Review: Keta Diablo – The Devil’s Heel

Five years ago Drew Hibbard dismissed Rogan Brockport from his life. Now, they meet again at the Governor’s Ball and Rogan will know the reason for the abrupt, unexplained cut. After Rogan saves Drew’s life during a pirate raid, he kidnaps him and the perfect opportunity to extract answers from Drew is finally at hand.

Betrayal
Retribution
Undying Love
The Devil’s Heel

Review by Emily Gained

Sadly, during the first few pages, I discovered that this wasn’t the kind of book I’d normally choose to read. First of all, there’s more purple prose than I can stand on an empty stomach (I found the previous book, “Magnolia Heat” less afflicted by that, so one of them might have benefited from a good editor or simply a different process/taste in the author).

To me, the prose wasn’t just purple, it also confused the hell out of me. Here’s a representative sample right from the start:

“From the lofty balcony, Rogan Brockport watched the merriment in the crowded ballroom and squelched a smirk. Polite society would be astonished to discover he found their existence mundane and tedious.

He lifted the goblet of burgundy to his lips, took a sip, and smiled. The foremost reason for his appearance tonight, and the object of his intense perusal, had finally arrived. The parchment in Rogan’s vest pocket—a summons from the Governor—rustled when he pulled himself from the railing and devoured the man’s beauty.

The young widower, Drew Hibbard, wound his way elegantly through the crowd, nodded to several bystanders and stopped briefly to present a white-gloved hand to the fools of Virginia’s Parliament.

Attired in an ensemble fashioned after the London gentry—a mauve silk coat and matching breeches—a dreamlike beauty enveloped Drew. His midnight hair glimmered beneath the crystal chandeliers, and although Rogan couldn’t see his soulful eyes at the moment, he knew from memory they matched to perfection his dove gray waistcoat. A bevy of flushed maidens surged forth and surrounded him, their peacock fans fluttering like leaves caught up in an eddy.

In mourning after the death of his wife six months ago, Drew’s self-imposed exile had not diminished his allure or his captivating magnificence. Christ, the man embodied beauty.

Rogan fought an overpowering urge to quit the balcony and seek him out, gaze into the gunmetal eyes, lose his soul in the shimmering, long, black hair, and watch his spine stiffen when he offered his hand. Drew’s distress over seeing him again would be palpable, and equal to his. He had a score to settle with the meretricious widower and he’d waited a lifetime, it seemed, for tonight.”

Diablo is going for the old shtick of an innocent (Drew Hibbard) being seduced by a rogue—a Byronic hero, dark and brooding and arrogant, but the effect fell completely flat for me. Both characters are so over the top that I just couldn’t connect to any of them. Rogan (not Josh) is the caricature of a rogue, so arrogant he makes your toe nails fall off. Domineering, so driven to get his man—willing or not—that he comes across like a psychopath.

Drew, while innocent and all appalled about how his ex-lover treats him (for example, he threatens to shoot Drew’s dog! Now there’s a sexy man you want to spend your life with) also needs Rogan’s cock so badly he turns into a whimpering, spineless wretch who loves getting semi-forced and semi-seduced. Hey, I love some good forced seduction with the best of them, but I found the characters way too over the top and the writing and set-up too melodramatic.

Plotwise, it doesn’t really matter what’s going on, because it’s all just stage dressing for the sex scenes. There’s some hare-brained scheme for Rogan to join a famous pirate, and he dances through that small challenge.

So when the famous pirate attacks Drew, Rogan can carry him off to safety for some rogering. The interesting plot-oriented scenes were brushed over and were clearly subordinated to the “romance” plot. Only, the “romance” plot in this case isn’t much of a romance, since the characters are so dysfunctional and dependent, nevermind completely controlled by their desire (read: hard cocks) that I didn’t believe for a moment that anybody loved anybody. In a way, the simpering spineless Drew deserves the domineering psychopath Rogan, but I really didn’t want any part in their relationship, let alone read about it.

There’s ample sex in this short piece, and if you don’t mind their rather unbelievable recovery period between the fucking and the purple prose and look for some historical porn to fill forty-five minutes of boredom, check this out. It wasn’t for me.

Author’s website

Noble Romance Publishing

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