by Stephanie Laurens

April 2002
ISBN: 0-380-81203-7
Reviewer Graphic Button Avon Books
Mass Market Paperback

Stephanie Laurens is back with another Cynster story. This time, the story revolves around the women Cynsters, Amanda and Amelia. Those feisty twins who ran their male Cynster cousins ragged through the last few seasons among the ton. On A Wild Night is Amanda’s story. Read on and see what trouble she stirs up!

After several seasons on the marriage mart, Amanda has had enough. There is not one male among all those who flock around her that she could see herself spending the rest of her life with. So she decides to take matters into her own, dainty hands. If there is no one among the ‘respectable’ males of her acquaintance, then she must look elsewhere. And there’s no better place than in the seedier part of London - the gaming hells and dens of inequity! Amanda sets up a scheme that takes her to Mellors, the newest and most dangerous gaming hell in all of London.

She arrives on the arm of her faithful childhood friend, Reggie Carmarthen, who wants to be anywhere but where he is right now! Amanda surveys the men who have gathered to this place, and after deciding that none of them will do in her search for the most exciting man in London, she turns to leave. Only to be stopped by a nasty old earl, who challenges her to a game of whist; Cynsters are notorious for their luck with the cards, and the earl wants to see if that luck also lends itself to the females of the Cynster brood. Of course, Amanda can’t refuse the challenge, but she needs a partner. When seeing no one, who would be good enough to partner with, a dark, handsome stranger applies for the position.

Martin Fulbridge, fifth Earl of Dexter, has a reputation of being a recluse as well as a debaucher of a young girl, who later killed herself. When he sees that Amanda is in trouble, he steps in and volunteers to partner her. She’s way in over her beautiful, blonde head, and what the hell is she doing here anyway? Of course, Amanda doesn’t know who he really is; she only knows that when she looks at him, her heart stops and she gets dizzy. Who is he?

Martin and Amanda win the card game, no surprise there. But when he finally reveals his name to her, she’s stunned. He’s that Dexter? No matter his reputation, Amanda decides that Martin is her soul mate and she’ll stop at nothing to get him. When Martin demands to know what she is doing in a gaming hell, Amanda tells him that she’s only trying to have a ‘wild’ time, to sow her oats, so-to-speak, before settling down and choosing a husband. She lists for him all the delights that she wants to experience, a boat ride at midnight, an evening in Covent Garden, in one of those special boxes, where fashionable young ladies weren’t supposed to go, and other ‘wild’ things, that normally, Amanda wouldn’t be caught dead doing. Seeing that she’s serious, Martin, being the gentleman that he is, insists that ‘he’ be the one to show her these ‘wild pleasures’ and no one else.

What follows is a cat and mouse game between them, with Amanda trying to lure Martin into the marriage trap, and Martin trying to make her realize that he isn’t the man for her, which of course he fails to do. She is a Cynster after all, stubborn to the core!

If you’re an addicted Cynster fan, as I am, then you’ve been waiting for Amanda and Amelia to have their own stories. I was a little disappointed though, with Amanda’s story. I know that writing for the ‘female’ Cynsters must have posed as a challenge for Ms. Laurens, but I missed the sexual tension that I have come to expect from her stories. Although On A Wild Night was a good romance, it lacked that special ‘something’ that has always been in her books. Don’t get me wrong, the storyline itself was fantastic! It’s just that special ‘umph’ was missing! But I guess you’ll have to read it yourself and see. Do let me know what you think.

Reviewed in May 2002 by Debbie.

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