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10 thoughts on “The Demon Lover

  1. says:

    It s not exactly a handsome face, is it Not exactly a kind face There s cruelty in it and all those unpleasant characteristics which alas you have discovered It s a portrait of you, Baron, not of Prince Charming Ah, you would have to get Bertrand to pose for that As this is to go to my fiancee, I think I shall call it The Demon Lover Do you think that appropriate Perhaps, I said as coolly as I could But you would know best about that The Demon Lover, by Victoria Holt.Victoria Holt s The Demon Lover is a true bodice ripper No holds barred The main male protagonist is a French aristocrat who identifies with his Viking ancestors and their habit of descending upon Normandy in the Middle Ages to rape, pillage, and plunder at will Ensconced in his Norman fortress like the King of his own kingdom, even though it is the late 19th century and the state of the French monarchy is wobbly at best, he decides, upon meeting our English heroine, a young, talented, and ambitious, miniature painter, that he will have her, at any cost Painting of Pontefract Castle, a structure built in the Norman style in the eleventh century, much like Centeville, the Baron s estate.There is no forced seduction here Force is all he employs towards his dastardly goal If you enjoyed unrepentant, arrogant, powerful, promiscuous, oppressive, charismatic, anti heroes like the ones in Christine Monson s Stormfire, Teresa Denys The Silver Devil, or Marilyn Harris This Other Eden, you will find that Holt s French Baron is of the same ilk, if not worse Edgar Degas, The Rape 1868 69 He is not a static character though, and neither is she I thought the way Holt turned the tables from one end of the book to the other in our perception of the loathsome Rollo and the, at first glance, victimized Kate, was genius Kate is not a doormat, weak, martyr, Victorian heroine She is made of granite She despises weakness, the people who she calls lame ducks view spoiler This is why she is fascinated by the Baron s strength, even as she hates him for it, it is always tinged with admiration Why she could never fall for any other man, certainly not the milk and water minor aristocrat who would have married her for love And her contempt of the Baron s wife, the hypochondriac Princess, is just as potent as her pity and empathy for her hide spoiler

  2. says:

    Victoria Holt aka the amazing Eleanor Alice Burford mostly wrote gothic mysteries Her books usually have an intrepid heroine, a mysterious murder, and dark lover The heroine falls in love and solves the murder, usually in that order This book is a little different though Holt strays from her usual gothic formula into bodice ripper territory here, which made me do a happy dance You should have seen me while I was reading the first half I was grinning from ear to ear Other Holt fans weren t so happy though Yet what s funny is, all those one star reviews is what attracted me to the book in the first place The story is simple A young artist goes with her father to paint a wealthy, powerful and arrogant French Norman Baron He s rather attracted to her, but she dislikes him But later when her father goes home and she s working on another commission, he abducts her and does dastardly things to her I don t want to give too much away But I will say the build up and execution of the first two thirds of this book were so well done, I was riveted And I believed the characters I understood their actions Kate Collison is a great heroine She s a proper Victorian miss, polite and feminine which I think gets a bad rap nowadays but she also has a driving desire to be a successful artist and see the world like her father has I loved the close relationship between Kate and her father There is so much love and tenderness between them I completely understand Kate s outrage at what has happened to her and understand her loathing for the Baron The Baron is a villain He s totally ruthless and uses people like pawns to get what he wants I liked him a lot sad I know LOLOL I think he s one of Holt s darkest heros Toward the middle of the book, he redeems himself, but never completely That s probably what has other reviewers so upset He doesn t completely change But then I think Holt was aware of human nature enough to know that he could never change completely He may be on his best behavior for Kate, but there will always be a part of him that is a ruthless bastard Even Kate knows that She understands him But unlike some bodice rippers I ve read, I believe these two will be happy with each other It s not a perfect, happy ending with a bow on top, but a flawed, messy, happy ending, which always seems realistic to me So yes, I enjoyed this book quite a bit I almost knocked a star because in the last third of the book, the Baron pesters Kate over and over into becoming his lover and she keeps telling him she s going back to England which we know she doesn t want to do I could handle one conversation like this, but there were several It got tiresome I started thinking of the Baron whom I liked in the beginning as a big pest and Kate as annoyingly coy Holt changed my mind though with a surprise ending that pulled the rug out from under my feet Consequently, I ended up not removing the star I would give this book if I could Anyhoo, I think you would enjoy this book if you like well written bodice rippers But if you hoping for Victoria Holt s usual gothic storyline, you may be disappointed.

  3. says:

    I probably should have read this back when I was a teenage girl.

  4. says:

    This is tough one for me to rate or describe First, it did not feel like Victoria Holt to me can t quite put my finger on why The tone was a bit different and it just didn t pull me in at first A lot of telling instead of showing to begin with And then I was shocked by the major incident in the first third of the book primarily because I assumed all her books were squeaky clean for the most part Although explicit details were left out it was thematically explicit I was so upset by what happened I almost threw this book aside And there were little details here and there to imply that the heroine almost enjoyed what happened to her just a tiny doubt here and there I found that repulsive I persevered though As the story progressed it became interesting Holt does weave a good story incorporating, art, war, mysterious deaths all cloaked in rich atmosphere As usual, the characters come to life and evolve I really enjoy her use of dialogue She reveals so much through the voices of the characters better than the beginning I am not sure I bought the heroine s change of attitude toward her oppressor but the details of the story support it I suppose But overall well done.

  5. says:

    4.5 rounded up Victoria Holt absolutely owns me these days and this book is a clincher This one steps out of her usual mode and takes the path of the bodice ripper Hell, this guy just did away with the bodice altogether and made her stay naked for three days But I m getting ahead of myself This is a story about a talented artist who clandestinely fills in for her father who is losing his eyesight They travel together to do a painting of the Baron, pretending it s her father doing the work when it s actually her They go down this route because, as you know, vaginas negated all talent in those days They think they have the Baron hoodwinked but he s no fool But he thinks the heroine is a nice package so he lets her and her father get away with it and even helps launch her career A real progressive kind of guy, wouldn t you say cough Sure The H is an egomaniac baron who is getting ready to marry a princess However, he has this mistress problem and is trying to pawn her off on a cousin, but the h ruins the Baron s plans by being so delectable that the cousin wants to marry her instead The cousin dooms himself and the h, though, by defiantly stating that he would never marry a mistress of the Baron Um um um To teach cuz a lesson, the Baron drugs and kidnaps the h and locks her in a tower where he proceeds to rape her, complete with fighting and scratching, repeatedly for three days though much later, she reminisces fondly Uh, right VH is usually such a beat around the bush kind of girl I totally wasn t expecting her to bust out with WTFery like that Very surprising to say the least Unlike so many stories, there were no last minute saves, no changing his mind about who to marry, no prettying it up, whatsoever though he was lovey dovey with the heroineas he assaulted her When he drags the cousin in for the showdown, the Baron s all gleeful when he tells him that the h fought him like a tiger or some animal action like that and to enjoy his leavings What a nice guy Of course, the h decides she could never marry the cousin now and goes off to live her life Just when you think that she might be able to recover and move on we find out she s pregnant But it s all good and she gets help and has a success of it Five years go by before the Baron makes a reappearance in the story There s a bunch of other stuff, mixed in before and after mistress friends, father stuff, wars, and then they end up back at the castlewhere his wife and other son live You know there ll be trouble There s a bunch of stuff that goes on at the castle with the wife and sons, mixed in with a ton of ambivalence on the h s part, though she luvs him, while the H continues to pressure the h to ignore that wife person upstairs and be his lady love The ending totally wiped the rug out from under me I have purposely not talked about anything that could give it away, because it s just too much fun to be floored like that to ruin it I definitely recommend this but recognize that there s a lot in this one that would turn some people off I have to admit that I love this book probably for reasons that a lot of people hate it It doesn t sugar coat anything or make nice It didn t try to fix everything and make it fit into a little feel good box The hero is ruthless and had little time for anything but his own desires and those he loves Many people we care about get the shaft and we never get to see how it turns out Or maybe we know in our hearts and are in denial if you read it, you ll know who I mean If you need everything tied up in a neat little PC bow, then this one will sorely disappoint If you like stories that depict people realistically in their baser element, then you ll probably like this one.

  6. says:

    Eta I had to go from 3 to 4 stars because I ve found myself rereading parts of this and it has really made an impression Still full of rage inducing wtf ery and not exactly romance.The writing was good engaging and I liked the heroine, but I never really bought that the Baron wanted her loved her I was really torn on the rating, because it did keep me reading and I loved the heroine spoilers Kate was engaged to the Baron s cousin, but the Baron had wanted the cousin to marry his ex mistress instead When the cousin tells the Baron he doesn t want his castoff, that s when he decides to abduct and rape Kate that way his naughty, defiant cousin will not be defying him after all, as Kate will then be one of his castoffs as well After he holds her captive for 3 days in his castle and rapes forcibly seduces her repeatedly, he just lets her go No goodbye, no f you very much, nada He not only lets her go, but he demands that his cousin go ahead and marry her as well Apparently, he doesn t care if another man has her I prefer my bodice ripper H s to be far possessive than that Unfortunately for the Baron, the rape drives a wedge between Kate and his cousin and they never marry, so his petty revenge fails.Of course, Kate turns up pregnant and she s terrified about what to do with morals times being as they are Unbeknownst to her, the Baron sends his ex mistress to befriend her and take her into her home in Paris which he owns and pays all the bills for So, granted, he does take care of her, but I wasn t impressed I think it was sort of a code of honor with these men to make a good settlement on an ex mistress which is what he considered her and pay for the upkeep of their bastards when they are done with their mothers He was basically doing the same thing for Nicole the ex mistress he sent to befriend Kate.IMHO, if he d truly given a crap, he wouldn t have disappeared for 5 years Granted, if he had stayed away because of guilt and a desire to do what was best for the h, I d have been able to deal with that The sort of thing where he pines away for her and sneaks around trying to catch a glimpse of her now and then, but I have no indication he did that And guilt was not in this man s vocabulary, so he does not stay away to spare her his presence Nope, dude just secretly paid all the bills and then out of the blue decides to appear 5 yrs later for reasons I am yet to understand He first befriends the little boy when he goes to the park with his nanny and never even sees Kate until she happens to come to the park one day herself Then he s all, I think about you all the time, my life is miserable, I hate my wife blah, blah, blah Our time together was so wonderful I want you and my son Kate is terrified, but tells him in her own polite English way to go f himself and makes sure the boy only goes to the park when the Baron won t be around Again, he doesn t come after her No OTT stalker behavior and again, I refuse to believe it was for honorable reasons.Soon after, the Franco Prussian war comes along and Paris is about to be placed under siege The Baron comes to Paris to take Kate, Nicole, his son, and the nanny back to his rural castle a place that the very idea of traumatizes Kate She refuses and he just shrugs literally and leaves This guy is not above abduction and this time there s an actual reason for it Nicole ends up dying in the siege after Kate refuses to leave but this time he just shrugs.He does turn up a few weeks later to take them out of Paris and is forceful about it, so that gave him a point or two, I suppose The thing is, I never bought his undying love for her due to the 5 FRICKING YEAR thing I think he was interested in the boy since the one he had with his wife was not actually his He does claim that Kate is the most important to him and that even without the child he d want her and he loves her than anything, but again I wasn t impressed He expects her become his mistress and he will legitimize the child Kate refuses But they do end up together in the end when the wife dies Unfortunately we don t get to see them actually together, which was something I needed to believe in their HEA.

  7. says:

    Gripping Story of a Tumultuous Love, a Bodice Ripper set in England and France in the late 1800sSet mostly in France in the late Victorian period, this tells the story of Kate Collison, of the famous fictional Collison family of brilliant painters of miniatures, each artist signing the portraits KC In each generation, the next son had taken up the art to astound patrons in England and in Europe Unfortunately, Kate s mother, the daughter of a duke, gave Kate s father, Kendal Collison, only a daughter But Kate was determined to become better than any son of the family who had gone before her.When her father develops cataracts and his ability to paint the fine strokes diminishes, she becomes his eyes Signing the portraits KC, as all in her family have, no one would know a woman had painted them A new commission arrives from a baron in Normandy who wants miniatures of himself and his fianc e, a princess So, Kate and her father travel to France intending to do the miniatures together At the baron s castle, before he arrives, Kate begins to fall in love with the baron s cousin Bertrand de Mortemer And then she meets the Baron, Rollo de Centeville, who by his own description is arrogant, overbearing, impatient and self willed And he was clever, soon figuring out that the miniature he comes to admire is being painted by Kate and not her father He also will have his way with Kate, no matter the cost to her.An ingenious, intricately woven plot that had me turning pages, it tells the story of a selfish man who, like his Viking forbearers, thought nothing of raping a woman to get what he wanted And so he drugs and rapes Kate and then holds her prisoner for the purpose of reminding Bertrand that he, the baron, is in control I must say that I had a bit of trouble understanding how Kate, having gone home to England, could return to France after what happened to her, or how she could keep from those who loved her that she d been brutally raped by the man they thought to admire Nor could I understand how the Baron s mistress, Nicole, would, after being cast aside by the Baron, try to convince Kate she should be understanding of him Ah, well, such are the twists and turns in this story I loved Kate s spirit, her determination and her strength And I thought the way Holt showed how the artist gleaned the nuances of the subject s personality while painting was masterful There is a certain satisfaction in seeing the Baron have his comeuppance, though even then, one can certainly agree with the hatred Kate feels for the man who ruined, as well as benefited, her life Unlike some of her stories, Holt brought the heroine s feelings about the hero sometimes the baron seemed the villain to the fore early on, and that was good.Holt does a brilliant job of showing us what the people of Paris lived through in the 1870 siege of the city by the Prussians when the people were starved into submission.Like her other novels, it is told in the first person A well written bodice ripper, it does contain rape and while there are no details or vivid descriptions, the fact of it is no less horrible.There s a surprise ending awaiting you The story is a keeper I recommend it.

  8. says:

    I went searching for something along the same lines as The Silver Devil when I stumbled across this old gothic romance I thought what the heck I ll give it a try I finished it, but barely, and I ll explain why.Now like I said I went searching for this type of book with the alpha male who is ruthless and slightly sadistic so I didn t mind the beginning and what the Baron did to Kate so much as what I m sure some reviewers would have But I didn t like how things turned out for either of them I wanted the Baron to suffer , and to truly hate his actions, and to grovel It was obvious he didn t mean a word he said to Kate when apologizing to her for his mistreatment of her It drove me crazy I could tell just from his tone that he could care less that he hurt her, and was still only worried about achieving what he wanted which was Kate in his bed and his son in his life It was nauseating that Kate would every day say I must get away from him quickly and then do nothing at all.At first I liked her strength and resolve but she quickly wilted and became rather pathetic I m not saying she had to be this super strong independent heroine that needed no man, because I know during that time period that would have been unrealistic of a woman to act that way But there s such a thing as self control, and quiet strength and she seemed to have neither.

  9. says:

    A qui n podr a ocurr rsele una trama como la de esta novela si no a Victoria Holt, la novelista brit nica de rom ntica por excelencia M s de doscientas novelas hist ricas a su espalda, m s de ocho pseud nimos conocidos y un sin fin de personajes que nos robaron el aliento.

  10. says:

    Rating 3 1 2 starsOh, Rollo, how much do I hate thee Let me count the waysIt s been a long time since I despised a character Rollo gets brownie points and pie for my hatred of him He is no hero The fact that he is Kate s love interest is disgusting and incomprehensible Ms Holt did a fantastic job of character development For him, at least.As for Kate, the way she was depicted, there is NO way she would have ever fallen in love with this scumbag She would have used him for his help, NEVER told him her plans, and vanished Sometimes Kate is written as stupid, foolishly honest when omission would be best overly trusting and far too naive Her strong will and gifts place her beyond the reach of a man like Rollo The ending spurts out like a flickering candle after the bonfire of revelation The revelation was dark It worked in all its insanity, gothic splendor and quagmire moors Old skool melodrama at its finest.The narrative voice of Kate is entrancing I lived for her arguments with Rollo, and her constant set downs But in the end, the author insisted on forcing Kate into a box I wanted her to meet someone new and find true HEA Not settle for the familiar devil who turned her life upside and gloated Kate deserved far, far better than what she got which was Rollo I enjoyed the plot twist but the ending wasn t so happy for Kate, only Rollo He got everything he wanted The ruthless bastard.

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