by Stephanie Laurens

March 2004
ISBN: 0-06-050573-7
Reviewer Graphic Button William Morrow

Michael Anstruther-Wetherby, brother to Honoria Cynster, Duchess of St-Ives, is a part of Parliament’s fast track. He is a man destined for great things and destined to wield great power. Everything appears to be heading in the right direction, but the final key to his success is the “right” wife; someone familiar with the life of a career politician and the duties that lifestyle will entail. Michael has the perfect woman in mind for his ideal bride, he simply has to deal with the formidable obstacle offered by the young woman’s aunt, Caroline Sutcliffe.

Caro, widow of legendary diplomat Camden Sutcliffe, reins among London’s foremost political and diplomatic hostesses. She is beautiful, witty and strong-minded with a keen sense of style. She lived through the unhappiness of a political marriage and wants more than that for her niece, who has her heart set on another. Caroline and her niece hatch a plot designed to convince Michael of the unsuitability of an inexperienced young lady as his political hostess. Of course, the ladies successfully convince him that he needs a woman of experience as his bride – and the perfect candidate is before his very eyes.

Now it is Michael’s turn to be persuasive as he endeavors to convince Caro that becoming his wife will bring her everything her heart desires and much, much more. When a series of mysterious, perilous accidents befall Caro, it soon becomes quite obvious that someone has other plans for her future. Together Michael and Caro must discover her assailant’s identity before all of their plans for the future may come to fruition.

For fans of Stephanie Laurens’ Cynster series The Ideal Bride will be a welcome addition. This appealing story reminds me of why I love Ms. Laurens’ novels. The men are possessive and tender, and the women are strong-willed and intelligent. And of course the love scenes are fabulously arousing – all I have to say is it has been a while since I have seen a kiss last four pages.

Reviewed in February 2004 by Cynthia.

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