The Silver Devil
by Teresa Denys
Summary: Amid the gilded opulence and dark intrigue of Renaissance Italy grew a love that knew no bounds….
No woman’s heart is safe from the Silver Devil. From the moment he sees the beautiful Felicia, he must have her. Overnight he changes Felicia’s nightmare world of tavern drudgery into an erotic adventure as his royal mistress. He is the Duke of Cabria who holds his subjects in constant fear. He is troubled. He is ruthless. And Felicia is hopelessly in love with him – though at times he seems like the devil incarnate.…
Source: I purchased a digital copy.
Let me start with some background. I was sitting around one day, thinking about the kind of romance novel I felt like reading. I hate what passes for dark contemporary romance these days (you aren’t dark and mysterious just because you have some leather in your closet, you stupid billionaire) and the dark paranormal romances are like 20 book series that I just don’t have time or money for. (Well, I do have time and money for some of them.) But also, some of them don’t even have what I was looking for. So I thought about it. I realized that I was in the mood for something like my favorites. The Taker Trilogy by Alma Katsu. The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo. The Shatter Me Series by Tahereh Mafi. What do they all have in common? A villain that you end up wanting to root for even though he does not apologize for his behavior. And, to my surprise, there’s a term for that. It’s called a Gamma Hero. (I know, I’m like years behind, but I’m pretty stoked that there’s a term for it.)
And the great thing about Goodreads is that you can just type in a word or phrase like Gamma Hero Romances and it pulls up a list of top books. So there I was, scrolling through a list that finally put into words what I wanted to read and I stumble upon The Silver Devil. A bodice ripping historical romance? Yuck. That’s really not my genre at all.
Except.. wait. It’s no longer in print, it’s a cult classic, and I can’t find a copy for under $50? I MUST HAVE THIS BOOK because I can’t find it. The classic want-what-you-can’t-have syndrome.
I found a legal digital copy from a subscription based e-reading service, downloaded my copy, and got to reading.
So, The Silver Devil is bodice ripper. It’s a historical romance. It has a psychotic, dark, and all around evil love interest. And if you KNOW that, it’s a great book. If you’re expecting a bodice ripper historical romance and have no idea the love interest is going to be pretty much the worst kind of guy, it probably isn’t the kind of book you will like. If you’re expecting a gamma hero book, but don’t realize it’s a historical romance, it’s a bit wordy and boring.
I enjoyed The Silver Devil for what it was. I’m not much of a historical romance fan because I think the time period and language takes away from my enjoyment because I’m trying to figure out what the heck they actually mean for most of the book, but I realize that’s just me. If I was way more into historical romance, The Silver Devil would have been amazing.
My only real issue was how naïve Felicia was. I felt like the book was predictable because the reader can make the logical connection between point A and point B and Felicia’s over there like, “what a strange thing. It’s like, I went missing and my poor brother who hates me and fed me weird wine isn’t even looking for me.” Because he SOLD YOU, you idiot. Again, I think that’s the whole historical romance time period issue that I have because women really were naïve about the nature of men, the nature of war, and the nature of pretty much anything that didn’t “concern” them. Despite Felicia’s naivety, the book was enjoyable.
The Duke was definitely crazed, dark, and didn’t apologize for his nature. He warned Felicia, so it wasn’t surprising that he tortured some poor guy for smiling at her the wrong way. I expected him to be that way considering it’s called The Silver Devil and it was on a gamma hero list. I liked his character and I do love that part of historical romance because guys can just kill whoever the F they want and be the dark, evil people they want to be in the name of patriotism or politics. How refreshing, right?
I see why this book is so popular. I’m glad I read it, but it’s not my favorite book ever because I’m just not that into historical romance. I’ve never been interested in anything pre-1900s and that’s just my own personal preference. With that being said, if you are into historical romance and gamma heroes, this book is amazing and I highly recommend it. It’s worth checking out if you have access to a copy.