion of the heroine long after any man with a gram of brains would have figured out what a wonderful person she is. Michael is that kind of hero in spades and I truly wanted to slap some sense into him many times over the course of the book.
Despite Michael, the too-stubborn-to-be-believed hero, there is a lot to like in The Devil’s Love. Abbey is a dear, the secondary characters are interesting and the story moves at a good pace. I’m looking forward to Julia London’s subsequent books, but please, Ms London, tone down the hero’s stubbornness just a tad. I would hate to be convicted of assault on a fictional character.