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Opinions on Stephanie Laurens?
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athena_d



Joined: 04 Jul 2007
Posts: 68

PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2008 6:44 pm    Post subject: Opinions on Stephanie Laurens? Reply with quote

I've been in a slump lately, never quite finishing any of the books I've been trying to read. I read the first couple of chapters, yawn, roll my eyes, skim, then skip to the ending.

I've been seeing Stephanie Lauren's name around a lot. She has a huge backlist, but I never really gave her a chance.

For those who have read her books, what do you think of her writing style? would you recommend her? What're your favorite books by her?

Thank you! I'd appreciate the help! =]

ATHENA
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PatW



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 640
Location: Gulf coast Florida

PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2008 7:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd recommend the first books in the Bar Cynster series, starting with Devil's Bride.

If you look at the Laurens list in Favorite books by Favorite authors:
http://www.likesbooks.com/favesbyauthor3.html#laurens

you will see those at the top of the list.

As the series went on into the next "generation" IMO the plots and style got very predictable and repetitive and I gave up.

I have rather enjoyed the Bastion Club books too.

I do NOT recommend her earliest historicals though.

Her characters are fairly predictable - usually the hero is the pursuer - he decides the heroine is THE ONE and spends the rest of the book trying to convince her of that fact - including lots of sex! as the Cynster series progresses the "set-up" for allowing that to happen in a society where upper class girls were carefully chaperoned gets more and more implausible (IMO, of course).

I would start with Devil's Bride - my favorite and that of a lot of others. If you like it, read the Cynster series in order if you can for about 5 or 6 books, then tread with care....

Have fun.
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Schola



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 1867

PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2008 4:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

+IHS+

There's not much else one can add to PatW's post, Athena (which is probably why you have so few replies and so many views). Smile

So at the risk of sounding like an echo . . . I, too, started reading Stephanie Laurens because her name kept popping up during my reading of Romance sites and blogs. I was lucky to start with Devil's Bride. Everything else has been a bit of a disappointment.

I find that what I enjoy least about Laurens is her heroines. I'd choose a strong woman over a shrinking violet any day, but her heroines are so mulishly independent that they strike me as stony. Well, Honoria (of Devil's Bride) is all right, but the others I've read are just variations of the same theme.

It's hard for me to warm up to them, and while I understand what the heroes see in them, their attraction between them makes me think of magnets rather than human beings. In later novels, even her famously hot sex scenes fall flat for me: too many sentence fragments, one-sentence paragraphs and weather metaphors in one place are a distracting mix. Confused

All her novels (or those which I've read) also feature subplots involving mysteries or crimes the hero and heroine must solve together, but I find them a bit boring, too. Yet this may be just my personal taste. Smile

In summary, I'd recommend Devil's Bride and maybe A Rake's Vow, but nothing else. I suppose if one truly does like Laurens' style, she'll know where to proceed from there. Smile
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JaneO



Joined: 17 Feb 2008
Posts: 798

PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2008 8:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, Devil's Bride is the place to start - it's by far her best. As for the ones that come after that, if you've read one you've read them all. They're not bad, but they are all alike. At least you know what you're getting.
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sula



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 352
Location: Virginia

PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2008 8:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You might also read through this thread for some more discussion on Laurens.

I second (or third) the rec that you start with Devil's Bride.
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Danielle D



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 513
Location: Wheaton, IL

PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2008 8:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I enjoy all her books espcially Captain Jack!!!
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dick



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 2505

PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2008 8:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with DanielleD--I've enjoyed all her books. I'm not quite as enthusiastic about her writing style, although it's certainly distinctive.
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LizA



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 140
Location: Austria, Europe

PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2008 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've read the first seven of the Bar Cynster novels because I tried to convince myself there had to be something there. Sadly, I did not find it and was sorry about the waste of money (luckily I'd been able to give away most of her books on bookmooch). Basically, I really dislike her heroes - I find them sexist, dominant, domineering, annoying know-it-alls. I thought her sex scenes were mind numbingly dull, her characterization flat, and her plotting unimaginative. Can you tell I am not a fan? I also did not like her female characters, imo they were just fake-independent. And if I even read of a hero "indulging" his bride when he "lets" her do the things she likes to do, I will throw the book to the wall. That is a personal pet peeve of course, but of all the patronizing things to write!

Needless to say, I am not a fan. This is just my own impression of course but I wanted to add it along with the praise and the so-so. Just in case! And no offence to those who like the books, of course. You know how it is with taste!
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athena_d



Joined: 04 Jul 2007
Posts: 68

PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2008 6:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thank you all for your replies! your opinions really helped. =]

I figure if I'm in a slump and I'm tossing books against the wall left and right, I wouldnt have much patience with Stephanie Laurens .

BUT I am definitely going to read Devil's Bride along with the other 3 Cynster book recommended to me! I figure I wouldnt judge the author until I give her a try =] Now i know where to start.

Thanks again!
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Susan/DC



Joined: 26 Mar 2007
Posts: 1665

PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2008 8:45 pm    Post subject: Stephanie Laurens Reply with quote

I read Devil's Bride and liked it up to the point where the hero and heroine married. Before that she (Honoria?) seemed likable and reasonably interesting, and the hero's single-minded pursuit made sense. But after the marriage she became bland, and her great dream of travel was tossed by the wayside and not even mentioned again as far as I remember. I couldn't understand why a man would pursue someone and say he loved her, yet not assist her in fulfilling her dreams (isn't that what love does?). Plus, the villain was quite obvious: the only male who wasn't extremely handsome, extremely virile, and a Cynster.
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Kelly B



Joined: 19 Apr 2007
Posts: 136

PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2008 9:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I couldn't understand why a man would pursue someone and say he loved her, yet not assist her in fulfilling her dreams (isn't that what love does?).


But he doesn't say it! I remember when I read this, I thought I'd missed the "I love you" so I went back through and nope, not there. You don't hear Devil say it until one of the twins' stories like 7 books later.

And yes, his "you are what I want and have no interest in your hopes and dreams because I get what I want and use a ridiculous family motto as my excuse" is really unattractive. I just don't care for Laurens, though. There's a lot of sex, but it all just feels sort of hollow to me--like they are books written after long study of market trend reports.
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Kristie(J)



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 1127
Location: Southwestern Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2008 6:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I tried reading Devil's Bride a while ago and HATED it. I've never been tempted to try her since.
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jitterbug



Joined: 25 Mar 2007
Posts: 137

PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2008 9:27 am    Post subject: Re: Stephanie Laurens Reply with quote

Susan/DC wrote:
Plus, the villain was quite obvious


A glaring neon arrow pointing to a huge placard hovering constantly over the man saying "I cannot possibly EVER be a SL's hero" couldn't have been more explicit Wink
As soon as he was presented I thought... Rolling Eyes of course it must be him!
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Schola



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 1867

PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2008 10:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kelly B wrote:
Quote:
I couldn't understand why a man would pursue someone and say he loved her, yet not assist her in fulfilling her dreams (isn't that what love does?).


But he doesn't say it! I remember when I read this, I thought I'd missed the "I love you" so I went back through and nope, not there. You don't hear Devil say it until one of the twins' stories like 7 books later.


That was deliberate, I think. There's a part at the end when Honoria herself realises that Devil has never said "I love you"--and she rationalises that he never really had to because, like all Cynster men, he let his actions speak louder than any words could.

(Well, that's a clumsy paraphrase of the actual line, but I'm not getting up just to find my copy and quote her properly! Laughing )

While I do see where she is coming from, however, I would not interpret Devil's actions throughout the novel as evidence of love. Overbearing possessiveness, maybe, but not love. I guess we're supposed to read Honoria's understanding as proof that she really is his true mate (because she understands him so well), but the omission leaves a big hole in the romance for me. I mean, if we didn't have that paragraph with her musings, would we be convinced of Devil's love? Confused
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Kayne



Joined: 31 Mar 2007
Posts: 899

PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2008 5:05 pm    Post subject: Laurens rec Reply with quote

My Fav Stephanie Laurens book is A Secret Love. It is a Cynster novel and there is a review here. It got a B review here and the reviewer said that she thought the first half of the book was a C+ read but the last half an A+ read.
http://www.likesbooks.com/cgi-bin/bookReview.pl?BookReviewId=2340
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