The Bride of Devil’s Acre by Jennifer Kohout

Posted December 7, 2013 in Book Review / 0 Comments

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I received this book for free from the publisher or author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 16 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug use, alcohol use, language, and/or violence.
The Bride of Devil’s Acre by Jennifer KohoutThe Bride of Devil's Acre by Jennifer Kohout
Published by Create Space on July 19th 2013
Genres: Historical Fiction, Romance
Pages: 306
Format: eARC
Source: ARC from publisher
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five-stars

Douglas "Devil" Radcliffe has spent years carving out Devil's Acre, an area where the titled and entitled lords of London come to play. But when Queen Victoria proposes a reformation plan to the House of Lords that would have the wretched souls of nearby St. Giles moving into his territory, Devil sets out to buy, bribe, and steal the votes he needs to stop her. One vote short and running out of time, Devil has Lord Edwards' daughter kidnapped and held captive. The price of her freedom? Lord Edwards' vote. Lord Edwards' daughter, Jacqueline's life was defined at the moment of her birth. Growing up in the shadow of her mother's death in childbirth, she has spent years trying to make it up to her father. Now a grown woman, she is torn between her duty to her father and her desire for a life of her own. Irrevocably changed after her kidnapping, Jacqueline tries to put the pieces of her life back together only to find they no longer fit.

main points

Review Intro
First of all, let me just say this book BLEW ME AWAY. I wasn’t really sure what to expect. The synopsis on Goodreads didn’t give me much to go on (and boy was I surprised by how it actually turned out). And also it was a Kindle book. You know how I feel about those- not really a fan of reading on my iPod Kindle app. But it was SO WORTH IT. The beginning was kind of slow, but it picked up quite quickly and soon I could NOT PUT IT DOWN. I finished this in about three days. School days. It was all I could do to put it away and get some sleep at night. I was so surprised by how amazing it was.
Also I love the cover. It’s awesome.
Writing Style
I love her writing. It’s so elegant and descriptive and while quite blunt at times (hence the rating) it was still very captivating. The writing alone made me want to keep reading. It wasn’t the best I’ve ever read, but it was beautiful.
Also I want to point out something about the POV- it’s third person omniscient, but it can get confusing. Sometimes, a character will be doing/feeling something while another is speaking and it gets confusing as to who is actually talking. It’s not TOO difficult to figure out based on context, but it could be clearer. I like how the POV switches between a lot of the characters, but when the characters are all together it becomes a jumble of feeling and action.

Story
I have been in the mood for a sort of Victorian era story and this fit the bill perfectly. There were a LOT of beautiful scenes and words exchanged in this book. Like in the first half when Devil’s hired man Moose takes Jac out shopping, and even though he’s a giant of a man he has heart enough to protect her from people’s insults. And when she and her father talk things out and make up. And the more intimate scenes with her and Devil.
There were a lot of ugly parts too. Most of the book is centered around a rapist (formerly in the employ of Devil) who likes cutting people up, hence his name: Carver. There are quite vivid descriptions of what he does. It was…horrible to read about. One minute, I could be crying at some intimate moment, and the next I could be shuddering at what I was reading and almost having to put the book down. But of course I couldn’t. I had to read on.
I would say this story is a little twisted (but no less enticing) version of Beauty and the Beast, which is my favorite Disney movie (and princess) so naturally I fell in love with this story. It’s a keeper. I will be buying this in paperback.
Also, the pacing was perfect. Something was always happening. There was literally never a dull moment.

But I feel entitled to say: WARNING! THIS BOOK IS NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART.

Characters 
Jacqueline: She was a worthy heroine. I actually really liked her, which surprised me. Usually I go for the more kick-ass Katniss Everdeen types, but I found myself drawn to Jac as well. She was victimized a few times but I never felt like she was completely powerless. There is a difference between being powerless and helpless. She made some decisions I disagreed with (and was quite quick to make decisions that should have taken time, like marriage, on more than one occasion), but in the end I found her to be quite capable. She could be charming without being innocent. She could learn how to defend herself and fight without losing her feminine appeal. That I admired. She was not one of my favorite heroines ever, but then again, to me the book wasn’t really about her. It was about Devil.
Devil: He was pretty typical, I’d say. Actually the story was a bit typical. It was basically like Beauty and the Beast but a bit more complicated and gruesome. But he was basically the Beast. So attractive, but dangerous. Their relationship was quite backwards (without giving spoilers). But in the end it seemed all right. His conversation with Andrew, his friend and man of the cloth, towards the beginning was interesting. Devil wasn’t evil. He wasn’t a bad guy, per say. He just went down a different path. It wasn’t like he couldn’t love. It was just that he wasn’t used to the feeling. Although he did go through that stupid phase like Edward from Twilight, where he thought it was best to leave Jac alone to protect her, and we all know what happens when you try to do that. Bad things. Guys never learn.
Moose (works for Devil): Despite being a giant and a former fighter, he was so sweet. It just melted my heart. He really did care about Jac.
Henry (Jac’s childhood friend): He was a coward in the end. A COWARD. I don’t understand how she forgave him. He didn’t deserve it. He was so quick to desert her at every opportunity.
Marcus (Jac’s gay friend): I expected to dislike him, but his story was so much like Robert Frobisher’s (from the movie Cloud Atlas) that it broke my heart a little. I pitied him but admired him and respected his friendship with Jac.
Ending (no spoilers)

The ending was fairly predictable (although no part of the story before that really was). But there was one thing I did not expect, and that made me happy. Jac can take care of herself after all, and her husband too, ironically. It was a happy ending. But there was one thing still left unresolved….sequel?

good vs. bad

Good:

  • Plot
  • Characters
  • setting
  • pacing
  • writing style
  • everything else…..
Less than perfect:
  • …I got nothing. It was perfect! Read it right away!

Bottom Line

I LOVED this book. It was amazing. Beautifully written, it held my attention all the way through. I couldn’t put it down. The characters were amazingly portrayed and there were a lot of beautiful and tragic moments. It was a lovely, more realistic (and harsh) version of Beauty and the Beast. Would I read more books by Jennifer Kohout? Definitely! I intend to! Would I recommend this book to others? Most certainly! If they are old enough.

About Jennifer Kohout

Author of all things paranormal and sexy.

Rating
Plot
four-half-stars
Characters
four-stars
Writing
five-stars
Setting
three-half-stars
Romance
five-stars
Cover
four-stars
Ending
five-stars
Overall: five-stars
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