The “Devil’s Cub” is Dominic, Marquis of Vidal, one of the wildest rakes in Georgian England. Nothing is too outré for Vidal – not gambling, not dueling, and certainly not abduction and rape. Banished from England after killing a man, Vidal plans to take the willing, brainless Sophia Challoner with him. But Sophia’s sensible sister Mary learns of the plan; intent on saving her sister’s virtue, Mary substitutes herself, planning to reveal the truth to Vidal at the docks and return home. To her horrified surprise, the reckless Vidal decides one sister is as good as another, and forces Mary to accompany him to France. But there it’s Vidal who gets an unpleasant surprise when he attempts to force Mary to bed – and a duel of wills and hearts begins as Mary’s immoveable commonsense meets Vidal’s irresistible arrogance.
First published seventy years ago (and first read by me thirty years ago), Devil’s Cub remains a delightful read; witty, charming, and often funny. Nobody does the comedy of manners or the battle of the sexes better than Georgette Heyer, and I can’t recommend her work highly enough. Note: Devil’s Cub is the sequel to These Old Shades, and has a semi-sequel itself, An Infamous Army.