The Ideal Bride

Written by Stephanie Laurens
Review by Audrey Braver

Michael Anstruther-Wetherby, Devil Cynster’s brother-in-law, Member of Parliament, bachelor, has been tapped for a cabinet position providing he marries before Parliament opens in a few months. He’s chosen the prospective bride, seventeen-year-old Elizabeth Mollison, and has only to declare himself to her father. However, her aunt, the widowed Caroline Sutcliffe, herself a teenage bride, is determined to prevent a similar tragedy befalling her niece. Her elaborate scheme to discourage Michael is successful. However, she hadn’t bargained that in drawing his attentions away from Elizabeth he would fall in love with her. Caroline returns his love, but the memory of her strange, unfulfilled marriage left her reluctant to remarry. Complicating their affair are unexplained attempts on her life that seem to be somehow related to her first husband’s diplomatic career.
In this continuation of Stephanie Laurens’ excellent Cynster Family Saga, she has captured the period and politics perfectly. Toward the end of the story, an intriguing character, Viscount Breckenridge, is introduced. We hope to see more of him, perhaps as a lead character in a future novel.