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The Ideal Bride Mass Market Paperback – Mar 1 2005

3.9 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Avon (March 1 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060505745
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060505745
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2.8 x 17.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 295 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #301,145 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Laurens's newest romantic offering, set in early 19th-century London, possesses two of her trademarks—coolly confident characters and plentiful and graphic sex scenes—but 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.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"'marvellous...' Cathy Kelly" --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Setting - Eyeworth Manor, near Fritham in New Forest, Hampshire, 1825 --- For fans of Laurens earlier Cynster novels this one features Michael Anstruther-Wetherby, who at 33 is a rising member of Parliament -- a man who clearly has a very promising future, quite possibly destined for greatness but insiders confided to him that advancement would be conditional upon him acquiring a wife. Handsome, well-born and naturally charming he is matchmaking mama's dream, especially with his connections to the wealthy and influential Cynster family -- his sister is married to Devil Cynster, the Duke of St. Ives (DEVIL'S BRIDE).
Knowing that he needs a perfect wife, who would be politically astute, Michael has looks over his acquaintances and decides that 19 year old, Elizabeth Mollston would make a perfectly acceptable wife and helpmate as she came from a politically involved family herself. The only problem is that Elizabeth is in love with another and has enlisted the help of her Aunt Caro Sutcliffe, to help her in discouraging him from declaring himself. It doesn't take long before Michael discovers what that Caro has been 'managing' him and that it is Caro, the very accomplished foreign ministers widow, who would be the perfect helpmate. Only Caro, whose previous marriage to a much older man, is adamant to remain 'The Merry Widow' and NEVER intends to marry again. Michael has to use all of his abundant diplomatic charm to convince her to become his wife. At the same time, in a secondary sub-plot, and after numerous 'accidents', he must discover who is trying to kill her.
While this latest entry has abundant and graphic sexual encounters, it seemed to me that Laurens came up a bit short in the fire and feisty humor department.
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Format: Hardcover
Michael Anstruther-Wetherby has a challenge. There's an opportunity to move into the British cabinet, but only if he can do so as a married man--married to the right kind of woman. Because in 1825 England, women control society and can make or break a man's career. Michael identifies a candidate, Elizabeth, the daughter of a neighbor, and moves in. But his plans don't take into account the schemes of Elizabeth's aunt Caro. Elizabeth has fallen in love with another man and begs Caro to help her fend Michael off. Caro is willing and her plan works--sort of. Because Michael is soon convinced that Elizabeth isn't his perfect bride after all--Caro is.
Caro has never really recovered from her marriage to an aging diplomat. Although she was successful as a society hostess and made her late husband even more powerful, she has always known that he married her only for her political insights and not out of love. As a widow, Caro has a certain power--power she's sworn never to give up by marrying another. Michael may be sexy and strong, she might even consider an affair with him, but marriage--never. Of course, Michael isn't going to give up on his goals. But he'll take whatever path comes open and an affair sounds like the perfect first step. Things really get complicated, though, when Michael discovers that someone is trying to kill Caro.
Author Stephanie Laurens writes a steamy-sexy story. Caro is an interesting damaged character--filled with strength but still wounded from her former marriage. Michael is a fine alpha hero, fiercely protective of his woman and forceful in his lovemaking. Fans of Laurens' books will find a lot to like here, including appearances from some of the Cynster men who were heros in earlier novels.
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Format: Audio Cassette
Tony and Olivier Award winner Clare Higgins brings verve and eloquence to her performance of the latest from Australian romance novelist, Stephanie Laurens. Those familiar with the author's Cynster novels will find "The Ideal Bride" an entertaining listen as Laurens mixes mystery with love.
Our hero is Michael Anstruther-Wetherby, a headed-for-great-things politico, who is used to getting what he wants when he wants it. In this case, realizing that a perfect wife will be an invaluable asset to his career, that is what he wants.
Elizabeth, a lovely 19-year-old is the bride he wants. However, there are two obstacles in his pursuit - Elizabeth is in love with someone else, and her very attractive widowed aunt, Caro Sutcliffe, is definitely opposed to such a union.
Caro's late husband was a politician so she well knows the rigors of being a politician's better half and she wants none of that for her beloved niece. The two women devise a plan to convince Michael that Elizabeth is not a suitable mate - the young woman will behave inappropriately at public functions.
Sounds like a good idea. However, their stratagem backfires - quite romantically.
Mix in some murder, an unknown enemy, and you have a thoroughly enjoyable listening experience.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio Cassette
Tony and Olivier Award winner Clare Higgins brings verve and eloquence to her performance of the latest from Australian romance novelist, Stephanie Laurens. Those familiar with the author's Cynster novels will find "The Ideal Bride" an entertaining listen as Laurens mixes mystery with love.
Our hero is Michael Anstruther-Wetherby, a headed-for-great-things politico, who is used to getting what he wants when he wants it. In this case, realizing that a perfect wife will be an invaluable asset to his career, that is what he wants.
Elizabeth, a lovely 19-year-old is the bride he wants. However, there are two obstacles in his pursuit - Elizabeth is in love with someone else, and her very attractive widowed aunt, Caro Sutcliffe, is definitely opposed to such a union.
Caro's late husband was a politician so she well knows the rigors of being a politician's better half and she wants none of that for her beloved niece. The two women devise a plan to convince Michael that Elizabeth is not a suitable mate - the young woman will behave inappropriately at public functions.
Sounds like a good idea. However, their stratagem backfires - quite romantically.
Mix in some murder, an unknown enemy, and you have a thoroughly enjoyable listening experience.
- Gail Cooke
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