And Then She Fell is the 19th full length novel of the Cynster clan. It is the story of James, Simon Cynster’s best friend and Henrietta, Amanda/Amelia/Simon’s sister. The story also follows the necklace that has been handed down from Cynster woman to Cynster woman. The necklace is supposed to assist the wearer in finding her true hero.
Henrietta is known as the MatchBreaker. If anyone in the ton wants to know if their potential spouse has any ulterior motives for marriage they go to Henrietta. When Henrietta breaks up James’ potential marriage he confronts her about it and tells her he must marry to protect his family’s interest. Feeling guilty for what she has done, Henrietta agrees to take on James to find him a match. He only has a month to marry so they must get things done fast.
Pretty quickly into the novel it becomes clear to both Henrietta and James that the match they really want is with each other. James must figure out a way to convince Henrietta to marry him because everyone knows that Cynster’s only marry for love.
In previous Cynster novels Devil, Demon, Gabriel, Vane, Lucifer, Scandal, Amanda and Amelia set the bar very high for me. To this day their books remain some of my favorite historical romance novels. I have them on my kindle and often re-read them when I need a good HR fix. That is why it has been so hard to read her last couple novels. They have just not lived up to what she used to write. Before her sex scenes were off the charts hot, the build-up to the couples first time was slow, detailed and yummy beyond belief. I really looked forward to the next Cynster novel because it meant having a rake tutor the blushing woman in the art of sensuality.
Now? Well now I got page after page of purple prose. I got phrases like holy grail, potent joy, honeyed walls, ultimate velvet vice, surging cataclysm of sensation, and ecstasy’s possession just to name a few. Something happened to make Ms. Laurens dial down the actual sex and turn up the flowery descriptive words. I don’t like it. This is probably the third book in a row where I haven’t come away with the same feeling I used to from her.
I know that a book is not all about sex but the Stephanie Laurens books’ of old were just so darn good in that aspect. And Then She Fell was fun in the aspect that it brought almost all of the old Cynster couples back into play. There is a mystery to solve, someone trying to murder Henrietta, and the family will use any means to stop the villain. While each of the old couples, except Scandal, was present they weren’t involved as couples which is understandable because there are so many of them. It would make for a 1000 page book if we got a glimpse into each of the relationships. At least I did get to see them and it will probably trigger a re-read of some older books.
Overall, it was an ok book. It had a typical suspense plot and a decent romance. I wasn’t totally into James and Henrietta like I would have been in the past. The passing down of the necklace has been something fun to follow and Mary (the last sister) was given the necklace at Henrietta’s engagement ball. The epilogue had a very interesting glimpse at the next hero and I am ever hopeful that he will be the one to set us back on the right path. Final grade- C
“But now it seems I simply know. Here.” Briefly, she touched her fingers between her breasts. “In here, I know. I didn’t think it could happen like that-that such a certainty of knowing would simply come to be-but it has, and so I know.”
She held his gaze steadily. He couldn’t have dragged his gaze from hers had the bed been in flames. He waited, everything he was hanging on her next words; when they came…his heart stood still.
“I know,” she said, her gaze wide and open and locked with his, “that for me….it’s you. What I’ve been waiting for is you.”
My hero is you.