Monday, 3 September 2012

Book Review: The Virgin Huntress by Victoria Vane

Title: The Virgin Huntress
Author: Victoria Vane
Series: Book #2 in the Devil DeVere series
Release Date: 29 June 2012
Number of pages: 140 pages
Publisher: Breathless Press
Source: ebook provided by author
Purchasing Info: Goodreads, Author's Website, Amazon

Grade: 2.5 stars

Novellus malus!
Goodreads appetizer: Desperate times call for devilish measures… when the object of one’s passion has eyes for another… it’s time to take matters in hand!

Lady Vesta Chambers is accustomed to getting what she wants…Coddled and pampered, since her mother’s death, Lady Vesta Chambers is beside herself when her father goes to London to prepare for her come-out and returns with a young bride of his own. With her world turned upside down, Vesta accompanies her godmother, Diana, to town, where she is smitten the moment she lays eyes on a certain captain of the Seventeenth Light Dragoons.

But when the object of her passion has eyes for another…

Captain Hewett DeVere, younger brother and heir to Viscount Ludovic “The Devil” DeVere, has returned from the American war scarred, disillusioned, and looking forward to settling down to a quiet and respectable life. But when the handsome and straight-laced captain turns his eyes toward the widowed Diana, Vesta is prepared to take devilish measures to prove she is no longer a little girl, but a woman with the passion of … a huntress.

My Thoughts: I enjoyed A Wild Night’s Bride, the first novella in Victoria Vane’s The Devil DeVere historical erotica series, I found it a light and entertaining, a steamy and fun romp, so I was excited to read the subsequent instalment, but sadly I just didn’t really enjoy The Virgin Huntress, the 2nd novella in the series. It’s not even that I had lukewarm feelings towards this 2nd story, but rather that I found it frustrating, and I think the main reason for that (or at least 90%) is the heroine’s fault.

Vesta is a young girl of about 18 years old, who is preparing for her coming out. As such I knew I should expect some immaturity, but what frustrated me was to see the petulant, spoiled brat she was behaving like: she was whining, rebelling and throwing hissy fits constantly. Not only was she childish but she was so selfish, the way she did whatever she wanted without any care in the world about how it would change others’ life irrevocably made me so angry. Even the hero realized this when he said:

“How can you possibly think I could ever love such a spoiled, petulant, self-absorbed, and scheming little wretch?”

I couldn’t put it better myself.

Besides Vesta what made The Virgin Huntress a disappointment was the lack of credibility of the romance (which once again failed due to Vesta’s character). Vesta’s infatuation, childish crush for Hew cannot be called love and whenever she passionately (=whiningly) declared that Hew was the one, he was the love of her life and how much she loved him, it just made me roll my eyes.

“No, this time Vesta would not run away like a child. This time she would hold her ground and fight for the man she loved.”

That’s what she thinks after spying him for the very first time from afar and a 3 sentence meeting. She’s behaving childishly fancying herself in love, which wouldn’t be a problem if she didn’t take it upon herself to force others’ hand and alter their lives irrevocably with absolutely no regard to their wishes. That I couldn’t forgive her.

Once again even as just a supporting character Ludovic DeVere shone in his scenes. Despite his repulsive debonair, roguish ways (Ludovic DeVere is the most debauched rogue I have ever read about, if there is an orgy he is there and upping the ick factor), he has a warm and generous heart and what he has in mind is his friend’s/brother’s happiness. So in a way he is quite selfless. I enjoyed his scenes with Vesta the most, loved seeing him act the caring godfather but still he was the only one who realized at first glance the little minx Vesta was, he wasn't fooled by her innocent looks.

I already noticed in The Wild Night’s Bride the archaic language Victoria Vane used in the dialogues, and although it made the repartee somewhat choppy it didn’t detract from the story. However in The Virgin Huntress there were a lot of Americanisms that bothered me, they were most prominent in Vesta’s hissy fits and lines (“Vesta gushed”).

Verdict: Sadly I found the heroine of The Virgin Huntress (her actions and motivations) despicable and as there was no character development for Vesta, she couldn’t redeem herself. Though the hero had some promise, he remained quite 2D and undeveloped as a secondary character, DeVere and Diana (Vesta’s chaperone and pseudo-step mom) got more screen time than poor hero, and their scenes were the most vivid and pulsing in the book. I preferred the 1st story in the series, but as the next one will be about DeVere and the woman who will tame him, I’m looking forward to reading the 3rd novella in the series.

Plot: 7/10
Characters: 4/10
Writing: 7/10
Ending: 6/10
Cover: 5/10

Read our dual review over at Book Lovers Inc.

Order of the series:

Book #1 - A Wild Night's Bride - only $0.99 - Read my review
Book #2 - The Virgin Huntress
Book #3 - The Devil You Know
Book #4 - The Devil's Match

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