Read Devil on Horseback by Victoria Holt Online

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From the moment that beautiful eighteen-year-old Minella Maddox saw Charles-Augueste, the haughty, arrogant Comte Fontaine Delibes, his satanic looks thrilled her with a sense of danger and excitement. The Comte, too, liked what he saw. He decided that he would marry Minella, and nothing would be allowed to stand in his way . . . not even his wife....

Title : Devil on Horseback
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780449205006
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 302 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Devil on Horseback Reviews

  • Lynne King
    2019-03-16 17:11

    This is the first Gothic romance that I have ever read and it literally amazed me. This was an impulse buy on my recent holiday in Wales. I was happy and relaxed; it was a sunny day and I was just yards away from the beach. It was initially the blurb that captured my imagination.There is nothing better than someone who sparkles. I have a friend Lindsay who I have admired from afar for many years and she is a veritable blue stocking. But the men love her. She gives off this air of intrigue and mystery and sort of “catch me if you can” but she is never caught. Perhaps for the brief interlude but she is too involved in her research work for Cancer Research. She was there when I was awarded my French degree and I was thrilled as she is so busy workwise. Academics are on a different level.So I can see Lindsay when I think of “Minella Maddox, who secretly names her new employer the Devil Count when she first sees him astride a magnificent black horse. Although stung by his arrogance, she is compellingly drawn by his dash satanic looks and devilish charm. She accepts an invitation to France – as companion to his rebellious daughter.”And in addition, as I soon discovered whilst reading, the novel had the backdrop of the French Revolution, a subject that has always fascinated me. Images of the tumbrils taking the aristocrats to their deaths at the Guillotine in the Reign of Terror, the roar of the crowds and the fear in the hearts of everyone in Paris that perhaps this was their last day on earth.Here we have an extremely proud individual, Comte Fontaine Delibes, a man who automatically assumes he is entitled to take on whoever he feels as a mistress, it is his right as the owner of his estate at that time, and yet who brings an unbridled passion into the heart of this young girl just at the threshold of womanhood. Minella is impressionable because she is new to the “needs and wants” of life. She is an eighteen year old girl who is being trained by her mother to be a school teacher, living on the estate of Sir John Derringham in Sussex. Whenever visitors came to Derringham Manor they would become temporary pupils and one of these proved to be Margot, the daughter of the Comte Fontaine Delibes. Her hatred for the count turns to intrigue and finally to love and he surprisingly enough (am I am so cynical) actually does love her and I being an incredibly romantic female (to my shame) fell for it hook line and sinker.We all have choice in life and I do believe that our own destinies are somehow set out for us. By why would this young girl be so entranced with this self-centered count? Unfortunately, young girls are always intrigued by a challenge and this was to be had.The word choice keeps vibrating in my mind as I think about this incredible book of passion, love, betrayal and the way that destiny prevails. So what does Minella decide? Well, to put it tritely, she follows her heart regardless of the outcome. Something that I have always done. We only have one life and as I look at the stars through my telescope, see this amazing galaxy and I still wonder…And I dream…I just adored this book…Perhaps I will be able to find a first edition and that would just cap it for me.

  • Julz
    2019-03-07 00:20

    Synopsis:From the moment that beautiful eighteen-year-old Minella Maddox saw Charles-Augueste, the haughty, arrogant Comte Fontaine Delibes, his satanic looks thrilled her with a sense of danger and excitement. The Comte, too, liked what he saw. He decided that he would marry Minella, and nothing would be allowed to stand in his way . . . not even his wife~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~I just finished this and I'm exhausted. This one had me tied in knots with all the twists and turns.The heroine of the book is the English daughter of the local schoolmarm who comes to the attention of the dark, and married, French Comte. When her mother dies, the school fails and she finds herself the companion of the H's daughter, who has her own set of aggravating issues. The story is set during the time of the French Revolution, so there was that angle to add to the suspense. There were many conspiracies and dastardly deeds and everyone [illegimate sons, adoptees, and OW (not just the wife)] was a suspect up until the very end, which was a serious nail-biter for me.I noticed quite a few scathing reviews from those who, I imagine, didn't appreciate a married hero, so this might prove to be a dealbreaker for those who can't abide by cheating whoredogs. But if you like dark and dangerous anti-heroes, heroines that aren't exactly pushovers, and lots of seat-pinching excitement, then you might enjoy this one.

  • Naksed
    2019-03-12 23:30

    A rather watery version of the much stronger plot and characters from Holt's fabulous Demon Lover. Devil on Horseback's heroine is by contrast stupid, wishy-washy, and weak, while the male protagonist is too tamed and earnest to provide the frisson that a great, gothic, anti-hero could provide. But the most frustrating part of all this was that it took four fifths of the book to finally arrive at the French Revolution, which has been painstakingly hinted at through pages and pages of meticulously described minor incidents involving insolent servants and small acts of vandalism. But when the revolution actually happens, we are rushed at a dizzying pace through historical events, concluding in a rescue and escape to England seemingly copied from the Scarlet Pimpernel's Handbook, "Rescuing aristos from Madame Guillotine for Dummies." Another couple of pages and Napoleon is now in charge! Wow. This book was very disorganized, meandering, dull, and uninspiring. I want to think that this was the poor, first draft that eventually became Demon Lover, which was a lot better thought out and memorable.

  • Caz
    2019-03-12 23:18

    I read lots of Victoria Holt’s gothic romances when I was in my twenties. I still have several battered old paperbacks sitting on my shelves, of which The Devil on Horseback is one, although I haven’t read it for quite some time. But when I saw it was one of the – sadly few – titles available in audiobook format, I pounced on it eagerly. The Devil on Horseback is narrated by Davina Porter, who I am sure many will recognize as the voice of the Outlander series (although I confess this is my first time listening to her). But I liked her voice in the sample I listened to; her precise delivery seemed perfect for a young, well-bred English lady of the eighteenth century, and I was intrigued to learn how she would handle the rest of the characters, the majority of whom are French.The protagonist is nineteen-year-old Minella Maddox, daughter of a widowed schoolmistress. She and her mother run a small girls’ school near the estate of Sir John Derringham and his family. Minella helps her mother with the teaching and befriends one of the pupils, Margot, daughter of the enigmatic Comte Fontaine-Delibes. Minella also attracts the attention of Joel Derringham, heir to the Derringham estate, something which thrills her mother, but which is not welcomed by the young man’s parents. Davina Porter does a good job in differentiating the voices of the two Derringham men, and of Joel’s two sisters, one of whom is clearly a lot friendlier than the other. She gives Margot a slightly husky quality and I could actually see her facial expressions in my mind on those occasions she was being dismissive (oh, the utility of the wonderful Gallic shrug) or mischievous.You can read the rest of this review over at AudioGals.

  • Cphe
    2019-02-28 23:25

    Not the best book by this author that I've read over the years but still enjoyable. I mostly liked the background of the French Revolution. The story revolves around the haughty aristocrat Comte Fontaine Delibes and a young English woman Minella Maddox. The Comte sees Minella and decides that he will have her, the fact that he is married won't stand in his way.Being by Victoria Holt, I knew that the story would not be "PC" by any means but it was a surprisingly "clean" romance. I enjoyed the "tension" of a pre Revolution France and the chemistry between the devil may care Comte and the more grounded Minella. Well worth a look at if you can source a copy.

  • Cecilia
    2019-03-07 19:14

    Melodramatic and "clean" as far as romance goes (I know some people care about that). Although, IIRC the hero does smooch the heroine while his wife is still alive. And before he and the heroine get married. So maybe it's really disgustingly immoral. Anyway, I might have read this book when I was a youngster, because I did read a lot of VH's books. Lately I've been working on reacquainting myself with them. I definitely got more of a thrill out of them when I was 12. This one is what I'm realizing is pretty typical - a grumpy hero, inexplicable attempts on the life of the innocent heroine, a young man who is nice and takes an interest in the heroine, a crazy old lady, and hordes of menacing possibilities. In this particular case, you can add in "overwhelming stupidity" as the heroine decides to stick around in Revolutionary France when she has the option to get out. LOL. Yeah, not for love or money, my friends.It was ok, not much more.

  • LuvGirl
    2019-03-02 20:02

    Wow, what an interesting read! I could not put this book down, but surprisingly it was not because of the romance between the hero and heroine, which was sadly lacking. It was because of the intriguing story-line, the French Revolution, the plight of one of my favorite secondary characters ever (the heroine's spoiled best friend and hero's daughter, Margot), and then there was the love triangle between the hero and the heroine's other suitor Joel. I never thought that I would enjoy a romance without any real romance, lol. The hero and heroine rarely spent much time with each other and when the hero was expressing his love for the heroine I was rolling my eye because I didn't understand how that could happen in just a few meetings.The romance was really just a back drop to everything else that was going on, but I was still captivated by the tale. Victoria Holt really knows how to tell a story. I thought the writing was excellent. 3.5 stars

  • Regan Walker
    2019-03-14 17:18

    4 and 1/2 stars... Proper Englishwoman Resists the love of a Dark French Count in France.Another of Victoria Holt’s Gothic romances, this one set in 18th century France during the time leading up to the French Revolution. The hero is a domineering French count and the heroine a very proper English schoolteacher. Their lives become entangled when he pays a trip to England. Neither can deny the growing attraction to each other, despite he is married.Aristocrat Comte Fontaine Delibes married young at 18 after already siring a bastard son with his mistress. But after giving him a daughter, his wife spurns him and the doctors advise against her having another child. Denied the son he wanted, the comte sets about having one mistress after the other—until he meets a young Englishwoman, Minella Maddox, “Minelle” who, along with her mother, teaches school on a wealthy estate.Minelle agrees to travel to France and become companion to the comte’s daughter, Margot, when she gets in trouble and has to go away for a while. During this time, Minelle learns much about the intrigues of the comte’s family and the rising discontent of the French populace. Though she knows she should go home to England, she can’t bring herself to leave.If you like Alpha male heroes, misunderstood for most of the book, a brave heroine and an intriguing mystery set in an interesting historical period, then you’ll like this one. It’s classic Victoria Holt and I recommend it.

  • Rage
    2019-02-23 00:26

    I actually didn't quite finish this book! the romantic male lead is a French nobleman (the Comte) during the French Revolution. there's a lot of weird politics included in this book. the Comte once ran over and killed a small child with his carriage, because he was in a bad mood and driving his carriage recklessly made him feel better - so he adopted the boy's twin and sends the family money. he has his own daughter sent away during a surprise pregnancy and the baby is fostered out and when the daughter comes home grieving, the Comte is like, she must marry as soon as possible (which makes the daughter even more sad). way back in the day, the Comte's dad had a dude imprisoned because he wanted to get at that dude's wife. I don't know, I think this French guy is supposed to be romantic because he's always played around and he doesn't respect or care about anyone, and the main character is supposed to be his One True Love who changes everything. ummm but he's been married the entire time he's talking to Minelle, this One True Love, and he keeps saying stuff like "but what if I weren't married...!" and Minelle is like oh man I need to get out of here, but then instead of explaining to anyone that this dude has asked her to become his mistress, and she doesn't approve, she just tells people she can't stay because she doesn't have any clothes, so they make her fancy clothes. and every time she has a conversation with him she has to run away from him back to her room, where she always notes that her face is flushed and her hair is in disarray. I just didn't want to read all of their creepy gross flirtations. especially when in the rest of the story all of these French people are sick of being oppressed and poor, while the aristocrats have been treating them horribly (as the Comte treats people). not romantic?! (view spoiler)[so I skipped to the end, saw which dude Minelle ends up with, and tapped out. (hide spoiler)]p.s. just wanted to see Minelle say something like this:["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Regan Walker
    2019-02-26 17:27

    4 and 1/2 Stars - Proper Englishwoman Resists the love of a Dark French Count in Revolutionary FranceAnother of Victoria Holt’s Gothic romances, this one set in 18th century France during the time leading up to the French Revolution. The hero is a domineering French count and the heroine a very proper English schoolteacher. Their lives become entangled when he pays a trip to England. Neither can deny the growing attraction to each other, despite he is married.Aristocrat Comte Fontaine Delibes married young at 18 after already siring a bastard son with his mistress. But after giving him a daughter, his wife spurns him and the doctors advise against her having another child. Denied the legitimate son he wanted, the comte sets about having one mistress after the other—until he meets a young Englishwoman, Minella Maddox, “Minelle” who, along with her mother, teaches school on a wealthy estate.Minelle agrees to travel to France and become companion to the comte’s daughter, Margot, when she gets in trouble and has to go away for awhile. During this time, Minelle learns much about the intrigues of the comte’s family and the rising discontent of the French populace. Though she knows she should go home to England, she can’t bring herself to leave.If you like Alpha male heroes, misunderstood for most of the book, a brave heroine and an intriguing mystery set in an interesting historical period, then you’ll like this one. It’s classic Victoria Holt and I recommend it.

  • Elizabeth Coult
    2019-02-20 23:26

    I found this story so interesting. Not because of the characters, although I did like them, but because it was set in Paris during the French revolution. The entire story I was on tenterhooks, waiting for the axe to fall. You can always trust Victoria Holt to be historically accurate, and she certainly didn't disappoint with this story.As I also mentioned, the characters in this story were really likeable and believable. My main criticism with some of Holt's love interests is that they are just so damn annoying - arrogant, violent, brutal - far too extreme. So, when the heroine falls in love with them and marries them I get really angry and want to throw the book across the room (I'm thinking 'The Secret Woman' here, where the heroine marries her rapist because she can't help but love him, that's just too sick for me to comprehend). In 'The Devil on Horseback' I found her lover, the Compte, to be really endearing. The entire story you see that he definitely has a softer side, he just tries to hide it. He also never tries to make Minella, the heroine, do anything that is against her strong code of honour. He is patient and cares only for her safety. This story is, in my opinion, on of Victoria Holt's finest and I would highly recommend it.

  • Musica1
    2019-03-10 20:23

    Some of my favorite Victoria Holt books are out of print, such as Manfreya in the Morning. But this is an excellent example of her writing. So many romance writers today seem to think that explicit sexual acts and descriptions are needed for romance novels. But that is porn; not romance. Victoria Holt knew how to write true romance with always a bit of mystery thrown in! Highly recommend any of her novels.

  • Hailey
    2019-03-19 23:11

    Do you love reading about the tension between two people as they fall in love, especially when the woman is beautiful, aloof, naive, and persued by a man who is irresistable, possessive, and maybe just a titch evil? Then you'd love every Victoria Holt novel ever written (which is like 5,000)!Devil on Horseback is set in the months leading up to the French Revolution, which adds ANOTHER layer of tension! Yes! Seriously, I cannot get enough Victoria Holt.

  • Nancy
    2019-03-19 01:29

    I read all of Victoria Holt mystery/romance books in my 30s. Holt books are a higher caliber of romance fiction than something like Harlequins. Historically accurate. Good recreational reading with something to keep you turning pages.

  • Jenny
    2019-03-09 01:11

    This is one of Holt's better works. It is set during the French Revolution and happily gets away from the whole Lord of the Manor falls for governess formula.

  • Susan (the other Susan)
    2019-03-15 23:07

    Thoughts on old-school gothic romance: no tongues, no second-base, use your imagination; the servant classes are either kind or utterly treacherous; when someone shoots at you, don't tell the help; castles are the best! Never marry a man who doesn't have one. Enjoyed the hell out of revisiting the genre and author that helped turn me into an avid reader, and especially appreciated the audiobook performed by Davina Porter who also narrates Judith Ivory's wonderful Sleeping Beauty.

  • Barbie
    2019-02-27 00:00

    type of book: romanceI received this book from/at: BJ got it for free with a bundle of other books from old Southside librarymy interest in this book is: needed something to read & the title intrigued me.ideas expressed/message/plot: It's a girlie fantasy about a young girl who is very Jane Eyre. She is the daughter of an English school teacher who befriends a French classmate & falls in love with her (father/uncle? I can't remember) the man who si known as the devil on horseback.when I finished this book I felt: girliequotes:" 'You are telling me that you killed your wife,' I said. 'No, I'm not. But I will be honest and say that I wanted her out of the way. I despised her. At times I hated her, but never so much as when she stood between you and me. Vaguely before, I had hoped for remarriage that I might get a son. Now that you are here, I want it for other reasons too. I have dreamed often of a peaceful existence here in the chateau...our children growing up around us...the pleasant life going on and on...Then she died. She took an overdose of that sleeping draught because she knew she was suffering from the disease which killed her mother. It was lingering and painful. Do you believe me now?' I could not meet his eyes because I knew he would read my doubts there.

  • Angela
    2019-02-24 20:01

    I couldn't understand the logical, English heroine. She's given many opportunities to get out of there, several dire warnings, including attempts on her life, and she ignores it all. This is all before she even 'realizes' she's in love with the Comte, who has NO redeeming qualities at all, except maybe the illusion of excitement. Minella was 'overwhelmingly stupid' as another reviewer said, and it was painful to finish the book, knowing she would never do what was obviously the right thing, and go home to England! If not for wonderful Davina Porter's narration, I would have given it up half-way thru.

  • April
    2019-02-21 19:26

    I really loved this book about an English schoolmistress who finds love during the French revolution. The historical setting was very vividly created. Minelle is strong, and loyal, and has a little bit of spunk, which made her a likeable character. Her love story is also good because she likes men who are not that great for her. Something about which I know. Overall, a great book that I highly recommend.

  • Neja
    2019-03-23 01:13

    Books written by Victoria Holt are so cheesy, but sometimes that's exactly what you need. I've read a loooot of her books when I was 14/15 years old..that was the last time I've read them. I absolutely loved them at the time. I'm thinking of reading one of her books just for the old times sake! =)

  • Donna
    2019-02-27 17:08

    This historical romance novel wasn't bad, but it wasn't the best either. It seemed seriously dated. I was frustrated that the nice guy never kissed her or made serious moves aside from asking for her hand in marriage. I was frustrated that she was obsessed with the Comte in spite of evidence that he really was a bad guy. I was disappointed with the ending. I felt that this kind of story encourages women to choose dangerous bad guys as partners if passion is there over more sensible partners.

  • Blue
    2019-03-19 22:11

    Es el segundo libro que leo de la autora y me ha gustado mucho más. Es una muy buena trama, en la Francia e Inglaterra de los años de la revolución. Me gustó como trato los temas y como mezclo la seriedad de la lucha social de la época, algo de feminismo por ahí y las historias de amor y desamor de los personajes. El final lo encontré muy tierno y me dejó un muy buen gustito en el corazón.

  • Sheryl Tribble
    2019-03-10 23:27

    I bought this book because it was by Victoria Holt, but groaned when I got it home and read the blurb, because the basic plot is one of my least favorite. Although really the title gives it away, had I been paying attention. The heroine falls madly for an arrogant guy who is married to someone else and has had dozens of mistresses and other assignations over the years, but she believes – or at least hopes -- he’s been a victim of circumstances all this time and will actually settle down and be faithful now he’s found his True Love. I’ve watched too many friends telling themselves the same sort of thing to easily ignore the dismal odds of this actually happening, and suspension of disbelief is crucial when reading gothics.Still, I rarely identify closely with Holt's heroines anyhow -- I find them interesting, but don't get too emotionally involved, somehow -- plus I enjoy Holt’s secondary characters and think she’s a pretty good writer, so I gave it a shot. And I did finally find myself getting involved in the story, partly because the heroine does not simply abandon herself to passion (which always annoys me in historicals when the character is presented as generally sensible and a realist), and partly because I enjoy the heroine’s passionate, self-centered friend Margot. I have a friend who was just as passionate, irrational, and selfish when a teen as teenaged Margot can get, and I smile along with the heroine when Margot responds to a potentially deadly attack on the heroine with, “Just suppose those bullets had killed you. What should I have done?” The appeal of people like Margot is that, once they figure out they can't charm you, you can know exactly where you stand with them. And, although Margot's first thought is of the threat to her own happiness, she also notices how shaken the heroine is and tries to care for her; she's selfish, not uncaring. Most of the characters in the book are equally rounded; a character you barely meet may come across as all good or all bad, but for the most part the main characters are all a combination of good and bad traits. I only thought one character's personality was entirely dictated by the plot; everyone else, their character traits drive the plot quite naturally I thought.The ending went a bit over the top, but when a romance is set at the time of the French Revolution, I don’t expect restraint. Holt's plots are fairly typical of gothics, but the richness of her characters make them feel more melodramatic, I think. The story flows so naturally for the most part that some of the gothic staples feel faintly out of place.

  • Isabel Keats
    2019-03-10 17:18

    Vuelta a mis lecturas juveniles. Me ha encantado una vez más.

  • Alena
    2019-02-28 23:10

    I was hopeful when I started this novel, as it is set in the days just before the French Revolution, which is a period I love to read about. But this is not one of Holt's better offerings -- in fact, the only reason I bothered to finish reading it was because I had taken the book on vacation with me, and had few other reading options available at the time.I spent most of the book being irritated by the characters (I dearly wanted the principal love interest to be trampled by a herd of pigs, as he is one of the creepiest jerks ever to romance a Gothic heroine). I guessed the "surprise" plot twist halfway through the book, and was disappointed that I turned out to be correct. The ending was trite and seemed forced, and there was never any real suspense about how things would turn out.Holt has written a number of clever, suspenseful and entertaining books; this just isn't one of them.

  • bookyeti
    2019-03-11 18:30

    My rating: 2.5/5The usual Holt equation = headstrong, smart (but penniless) heroine + the brooding could-be-cruel man who annoys her but ends up winning her heart. The story is set in France, at the outset of the French Revolution. Strong-willed and clever, Minella, is suddenly orphaned when her beloved mother, an English school mistress, dies. She is given the opportunity to move to France, serving in the household of the haughty, arrogant Comte Fontaine Delibes as a companion to his wayward daughter, Margot. However France is on the brink of turmoil, as are Minella's feelings for the master of the house. Not one of Holt's greatest, but fun brainless fluff nonetheless.

  • Heather
    2019-03-17 18:29

    Once again Victoria Holt has created another well-written and intriguing romance. The characters were captivating and deep. I love mysterious and troubled rogues and the Comte definitely falls into that category. The heroine was intelligent and self-possessed but with a little fire to her. I enjoyed the book from the first page to the last.

  • Jennifer
    2019-03-02 17:20

    I was given The Devil on Horseback by a friend during my first year of University. Up until that point I had never read a Victoria Holt novel. I am very grateful to that person for having chosen this book as a gift. It was a great introduction to Victoria Holt. Now she is one of my favourite authors.

  • Josué G. malpica
    2019-03-17 22:19

    Many things to say, many things yo forget.This is the type of character you don't want around your daughter.This is the type of book that makes you cry and leaves you shakenly shattered emotionally and sentimentally. But at the same time it does have some good things that make it shine. It is a drama, yeah, but it has substance and style. You won't regret it.

  • Hafiza
    2019-02-25 19:12

    Re read today after nearly 30 years.Not my favorite but still fun.Set during the French Revolution, the heroine here is actually pretty with gold hair and blue eyes- not he usually plain Jane Holt heroine.The best thing about Hero is his name: Comte Charles August Fontaines Delibes!11/29/2013Re-read again from Open LibraryOne of my top 5 Holts