Blue-Eyed Devil by Lisa Kleypas
Series: Travis Family #2
Narrated by Renee Raudman
Publication Date: March 25, 2008
Date Read: April 12, 2015 (2nd read)
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I have been in love with Hardy Cates since I first met him way back in 2007 when I first read Sugar Daddy. The teenage girl that now occupies this old ladies body still swoons a little bit every time I even think about Hardy Cates as a teenager. Where were the boys like Hardy back when I actually was a teenager? Even when Hardy does something a little wrong, I can forgive him. When this book came out in 2008, I drove to my local Borders and grabbed a copy just as soon as they opened for the day. I loved it then and I still love it today. Just be aware that this review is not unbiased because it is nearly impossible to be unbiased when you are in love.
Haven first meets Hardy at her brother Gage's wedding when she slips into the wine cellar. Haven thinks she has found her boyfriend, Nick, and things heat up really quickly. Once she realizes her mistake, they both move on with their lives. Haven knows that Nick is her future and she is willing to do whatever it takes to be with him...even if it means she is cut off financially from her wealthy father. The lack of money doesn't bother Haven as she tries to be a good wife to Nick. Nick becomes increasingly resentful and angry. Nothing Haven does is good enough for Nick. He doesn't care what Haven wants or what she thinks because the only thing that matters to him is himself.
Haven eventually leaves Nick after he becomes abusive. She starts a new life with the help of her family. She starts working at a property management office for her brother, Jack. She soon crosses paths with Hardy once again. Her family warns her against Hardy but she takes a chance anyway.
I was just as moved by Kleypas's description of the abuse that Haven endured as I was the first time I read the book. I think that she did a remarkable job of demonstrating how out of control Nick had become. I was frightened for Haven and wanted to take her away and protect her just like her brothers wanted to. Haven is strong. She asks for help when she knows that she needs it and then works to change the things in her life that she can change.
Would I love Hardy as much as I do if I hadn't already read the first book in this series? I don't know and it is really hard to guess because I was already in love with him before this book started. Hardy listened to Haven and tried to be what she needed. The chemistry between Haven and Hardy is phenomenal. I am still trying to figure out how Haven ever pulled herself out of the wine cellar at the very beginning of the book. I like Haven and Hardy as a couple.
I listened to the audiobook on this read through and I have to admit I had a hard time with the narration at the beginning of the story. I kept listening and starting liking the narration more and more and by the end of the book I didn't notice the narrator anymore because all I could think about was the story. I got lost in the story which is exactly what I look for in an audiobook.
I would highly recommend this book to others. I would suggest that readers start with the first book in the series, Sugar Daddy, because it really gives a lot of background, not to mention it is an excellent book. I am planning to re-read the next book in this series very soon and can't wait to get my hands on a new book by Lisa Kleypas.