THE IDEAL BRIDE

Stephanie Laurens, Author . Morrow $22.95 (376p) ISBN 978-0-06-050573-8

Laurens's newest romantic offering, set in early 19th-century London, possesses two of her trademarks—coolly confident characters and plentiful and graphic sex scenes—but it lacks the fire and feisty humor of her earlier works (All About Passion , etc.). Once readers encounter Laurens's protagonists, it's clear why. A self-possessed young widow, Caro Sutcliffe, whose late husband was an ambassador, and a calculating political player, Michael Anstruther-Wetherby, are adept at diplomacy; they know who to align themselves with, how to manage the people around them and what to say in every situation. Unlike the protagonists in Laurens's previous novels, Caro and Michael hardly ever lose control of their emotions, which makes them seem more like marionettes than people. When Michael sets his sights on marrying Caro's 19-year-old niece, Elizabeth, who's actually in love with somebody else, Caro intervenes not by confronting him but by attending a number of social gatherings and instructing Elizabeth to behave in ways unbefitting a politician's wife. Caro's plan works, but she soon finds that she's become the object of Michael's pursuit. Laurens stuffs the story with sex scenes, but her second-by-second analyses of every kiss and caress brings new meaning to the word tedious. Her overblown metaphors also detract from the sensuality of these scenes ("she was dimly aware when he reached his own limit and release caught him, racked him, then the storm rolled on and he lay beside her on that golden shore"). A well-executed mystery subplot involving attempts on Caro's life lends some zest to this offering, but not enough to satisfy fans of Laurens's popular Cynster novels. (Mar.)

Forecast: Laurens's hardcovers haven't been received as well as her paperbacks, but this should still sell like gangbusters. 200,000 first printing.

Reviewed on: 03/01/2004
Release date: 03/01/2004
Show other formats
FORMATS
Ebook - 448 pages - 978-0-06-114940-5
Book - 978-0-06-078655-7
Compact Disc - 978-0-06-087730-9
Book - 978-0-06-082453-2
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 448 pages - 978-0-06-074885-2
Open Ebook - 448 pages - 978-0-06-074888-3
Mass Market Paperbound - 431 pages
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-06-058503-7
Paperback - 611 pages - 978-0-06-058981-3
Ebook - 448 pages - 978-0-06-174584-3
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4498-8798-8
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.