I really wish Stephanie Laurens hadn’t started with the ridiculous nicknames for the Cynster men. At least there’s only six who get called by something other than their name or title, but sometimes I feel like it is six men too many.
A Rake’s Vow is book two in the Cynster series.
There is a lot of thoughts that you just have to avoid. Like, how completely possible is it that Vane Cynster is totally at ease with the land and house of his Godmother1, that Patience Debbington has spent massive amounts of time with her aunt (the same woman), and the two have never actually met before that fateful evening in the garden at Lady –’s house.
This book has quite more plot and suspense than the one that follows it in the series (Scandal’s Bride), and is much more a who-done-it for the majority of if.
Of course, Patience Debington is cut from the same cloth as the rest of the Cynster brides. She is fiercely loyal to her younger brother, and wants him to make the best connections. She helps her aunt manage a menagerie of guests, and is seen as the superior in the circles she runs in.
One thing that sets her apart from other Cynster brides is that she actually listens to Vane when he asks her to do (or to not do) something. When she runs out at night early on to try to catch the “ghost,” she recognizes that she let her emotions get ahead of her sensibilities in her need to clear her brother’s name.
The one thing that is pretty trite, though, is how Vane comes by his name. He’s not vane; he is like a weather vane, always able to see which way “the wind is blowing.” I think they mean for this to be a compliment, that he’s able to see to the heart of things. But of course, it allows Laurens to have Patience think that Vane is a vane man, a elegant gentleman who must be guarded against as she refuses to lose her heart to a man who doesn’t love her back, the way her mother did.
Of course, in the course of solving the ‘whodunit,” Patience realizes that giving her heart to Vane is putting it into safe keeping, not putting it into danger.
I very much enjoyed this book. I thought this one was much better done than Scandal’s Bride.
My thoughts on romance novel godmothers are enough for an entirely different post. ↩