Devil’s Cub, by Georgette Heyer – A Review

Guest review by Meredith of Austenesque Reviews

Dominic Alistair, the Marquis of Vidal, has done it again…  After engaging in a most dishonorable and unceremonious duel over cards, he is banished to France by his father, the Duke of Avon.  His behavior of late has been more scandalous than usual, and his latest transgressions coupled with his profligate behavior have caused his mother, Duchess Leonie, undue distress.  Dominic, however, plans to enjoy his banishment by taking a mistress with him to France.

Mary Challoner, the older sister of Dominic’s latest coquette, thwarts her sister’s plan to runaway with Dominic by not informing her of Dominic’s intended time and place of departure.  Mary, instead, devises her own scheme to prevent Dominic from ever pursuing such a clandestine and nefarious affair with her sister ever again.  However, there is one slight glitch in our heroine’s plan…  Mary is unaware that Dominic’s intended destination is to France and unfortunately for her, it is no longer her sister Sophie’s reputation that needs saving, it is her own!

This is my very first Georgette Heyer novel and I am exceeding happy to discover that her novels are just as delightful and diverting as promised!  I especially took pleasure in her satirical wit and exhilarating twists and turns!  In addition, I enjoyed finding that Georgette Heyer is similar to Jane Austen in that they both create wonderful, realistic, and comedic characters.  In Devil’s Cub, the minor characters steal the show!  Justin, the Duke of Avon, a former rake before he married, is proud to see his son following in his footsteps, yet he finds it quite tiresome to be saving his son’s hide and reputation all the time.  Leonie, Dominic’s mother, loves that her son has inherited her fiery spirit and temper, and she often pleased by his wicked behavior!  Dominic’s Aunt Fanny is a paradox; while professing her concern about how wicked Dominic is and how something should be done to save the family’s reputation, she is all the while secretly hoping he marries her daughter because it would be a most excellent match for her (sounds like Mrs. Bennet, doesn’t it?)  Uncle Rupert (one of my favorite characters) is absolutely hysterical with his all-consuming concern over his next meal and preoccupation with sampling good wine.

Devil’s Cub was an exciting and entertaining adventure complete with confusion, flaring tempers, a copious amount of chasing, and many misadventures. While I would have liked the love-story between the two main characters to be focused on a little more, I understand that the action of the story and the many events that took place were important and required some page time.  Nevertheless, I immensely enjoyed this lively and amusing Regency tale, and I am so very happy that I finally discovered the joy of reading Georgette Heyer.   I look forward to reading her many other works!  Furthermore, I understand that Devil’s Cub is the second book in a trilogy by Georgette Heyer; I cannot wait to get my hands on the other two books!!

Read an excerpt at Scribd

The Alistair Trilogy:

Meredith Esparza, a long-time admirer of Jane Austen and an avid reader, started writing reviews as a hobby several years ago.  In September 2009 she became more serious about her hobby and started her own blog, Austenesque Reviews, a blog devoted to the reading and reviewing the numerous Jane Austen sequels, fan-fiction, and para-literature that have been recently published, as well as the ones that were published years ago.  In addition to reading Austenesque novels, Meredith takes pleasure in reading novels by the Brontës, Louisa May Alcott, and Georgette Heyer! You can follow Meredith on Twitter as Austenesque.

Devil’s Cub, by Georgette Heyer
Sourcebooks (2009)
Trade paperback (320) pages
ISBN: 978-1402219535

Celebrating Georgette Heyer – Day 04 Giveaway

Enter a chance to win one copy of Devil’s Cub, by Georgette Heyer (Sourcebooks, 2009) by leaving a comment stating what intrigues you about the plot or characters, or if you have read it, which is your favorite character or scene by midnight Pacific time, Monday, September 6th, 2010. Winners will be announced on Tuesday, September 7th, 2010. Shipment to continental US and Canadian addresses only. Good luck!

Upcoming event posts

Day 04   Aug 06 – Review: The Convenient Marriage
Day 05   Aug 08 – Review: Regency Buck
Day 05   Aug 08 – Review: The Talisman Ring
Day 06   Aug 09 – Review: An Infamous Army

Celebrating Georgette Heyer   •   August 1st – 31st, 2010

58 thoughts on “Devil’s Cub, by Georgette Heyer – A Review

  1. Great review, Meredith, of a great book! This is a particular favourite of mine, after many years of being a fan of this author. There are so many wonderful moments that I particularly love but I don’t want to give anything away by mentioning specifics, for those who have yet to read this book … there’s a fight, involving Dominic, and also a “stranger” who helps Mary at the end of the book … just to mention two favourite bits! You have a real treat in store, Meredith, to only be discovering these books now – so many wonderful books for you still to read!

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  2. These Old Shades was a favorite, and I would love to re-encounter Leonie and the Duke. Thanks for the giveaway.

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  3. Again, another Heyer I have not read but can’t wait to start! This is one that I constantly see high on people’s personal favorites list. Thanks for a great review

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  4. I do like the fact that in the Heyer books there’s plenty of humour and the minor characters often steal the lines from main heroes. The plot is not as schematic as in other shallow romances. Thanks for the review and the giveaway! I am planning to write reviews of some Heyer books and I’ve already posted one of “Cousin Kate”.

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  5. This was my first Heyer, too! I really liked it, as well, and can’t wait to read another. I’m just having a hard time deciding on which one!
    Margay

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  6. I find it amusing that the roguish hero of this story has such such a devil may care attitude about his situation-“Fine,I’ll go but I’m taking some portable entertainment with me!”

    I can totally picture someone like Errol Flynn or Clark Gable playing this part onscreen,if it ever had been adapted by Hollywood back in the day-not sure a modern actor could do it justice(then again,I haven’t read the book so maybe I presume too much there).

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  7. I read “Devil’s Cub” earlier this year right after “These Old Shades.” I don’t want to give too much away, but there’s a great scene early on between Dominic and Mary, where she utterly convinces him she’s serious about maintaining her virtue. (He at first assumes she’s a lightskirt like her sister.) I won’t reveal her method, but this scene seems to be a favorite for many people.

    I loved the Duchess of Avon’s scenes at the end, when she decides Mary is “most respectable” and suitable for her son. She’s just so charming and loveable.

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  8. This one is fun, too — all the “Regencies” even the ones that are are “Georgian,” or earlier :-) are such fun. I especially liked seeing Leonie and Justin again. I’m happy to see so many people taking the “GH” plunge, thanks to you, Laurel Ann!

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  9. Pingback: ‘Celebrating Georgette Heyer’ at Austenprose – August 1st – 31st, 2010 « Austenprose

  10. Thanks for the review, Meredith. I’m off to buy another Heyer (on my kindle), and I have am having a hard time deciding which one to read next!

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  11. I have just finished reading The Deception of the Emerald Ring by American author Lauren Willig and was immediately reminded of this GH book. The one sister being substituted for the other mistakenly is a fun concept. The Deception book is racier than GH but a fun read. I’m loving the GH month!

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    • Karen – when reading Heyer I am often reminded of my fav author Lauren Willig too. They both capture a vibrance and energy that is addictive. It is a fun escape and a delight. I hope you read the rest of the Pink Carnation series. I love them all and can’t for her next book this Oct.

      Cheers, LA

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      • Meredith – I am shocked. You have not read Willig yet? She is my favorite non-dead author! She is a big Austen fan and will be contributing a story to my Austen short story anthology. You must read the Pink Carnation series. They are a delight. Like Austen, I could talk about them for hours.

        Thanks again for the great review. I am glad you like Heyer too. Our reading world expands just a smidge.

        Cheers, LA

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  12. I think this was my very favorite Heyer back when I was in my 20s and first reading Heyer. Wildly romantic!

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  13. A wonderful, enticing review. These Old Shades has never been my favourite Heyer and I must admit that I have been prejudiced against Devil’s Cub for that reason. An Infamous Army is wonderful though, so I’ll have to assume Heyer simply got better at handling this family as she went along. Time to finally read this one for myself, I think, and stop visiting the sins of the father on the son!

    So glad you enjoyed your first Heyer novel Meredith!

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  14. Wonderful review, as usual, Meredith. I definitely agree that Heyer’s minor characters often steal the show–they’re usually funny, offbase, and frankly honest. I haven’t read the trilogy yet, though Infamous Army is on my shelf for this fall.

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  15. My favorite scene, to this day, is still when Mary shows Vidal that she knows what he needs better than he does, himself. No spoilers~ great book!

    I wish I could discover them all over again. Still, growing up with them was delightful.

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  16. Very enticing review, Meredith! =)

    I also love the fact that Heyer creates minor characters that are just as memorable as her heros and heroines… sometimes, more memorable. ;)

    You just made me bump up the Alistair trilogy in my reading list!

    And I must say that cover is scrumptious… How can one resist a man in a well fitting red velvet coat and cream breeches? =D

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  17. This one also sounds interesting! And the secondary characters steal the show, huh? LOL! Sounds like they needed their own book!

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  18. I read this review when first posted from my blackberry while deep in the woods of Western Pennsylvania on a family camping trip. Unfortunately, it is not a device that lets me comment on blogs, giving me two days to mull over this delightful review before I could get back to my computer and write this. I cannot say how thrilled I am, Meredith, that you enjoyed your first Heyer novel. I’ve been waiting for you to catch the bug! As I recently said in a comment on another review of this book: while Heyer often has a couple fall in love while the lady nurses her wounded hero, I believe Mary Challoner is the only one who actually shoots the gun, causing the injuries in the first place! And of course, how else can a lady be expected to capture the heart of the “Devil’s Cub” then by doing something so completely outrageous, even by Heyer standards? I can’t wait for you to read These Old Shades – Leonie and Avon are amazing together.

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  19. Heyer’s works are so diverting! I’ve read three of her works- I was introduced to Heyer by Laurel Ann a few months ago. :) I think this one will be my fourth! Thanks for the great review, Meredith!

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  20. Though I like very much These Old Shades, I have to say that I love its sequel best. Vidal combines both the good and the bad of his parents and only someone like Mary could have dealt with him so masterfully.

    There are so many great scenes in this book to choose from. But perhaps my favourites are when Vidal displays either remorse or worse his jealousy. But the greatest is when the identity of the stranger is revealed to Mary, one has been suspecting about it, yet she took sometime to see.

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  21. I loved seeing Leonie and Justin as parents! They’re still so amusing. Poor Vidal, no wonder he turned out the way he did (though I love him dearly)

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  22. Vidal is definitely a swoonworthy hero! My favorite part is when Mary gets seasick and Vidal hands her a bucket.

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  23. My favourite scene in Devil’s Cub is where Mary discovers who she has been dining with. Also note one of the many taking-care-of-an-invalid-in-an-inn scenes in Heyer.

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  24. Great review! I read These Old Shades last fall and would love to read “what happens next” with Devil’s Cub. The characters sound wonderful as Heyer’s characters usually are. I love how unique they are!

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  25. I haven’t read this Heyer, and now I’m really looking forward to it! I love books where the minor characters really shine, and I see by this review that that’s just the case with this story. It’s going on my list!

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  26. A friend tried to get me to read this book a few years ago, but I wasn’t interested. Now that I know it’s a sequel to These Old Shades (which I am dying to read), it’s suddenly moved up on my TBR list.

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  27. I just started this book, and am really looking forward to it – thanks for the great review – Vidal sounds intriguing.

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  28. I’d love to read the Devil’s Cub and how the enjoying of banishment doesn’t go quite according to plan. It sounds wonderful.

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  29. This is a more human-scale book than These Old Shades. The Duke still has his omnipotent moment at the end but Dominic and Mary and her family are all very real, understandable characters throughout.

    I don’t think Lauren Willig’s books compare to Heyer’s except in the most superficial ways. I’ve tried a few of Willig’s and found the plot and language rambling, the wit less witty, and – for all that I sometimes get caught up in the lovely details of the lives and cultures – the supposedly romantic endings seem contrived rather than growing naturally out of the characters. Maybe I’m just too ‘mature’ to appreciate the adolescent qualities as much as I might have 25 years ago.

    There is some good in the Willigs but anyone reading them expecting to find a Heyer-like experience will surely be disappointed.

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  30. Even though Mary is scared, she doesn’t show it and manages to effectively keep Dominic away. I like the story of the trip also.

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  31. Meredith made me feel her excitement and enthusiasm in this review of her first Heyer. I am greatly anticipating my first Heyer and hope that I come close to her same rapturous joy. I am ready for my lively misadventures with strong secondary characters that just don’t decorate the background but steal your attention. I am ready for these characters that are comparable to Austen, that are so compelling and realistic that they stay with you.

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