Don't Bargain with the Devil
Sabrina Jeffries
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Buy *Don't Bargain with the Devil (The School for Heiresses)* by Sabrina Jeffries online

Don't Bargain with the Devil (The School for Heiresses)
Sabrina Jeffries
384 pages
May 2009
rated 3 of 5 possible stars

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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 marquis. 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 nave 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, are well-written.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at Helen Hancox, 2009

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