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Here we go again: Cynster plot-line repeated once more
on 1 September 2003
In All About Love, it's Rupert Cynster's turn to meet his fate, and he does so in the form of Phyllida Tallent, the daughter of the magistrate in the village whence Cynster has fled to escape his matchmaking family. They first meet when she almost kills him, which I suppose is one way of leaving a lasting impression.
There is a murder plot: the old friend whom Rupert - Lucifer, as weï¿½re supposed to call him - has come to visit has just been killed. And Lucifer knows that Phyllida knows something about the murder, just as he later discovers that her life is in danger - which gives him a very good reason to insist on protecting her. And, being a Cynster, he does a lot more than just protect her. Which begins to sound somewhat familiar...
Here's the formula for any Cynster book: Alpha-male hero, dead set against marriage, does his best to escape the plotters among the rest of his family. And then, when he least expects it, he runs into an unusual woman, very different from the run-of-the-mill female in that she's independent and confident, and immediately he falls in love and wants to marry her. Said female, on the other hand, does not want to marry him - for various, usually not very convincing reasons. Cynster male then exerts multiple powers of persuasion, some not exactly fair, but the one thing he refuses to do is to *tell* her exactly why he wants to marry her. So if she's holding out for a declaration of love, she's unlikely to get one, and this is what carries the story, which could really have been over within 150 pages, on to close to 400 pages.
Oh, and thereï¿½s always some sort of mystery/murder/crime plot, which generally gets far too much time and attention devoted to it, and which is usually pretty much paper-thin.
But clearly the formula works, since Laurens seems to be selling millions of the books in this series. This one's okay, although the murder plot dominates rather too much and at least some of the links were far too obvious from the beginning. If Iï¿½d read it as a stand-alone novel, since I did quite like Phyllida and Lucifer I'd probably have given it a three or four; however, it really feels as if I'm just reading the same book over and over again.