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Saturday, October 8, 2011

Review: The Velvet Promise by Jude Deveraux

imagePublisher: Pocket Books 
ISBN: 0671739743
Pages: 320 pages
Genre: Romance/Historical/Medieval  
Challenges-100+ Reading Challenge, Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge
Buy this Book: Amazonclip_image001_thumb_thumb, Powell's, Indiebound clip_image0013_thumb_thumbclip_image0014_thumb_thumb

Summary from publisher:

All of England rejoiced on her wedding day. But Judith vowed that her husband would get only what he took from her!

At the flower-bedecked altar, the first touch of their hands ignited an all-consuming passion. Gavin Montgomery looked deep into her golden eyes and burned with desire for her...but his heart had been pledged to another.

Humiliated and alone in a strange castle, Judith resolved to hate this husband who took her body, but rejected her love...never admitting her fear of losing him.

But destiny held another fate for Judith...a fate that would keep at last...The Velvet Promise.

My Review: 

I have been looking forward to this one since I bought it. I am a big fan of romances with tons of angst and particularly badly behaved heroes. I have a particular penchant for those old school romances where the hero proved he loved the heroine by behaving at his absolute worst (yes, even the ones where the dolt hero cheats). This one was perfect because it had all that and even more. It’s an arranged marriage with a hero that behaves very very badly and happens to have a mistress who he believes he loves. Yep, perfect.

Judith was one of the few heroines that I have ever come across that I can honestly and without reservation say that I loved. Gavin, to be completely honest, treated Judith like crap. I truly felt badly for her. I liked Gavin as much as I like all badly behaved heroes. Gavin is the prototype of the cheating hero. He does bad things and yet you want to forgive him and yet want the heroine to forgive him.He thinks he loves this other woman and is forced to marry Judith for money. Some of the early scenes of their marriage were so heartbreaking. Gavin was so neglectful of Judith that I wondered how she would be able to forgive him. I sometimes wanted to bash him over the head with a blunt object but the man was really misguided.

Cheating heroes are one of my favorite guilty pleasures. It is something I would never tolerate in real life but in a romance novel, I can’t seem to get enough of them. I think it’s a quirk resulting from reading my mother’s bodice rippers when I was probably way too young. I really did love this book—as I do many of Jude Deveraux’s older books. There was angst, tear-jerking moments, action and adventure. All those good things. I spent much of the book towing the line between wanting to beat Gavin to a bloody pulp and for Judith to leave his dumb ass and wanting them to kiss and make up. Considering this is a romance novel, guess what happened?

This is definitely not a novel for the faint of heart. You have to be prepared for bodice ripper type of situations. There is cheating, abuse and the hero rapes the heroine. This is all stuff that is common in older romances but if it’s a trigger for you or too intense, it’s best to avoid. I am going to be reading many of these books in the future so instead of typing all of this hubbub, I will just write BR Warning.


*This book has been provided by me for my own personal reading pleasure.  My opinion is my own and has not been influenced in any way. Any monies made from associate or affiliate accounts are recycled back into the blog.


  1. This was the very first romance novel I ever read! So I’m emotionally attached to it… I no longer enjoy the amount of drama and angst in these types of stories, but this is one of those books that I keep re-reading and I like it every single time.

    It’s funny because everything about it sounds wrong right? Abusive hero, passive heroine, an evil, evil bitch of a villain, a couple of “big misunderstandings”, but it works like a charm every single time! Have you read the rest of the series? Each brother has a book, but this one’s the best IMO.

    I don’t remember Gavin cheating though, he was in love with the other woman but once he marries Judith he remains faithful, or at least that’s how I recall it. I need to read it again LOL.
    Have you read more books by this author? All of her books are like this, very angsty and dramatic till the very end. You should also check out Judith McNaught since she is the queen of drama and angst!

  2. @Brie

    I think the joy in these types of books is that they are SO wrong that they are right. I shouldn't like a neanderthal hero but I do.

    I have finished the other Velvet Books. I liked Highland Velvet but not so much Velvet Angel or Velvet Song. I didn't realize this was tied to a huge Montgomery series. I must get them.

    I don't think he actually cheats with her physically. I could be wrong. I tend to forget about books the minute I have the review posted lol. But I think, loving the other woman is probably worse.

    The only other books that I've read by Jude Deveraux recently are the Velvet books and Scent of Jasmine. Are there any other good ones? I have all of Judith McNaught's books--even the older unrevised version of Whitney, My Love. I just bought them as a present to myself...and my mother. Thanks for the recommendation. Are there any other romance novelists that write a good angsty story? I am trying to build my Christmas list and I'm falling short.

  3. Let me think… Everything by Jude Deveraux is angsty and good, the whole Montgomery series is one of my favorites and you don’t need to read them in order, my favorites are The Raider, The Duchess, A Knight in Shining Armor –this one’s a tearjerker-, High Tide, there are many great books. Julie Garwood’s historicals are amazing but not quite as angsty, although the heroes are to die for and very, very alpha, you should check them out if you haven’t. Basically everything written in the 80’s or early 90’s should have some degree of drama because that’s how romance novels were back then. Johanna Lindsay is another author similar to Deveraux. And then you have more recent author who write fantastic regency/historical novels like Julia Quinn, Lisa Kleypas, Amanda Quick…

    And if you like contemporary romance you need to read After the Night and Shades of Twilight by Linda Howard, those two are dramatic with great heroes, and they are wrong but feel so good LOL! If you do read one of them let me know!

    I see that you read The Rose Garden by Susana Kearsley, I’m just about to start it!

    Talk to you soon!

  4. I will definitely put Julie Garwood and Amanda Quick's books on my list. I have some scattered throughout my shelf. I will also check out those Linda Howards. They sound so good. Have you ever read any Nora Hess, Catherine Coulter, Julia London or Nicole Jordan?

    I finished The Rose Garden. I liked it quite a bit. Susana Kearsley is one of my favorite historical fiction writers. I loved Mariana but I have lost my copy :(

  5. I have read Catherine Coulter and Julia London, but this is the first time I hear of Norah Hess and Nichole Jordan. I will check them out…

    This will be my first time reading Kearsley, although last year I was tempted to buy The Winter Sea but then got sidetracked and forgot about it. Now everyone’s talking about The Rose Garden so I got both books. It’s a shame that you lost your copy, I’m sure it will show up in some weird random place like your fridge (being there, done that) or under a pillow or something!

  6. I have one book each by both Nicole Jordan and Norah Hess. I am always tempted to buy the backlist when I see an author I only have one book from. I have a compulsion.

    I think I may have left it in my college library. It was the last place I remember having it. But my fridge is also a possibility. I just put The Shining in the freezer like Joey from Friends. I am always finding horror novels in my fridge.

  7. At least you do it on purpose, I forget what I’m doing and that’s how I end up with books in the fridge and apples in the bookshelves!

    I though this conversation was dying out and then you mentioned Stephen King, it’s best if we don’t go there because I love him I could talk about his books forever! LOL

    And OMG I just saw your review for SEP’s Call Me Irresistible, I going there right now to leave a comment!

  8. Stephen King is literally the 3rd love of my life. He scares the daylights out of me but his books are like hardcore drugs. I think all of his books have had a go-round in my freezer.



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