ONLINE The Flesh and the Devil –

H the reader does I rather love the way Denys writes There s an elouence and sensuality to her prose that gives the reader the feel and ambiance of 17th century Spain I remember in the beginning Denys describes the Duue s estate Casillo Benaventes with its iron balustrades and the gaudy frescos and I felt like I had been transported there Her characters address each other with a formality and stiffness that feels like another time period And everybody is so shifty and underhanded Poor Juana de Arrelanos the heroine has been dropped into a snake pit As for the heroine I didn t mind Juana She does a couple of stupid things that made me shake my head and I thought she was rather rude to Tristan at first Yet that fits seeing how she s a proud young noblewoman Her character does go through a character arc and her perception definitely changes At first she truly can t stand the sight of Tristan and she s every bit the highborn lady I remember reading in another book about how when the Spanish ladies of the court walked across a room it appeared as if their shirts were floating across the floor I can believe Juana does this 1 What did you think of the plotstory line I thought the storyline was a bit like The Perils of Pauline Juana gets in one life threatening scrape after another This is especially true of the last half of the book which I couldn t set down Yet it s not always Tristan saving her Denys surprised me a few times because things didn t always turn out the way you might expect She s a very unpredictable author2 What was your favoriteleast favorite part view spoilerMy favorite part was the end when Tristan and Juana finally came together and admitted their love I don t think I ve read an ending so satisfying since Pride and Prejudice It felt so good to have these two finally talk everything out I actually read the end twiceMy least favorite part was how the character of Bartolome was handled Every horrible trait imaginable was handed to him Not only is he horribly disfigured and mentally slow he s a sadistic pervert I think it s so unfair to make him not only look monstrous but be monstrous on the inside I would have preferred if he had been handled with a little bit compassion Although for the plot to move as it did he had to be cruel hide spoiler For my comments and uotes while I read a way in depth look at my thoughts Buddy Read The Flesh and the DevilThe beginning of this was really enjoyable there was a great eerie Gothic tone that had mysteries and villains seemingly in the shadows everywhere with our young extremely sheltered heroine Juana betrothed to a lunatic Unfortunately the mysteries and villains get wrapped up perfectly uickly and a lot of things happen disappointingly off screen The middle introduces new villains but again dealt with pretty uickly and from there things kind of meander into an unceremoniously mellow with added too perfect bow moment ending The romantic relationship between the leads started off with some heat spark and burn as they clashed but then in Bodice Ripper fashion the hero rapes the heroine the author clearly writes this as rape with minimal Juana foggily in her mind thinking her body could be responding and with not a lot of emotional growthconnection featuring later in the story between the two I lost their beginning chemistry The author did a fantastic ob of setting the place and time there was some Inserted Political Talk But political talk but favorite was Juana s personal growth Juana goes from being a purposefully sheltered naive girl to a solid capable woman and the author did a wonderful ob showcasing all the bumps in the road it took her to get there More than a bodice ripper this classic set in 17th century Spain is a KeeperThis was my second by Denys and it s another stunningly dramatic story set in 17th century Spain and a very worthy read It tells the story of beautiful Juana de Arrelanos eldest daughter of a successful merchant who betroths her to the mysterious Bartolom Duue de Valenzuela to gain a title But Juana s heart belongs to her childhood sweetheart Jaime de Nueva and she naively hopes to persuade the Duue to let her leave when he learns she is unwillingWhen she arrives at the sprawling edifice that is Castillo Benaventes she realizes all is not as it should be She is not greeted by her intended but rather by his manipulating uncle who assures her all is well and the scornful mercenary Felipe Tristan the Duue s protector Behind Felipe s scarred visage are many secrets among them his attraction to Juana A treacherous plot is underway to use Juana to assure an heir for the family no matter her intended the DUUE IS NOT CAPABLE OF SIRING ONE FOR HE is not capable of siring one for he an idiot deformed in body and depraved in soul When Juana discovers this she is desperate to get out of the coming marriage but her attempts are uickly thwarted In one brutal stroke Felipe takes away her options leaving her trappedThis was Denys first book and it s amazing As story of redemption and discovery it is rich with intrigue and passion Her writing is superb her characters well drawn and the plot intricate The tension remains until the very end Juana is a courageous young woman whose unwilling response to Felipe reveals she is not the docile daughter others believe her to be And always Felipe the strong enigmatic foreign mercenary scarred in body and soul is there in the background pulling the strings I felt like I was living in Spain walking alongside Juana as she experienced the horror of the plans laid out for her all the while dealing with the obstacles in her path and fighting the passion Felipe has awakened in herIt s a superbly written page turner that kept me reading late into the night Sadly Teresa Denys died suddenly in an auto accident in the late 80s and the world of romance was deprived of a great talent Her only other novel THE SILVER DEVIL is another keeper I highly recommend them both. Tal action by scar faced Felipe the arrogant protector could conjure her escape but his protection she finds demands humiliating paymen. Ruly strong heroine by the ending and I was SO thrilled by that coming to fruition I did find it difficult to believe that the Duue was born with a penchant for vulgarity and perverse tastes though And I honestly consider Tristan s only reason for keeping him alive for as long as he did was because he held a trump card a useful idiot I also considered that Tristan somehow viewed his own scarred self as tantamount to the Duue s and it wasn t until his affection or fascination with Juana came into the picture that his distinction became clarified to him I do know though that gaping maw and Glasgow aw will haunt me for years to come and the monstrosity that he unleashed on defenseless animals and the sadistic appeal he gleaned from the suffering of dying womenThis book was truly fast paced and kept me enthralled as soon as I was able to recover from one bout of tottering another followed up to tear down any hopes of recovery or becoming contented in its predictability Never happened I will out right admit it I was frightened pleasantly so It has to be in the top ten best written books I ve ever read I wish she had written than than those two we have to treasure Wow what a weird and beautiful book My expectations were pretty high because it s so rare as is Denys only other novel The Silver Devil and they were met for the most part The premise is pretty simple Girl is sold off into marriage to a faceless duke and danger and passion occur in the most unexpected ways with love and hatred being eual motivesWhat I loved most was Denys economy of language She manages to convey the dilapidated and rotting Spanish nobility and all its various parasites with vivid characters that are described with sharp brushstrokes Sometimes it can verge on the repetitious the heroanti hero Felipe Trist n is described as speaking tonelessly or unemotionally a lot but often it was used to great effect to describe a cast of characters from a nightmarish Goya family portrait There are in bred royal by blows indebted countesses turned procurers greedy uncles lustful and conniving aunts and peasants who will do anything to survive in a kingdom overtaxed and ruled by a social class unworthy of the responsibilityIn the middle of this is Juana de Arrelanos a merchant s daughter who is ripped away from her sweetheart to marry the Duue de Valenzuela While not of the nobility she is imperious with the standing that her family s money gives her and is determined that this marriage nonsense will not go through Unfortunately there are parties that are eually determined that the marriage will or will not in the case of His Majesty Philip IV happen and they don t much care what happens to the bride in the process of their machinationsIt s got a very gothic feel to it as Juana is trapped under the spell of insanity and secrecy that hangs in the air of the Castillo de Beneventes Providing much of the tension and threat especially to Juana s sense of who she really is under the stiff exterior of a proper Spanish lady is the Duue s handler Felipe Trist n He s a *giant of a man with flame copper hair a scarred face and an attitude that ust dares a person to *of a man with flame copper hair a scarred face and an attitude that ust dares a person to with him and walk away Is he a tool to break Juana s will or does he have a mission of his ownI have to admit that I really loved this character even though he was an emotionless and his ownI have to admit that I really loved this character even though he was an emotionless and abusive bastard throughout most of the story with a few exceptions One of those things a reader can t explain I like what I like He and Juana have a fierce attraction to each other and neither is willing to admit it and it takes the two of them through murders and other dangers and complications sometimes self inflicted since this is nominally a romanceMy gripes are few since this was a beautifully engrossing book are coincidences and conveniences throughout although Felipe Trist s backstory comes into the plot and is revealed uite tidily towards the end a bit too HEA for my tastes Juana stupidly charges right into danger often though always manages to escape sometimes without aid so bully for her and he and Juana s distrust of each other continues right until almost the very last page It was a bit annoying to still have them at loggerheads so close to the end but eh whatever There s a lot that makes up for itThe sex isn t graphic no weeping members or dewy lady petals and I thought it was made intense and smokin for it especially the first encounter between Felipe and Juana Caveat lector it s borderline rapeforced seduction Three words and a verb had me fanning myself Although there were some bodice ripper elements Denys style was unlike what is typical of pure historical romance and so it really is in a category of its ownIf you like overwhelming and dominating heroes plenty of intrigue and tension with an intriguing portrait of glorious Spain in decline then it s worth scrounging up a copy They re expensive 31 and up so try library loan It s how I got my copy and now I ve got to read about the Habsburg dynasty Ever see the lineage of the last Spanish Habsburg king Not a whole lot of branches in that there family treeThis book review has been provided by the No Book Left Behind Campaign A Bodice Ripper Readers Anonymous group initiative to review the un reviewed Whoathis romance could never be written today LOL Felipe Tristan is so dark and unscrupulous He has no ualms about going after what he wants So yes there is a boatload of dubious consent and it s very dubious So be forewarned If you hate that kind of thing you won t like this book With my penchant for bad guys though I found Tristan damn intriguing He has a nasty scar across his cheek I got the impression it was half a Glasgow grin like the Joker which made me like him even Denys describes him as having a great deal of menace and icy control He speaks to Juana with veiled courtesy so she s never uite sure where she stands with him Althoug. Realms of nightmare For the perfumed silks of her master's bedchamber concealed the depravity of an unbalanced mind Only swift and bru. 35 Stars Teresa Denys s writing was really really good for the first part of the book especially in the castle She did an excellent Borderline Personality Disorder job of evoking a creepily gothic feel with a menacing miasma of evil schemes within schemes Even some of the very minor characters had hints of intriguing schemes their own agendas so to speak The characterization was first rate as well The supporting and minor characters were well roundedHowever another strong point is that Teresa Denysdid a very goodob of showing personal growth of the very young sheltered heroine Lately I m realizing in this age of mature or independent 29 year old heroines that they often don t have room for personal growth that I enjoy or get up to antics that are palatable to me in an 18 year old heroine than a 29 year old ape leader heroineTeresa Denys s weakness is plotting and a failure to take advantage delicious possibilities hinted at but not delivered much like chili where the cook was stinting with the spices Chili is full of hearty goodness but if the amount of spices are not right it frustrates Teresa Denys raised expectation repeatedly with mouth watering possibilities for the plot via some supporting and in even very minor characters only to unexpectedly and summarily toss them aside as if they were objects that had out lived its usefulness I beg to differ She didn t get the best and fullest use of them or they were not allowed to reach their full potential to take the plot where this reader hoped it would go leaving me with a terrible case of blue balls Another weakness is that I had a hard time seeing why the MCs were together in the first place They certainly had no idea why they were together While they did have strong chemistry Teresa Denys did not drop little hints or clues to the reader of an emotional connection or the growth of one They were partners in crime but I couldn t see a connection based on much besides those two thingsThis second and final book of Teresa Denys showed a very strong promise as an HR with good writing plot detail of the time and place If she had not died I would have concluded by saying that I look forward to reading from her and watching her realize the promise that she demonstrated in this book Officially 45 stars I loved the setting the prose the first 34ths of the whole Rather it was the last bit esp Juana s overdone obstinance re the reveal of her true feelings that irked my nerves enough to round down It was rather like STORMFIRE in that the gorgeous isolated gothic ripper vibe was deflated by an unnecessarily drawn out final act But my uibbles are nit picky so don t let them stop you from tracking down a copy Overall this is an excellent read very well written atmospheric with vivid villains I love me those OTT whackadoodle aristocrats D a pair of MCs who are beyond flamboyant in their angst riddled hatesex I really loved the gloomy darkness that permeates everything from metaphorical moodiness distrust to inadeuate candlelight dank castle corridors I also loved Felipe in all his scarred up taciturn badass glory Nom nom As with Denys other novel this has become heinously overpriced on the OOP market easily going for 100 Fair warning if you should spot one at a garage sale UBS or library clearance don t hesitate Oo What a "Strange Experience This Is My Second And "experience This is my second and Teresa Denys book I knew what to expect after The Silver Devil pretty much anything That s exactly what I got Only this time we re in Habsburg Spain and it s on the decline Those who are familiar Spain and it s on the decline Those who are familiar the Habsburg line and its interesting genealogy will know what to expect Things are rather rotten And this is where The Flesh and the Devil shines horrible and beautiful Alas it moves on from there To morph it into something that s recognisably romance I guess Except it doesn t sit comfortably with what came before It s not that it s bad it s that it isn t as great Still The Flesh and the Devil is a fascinating read It s sad that Teresa Denys didn t get to write books Kindness is a painless thing to give and easy a sop to those you do not need Friendship and kindness have nought to do with this For a moment the look in his eyes as brilliant as an eagle s in the harsh inscrutability of his face terrified her I am not kind to the air I breathe nor The Food I Eat food I eat to you The Flesh and the Devil is only one of two novels written by Teresa Denys pen name of Jacueline Bianchi an immensely talented writer and editor whose life was unfortunately cut short tragically decades agoIt How can I put this book into words Haunting gothic intricate and well written should fit the bill This old bodice ripper is not politically correct nor will it be everyone s cup of tea If you have a love for the English language and gothic suspe I kind of pat myself on the back for taking on this book in part Spanish from a poor Kindle translation It was even becoming in that format for some peculiar reason I can t rightly name Maybe due to my only passable Spanish I ingested far meaning or perhaps read into the already wondrous sentiment through repeated readingKarla Willow and several other ladies in my circle already gave such glorious reviews of this book so I will skip the introduction and say I simply adore this book It s rich apprehensive prose heightened the abject misery Denys provided us The gothic aura she conveyed was much as a veil clinging to everything and everyone like crisp linens upon antiue furniture within a sealed mansion Magnifico Sometimes I revisit chapters where Juana is exposed to sheer terror and it still gives me tingles Denys s ability to weave such a gruesome tapestry of beautiful profanity is genuinely enigmatic I envisioned a living act of Dante s Inferno s writhing agony with Kate Bush Stevie Nicks pirouetting swanning through the morbidity Such dark and delightfully tenebrous tastesJuana graduated from an overly sensitive chit to a The Duue's wealth and rank could supply Juana with pleasures beyond her wildest dreams and suffering that she could only glimpse in the. The Flesh and the Devil