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In the Thrill of the Night (Merry Widows) by…
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In the Thrill of the Night (Merry Widows) (2006)

by Candice Hern

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The whole idea of a group of respectable widows deciding to take lovers is quite entertaining, and I'll probably read more books in the series. I enjoyed this rendition of the best-friends-who-finally-realize-they're-in-love plot. ( )
  LadyWesley | Sep 25, 2013 |
The adventures of this group of "merry widows" are a rainy day treat. They'd rock the town even today, victorian England didn't stand a chance. It's fun to watch as they try to define their own lives in a time when women had few if any choices. ( )
  VirginiaGill | Nov 6, 2012 |
Ugh, what a dreadfully clunky, boring book. As the first installment of the Merry Widows series, it doesn't seem to bode well for the books to follow. There was nothing merry about my reading experience here. The characters were so bland and superficial, the dialogue so awkward. Even worse, the talking was as endless as the succession of tedious balls and tea parties. This book was just talk, talk, talk, none of it going anywhere.

Besides being boring, the premise of the book is a complete sham. It opens with a group of five friends, all widows, who decide to make a pact. Their husbands may be in the grave, but these widows, they declare, certainly are not. With the exception of one, they determine to take advantage of the lax standards of propriety applied to widows in order to get a little pleasure out of life. They plan to take lovers. It may sound unconventional, but the plot and characters all hold to the trite rules and expectations of society, genre, and gender. The heroine takes some tentative steps towards exploring the possibility of sexual freedom, all the while reluctant and unsure, but she's just as psychologically and emotionally tied to her one true love as if she had never undertaken such a daring enterprise in the first place.

Perhaps in an effort to make things a bit more complex and/or difficult for our two lovers, the author refers every once and a while to the heroine's departed husband, who was also the hero's best friend. But the relationships in this poor excuse for a love triangle are never more than sketchily depicted. Even as she was married to her husband (though of course, as she was married to him she loyally loved him, or at least *thought* she did), even though she starts out just "friends" with the hero, and even throughout her failed attempts to pursue other lovers, the author manages to twist things around so that it's always been the hero for her. Always and forever, the end. A woman like this heroine, she is repeatedly told by the hero, could never be happy with just sex. She’s programmed for marriage. Bla. Again I say bla! (Not to the idea or institution of marriage itself - I'd have a hard time reading romances in that case - but to In the Thrill of the Night, resoundingly yes.) If this wasn't enough, the hero is nothing to get excited over: a vacillating, deceitful, cowardly adolescent. I wouldn't be so annoyed if this book had only owned up to being so unoriginal. As it is, the book just adds the insult of insincerity to the injury of being badly written. ( )
1 vote theshadowknows | Dec 17, 2008 |
Group of widows decide to take lovers. Heroine is a widow who'd loved her husband but didn't realize he wasn't very good in bed. She asks her male best friend, who's just gotten betrothed, to give her pointers on finding a lover. It's a fairly common Regency plot--with the twist that the heroine's just looking for a lover, not a husband, but it's done well, and the characters are fun and convincing. Start of a series about the "Merry Widows." ( )
  Darla | Dec 5, 2008 |
I couldn't get into this. Maybe because the hero Cazenove was a casanova (geddit) Conceptually it should have worked (at least they weren't all virgins running round having sex without consiquences) but I didn't care for the characters and kept rereading the same 10 pages. In the end I gave up and returned it tothe library, essentially unread.
  amf0001 | Feb 13, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0451217845, Mass Market Paperback)

Assured of both money and position, none of the five friends who form the Merry Widows need ever marry again. But they have no intention of foresaking physical passion for the rest of their lives. So they make a daring pact -- each will consider taking a lover for the pure pleasure of it.

Marianne Nesbitt adored her late husband, but the racy reminisscences of the Merry Widows make her wonder if she missed something special. Might she find it now through a love affair? Uncertain how to go about it, she asks Adam Cazenove, and old friend and notorious rake, to tutor her in the arts of seduction.

The brazen request turns Adam's world upside down. He never imagined his best friend's very proper and exceedingly attractive widow would seek out a lover. If not for his own recent betrothal, he would jump at the chance to warm her bed. Since he cannot bear the thought of another man doing so, he foils her every attempt at seduction. Until one night of unintended passion changes everything ...

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:31 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

After hearing the many exciting sexual exploits of her friends, the Merry Widows, Marianne Nesbitt, realizing that she has missed out on something special, asks her best friend Adam to school her in the art of seduction, a request that turns his world upside down.… (more)

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