Don't Bargain with the Devil is part of Sabrina Jeffries' "School of Heiresses" series, although it works as a stand-alone novel if you haven't read any of the previous books.
This story focuses on former pupil-turned
teacher Lucy Seton as she tries to find a place for herself now that her adoptive father has remarried. She hopes that her work at the school will fulfill, her but it is quickly threatened by the arrival at the local country house of famous magician Diego Montalvo. It's not just that Lucy finds him attractive, but that he apparently plans to build some pleasure gardens right next to the school,
threatening the innocence and security of the pupils.
But things aren't as they seem. Diego is actually carrying out a covert plan to locate the kidnapped granddaughter of a Spanish
Is Lucy that girl? Can he persuade her to return to Spain with him? If not, how can he complete his task so that his ancestral lands are returned to him by Lucy's grandfather? And can he really walk away from her afterwards?
This book is a slightly awkward mix of prim English girl and mysterious Spanish hero. The part of the book set in Spain
is the most interesting, but overall I found my attention wandering while reading. Lucy seems a nice enough girl, if rather naïve at times, but Diego
is a slightly troublesome hero, much given to lying and generally not behaving that well. The twist in the story
is evident fairly early on, and the events feel at times a little too unlikely. However, the romance
is reasonable, and some of the side characters, such as Lucy's maid and Gaspar the retired magician,