maricar's Reviews > On a Wild Night

On a Wild Night by Stephanie Laurens
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's review
Nov 28, 2009

it was ok
bookshelves: romance, series

Such a protracted courtship-slash-equivocation. And I do have respect for Laurens' writing, but this novel, for all its steamy-sexcapades, left a bitter aftertaste, as the premise is somehow an insult to any woman of reasonable intellect; as well as an affirmation for any misogynist.

It wouldn’t have been so bad, really, if it posed as a suspense novel instead--one that just happened to have an awful lot of naked scenes.

Amanda came off like a spoiled, coldly calculating, I’ll-have-it-all-laid-at-my-feet-or-no-deal tease of a woman. And the Cynster family, whom I adored in the 3 other novels I’ve read, became a clan that was not so much close-knit as being driven by snobbery and lack of wit. What the heck happened…

For a family led by 6 strong-willed men who were infamous for their rakehell days, it became difficult to take in the fact that, in this installment, the reader is led to assume that this family is actually more concerned with reputations and appearances. This was supposed to be a coterie of very passionate people, who have had no qualms in claiming mates of their own with whom they have a mutual explosive chemistry, past lives be-damned. The matter of “professing avowals of love” is something that they would just subsequently work with after they have been assured of being exclusively committed to one another. Something in the lines of ‘claim first, then surrender later.’

I could not understand why, even after it was made clear that the Cynsters (apparently) had the sense of not believing rumors, Martin’s past is such a huge obstacle for welcoming him in their family. I have always thought that, as long as the elder Cynsters were assured that there really is a core of honor in the man (and that there is a healthy dose of desire on both sides), they would not hesitate to use the full backing of their ‘tonnish’ power to clear the name of one whom they finally consider ‘one of their own.’ Everything in this novel is arse-backward.

For Amanda to make a full-on declaration of love from Martin as an ultimatum is not something I would have expected of a Cynster. A Cynster, as I have understood it from Devil, Chillingworth, *and* even from their mates, would have acknowledged the prospect of working for and evoking love AFTER being wed (how can it not when they only have eyes for each other). Working to have that love come out in the open after weeks or months of being married would have been the true measure of how a Cynster broke down any remaining barriers to love.

It made no sense to me to have Amanda demand so much from Martin, who was made to practically act like a lovesick swain (despite descriptions to the contrary), while she herself barely surrendered anything at all. Hell, she did not even act like a thoroughly ravished female after that first night with him.

The ironic thing is that, Amanda (with Amelia) admitted to settling for no less than husbands who were like the Bar Cynster men...and yet they could not understand why Martin (obviously Amanda's rendition of her 'Cynster-like' husband, else she would not have latched onto him) is acting as he is. They should have figured in that, in aiming for someone who were like their male cousins, they should have been braced for someone with similar temperament: apparently overbearing and possessive but who *can* be made to admit love later on.

If Laurens wanted to send a message that Amanda will not stand as a doormat vis-à-vis a dominant male, then she has gone about it in the wrong way.

And even the identity of the true killer was easy to deduce before one even reaches half of the book. All the time, I was like, ‘huh?’ and wondered if I was just being led to believe an *obvious* choice of who the killer is. I then tentatively hoped that Laurens was going to throw a curveball and twist everything around to make me sit back on my heels and wryly admit my wrong suppositions. But no, who I halfway guessed as the killer stubbornly kept the same identity even up the end. Darn it!
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