17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on 17 August 2003
As I enjoy Stephanies books and eagerly await the latest ones It was a great disapointment to find that A Season for Marriage is not only a reprint of Rogues Reform. and it adds insult to injury by having only two of the origional three stories The Reasons for Marriage and A Lady of Expectations. leaving out the third An Unwilling Conquest All are worth reading so if you havn't got them already try to find Rogues Reform and if you have don't waste money on this copy.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 8 March 2004
I'm a big fan of Stephanie Laurens, having read most of her books -- Cynster and non-Cynster series. I came across these two short stories -- the Reasons for Marriage and A Lady of Expectations by chance and I'm so happy that I did. Those who are quite familiar with the current writing style of SL -- a sensual and erotic love scenes might find these two stories boring. But to me, I would say that even if there are no explicit/graphic love scenes (which have recently become SL's trademark), this book is such a pleasant read.
The Reasons for Marriage is about Jason, an arrogant and determined Duke of Evesleigh and Lenore Lester, a beautiful but sort of wanting to hide her beauty in order to stay clear from possible suitors and matrimony. They met at Lester Hall where Lenore played the hostess of the country gathering at her estate. Jason seemed to be the only one who saw beyond Lenore's disguise as a nerd-unattractive wench (of course, he's the hero and the heros, in general, always have the sixth sense :) Jason had convinced from the start that Lenore was the most suitable choice to make the Duchess of Evesleigh, so he quite determined to court her throughout the gathering. Despite Lenore's resistance, Jason was somehow successful in bringing her to the altar. And the second half of the story focused on their misunderstandings about each other's feelings. Some would feel irritated by their 'illogical' misunderstandings, but that were some good heart-wrenching scenes where you could find yourself crying for both of them.
The second story, A Lady of Expectations, is about Lenore's elder brother--Jack Lester. After Lenore's getting married and left the Lester Hall, Jack found it necessary to find someone to assume Lenore's duty. He was kind of wanting to hide his real (robust) financial status to the ton, exactly the same way as Lennore wanted to hide her beauty (was there any psychological problems with these siblings that they felt the urge to hide their true selves from others? I couldn't tell :). Jack entered the London season letting most of the members of the ton believe that the Lesters are in a dire state of financial disaster and that he had to find a well-endowed chick to help him maintain his estates. Sophie, the heroine, who was not a rich member of the ton but was the one Jack set his eyes on, after their courtings, later realised that she couldn't married him because she was not rich enough (how sad!!). This story is real good because the readers see the process of how Jack and Sophie fell for each other, and especially how Sophie had to struggle with her feeling to ignore Jack despite her love and the way Jack tried to understand what went wrong with Sophie. The inexplicit seductions were real romantic and I think they were a lot better than SL's vivid sex scenes in her recent works.
Anyway, I don't give it a 5-star rating because I was deadly bored with the first few chapters of both stories. SL took so much time to get to the point and have the stories started!! But after the first few 'boring' chapters, you'll be hooked with the stories. FYI, I think Jason and Lennore are the prototypes of Devil and Honoria in Devil's Bride. And I also think that Jack can be thought of as a replica of Vane/Lucifer in Rake's Vow and All About Love.
In sum, if you're SL fan, read these two stories for a change.