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Laurens's newest romantic offering, set in early 19th-century London, possesses two of her trademarkscoolly confident characters and plentiful and graphic sex scenesbut it lacks the fire and feisty humor of her earlier works (All About Passion, etc.). Once readers encounter Laurens's protagonists, it's clear why. A self-possessed young widow, Caro Sutcliffe, whose late husband was an ambassador, and a calculating political player, Michael Anstruther-Wetherby, are adept at diplomacy; they know who to align themselves with, how to manage the people around them and what to say in every situation. Unlike the protagonists in Laurens's previous novels, Caro and Michael hardly ever lose control of their emotions, which makes them seem more like marionettes than people. When Michael sets his sights on marrying Caro's 19-year-old niece, Elizabeth, who's actually in love with somebody else, Caro intervenes not by confronting him but by attending a number of social gatherings and instructing Elizabeth to behave in ways unbefitting a politician's wife. Caro's plan works, but she soon finds that she's become the object of Michael's pursuit. Laurens stuffs the story with sex scenes, but her second-by-second analyses of every kiss and caress brings new meaning to the word tedious. Her overblown metaphors also detract from the sensuality of these scenes ("she was dimly aware when he reached his own limit and release caught him, racked him, then the storm rolled on and he lay beside her on that golden shore"). A well-executed mystery subplot involving attempts on Caro's life lends some zest to this offering, but not enough to satisfy fans of Laurens's popular Cynster novels.
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"'marvellous...' Cathy Kelly" --This text refers to the Paperback edition.See all Product Description
I loved it I didn't want to but this one down. Michael and Caro they where amazing. I cant get enough of Stephanie Laurens books. I think I have ordered most of them. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Nina Russo
As with all of the Cynster Novels in this series, this book is Amazing and keeps you reading from the first page to the lastPublished 22 months ago by Crystal Hanson
As a Laurens fan I couldn't wait for this book! Well, I should have kept on waiting. Sorry to say, it took my days upon days to get throught this book. Read morePublished on May 7 2004
Tedious and tired. Lots of filler. Neither of the main characters are memorable, much less likeable. Reading this book was like being tortured with boredom. Read morePublished on April 29 2004
I enjoyed most of the previous books in Lauren's Cynster series but was disappointed with The Ideal Bride. Read morePublished on April 5 2004 by C. McMann
The Cynster series (very loosely linked!) has gone on for far too long, and the author is really repeating herself here. Read morePublished on April 2 2004 by J. Mullally
I really enjoyed this book, the force of his feeling for the heroine was expected but was not unforgettable. Read morePublished on March 23 2004 by Erica
I've been waiting for the Michael's story. Stephanie, it was worth the price of the hardback edition. Thank you.Published on March 19 2004 by latenight423