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Viscount Breckenridge to the Rescue
by Stephanie Laurens
(Avon, $7.99, R) ISBM 978-0062068606
Stephanie Laurens has managed to dig up a few more Cynsters and kicks off another trilogy with Viscount Breckenridge to the Rescue. Readers will be forgiven if it feels like they’ve read this story before, probably several times.

Heather Cynster is twenty-five and tired of looking for her very own hero at the usual soirees and balls, so she decides to attend Lady Hereford’s reputedly salacious salon. Alone. To look for a “hero.” This bit of dimwittery ends with her being kidnapped, an action witnessed by the “biggest rake of the ton”, Viscount Breckenridge, who is immensely attracted to Heather (though he won’t act on it). Breckenridge grabs a carriage and pursues the kidnappers. He manages to sneak into Heather’s room at the inn where she is held on her first night, only to find that Heather wants to stay kidnapped. Her reasoning? She wants to find out who is behind this, in order to protect her sisters from the same fate. Dimwitted is right.

Breckenridge agrees to follow the kidnappers, meeting up with Heather every night. Eventually they escape, make their way to some relatives in Scotland, and begin having lots and lots of sex. But Heather won’t marry a man that doesn’t love her, and Breckridge was spurned by a woman some 16 years earlier and Will Never Love Anyone. So this pair has a lot to overcome, provided the reader can make it to the end of the book.

The book has a kitchen-sink plot. The first part is a road trip, but once Heather and Breckenridge escape, the author plunks them at the relatives’ home and introduces a paranormal element out of nowhere that doesn’t work. The sex is hot, but goes on for pages and pages. And the conflict could be settled with one short conversation (“Do you love me or not?”), but no – instead we get “he/she should have known what I was trying to say without words” nonsense that is pure frustration. It was hard not to simply skim ahead to the end and call it a day, and I didn’t much care if these two ever worked it out.

The only thing that would induce me to pick up the next book in this series is the villain, who is a Scottish laird with a real witch of a mother. He’s far more interesting at this point than the Cynster sisters.

--Cathy Sova

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