Since Devil's Cub is the sequel to These Old Shades (which I loved) I was really looking forward to this book. In the end I was a little disappointed. Overall I still found the book fun and enjoyable but nowhere near as much as These Old Shades. That was all down to its hero. I've loved some of Heyer's other rakish heroes like Lord Damerel, the Marquis of Alverstoke and the Duke of Avon but Vidal didn't do it for me at all. Vidal might have inherited his father's old rakish ways but he has none of Avon's wit and charm and I found him very unlikeable. In fact he's horrible! He doesn't care for anyone apart from his mother. He's a callous murderer. He kidnaps a woman, bruises her neck, and then threatens her with rape. And there is every indication that he actually means to go through with the rape until Mary shoots him. Later on Vidal tries to justify his actions by saying that he thought Mary was a silly coquettish female who was only playing hard to get but that still doesn't make it right. It's all very Blurred Lines. ಠ_ಠ
It's a shame because if only I could have liked Vidal then I would have probably loved this book. It has the rich period detail and the witty and funny dialogue that I've come to expect from Heyer. For me the best moments in the book were Rupert's complete bemusement as to why Vidal had run off to Dijon and the scene where Avon and Mary meet :) It isn't necessary to have read These Old Shades before Devil's Cub - as the storylines aren't really continuous - but as a fan of that book it was great to read about Avon, Leonie, Fanny and Rupert again. Naturally Devil's Cub isn't as focused on them as These Old Shades was but they all get a good amount of page-time and I loved their scenes. I really liked Mary as a character too although I couldn't see what she saw in Vidal. Even his own father thought Mary deserved better!
I will be reading the other books in the Alastair series (Regency Buck and An Infamous Army) but I've read quite a few of Heyer's books this year and I think I'm going to take a break from her for a while. I don't want to get through them all too quickly!