Sunday, July 04, 2010

Book Review: The Brazen Bride

Well, for the first time in Stephanie Laurens' Black Cobra quartet, the name of the book actually makes sense. (This was not the case in either The Untamed Bride or The Elusive Bride.) As it turns out, the heroine in this book was a little brazen.

The whole premise of this Black Cobra quartet is pretty ridiculous, really. Which is too bad, because although these books are romance novels, the reader can't forget that the main point of each book is to further the overarching story. That story being that the four heroes are attempting to return to England so they can bring down the evil mastermind (the Black Cobra) who has been wreaking havoc in the Indian colony through the sadistic Black Cobra cult. The first book started out more like a traditional romance novel, but as the series has progressed, the relationship seems to take a bit of a backseat.

I feel like Laurens tried to counter that a bit in The Brazen Bride, because the first third of the book is removed from the whole Black Cobra controversy. This was accomplished through the magic of... AMNESIA! The hero, Logan Montheith, was shipwrecked on his journey back to England and washed ashore on the Channel island of Guernsey, where he was found and nursed back to health by Linnet Trevission. Of course, it takes him like a week to remember who he is, but the week is not wasted because it takes Logan and Linnet like a freakin' day to start getting it on, in true Stephanie Laurens style.

As cliched as the amnesia was, and as overloaded with sex scenes as any Laurens book is, I think this format worked well for a book in the Black Cobra series. It was a nice change of pace from the constant traveling and fighting that was present in the previous book. And I genuinely liked Linnet. Laurens generally writes female characters that I like, but I felt like Linnet actually got the opportunity to live out the potential that is always there in Laurens heroines, but rarely realized. For me, she didn't disappoint.

We learn a little bit more about who is behind the Black Cobra cult, but I still have a hard time giving a shit. I mean, really, at this point, the reader gets it. The Black Cobra is evil. The cultists want to kill the four men who are trying to bring the evidence of the mastermind back to England. Blah blah blah. Once the initial romance stuff is covered, Laurens just writes the same fight scene again and again. IT'S SO BORING. I skipped over most of them.

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