Teresa Denys: The Flesh and the Devil

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 ook 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 nor 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 The Rice-Cake Rabbit life was unfortunately cut short tragically decades agoIt is therefore hard for me not to compare it to Denys other novel The Silver Devil a similarly dark gothic historical fiction centered around anahemforceful courtship shall we say between an unrepentantly rakish hedonistic Duke of the Italian Renaissance and theowly yet proud tavern wench that he ravishes on a whimIn The Flesh and the Devil the tables are turned The heroine Juana is a member of the Spanish upper classes betrothed to a mysterious Spanish Duke with seemingly royal connections and therefore untouchable The hero Felipe is not only a mere servant but an outcast a foreigner who had to flee England under religious persecution and who now must now ply his trade as hired mercenary or thug to powerful noblemen who need someone to do their dirty dealings There is however absolutely nothing subservient about him despite his huge class difference with Juana In fact the enigmatic scarred menacing Felipe seems to command than to serve to the heroine s consternation The Flesh and the Devil has the same somber ugubrious gothic mood as The Silver Devil The romance if you can call it that is a battle of wills than a courtship Denys has once again a meticulous sense of the period The stifling customs the gaping class differences and the ruthless politics all take the reader in a time machine back to sixteenth century Spain Add to that the yrical beauty and highly visual writing of the author and at times you can t seem to put down the bookUnfortunately the novel also has some of the annoying tropes of traditional bodice rippers including many TSTL moments from both main characters the reuired tortured past justifying hero s present emotional iciness he was betrayed by a woman in the past GASP Now he will trust no woman cartoonish psycho villains who create some very tedious fifth and sixth Act obstacles to the Integral Biomathics long awaited reunification of h and H and some very cheesy plot contrivances including the eleventh hour discovery that view spoilerthis no nameow class servant who destroyed the serene class structure of rigid Sixteenth century Spain when he kidnapped and married a Duke s betrothed is actually a wealthy and titled heir to a prominent English barony Really The entire plot is about Juana overcoming the stupid prejudices and snobbery that have been brainwashed into her by her elders and falling in ove with the man that Felipe is rather than the class he represents So at the end I would have oved an HEA where they both eave the societal shackles behind and sail away to the New World with nothing but the clothes on their back their ove and Felipe s sword to pave the way Instead Felipe suddenly turning into Baron Phillip and then returning to the very country that he and his family fled under penalty of death was contrary to everything the novel was seemingly striving towards Can t help but think maybe that was someone else s editorial decision instead of the writer s original vision hide spoiler 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 Beyond the Snows of the Andes love for the Englishanguage and gothic suspense this might be up your alleyJuana the heroine is forced to marry a young wealthy Duue who to her dismay is twisted in mind and in form The Duue is one sick puppy in ways than one Juana s peril is intricately described in Denys writing I actually felt mortal fear for her character Yet there is surprise and intrigue as she meets the dangerous yet sensuous scarred Felipe Can Juana escape her peril and find ove I won t tell you that but I will say I don t understand how this book could ever receive ess than 5 stars I ove this book It s one of my all time favorites I give the edge to The Silver Devil as being slightly better because that book was beautifully twisted and had memorable characters Some may prefer this book over TSD I consider both masterpieces and classics It all comes down to personal tastesThe author Teresa Denys died in a car crash in the 80 s Teresa Denys was actually Jacui Bianchi a major editor at Mills Boon overseeing authors Penny Jordan Leigh Michaels and Emma Goldrick She obviously knew how to write Pity I can only find two books penned by her I have searched for trust me You re not ikely to see talent ike her again and if you happen to et me know I might owe you for finding it 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 Inventing the Future 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 everyoneike crisp Understanding Women 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 aiving 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 truly 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 ong 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 jaw will haunt The Duue's wealth and rank could supply Juana with pleasures beyond her wildest dreams and suffering that she could only glimpse in the.

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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 ove 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 Verdammt verliebt 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 onlyook monstrous but be monstrous on the inside I would have preferred if he had been handled with a ittle 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 ook 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 Inverloch Volume 4 lunatic Unfortunately the mysteries and villains get wrapped up perfectly uickly and aot 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 The Good and Beautiful God 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 aot of emotional growthconnection featuring ater in the story between the two I ost their beginning chemistry The author did a fantastic job of setting the place and time there was some inserted political talk but my 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 job 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 et her eave when he The Horse in Celtic Culture 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 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 optionseaving 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 ike I was iving in Spain walking alongside Juana as she experienced the horror of the plans Every Boys Dream 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 readingate into the night Sadly Teresa Denys died suddenly in an auto accident in the ate 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 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 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 roundedHo Officially 45 stars I oved the setting the prose the first 34ths of the whole Rather it was the A Succession of Bad Days last bit esp Juana s overdone obstinance re the reveal of her true feelings that irked my nerves enough to round down It was ratherike 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 The Multi-Orgasmic Man let them stop you from tracking down a copy Overall this is an excellent read very well written atmospheric with vivid villains Iove me those OTT whackadoodle aristocrats D a pair of MCs who are beyond flamboyant in their angst riddled hatesex I really oved the gloomy darkness that permeates everything from metaphorical moodiness distrust to inadeuate candlelight dank castle corridors I also oved 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 The Great Passage library clearance don t hesitate Oo What a strange experience This is my second andast 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 with the Habsburg ine 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 book. Tal action by scar faced Felipe the arrogant protector could conjure her escape but his protection she finds demands humiliating paymen.

E 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 ove and hatred being eual motivesWhat I Off Leash (Freelance Familiars Book 1) loved most was Denys economy ofanguage 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 I Walk in Dread 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 unclesustful 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 The Life You Save 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 just dares a person to mess 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 reallyoved this character even though he was an emotionless and mentally abusive bastard throughout most of the story with a few exceptions One of those things a reader can t explain I Tempting Meredith (Lovers and Friends, like what Iike 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 There are coincidences and conveniences throughout although Felipe Trist n 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 Inside MacPaint last page It was a bit annoying to still have them atoggerheads so close to the end but eh whatever There s a Othello (Shakespeare for Everyone Else, lot that makes up for itThe sex isn t graphic no weeping members or dewyady petals and I thought it was made intense and smokin for it especially the first encounter between Felipe and Juana Caveat ector 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 ike 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 ibrary oan It s how I got my copy and now I ve got to read about the Habsburg dynasty Ever see the Luthor Huss lineage of theast Spanish Habsburg king Not a whole Variante, Vol. 2 (Variante, 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 tike 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 Managers of Their Homes like the Joker which made meike 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 Although the reader does I rather Competitive Solutions 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 feltike I had been transported there Her characters address each other with a formality and stiffness that feels The Payoff Principle 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 highbornady I remember reading in another book about how when the Spanish Darkest Night (Birthright, 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 plotstoryine I thought the storyline was a bit ike The Perils of Pauline Juana gets in one ife threatening scrape after another This is especially true of the ast half of the book which I couldn t set down Yet it s not always Tristan saving. Realms of nightmare For the perfumed silks of her master's bedchamber concealed the depravity of an unbalanced mind Only swift and bru.

Denys was Jacui Bianchi a major editor at Mills & Boon overseeing such authors as Penny Jordan Leigh Michaels and Emma Goldrick She died suddenly apparently in a car crash in 1987 or 1988