Publisher: Avon (October 1, 1998)
My third encounter with the Cynster family was a charming one but had a few hordes for me to take. The two most prominent ones were the plot and the pace of the story. The plot never gave me that impertinent drive to uncover the wrong doers, it felt a bit simplistic and only there for background purposes only.
With this the story failed to pick me up in the mystery, it made me hover at the edge instead of diving head on in the adventures and it slowed the pace. While I was occupied at the country it kept me invested with an intriguing cast of characters, only then I was taken to London. With its inevitable Cynster family balls and etiquette it gave me another horde to take as I am not a fan of this kind of setting. What was there plot wise faded even more to the background and lost more ground with me to be picked up in the end for the conclusion of it all.
Patience is a woman who is protective of her younger brother Gerrard, has an iron will and pride to match. Most of all though she has a deep rooted aversion to handsome and charming men. So upon meeting Vane all her red flags go up and is in no way going to succumb to his charm.
Vane is instinctive, easy going, the certainty of his victory gives him an inborn arrogance he carries well without becoming over bearing. It is both seductive and aggravating for any woman and so very Cynster. Yet like any of his family he also values family, home and hearth and will do anything to protect that.
There is a tight group of additional characters, from Minnie who charitably took in various family members like the General, Agatha Chadwick , Edmund Montrose, Whittecombe and the young Angela and Gerrard. They provide the story with amusement and a hint of mystery but none, except Gerrard, truly stick out. He still has that young exuberance and combined with his artistic talents I will not be surprised if Laurens gives him his own story someday. Of course there are the Cynster family members and I liked to see Devil and Honoria again.
A Rake’s Vow proved to me how important the characterization is of the leading romantic male and female. Vane and Patience carried the entire story with an abundance is chemistry, sensuality and Vane’s proclamation of his I love you was just the cherry on the cake for me. It rounded the romance to a full bodied experience that lingered after I closed the book. It also made me realize how I changed as a reader, what is important to me now and what was important to me in my mid-twenties. With every Cynster novel I seem to discover something that turns this challenge in to a diverse and interesting one. I am looking forward to Richard aka Scandal who is next and will take me to Scotland.