❮Reading❯ ➵ The Flesh and the Devil ➭ Author Teresa Denys – Kairafanan.co

Set Against The Dazzling Opulence And Dangerous Intrigue Of The Th C Spanish Court Of King Philip IV, This Is The Story Of Lovely, Spirited Young Juana De Arrelanos Taken Against Her Will From Her Home And From Jaime De Nueva, The Man She Loves, She Is Brought To The Massive, Magnificent Castillo Benaventes, The Home Of Bartolom , Duque De Valenzuela The Man To Whom She Must Be Wed Within The Castle S Heavy Walls The Rebellious Juana Finds An Atmosphere Of Secrecy, Almost Of Conspiracy, And A Number Of Cunning, Sinister Figures, Chief Among Whom Is The Sardonic Felipe Trist N, The Duque S Protector And Mercenary, Behind Whose Scarred Face Lie Memories Of Horror Juana Can Only Guess AtBut The Greatest Horror Is Reserved For Juana, And For Juana Alone For The Young Duque She Is Forced To Marry, She Discovers, Is A Cruel Caricature Of A Man, A Person Twisted In Mind And Body His Wealth And Rank Can Supply Juana With Undreamed Of Luxury But Also With Incredible Suffering, For The Perfumed Silks Of The Master Bedchamber Conceal The Depravity Of An Unbalanced Mind Juana S Brave Attempts To Escape From The Marriage Are Dealt With Harshly, And, To Her Limitless Despair, She Finds Herself Irrevocably Betrothed To The Terrifying, Unbalanced DuqueYet, Against All Hope, There Is A Way Out Swift And Brutal Action By The Arrogant Felipe Can Insure Juana S Escape From The Secrets And Treachery Of The Castillo Benaventes But Felipe S Protection, She Fears, May Be Dangerous Than His Enmity, And All Too Soon He Begins To Demand A Humiliating Payment


10 thoughts on “The Flesh and the Devil

  1. says:

    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 equal motives.What 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 hero anti 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 responsibility.In the middle of this is Juana de Arrelanos, a merchant s daughter who is ripped away from her sweetheart to marry the Duque 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 equally 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 machinations.It 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 Duque 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 own I have to admit that I really loved 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 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 romance.My 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 quite 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 it.The 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 rape forced 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 own.If 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 tree This book review has been provided by the No Book Left Behind Campaign A Bodice Ripper Readers Anonymous group initiative to review the un reviewed


  2. says:

    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, nor to you The Flesh and the Devil is only one of two novels written by Teresa Denys, pen name of Jacqueline Bianchi, an immensely talented writer and editor whose life was unfortunately cut short tragically decades ago.It 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 the lowly, yet proud, tavern wench that he ravishes on a whim.In 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, lugubrious, 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 lyrical beauty and highly visual writing of the author and at times, you can t seem to put down the book.Unfortunately, the novel also has some of the annoying tropes of traditional bodice rippers, including many TSTL moments from both main characters, the required 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 long awaited reunification of h and H, and some very cheesy plot contrivances including the eleventh hour discovery that view spoiler this no name, low 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 love with the man that Felipe is rather than the class he represents So at the end, I would have loved an HEA where they both leave the societal shackles behind and sail away to the New World with nothing but the clothes on their back, their love, 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


  3. says:

    3.5 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 rounded.However, another strong point is that Teresa Denysdid a very good job 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 heroine.Teresa 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 things.This 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.


  4. says:

    Whoa this romance could never be written today LOL Felipe Tristan is so dark and unscrupulous He has no qualms 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 quite sure where she stands with him Although the reader does I rather love the way Denys writes There s an eloquence 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 Duque 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 plot story 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 author.2 What was your favorite least favorite part view spoiler My 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 twice.My 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


  5. says:

    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 suspense, this might be up your alley.Juana, the heroine is forced to marry a young, wealthy Duque who to her dismay, is twisted in mind and in form The Duque 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 love I won t tell you that but I will say I don t understand how this book could ever receive less than 5 stars I love 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 tastes.The author Teresa Denys died in a car crash in the 80 s Teresa Denys was actually Jacqui 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 likely to see talent like her again and if you happen to, let me know I might owe you for finding it.


  6. says:

    For my comments and quotes 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 quickly and a lot of things happen disappointingly off screen The middle introduces new villains but again, dealt with pretty quickly 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 growth connection featuring later in the story between the two, I lost 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.


  7. says:

    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 reading.Karla, 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 antique 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 tastes Juana 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 Duque 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 Duque 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 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 women.This 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 _


  8. says:

    Officially 4.5 stars I loved the setting, the prose, the first 3 4ths 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 quibbles 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 hate sex I really loved the gloomy darkness that permeates everything, from metaphorical moodiness distrust to inadequate 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, ranging from 50 200 Fair warning if you should spot one at a garage sale, UBS, or library clearance, don t hesitate P


  9. says:

    More than a bodice ripper, this classic set in 17th century Spain is a Keeper This 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 , Duque 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 Duque to let her leave when he learns she is unwilling.When 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 Duque 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 Duque, 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 quickly thwarted In one brutal stroke, Felipe takes away her options, leaving her trapped.This 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 her.It 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.


  10. says:

    Like a Rembrandt, dark with a patina of years and other world A young woman is entangled in a web of Machiavellian plots in 1700s Spain.Reading this book was a sad and strange thing I first read a book by Teresa Denys, The Silver Devil, some twenty years ago and was so beguiled that I had been looking for ever since.It took my many years see the twenty part of the previous sentence to find another book by her At the same time, I read that Ms Denys died years ago So, it was strange and sad to finish this quest and know that this was it.The Flesh and the Devil is much slower paced and somewhat scattered than The Silver Devil However, in many ways the books comment on one another in than just their titles Each book has its mad dukes and devilish heroes and feisty child women and dark, dark atmosphere that smells of dust and period and time.This is not a book for the timid It is not a book of roses and sunshine It is about hard times and horrible choices The characters are compelling, but not necessarily likable It is about being a woman in a period when your very clothing hampered and constrained and shaped your every action Being a woman in a world in which you could not bend at the waist because of your corset A world where women wore layers of hot velvet and petticoats and stockings in the hot Spanish summer A life in a highly stratified, constrained society.Throughout the book, the ani hero Felipe well, you can t call him heroic keeps saying that the heroine, Juana, is choosing what she wants, but that s not really true This is a book about living through experience and growing into a person who can make choices and understand consequences.For those who have the good fortune to find a copy, and who enjoy books that feel as if they were written in the period when they take place, this book is well worth a read.I ve given it two stars not because its not an interesting story, but it s not an easy read Characters often behave very badly and in horrible ways I did ultimately sell my copy when I moved, because I needed to make space, but Denys prose was truly incredible.I mostly saddened that this wonderful author will never be able to write another book.