Customer Review

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Same plot as Devil�s Bride..., 8 Mar 2003
This review is from: Rake's Vow (Cynster Novels) (Mass Market Paperback)
Vane Cynster, Devil's cousin and closest friend, has his turn at meeting his match in this book. An enforced stay at his godmother's house brings him into contact with her niece, Patience Debbington, and a mystery: who is the magpie thief stealing all and sundry, and who is the Spectre who appears at night, in shadow, and appears to haunt the place? The primary suspect is Patience's young brother Gerrard, but Vane doesn't believe that for an instant. His godmother begs him to stay and sort it out, and as he is already very intrigued by Patience he agrees.
Patience is alarmed by Vane and does her best to avoid him; she's also worried about the effect he's having on Gerrard. But is he really the rake she assumes him to be?
The plot of this book follows exactly the same direction as Devil's Bride. Vane - determined not to marry - encounters a woman and knows that he's met his fate. He wants to marry her. He proposes; she refuses him. He determines to persuade her through sensuality and at the same time find out why she won't marry him. And in the background there is a (not very interesting and pretty transparent) mystery plot - again, I'd worked out who was behind it pretty early on; the sand was such an obvious clue that I'm astounded that Vane didn't work it out. Maybe Laurens wanted him to be seen as an idiot?
I found Vane's approach to Patience unconvincing; in one scene - when he'd just met her - he was aware that she had the power to attract him in a way no woman had before. And he was determined to resist that: he didn't *want* to marry. And yet barely a half-dozen pages later, with nothing having happened in the meantime, he was suddenly reconciled to his fate and determined to marry her. Umm... *why*?
And Patience's antipathy to Vane in the beginning was simply not explained until some way in the book. I can accept her stereotyping him as a certain type of man - and not being told what she meant by an 'elegant gentleman' until almost halfway through the book did not help! - but we need to know *what* stereotype she's using, and why it bothers her. That took some time to convey.
Again, a lot of detailed sex scenes, which is fine if you like that kind of thing; they're too numerous and technical - as well as lengthy - for my preference. I prefer my lovemaking scenes to focus on the emotions rather than descriptions of sex organs. Of course the extent and locations of Vane and Patience's amorous encounters are all wrong for the period, and I'm not sure why Laurens seems to assume that engaged, or near-engaged, couples of the - quite Puritanic, remember! - Regency period would naturally have sex. This has come across in three of her books now; her heroes seem to make an automatic assumption that an engagement means free sex. Oh, and by the way, given the number of times Vane and Patience enjoy each other, how come she doesn't end up pregnant? How come neither of them even consider the possibility??? That's simply unbelievable.
I do have the rest of the Cynster series and will keep reading - Laurens has a readable style, even if I do skim some scenes - but I do hope that she varies her plots for later books.
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