Temptation and Surrender by Stephanie Laurens

Everyone watch out! Lungs are about to seize!! That's right, there's a new Stephanie Laurens book out on the shelves.

I'm actually a big fan of Ms. Laurens. I've read every single installment of her Cynster and Bastion club series. But what I am NOT a fan of is some authors' tendencies to over use their 'standard' phrases. Meaning, early in their career they "invent" a clever description or phrase. Then proceed to use that phrase over and over in every subsequent novel. "Her lungs seized" happens to be Ms. Laurens's favored phrase and it annoys me enough to throw me straight out of the narrative and my comfy suspension of disbelief.

As for the book itself, it is definitely not her best work. I'd probably say mediocre. I liked the characters, REALLY liked the inclusion of Phyllida and Lucifer (some of my favorites from her world). What I didn't like was the complete lack of suspense in the treasure hunt (I had it figured out much too soon), the lack of real menace with BOTH kidnappings of the twins, and the way the ending seemed slapped together. The setting, also, was extremely sketchy. There was far, far more detail in All About Love, Lucifer's story. I also, predictably, skimmed/skipped the sex scenes because they are far too explicit and repetitive for me.

It's nice to read Jonas's story--who has a far more direct Cynster connection that some of the previous 'Cynster' novels. But I honestly think Ms. Laurens has been writing about the family far too long. Time to challenge herself in both substance and phrases. Please, I'm begging you, no more seizing lungs.

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