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Literature / Devil's Cub

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Devil's Cub is a 1932 historical romance novel by Georgette Heyer. It's the sequel to These Old Shades and was followed by a third book, An Infamous Army. It's one of Heyer's most popular novels and has never been out of print.

The Marquis of Vidal, nicknamed the Devil's Cub for his behaviour, is forced to leave the country after a duel. He decides to take his girlfriend Sophia with him as his mistress. Sophia's sister Mary won't let her sister be ruined, so she takes her place in the hope Vidal will let her go when he discovers the deception. He doesn't. Only when they get to France does he realise he's abducted her and damaged her reputation, so he offers to marry her. Mary refuses him and runs away. She meets a sympathetic old gentleman and takes him into her confidence, unaware he's Vidal's father and is looking for his son.

Contains examples of:

  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Although Mary mocks Vidal as being no more than bratty and not nearly as bad as he thinks he is.
  • Betty and Veronica: Appears several times. For Vidal Mary is Betty and her sister Sophie is Veronica. For Mary, Comyn is Betty and Vidal is Veronica.
  • Continuity Nod: Avon deplores Vidal's lack of finesse in methods of daylight abduction.
  • Damsel in Distress: Subverted: Mary shoots Vidal when he comes near her and derides crying and screaming as a useless ploy when in trouble.
  • From Roommates to Romance: It may not have been intended as such, but Vidal goes to great lengths to make sure everyone knows he and Mary have not had sex.
  • The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry: Mary and Sophia.
  • Handsome Lech: Vidal.
  • Honorable Marriage Proposal: First Vidal insists he must marry Mary to make up for compromising her reputation by taking her to France with him. Then Mr. Comyn offers her a way out of that dilemma by offering to marry her himself.
  • Happily Married: Avon and Léonie from These Old Shades.
  • It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time: Thanks to the Twin Switch below, Mary deliberately infuriates Vidal to put him off her sister for good. She mourns afterwards how silly an idea this really was, since it leads to him forcing her to come with him to France.
  • Parent ex Machina: Avon.
  • Parental Marriage Veto: Mary fully expects one of these from Vidal's parents, so she runs away before they get there; averted because they both thoroughly approve of her.
  • Poirot Speak: Léonie.
  • Regency England: The book is set in 1780, before the Regency itself but in the time period generally included in it.
  • Rescue Romance: Averted: Vidal is what Mary needs to be rescued from.
  • Troubled, but Cute: Vidal.
  • Twin Switch: Sort of: Mary, although not Sophia's twin, swaps places with her in her elopement with Vidal in order to put him off.
  • The Un-Favourite: Mary is this to her mother, who much prefers Sophia.