Review: The Devil Who Tamed Her

29th Jun 2008

Our very first review is of The Devil Who Tamed Her, by Johanna Lindsey:

The Devil Who Tamed HerOphelia Reid is an incomparable beauty and a ruthless gossip. Having purposely wrecked her engagement to future marquis Duncan MacTavish, Ophelia wants to return to London’s marriage mart and make her own choice of a wealthy husband. But on her journey home, something unexpected happens…. The heir to a dukedom, Raphael Locke is the most sought-after young lord in England. When MacTavish claims that Ophelia will never be anything but spiteful, Rafe bets his friend otherwise. Whisking her to his country estate, Rafe shows his furious, sharp-tongued “guest” the error of her ways and discovers the surprising reasons for her bad behavior. When Rafe champions the new and improved Ophelia’s re-entry to London society, marriage proposals pour in. But has Rafe gone and fallen in love with Ophelia himself?

Claire: Well, the first thing I noticed about this book was the beautiful cover, with the pretty pink dress! I think heroines who can ride are so accomplished and impressive, especially bareback in silk gowns. I also thought this story was really hot! Which is impressive, because a lot of it takes place in snow.

Belle: That is a very clever pun, Claire.

Claire: What?

Belle: As an Artiste, I of course restrict my reading intake severely so as not to “poison the well” of my artistic forest as it blossoms into Story. (Some “writers” will advise you to read widely. This is a nonsense.) However, since Claire has described this novel, I am certainly well-placed to pass judgement upon it as a modern masterpiece.

Webmistress Niki: Well, I actually read it. And personally, I had a hard time really sympathizing with Ophelia. Her problem is that she’s too beautiful.

Belle: Niki, you mustn’t be prejudiced against those afflicted with astonishing beauty.

Claire: And her friends lie to her because she’s so beautiful. That must be really hard! No wonder she’s spiteful and spreads rumors!

But even if you don’t like Ophelia, you really have to like Raphael Locke. He’s so good at helping people! See, this is what his Aunt Esmerelda says about him:

“My nephew’s motives are well-intentioned. He likes to help people. He usually doesn’t even think twice about it. And this certainly isn’t the first time he’s gone out of his way to do so. He didn’t take the typical tour of the Continent when he was away from England, you know. He single-handedly saved a bunch of orphans from abuse when one of them picked his pocket and explained he’d done so in order to get his sister out of the dreadful orphanage he’d run away from. It took half a year, but Rafe found every one of those orphans a good home. He also helped to evacuate a whole town in France that got flooded…”

Belle: Note how cleverly this exposition is inserted into the story as a natural part of character development? Let us discuss the masterly plot.

Webmistress Niki: Right. So, about the plot. I didn’t really get why Rafe has to kidnap Ophelia in order to help her.

Belle: Because she is spirited and reckless, Niki. I thought you said you read it.

Claire: And she’s so resistant to being helped, too. I mean, he really has to force her to enjoy herself sometimes, like in this scene here, where they’re trying to keep from freezing to death in a carriage by generating some body heat through exertion:

He somehow got that roving hand of his under her skirt. She did feel a slight draft as he did so, but barely noticed it as his fingers felt their way along her thigh. And then she literally jumped in his lap when his finger touched her directly between her legs. He held her tighter. He wasn’t going to let her deny herself the immense pleasure he was capable of giving her, but she had no thought of stopping him, was too caught up in the novelty of the new sensations he was evoking.

Belle: This is a love scene that is almost good enough to be part of a Riadorf novel, and that is not an accolade I give lightly.

Webmistress Niki: It’s pretty special.

Belle: There, I knew you weren’t as ignorant as you pretend. I think the final section of the book is probably the most impressive – Claire, would you like to recount it?

Claire: Oh, it’s my favorite part! Ophelia and Rafe have married, but they haven’t admitted the depth of their feelings to one another yet.

Webmistress Niki: In fact, they’re actively avoiding actually talking to each other.

Belle: Yes, you see how cleverly the plot delays the climax for the appropriate moment? Mere common sense is not permitted to interfere in the grandeur of Story.

Claire: The problem is that Rafe thinks that Ophelia hasn’t changed, even after everything he’s done to help her. But she actually has! And when she meets up with an old friend of hers while shopping with her mother, you can see how much she’s grown as a person when they have an emotional scene in which they begin to forgive one another.

And then Ophelia gets run over by a carriage! It’s so exciting!

Belle: Yes, up to this point the story was lacking a little in excitement, including only a broken engagement, a kidnapping, a moment of peril where both protagonists avoided freezing to death only through their passion and a marriage ceremony that took place because of mutual spite. It needed that certain something to make it truly memorable.

Claire: I think a bout of amnesia would have really helped, but the carriage accident was pretty good.

Belle: Oh, I agree. Nearly every story is improved by amnesia.

Claire: I give it five out of five Clars. That’s like stars, only from Claire!

Belle: There wasn’t enough love-making for my taste. Three stars.

Webmistress Niki: I don’t think I really have enough experience to give ratings for this sort of novel, yet.

Claire: Five stars from Niki!



3 Comments to “Review: The Devil Who Tamed Her”


Oh, I’m so glad you two have started guiding your readers like this! It’s so hard to find books that compare to Riadorf but, with this blog, I’ll hopefully be able to find books that don’t fare *too* badly in comparison!


At last! Some truly keen insight into romance novels! No more shall I flounder in the bookstore, without a guiding hand to select my reading material for me.


Thanks, Derry and Jessica! It’s so good to know that our fans appreciate the things we do for them.