Our Week In Books – Week 13, 2013


This week I found myself unable to let go of the Cynsters quite yet, so started with another couple of books which I enjoyed immensely.  The Perfect Lover and The Ideal Bride both get 4 stars from me.

I then decided to move on from the Cynsters but stayed with the historical romance genre and picked up The Devil’s Web by Mary Balogh. Usually I absolutely love Ms. Balogh’s books, but for some reason I found myself not liking the protagonists very much and as a result my enjoyment of the book was affected. I felt James was totally self-centred and selfish rather than as tortured as I think he was meant to come across, and Madeleine was just not likeable. The story however was okay and I would give it 2.5 stars. It was a much darker romance than I am used to so if you are not really into the hearts and flowers type romances, you may enjoy this one more. There were some very intense and emotional scenes especially towards the end when they accept their love for each other.

A Night of No Return by Sarah Morgan was my next pick, a solid romance designed to make you feel warm and fuzzy (which of course it did). Sarah Morgan is probably my favourite Mills and Boon author, I always feel happy after reading her books even though she usually manages to make me cry at some point, and this book was no exception! 4 stars.

Then what should pop through my door except Lover at Last – well no prizes for guessing what my next book was.  I very quickly finished it and loved it, this series is showing no sign of fading. Watch out for a joint review later this week.

Until next time!


Yes, it’s time I finally joined in on this weekly blog post and while I’m not the demon speed reader Tracey is, I have been getting through some of the books I have badly wanted to.  My week has also been weirdly spaced out with my husband being on holiday although he has been enjoying some quality time with the xbox which has left me free to read.  I do confess I was caught up in some games too so it’s not ALL been reading *blush*.

With the final book of The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan (and Brandon Sanderson) being released at the start of the year, I really wanted to catch up on the last four or five books, finish the series and find out how it all ended.  My memory for books just isn’t what it used to be so that means it’s re-read time!  I finished Book One, The Eye of the World, and was honestly surprised at how much I enjoyed it.  I remember it being good but as I first read it in 1992 and a lifetime ago I wondered if it would stand up to today’s fantasy.  I will do a review for it soon as older books need love too.

A Graphic Novel came next – Dragon Age: Those Who Speak by David Gaider, Alexander Freed and Chad Hardin.  This is the collected sequel to Dragon Age: The Silent Grove and continues the story of Alistair, Isabella and Varric.  Just as good as the first one and a solid 4 stars.

Lover At Last by J.R. Ward arrived and I was so excited to read it!  I have been waiting for Blay and Qhuinn’s story for ages and it did not disappoint.  I couldn’t put it down and loved it SO much!  As Tracey said, our joint review will be up this week 🙂

I’m now reading The Great Hunt by Robert Jordan, Book Two of The Wheel of Time and it is pretty good so far.

That’s it from me, see you next week!

Our Week in Books is a regular blog post from Tracey and Grete, catching up on everything they’ve read recently.

And Then She Fell

 Henrietta Cynster is known throughout the ton as ‘The Matchbreaker’ for her uncanny ability to advise women on whether or not potential suitors are truly in love with them.

James Glossup finds his potential bride scared off by Henrietta, and having a deadline by which to marry, seeks her out to explain his problem. Henrietta feels honour bound to help James find a bride of convenience and proceeds to escort and advise him throughout the ton

It doesn’t take long for James to realise he no longer wants a marriage of convenience but does Henrietta feel the same, and why do accidents seem to befall Henrietta with remarkable frequency?

I love the Cynsters, love the strong women and love the men who are good enough to eat! This is book nineteen and the series is showing no signs of waning – in my mind anyway. There are lots of references to previous stories, but you do not need to read them in order to know what is going on. While there were a couple of occasions where I was not completely sure about the reference, it didn’t spoil it for me at all.

Henrietta is a typical Cynster woman and at the grand old age of twenty-nine she is permitted many freedoms not allowed to younger women. This also allows her and James to take liberties they might not otherwise have managed – if you get my drift! Also being a bit older she is not one to hang about when she decides she wants something and as a result the ‘will they, won’t they’ was resolved by the middle of the book, leaving the latter half focused on a murder mystery plot.

While James is not a Cynster, he does of course have many of the traits I have come to expect – sexy eyes, sexy body (sexy everything really), as well as the urge to protect Henrietta against a dangerous killer. He also is not afraid to speak his mind and tell Henrietta exactly what he wants.

Someone has been trying to kill Henrietta and there are no clues as to who it could be. Poor James is out of his mind with worry but thankfully Henrietta is sensible enough to realise she needs protection. Enter pretty much the entire Cynster clan (women included) who work together to try and identify the killer, all those fine male specimens in one place – heaven!

The mystery in the latter half of the book kept going at a good pace and I did not guess the killer at all, in fact I thought it was someone completely different! The killer really was an evil sadist, a very well written villain.

As with all Cynster novels, And Then She Fell was a wonderful read, definitely another keeper to be re-read at leisure and I cannot wait for the next one involving Henrietta’s sister Mary.

Book Information
  • Author: Stephanie Laurens
  • Series: Cynsters (19)
  • Buy on Kindle (UK)Buy from Amazon (UK)

Rating: ★★★★½ 

On a Wild Night

Amanda Cynster cannot find a man worthy of her love in the ballrooms of the ton. Taking matters into her own hands she ventures where no self respecting young lady should ever go, but where eligible gentleman can always be found!

Martin, the Earl of Dexter has shunned the ton since the scandal surrounding him 10 years previously. After rescuing Amanda from a risky situation, one of her own making, he finds he cannot avoid her at his usual haunts. Is she stalking him or is she as uninterested as she appears?

While I enjoyed this book, I felt it didn’t quite catch my imagination as some of the previous Bar  Cynster stories have.  It was quite a bit longer than previous books of this series, which of course is not usually a problem for me but I felt that those extra pages seemed to be filled with sexual encounters rather than advancing the story. While I love sex scenes as much as the next person, I found the encounters were repetitive, and I even found myself skimming over them after the first couple!

It did seem a bit strange having a woman as the dominant character in this setting – but of course no self respecting Cynster is going to pick a fop to be her partner, and sure enough it becomes clear Martin is as much an alpha male as the Cynster cousins – I do love a good alpha male!

As I find with all Stephanie Laurens work, the 19th century comes alive and it was good to get an idea of what goes on in entertainments outside the ballrooms we are so used to reading about. The story was very focused around Martin and Amanda, almost to the exclusion of other people, which I felt was unusual. While we do get to meet others, I did find myself becoming a bit bored with the two main characters, and wished there was more outside interaction. From the hints in this story, I am looking forward to the book I think is coming with Amanda’s twin sister as the heroine.

It wasn’t until about halfway that the story picked up pace with a mystery needing to be solved and the Cynster cousins making cameo appearances.  Since I love the Cynster cousins, that’s where the book became interesting for me.

Overall, despite the criticisms above I enjoyed this novel and will still be looking to read anything by Stephanie Laurens I can get my hands on!

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

Book Information
  • Author: Stephanie Laurens
  • Buy from Amazon (UK)


A Rake’s Vow

He vowed he’d never marry, she vowed no man would catch her.

Vane Cynster takes refuge with his elderly godmother to avoid getting caught in a storm, only to find one of her guests is her niece Patience Debbington. Intending to leave when the weather clears he finds himself intrigued by that young lady, and when his godmother asks for his assistance in a matter necessitating a longer stay, he agrees. Vane realises he has met his match in Patience, and the vow he made no longer seems important.

Patience thinks Vane is arrogant and presumptuous just like every ‘elegant gentleman’ and while his kisses leave her wanting more, she knows he is bound to be unfaithful just like her father. She has no intention of being caught and definitely not by a known rake like Vane.

I really enjoyed this book but I have to confess I am a sucker for an alpha male! The author  manages to bring alive the early 19th century and I have no problems imagining the time as she describes. The story moves along well with a good sub plot involving a thief and a ‘spectre’, as well as the main plot line involving the two main characters.

Vane is definitely an alpha male but Patience is no shrinking violet either. Get your fan ready because with what goes on behind closed doors you will definitely need to cool down!

While this book is the second of a series involving the Cynster family, A Rake’s Vow, and indeed all the Cynster books can be read on their own. However, once you have been introduced to the Cynster men you will want more and more and more…. fortunately there are a lot of them!