Secrets of a Perfect Night, by S. Laurens, V. Alexander & R. Gibson

>> Tuesday, March 16, 2004

I'm reading many more anthologies this year than I previously did. I've had good luck so far, but of course, sometimes I run into some lackluster books, such as, for instance, Secrets of a Perfect Night.

The first story was the best, IMO. It was by Stephanie Laurens, SCANDALOUS LORD DERE.

The tales begin with Laurens's scandalous Lord Dere as he arrives on Abigail Woolley's doorstep in the midst of a blizzard. Dere and Abigail share a past that neither can forget. They've both gone far too long without love and if propinquity and passion have their way, a blissful future awaits them.
This one was pretty inoffensive, that's the best word for it. The setup, with Dere arriving at Abby's during a snowstorm, half frozen, was one I enjoyed, but I was less than overjoyed at the very typical situation of Dere having had thousands of lovers in the years they were apart, while Abby has been chaste. Why is it never the other way?

Ultimately, the story was just barely ok. A B-.

The second story was THE LAST LOVE LETTER, by Victoria Alexander, an author I haven't had much luck with in the past.

Beautiful Rachael Gresham had given all the love in her passionate young heart to handsome Jason Norcross. But treachery and greed tore them apart, their hearts shattered with betrayal and despair. Now fate has brought them together again, the truth at last revealed. Will Rachael and Jason have the courage to put the past behind and reclaim the love that has endured the long years spent apart?
This one was boring. Very boring. It simply didn't engage my interest. The setup was was too melodramatic for my taste, and I just didn't see enough conflict in the present-day events. A grade of C-.

The third story was by Rachel Gibson, NOW AND FOREVER, and it was the only contemp novella in the lot.

In Rachel Gibson's "Now And Forever," high school friends Brina McConnell and Thomas Mack come together again at a class reunion. They may both have changed for the better on the outside, but inside, they're still as passionately attracted to each other as when they were teenagers. The fire that threatens to scorch them now is very adult, but whether it will last past New Year's Eve is anyone's guess.
I never warmed up to these people, especially Thomas, and their relationship felt much too hurried and thus, unbelievable. Also, I found myself irritated by the little games they played with each other. A C is the best I can give it.

The book as a whole gets a grade of C from me. Off to my Trade List it goes!


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