Author: Lisa Kleypas
Title: "Blue-eyed devil"
Book 2 in series Travis family
Main characters: Hardy Cates and Haven Travis
First of all I want to warn you that this review will contain some minor-to-medium spoilers from book #1 :) so if you want to avoid all of them, don't read this one ;) but before you completely avert your eyes and maybe browse some of my other reviews looking for a good recommendation... and you really should ;) read this very quick spoiler free sentence :) this book was wonderful... very sad and emotional at times, since the heroine was a victim of abuse, but it was a beautifully written story with a heart warming happy ending :) to all of you who want to know more, let us dive into all the details... :)
We met Hardy in the previous book... he was a childhood friend and first love of Liberty, the heroine of that story... he resurfaced near the end of that first book to sort of create this kind of a triangle between her and Gage Travis, but not really :) maybe because I was #TeamGage from the moment I met him so the fact that they ended together made me smile :) but back to Hardy... :) even though he did some really not cool stuff at the end of that book, I was really looking forward to reading his happy ending... especially once I knew it will be with Haven ;) but a bit more about him first ;) Hardy is extremely ambitious, ruthless in getting what he wants... now he's very successful, but after coming from nothing he still searches for that elusive "something more" :) Haven is the youngest of four siblings, and the only daughter... she has the most liberal opinions and doesn't want to use all the perks from "being a Travis" :) she was a pretty new character for me and since a lot of bad things happened to her in the first few chapters I really liked how she was able to build her strenght up again and deal, or at least start to deal, with everything that happened to her...
They actually met on Gage and Liberty's wedding... and there was a bit of a mistaken identity thing there... she followed him to the wine cellar thinking he's her boyfriend and before he could tell her the truth, and in his defence he tried ;) they shared a very hot kiss... :) after that they both quickly discovered who the other person was... ;) but nothing more happened, since the next day, she eloped with her boyfriend, Nick... and since her father does not approve of him, he cuts her off... and the next about year and a half is a bad part of her life... since it turns out that Nick is an abusive narcissist... I won't say anything more, but it's not pretty... it was painful to read sometimes... but after a particularly horrible event, she runs away and calls her brother... this is the moment when he finds out about any of that, since she kept it all a secret... he takes her away and helps her get a quick divorce... and that's when the better part of this story starts... :) she slowly and with the help of a therapist, starts to deal with everything that happened to her... understanding why Nick was the way he was and how to cope with all of that... that's also when Hardy comes back into her life... :) the relationship between them... if I can even call it that at the beginning, starts slowly... there is definitely attraction and chemistry there, but all that she's going through on her own, plus the fact that he's the "family enemy" doesn't make all of that easier... but it slowly builds into something more... and when she finally trusts him with the truth of what happened... it grows even more... :) but it's a slow and sometimes painful process...
Besides the main couple, we also get more glimpses of the future heroes of the books, Jack and Joe, the other brothers in the family :) and I am definitely curious what kind of women will get their attention... but there was someone who was definitely a scene stealer for me... and that was Todd, Haven's friend :) he's a "bipossible" :) I just love that word ;) interior designer and he was like a breath of fresh air every time he appeared in the story :) and of course let's not forget about the couple from the first book :) I loved to see them and their new little addition ;)
It was a story very hard to read sometimes... not because of the writing style, because it was spectacular as always in her books... but the story was heart breaking... to see how Haven crumbled under Nick's abuse little by little... how horrible effect he had on her... it was hard... fortunately for me, then I got to see how she built herself up again... and to see that kind of a journey was very rewarding... don't worry, there was a lot of definitely lighter scenes and themes in the book, but overall it was a pretty serious story... but it was expected since it was a serious topic... there were a few surprising twists along the way, but ultimately the ending was truly beautiful and satisfying :) and even though it's a part of a series, this book can be read as a standalone :)
I have just a few quotes for you today, because all the best ones were too spoilerefic and appeared in the second part of the book :) so be sure to check it out and see for yourselves how big of a smoothtalker Hardy really is... ;) happy reading :)
Part of a conversation between Haven and Hardy in that wine cellar ;) Haven first
"My heart pounded violently. 'I've never done anything like this before. I-I feel like I should pass out or scream or something...'
'I'd rather you didn't.'
'I really don't want anyone knowing about this. I wish I didn't know about it. I wish...'
'You talk fast when you're nervous,' he observed.
'I talk fast all the time. And I'm not nervous. I'm in shock. I wish I could undo this. I feel like one of those error pages you get on the computer...'
'Yes. This is a major Four-Oh-Four.'"
Part of a conversation between Haven and Jack when he offers her a job :)
"'Thanks, but I couldn't,' I said when Jack first broached the idea of me taking the job.
'Why not? You'd be great at it.'
'Reeks of nepotism,' I said.
'So there are other more qualified people for the position.'
I began to smile at his persistence. 'And they'll complain if you hire your sister.'
'See,' Jack said easily, 'that's the whole point of having my own company. I can hire Bozo the fucking clown if I want.'
'That's so flattering Jack.'"
Another short exchange between Haven and Jack ;)
"'I don't want to be a third wheel on your date,' I protested.
'You won't bother us,' he said. 'And you're not even a full-sized wheel. More like a training wheel.'"
Part of a conversation between Haven and Todd ;) and just one of the rerasons why I love him so much ;) Haven first
"'I'm having a relationship with a jacket,' I said.
'Was there a sale at Neiman's?'
'No, it's not mine, it's a guy's jacket.' I went on to tell him all about Hardy Cates, even going so far as to describe what had happened at Liberty and Gage's wedding almost two years ago, and then about meeting him in the bar. 'So I just put on the jacket and watched a movie in it,' I concluded. 'In fact, I'm wearing it right now. How far outside of normal is that? On a scale of one to ten, how crazy am I?'
'Depends. What movie did you watch?'"
And a little interaction between Hardy and Haven ;) Hardy first
"'You haven't seen the rest of the apartment,' he said.
'I'm sure it's grerat.'
'You should see the bedroom, at least.'
I saw a dance of mischief in his eyes. He was teasing me. 'No, thank you.'
Hardy leaned over me, all brawn and hormones, bracing a hand on the wall. ''Has anyone ever told you,' he asked conversationally, 'that your eyes are the exact color of Dr Pepper?'
I laughed, disarmed. 'Do you get far with lines like that?'
He seemed to relish my amusement. 'Far enough, with the right woman.'"