Monday, August 29, 2011

A Rake's Vow by Stephanie Laurens

He vowed he'd never marry:
Vane Cynster always knew which way the wind was blowing, and it was headed in a marrying direction. The other Cynster men might not mind stepping up to the altar, but Vane never wanted to be leg-shackled to any woman, no matter how comely. Bellamy Hall seemed like the perfect place to temporarily hide from London's husband hunters. But when he encountered irresistible Patience Debbington, Vane realized he'd met his match and soon he had more than seduction on his mind.

She vowed no man would catch her:
Patience wasn't about to succumb to Vane's sensuous propositions. Yes, his kisses left her dizzy; his caresses made her melt; but he was arrogant, presumptuous...and, despite his protests, bound to be unfaithful, just like every other man. Patience had promised herself that she'd never become vulnerable to a broken heart. But was this one vow that was meant to be broken?

My favorite historical romances by far are those written by Stephanie Laurens. With almost every installment readers are treated to strong, smart heroines and alpha males who are willing and able to win their hearts.  When I'm looking for a good natured romance that's just going to make me happy I often find myself reach for a Laurens title, and the Cynster family is my favorite series of hers.

Especially with the first 7 or so books, all the characters are men we've come to love from previous installments. Brothers and cousins, all with their own lands and things that they personally are passionate about. No cookie cutters here, though each one possesses similar traits of honor, morality, and strict adherence to their own moral code. 

Patience and Vane are wonderful in particular because each one is so determined to be left be. They don't want to be married but family duty and circumstance contrive to throw them together. The sparks are fantastic and the way they both have to work through their trust issues to admit they love each other results in a great HEA. The mystery element is a bit weak I admit, the perpetrators could have been squared away about 2/3 through the book, but it adds a nice 'something' to the overall story.

Overall Feeling - Thumbs Up.

Series - 1) Devil's Bride 2) A Rake's Vow 3)........15) The Taste of Innocence