|Devil's Cub >>>> These Old Shades
||[Dec. 7th, 2010|06:16 pm]
I've just read Devil's Cub, a sequel of sorts to These Old Shades, and preferred it so much more than its predecessor. My god, it makes such a difference when the main characters are more lovable! Though this book also grated on me with its excessive snobbery and classism, I could let pass the problems for the charm of the story and the characters. One of the things that drove me nuts in These Old Shades that I'd forgotten to mention in my previous post was how much the essentialist idea that birth will out regardless of upbringing pissed me off. I know you have to overlook this kind of attitude when reading books like this, but when it's shoved in your face so strongly it's infuriating. In any case, the sequel is so much better. The bad boy son is bad, but the lady (after the initial mishandling of the situation) deals with him so well he becomes rather endearing. The Marquis of Vidal pointlessly shoots a guy and is forced by his father to leave England. He decides to take the pretty but stupid bourgeois girl he had been seducing to France with him. She and her mother think she can trap him into marriage. Her much smarter older sister Mary knows better, so when she intercepts Vidal's note she decides to take her sister's place at the rendezvous and get Vidal to forget her sister. Unfortunately, when Vidal gets mad he gets mad, and he forces Mary to go with him instead of her sister. It's only when it's rather too late for her reputation that he realizes she's a lady you shouldn't ruin…
The two of them are great together once Vidal stops treating Mary like a trollop. I like how the spoiled rich boy who's always gotten everything has do some chasing. The older characters who appeared in These Old Shades run around as well and are great fun. Mary's meeting with Vidal's father in particular was a good read.
Mary shooting Vidal was awesome. Mary telling Avon that she'd shot Vidal was awesome. She handles Vidal so well after the shooting. Loved how she got him to eat the gruel--he really is a spoiled wild brat! I loved how she kept refusing him and running away, determined to become a governess or whatever. It made me want to pet her. She comes off so much better than Juliana, whom I wished to strangle pretty often. The parents having to deal with Vidal's situation, being visited by Mary's awful mother and sister, was hilarious. Rupert being unwillingly dragged around by Leonie and caring only about wine was great, too. Though, with Leonie, I still don't really care for her because she comes off as truly self-centered and allowed to get away with it because she's rich and she's so high-spirited. I suppose we're supposed to be charmed by her? I was amused, but not charmed (similar to how I felt about her in the first book). As for Avon, I mostly liked everyone else's reaction to him. He just freaks everyone out, and Mary totally had him down just from how people reacted to talking about him. I loved that she unknowingly told the very man some nasty (if true) things she'd inferred about him. LOL'd at: "As you usual, you are quite right, Miss Challoner. I am that unscrupulous and sinister person so aptly described by you a while back." I loved how he could just shut Vidal down so hard and so easily.
Vidal choking Comyn to make Mary a widow was so like him I had to laugh. Go crazy in-love Vidal! Of course I wouldn't have laughed if he'd succeeded in killing Comyn as I like Comyn (though his loving Juliana baffles me), but as it allowed Mary to throw water on everyone it was a great scene. Also, Vidal confessing his love for Mary to Juliana by saying that he can't live without her is pure ♥. Glad he threw aside all his sneering sarcasm and became the earnest lover (in his own way) after he realized his feelings. I'd have thought less of him if he hadn't. Laughed at and loved his passionate ranting: "'You may have married her,' he said fiercely, 'but she is mine, do you hear me? She was always mine!" and "'Until you ran away with Comyn, I never knew how much I loved you, Mary. If you won't marry me, I shall spend the rest of my life striving to win you. I'll never rest till I've got you. Never, do you understand?'" He's so raging it's adorable.