A Season For Scandal
by Stephanie Laurens, regency (2001, 1994 and 1992 reissues)
MIRA, $5.99, ISBN 0-373-83479-9


A Season For Scandal is actually an omnibus reissue edition of Stephanie Laurens' old regency stuff Tangled Reins (1992) and Fair Juno (1994). All you Cynster fans who can't get enough stop reading now and make a dash for the bookstores, because trust me, it's much more fun than reading what I have to say next. It won't be pretty, really. This double combo is everything Cynster to the freakin' tee and as an added bonus, every whumpin' cliché about dotty grandmothers, stupid rakes, hellion and brain-free bluestocking heroines, and every stupid double standard lauded and appraised as "accurate" in the regency subgenre is added lovingly. You can't get more deliciously formulaic than this.

Tangled Reins has our heroine Dorothea Darent (prettier younger sister, eccentric rich granny sponsoring the two sisters, prefers foraging in the wilderness to womanly stuff, doesn't want to marry, no libido, busybody and pompous village rector and wife harping on her, et farking cetera) kissed by rake the Marquis of Hazelmere (rake, rake, rake) when he mistakes her for the blacksmith's daughter.

Naturally, he is aghast. He scolds her - what the heck is she, alone, a noble lady, doing here in the wilderness? Doesn't she know that there are perverts around?

Pot, meet kettle. Kettle, pot.

And don't bet money on Dorothea not saying she doesn't care because she is a woman of advanced age and hence no man cares for her, she isn't pretty, et cetera. You'll lose.

They part, Dotty Thea goes to London, does stupid things that requires Hazelmere to come to her rescue, and all the while she shrieks that she is Bluestocking, she doesn't need help, thank you very much. Then she leaves her door unlocked for every pervert to maul her. "There are perverts around waiting to maul you!" Hazelmere scolds her, then proceeds to maul her on the spot.

Pot, kettle. Kettle, pot.

"Kiss you!"

"Oh! Oh! Oh!"

"Marry you!"

"No! No! No!"

"Kiss you!"

"Oh! Oh! Oh!"

"Marry you!"

"No! No! No!"

"Kiss you! Save you from evil man! Marry you!"

"Yes! Yes! Yes!"

Mahir found his girlfriend at last. I'm so happy. On to the next story.

Fair Juno has the newly instated Earl of Merton (rake, rake, rake - oh, and War Hero) mad as hell. He has been summoned home from the lusty paradise of Bahamas where he has been boinking a luscious mistress silly. Even worse, his mother (shrew, hag, money and marriage-minded) has arranged for him to marry Faith Wendover. But after he rescues Helen Walford (celibate widow, doesn't want to marry, unwanted grubby suitor) from being kidnapped by said suitor, he's in love. Because, I'm told, Fate has finally decided to rein him in.

Fate? Hmmm, where have I encountered that Fate thingie before? How sin-cynster!

He immediately forgets about his mistress whom he has been whining about like a spoiled petulant brat. Women who like sex and know how to sex it up = evil, unworthy s**ts. Everyone knows, you f**k those cheap ho's, but you marry the high-priced, hard-to-get classy "pure" ones. Yeah!

"Kiss you!"

"Oh! Oh! Oh!"

"Marry you!"

"No! No! No!"

"Kiss you!"

"Oh! Oh! Oh!"

"Marry you!"

"No! No! No!"

"Kiss you! Save you from evil man! Marry you!"

"Yes! Yes! Yes!"

Gee, I am so excited.

Someone hand me a parachute. Laurens 747 have been traveling round and round and round and round in a neverending cycle of the same old, more old. I don't care if it's a long drop, I've had enough and I'm jumping off this author's brand of joyride. If you don't mind, I'm off to reread some old Judith Ivory books, if only to reassure myself that romance novels don't have to be the same old tepid, recycled, no-brainer crapioli repertoire again and again. I'm definitely giving this author's next few books a wide berth - I have an inkling I know how the two twin Cynsters sisters' tales are going to turn out.

Rating: 25


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