Tag Archives: Stephanie Laurens

New Release Review- The Taming Of Ryder Cavanaugh by Stephanie Laurens

Title:  The Taming of Ryder Cavanaugh( A Cynster novel)

The Taming of Ryder Cavanaugh

Genre:  Historical Romance

Author:  Stephanie Laurens

Publisher: Avon (Harper Collins), June 2013

Source: free for review from the Amazon Vine Program

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from amazon.com:

The Honorable Miss Mary Cynster always gets what she wants. As the last unwed Cynster of her generation, she is determined to remain in charge of her life and of the man she will marry. At the very bottom of her list of potential husbands is Ryder Cavanaugh, the daring and devastating Marquess of Raventhorne, an overwhelming and utterly unmanageable lion of the ton. But destiny has a different plan.

Ryder needs Mary as his wife, not just because she is delightful, fiery, and tempting, but because he values all she could be. When fate and circumstance hand him the chance, he claims Mary as his marchioness . . . only to discover what he truly desires is not just to take her hand in marriage, but to capture her heart.

**

I am no different from the many who have followed Stephanie Laurens’ chronicles of the Cynster family in Regency England.  I have swooned at the swoon-worthy, become worried at the evil that is often encountered, and most of all have loved being swept up in wonderful storytelling.  This latest offering is certainly a favorite in the series.

This is a long book, over 400 pages, but it is a can’t-put-down read.  In the first half of the book we see Ryder’s attempts to woo a totally Not-having-any Mary.  But bit by bit Ryder makes in roads until Mary is swept up in the inevitable understanding that just perhaps she has found the hero she is looking for.  Many books would stop right here but there is evil a foot and Ryder and Mary are the targets.  This becomes a very exciting, action filled novel along with the very hot and very sexy romance.  The Epilogue gives us a look at the many other Cynsters we have come to love.

The writing is top notch, the characterizations are spot on. You’re gonna like this one.

 

 

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Filed under Book review, Books, Historical Romance

Reblog-Writing Good Sex: Thinking About Steamy Sex Scenes From The Standpoint of a Reader and a Writer

Today I have a terrific post from Tori MacAllister.  Tori is an unpublished writer who will one day set the romance world on it’s ear.  You heard it here first. 

Thank you, Tori, for allowing me to reblog this fabulous post.

Check out Tori’s blog, you won’t be sorry. But first read her post here.

http://torimacallister.wordpress.com/

*********************************

A writer who can pen hot, steamy, and emotional sex scenes – interactions that are a lot more than tab A going into slot B – always win my loyalty.

I know there are people who love sweet romance and don’t need to to see what happens in the bedroom, but for me, those bedroom scenes often say more about a relationship than the dialogue or character descriptions. Sex also strips people down (no pun intended) to their essential self with the result being that it’s often obvious that a couple is in love with one another before they get around to actually revealing that fact in words. As Stacia Kane puts it “… the fact is, the deepest truths of our characters can be found when they are naked, when they are at their most vulnerable both physically and emotionally, when they let their guards down and just interact.” (Kane, p. 125)

A sex scene – a good one – is the epitome of showing and not telling. “I’m so hot for you” is not as strong as “His hand trembled as he touched his thumb to the thudding pulse in her neck, a beat he had to taste under his tongue while he reminded himself, go slow, don’t rush this…” Just like any other writing skill, some writers are better at this than others and no matter how much of a natural you are, understanding the elements of a good sex scene that take it from “okay, they are having sex” to “my book just burst into flames and not from an ereader malfunction” is vital to success.

Why We Need Great Sex Scenes

Stacia Kane’s fantastic primer for writers is infinitely valuable to readers as well. We know that we love a certain author or a certain scene but can’t always put our finger on why. In her book, Be a Sex Writing Strumpet, Kane took a series of blog posts and organized them into densely packed book focused on understanding why sex scenes can be so vital to plot and character development, how to write them well, and exercises to help each writer understand his or her sex writing voice and comfort level. It’s pure gold for $2.99.

But your crotchety uncle and that nun who taught you in the second grade definitely don’t feel sex should be in books, which begs the question, do we really need sex scenes? Hell, yes! I think I’m going to let Stacia Kane answer:

If you can find another way to illuminate the most private acts of your characters, to demonstrate their connection, their trust, the depth of their feelings…, their desire for each other, the moment their relationship deepens and changes beyond anything they’ve been through before, while also strengthening the story, increasing tension, and adding complications, and also—let’s be honest here—giving the reader what they’ve been waiting for, and you can do all of that in one scene, then no, you don’t need the sex scene. (Kane, p. 6)

That’s a lot of points in favor of the sex scene. Note she didn’t say titillation? One of the major criticisms of romance novels (and clearly plenty of books outside the genre have sex scenes but they are expected in romance) has always been the “pornographic” nature of the sex. This criticism has always seemed like total bull to me; I’ve never seen a crime or horror writer criticized for too gory a murder. Instead the critic just grimly mentions the level of violence to the reader, as if it’s a point in their favor about their writing style and that they don’t shy away from reality. But romance writers – and let’s face it, it’s because they are usually women writing for mainly other women – get the “mommy porn” thing because god forbid we should show anyone what two people engaged in a mutually satisfying, sexually healthy relationship looks like. Those soccer moms might get ideas or *gasp* expectations.

Some key points Kane touches upon for writers (and which are visible to readers) are vital for emotionally tying us to the characters. Her warning to make everyone wait (for example, the suggestion to write an amazing kissing scene that’s clearly headed you-know-where and interrupt it) builds anticipation. For writers blocked about writing sex scenes, she has the brilliant idea of writing a dialogue between your characters where they talk about their feelings – and then you turn it into a sex scene where they are showing all those emotions through their actions.

Because that’s the point, isn’t it? That our characters show their true selves via their actions (and okay, sometimes their words, when they are actually coherent having sex) and that everything – from first glance to foreplay to actual sex to the aftermath – is built around revealing their soul and their emotion for one another. Let’s take a look at my top love scenes that fit this bill.

Memorable Sex Scenes: The Mrrrrooowwww Worth Reading and Re-reading

If you’re a romance reader, there are memorable sex scenes that are so hot you can’t help but think of them as I’m writing about this topic. Naturally, the writers showcased are women who also happen to be incredibly talented at strong characterization and airtight plotting, but since I’ve seen those qualities in other writers who are terrible at writing sex scenes, I consider these ladies to be the total package. Here are my favorites and why, in no particular order.

Author: Jeaniene Frostone-foot-in-the-grave-lg
Book: This Side of the Grave (Night Huntress series #5)
Genre: Paranormal/Urban Fantasy
Couple: Cat & Bones
Why: I adore this series (Jeaniene Frost seems incapable of writing anything that’s not absolutely stellar) and I’m sure people familiar with it are surprised that I didn’t list the famous/infamous chapter from the second book in the series, One Foot in the Grave. I absolutely agree that half-vampire Cat Crawfield and her vampire lover/husband/former professional whore Bones is an unbearably hot combination, but that truly astonishing sex scene is brought about the presence of Bones’ former lover Annette and his need to prove to her that she’s truly the love of his heart after she lays down a challenge to him to make her blush the next morning (and she does).

this side of the GraveBut the sex scene in This Side of the Grave is one between two people who have weathered ups and downs in their relationship and are secure as a result, and it gets listed here because of one very specific reason. It’s not just the unbelieveably inventive combination of candle wax and fangs, but the fact that Cat consciously lets down her final barrier in her relationship with Bones – the fear of how devastated he would be if she lost him. That realization makes this sex scene one in which she demonstrates how she’s decided to hold nothing back by consciously constructing a night of total pleasure for him. It’s so hot and moving that I find myself alternately fanning my face and choking up whenever I reread it.

Author: Stephanie LaurensARoguesProposal
Book: A Rogue’s Proposal (Cynster series #4)
Genre: Historical Romance
Couple: Demon & Flick
Why: I am the first to admit that Stephanie Laurens drives me insane with her tendency for purple prose. But the earlier Cynster books, while peppered with the occasional “flotsam” reference (ocean debris = not sexy, Stephanie!), possess fewer of these references with the sex scenes  stronger as a result, none more so than Flick’s deflowering scene. It happens on a dresser in an inn. Harry, aka Demon, is the most sensual beast of all the Cynsters and – as frustrating as his inability to express his love for her is – the one place he can show her how he feels is when they are intimate with each other. It’s not surprising she feels smug looking at his ass in the mirror as he makes love to her. Who wouldn’t?

Author: Lisa KleypasThe devil in Winter
Book: Devil in Winter (Wallflowers series #3)
Genre: Historical Romance
Couple: Sebastian & Evie
Why: Another deflowering scene that’s a favorite and honestly one that probably didn’t stop the clock in terms of how long it took. Sexy Viscount Sebastian needs a fortune and heiress Evie is happy to give him hers in trade for letting her escape her abusive relatives but they both agree the marriage has to be legal. Not a problem for Sebastian who’s seemingly bedded all of London’s females over age 17. Exhausted from their trek to Gretna Green and quickie marriage, Evie awakes from a very sexy dream to Sebastian kissing his way all over her naked body. What makes this so unbelievably sexy? The fact that he talks to her – playful, sexy, Sebastian talk that is the essence of his charming, roguish self – until you’re a puddle listening to him bring her to ecstasy  That he has an orgasm so mind-blowing and long that he feels that he might have been the virgin? Icing on the cake.

Author: Jennifer AshleyThe Madness of Lord Ian MacKensie
Book: The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie (Highland Pleasures #1)
Genre: Historical Romance
Couple: Ian & Beth
Why: If you have to ask, you haven’t read this book yet! Lord Ian Mackenzie is one of the more memorable and unique heroes I’ve ever read. Landing on the autism spectrum in the 19th century meant you were thought mad no matter how brilliant you are, and it’s not like the era was renowned for the tender care of people with psychological differences. When Lord Ian meets the young and beautiful widow Beth, brought up in poverty and the recent heir to a fortune, he immediately wants her while his honest candor and devastating sexuality proves more than she can resist. While I like all their sex scenes, the one that stands out is the one where Beth visits him at his brother’s art studio in Paris to apologize for being nosy (she really didn’t need to). Ian worried he would never see her again and talks her into baring herself to him. Feeling her freedom, she takes off her clothes and dances a little around the studio in happiness with a sheer scarf, which Ian uses to reel her in and proceeds to bring her to orgasm, while never removing a stitch of his clothing. That in itself is damn erotic, but it’s his utter focus on her pleasure, the sensual enjoyment he takes of every little detail of helping her reach ecstasy, that makes this scene one of my favorites.

Author: Laura Kayehearts in darkness
Book: Hearts in Darkness
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Couple: Makenna & Caden
Why: Laura Kaye can throw down the hot emotional sex scenes with veterans in the business and always land at the top of the pack. In this book, our two protagonists are trapped in an elevator together, in the dark, and they didn’t get a good look at each other when they got in. Getting to know one another when it’s hot and stuffy in an enclosed space doesn’t sound awesome, but it is when the two people in question have a lot to reveal and the dark makes for perfect cover. That they get hot and heavy in the elevator (and then take it to her apartment) has been done before, but not like this. The unbridled sensuality and emotion inherent in Makenna, in the pitch black, feeling the piercings and scars on Caden face and connecting them with what he’s revealed to her makes your heart beat faster.

Author: Shelly LaurenstonThe Mane Event
Book: The Mane Event (Pride #1)
Genre: Contemporary Paranormal Romance
Couple: Dez & Mace
Why: I adore Laurenston’s ability to bring her brand of earthy humor to this incredibly sexy paranormal series. Mace Llewellyn has left his elite military unit (one made up of shifters like himself) and has gone into the security business with his best friend. They’ve based themselves in New York, not just because Mace’s pride is located there, but because this lion has been head over heels in love with the husky-voiced, half-Irish, half-Puerto Rican (extremely busty) Desiree MacDermott since they began high school. He knows that she’s the one for him, and class issues and the pesky fact that he’s a shifter (and she has no idea about their existence) isn’t going to get in the way. This book makes the short list based on one particularly AMAZING scene – and let me tell you, there are plenty of sexy love scenes in this series! – where Dez handcuffs Mace to her bed and has her wicked way with him. The neighbors calling the police is a given since lions are extremely noisy while being tortured with sexual ecstasy. It’s off the hotness meter not just because of what Dez feels comfortable doing with herself in front of Mace but because he wants to prove himself to her so much that he lets her take control.

Author: Kele MoonDefying-the-Odds_coverin
Book: Defying the Odds (Battered Hearts #1)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Couple: Melody & Clay
Why: If you haven’t jumped on the Kele Moon bandwagon, I honestly don’t know what you are waiting for. This astonishingly good writer won my heart with her unlikely tale of a working class victim of domestic abuse slaving long hours as a diner waitress who finds love with a UFC fighter. I knew absolutely nothing about this kind of fighting but Kele Moon’s plotting and characterization moved her into my “must-buy the pre-order” category and she’s never let me down. Clay Powers is a disciplined athlete with a tough beginning but good friends and the way he sees through Melody Dylan’s stress and exhaustion to the beautiful woman underneath will have you sniffling. That Melody discovers she is a highly sensual being at Clay’s hands is wonderful, and the make-up sex which occurs when she travels to Las Vegas to cheer on Clay in his big bout will have you never looking at a picture window over Sin City the same way again. Yowza.

The Future of Sex Scenes in Romance

While many people are crediting the Fifty Shades phenomena or the decline of civilization, the fact remains that romance novels, unless of a specific genre (like inspirational or Amish) are becoming more explicit in their sensuality levels. What RT Book Reviews lists as a “Scorcher” now would very likely have been erotica over a decade ago and there are classic romances that were considered hair curling in their time that I flip the page back with a “that’s it?” comment, thinking I’ve missed something.

My hope is twofold. One, that the trend toward explicit sex between characters means that readers and writers are more comfortable with sex as a natural expression between people. Clearly we see more sex on television and in movies, but a lot of it is objectification, not a loving expression between individuals, so romance fits a vital need to remind us of what sex can be. Second, I believe that there are a lot of truly great authors (see my shortlist above) and publishers who want women to demand their due both as consumers of the romance genre (hell, we deserve hot sex scenes between those fictional people we’ve fallen for!) and as healthy sexual beings in the bedroom. In the end, writers who write hot, emotional sex scenes have not only demonstrated their facility as people who have mastered a craft, but as pioneers showing us all what really love can look like in its most elemental form. And I would like to say to all of them – Thank You.

What favorite sex scenes of yours fits the criteria here? I’d love to hear about them. Happy Reading! 🙂

References

Kane, Stacia (2010-07-19). Be A Sex-Writing Strumpet. Kindle Edition.

torimacallister | June 1, 2013 at 10:00 am |

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Filed under Authors, Book review, Books, Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance, Historical Romance, Romance, Sex

Review- Royal Weddings: An Original Anthology by Laurens, Foley and Chase

Title: Royal Weddings: An Original Anthology

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Stephanie Laurens, Galen Foley, Loretta Chase

Publisher: Avon

Source: Kindle $1.99

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5 behind closed doors

Description from amazon.com:

You are cordially invited
To help celebrate the Royal Wedding of
Prince William to Catherine Middleton
As we present a 77 page original anthology
Written by three utterly wonderful authors!

Stephanie Laurens’ The Wedding Planner: Lady Margaret is proud plan the ton’s most important nuptuals—including that of a prince. But it’s Lady Margaret who falls in love . . . with dashing Gaston Devilliers!

Gaelen Foley’s Ever After: How scandalous! Eleanor Monford, Countess of Archer, is in love with her own husband. And as Princess Charlotte of England weds Prince Leopold, Eleanor’s “secret” is about to come out.

Loretta Chase’s The Jilting of Lord Rothwick: On the eve of Queen Victoria’s wedding to Prince Albert, the Marquess of Rothwick learns his fiancÉe, Barbara Findley, has broken their engagement! So he desperately rides out of London to seek her out . . . and to win her back.

**

I enjoyed each of these delightful stories.  They are quick and perfect for when you only have a short time to read.  Each of these authors can write lusciously romantic plots and they bring to life these heroes and heroines vividly.

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Review- A Secret Love by Stephanie Laurens

Title:  A Secret Love (Bk 5 Cynster Series)

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Stephanie Laurens

Publisher: Avon, 2000

Source: Purchase

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5+

Description from amazon.com:

She was desperate for his help…

When a mysterious lady, her face hidden by a black veil, begs Gabriel Cynster for his help, he cannot refuse her plea. For despite her disguise, Gabriel finds the woman alluring and he is powerless to deny her. But he exacts payment as only a Cynster would demand: with each piece of information he uncovers, she must pay him – in the form of a kiss.

He was powerless to resist…

Lady Alathea Morwellan knows Gabriel is intrigued, but despite the sparks that fly between them, they have never passed a civil moment together. Yet as the stakes get higher, so does Gabriel′s desire for payment. And with each overpowering kiss, each passionate embrace, Alathea knows that she will not be able to resist his ultimate seduction…but what will happen when she reveals the truth?

**

I think this was my favorite of the Cynster Series, so far, although DEVIL’S BRIDE comes close.  I felt like this one was truly the most passionate.  All of Ms Lauren’s books are very steamy but this one had passion.

Most all the books I’ve read do have a common theme of confirmed bachelor who turns into a man hell-bent on marriage and a strong minded woman who is hell-bent on not getting married.  In other words just the challenge our hunky, hero Cynster men thrive on.  But I think I really like Gabriel and Alathea the best of all the heroes and heroines.  They grew up together and have been fighting their attraction since their teens, they even think they don’t like each other.  But fate intervenes.

Ms Laurens can write characterization like nobody else.  Her side characters just brim with personality and I long for their stories.

Then why does this one rate only a 4.5?  Well, there are a couple of plot devices that are just a bit too cliché and convenient.  Not enough to detract from the story, or my loving it, but enough for this jaded reviewer to find annoying. Yes, it was hard to believe Gabriel did not recognize her, yes, it was too predictable that Gabriel was not by her side when she was called to a dangerous situation and it was a bit unbelievable that she went alone.

The Cynster Series books I have read and reviewed: (use the author’s name in my “search” widget on the left to find these reviews)

  1. Devil’s Bride (4.5 stars)
  2.  A Rake’s Vow (3.5 stars)
  3. Scandal’s Bride (4 stars)

5 .    A Secret Love (4.5 stars)

14.   A taste of Innocence (3 stars)

The Cynster Sisters Trilogy:

  1. Viscount Breckenridge to the Rescue (3.5 stars)

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Review- Scandal’s Bride by Stephanie Laurens

Title: Scandal’s Bride (Bk 3 in the Cynster Series)

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Stephanie Laurens

Publisher: Avon, 1999

Source: Purchase

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5+

Description from author’s website ( http://stephanielaurens.com ):

“He will father your children…”

When Catriona Hennessy, honorable Scottish Lady of the Vale, received this prediction, she was exceedingly aghast. How could she unite with a rake like Richard Cynster–a masterful man with a scandalous reputation? More shocking still was her guardian’s will that decreed she and Richard be wed within a week! Though charmed by his commanding presence, and wooed by his heated kisses, she would not–could not–give up her independence.

So she formed a plan to get the heir she needed without taking wedding vows. Richard was just as stunned by the will’s command. Marriage had not previously been on his agenda, but lately he’d been feeling rather…restless. Perhaps taming the lady was just the challenge he needed. But can he have the rights of the marriage bed without making any revealing promises of love?

**

As regular readers of this blog will note, I am reading my way through Lauren’s Cynster series.  Here is another excerpt from the author’s website about this series which now has 18 books.

ABOUT THE CYNSTERS

The first six Cynster books deal with the stories of the six cousins known to the ton as the Bar Cynster. Subsequent books deal with other members of the Cynster family, extended family, and close friends.

The contrast of gracious and elegant manners forming a wafer-thin facade over strong and dominant male emotions such as possessiveness and protectiveness is a constant throughout all the Cynster books. The affinity of such warrior males for strong willed women and the ability of their chosen ladies to exact complete and unswerving commitment to themselves, to marriage, and to family, forms the central tenet of the series.

All the Cynster novels are ‘Regency-Era Historicals’, or Historicals set in the Regency. This type of novel is both longer than traditional Regencies and involves plot elements beyond the social mores/comedy of manners elements that are the hallmark of any romance set in the Regency. Stephanie’s Regency-era Historicals contain adventure and/or mystery elements, often both, played out against the visually-, dramatically- and emotionally-rich background of the Regency. All her Regency-era Historicals are long, more than 120,000 words.

**

Now about this book, this one was heads and tails better than book #2, A RAKE’S VOW.  There was the strong touch of the mystical in this offering.  Catriona was for all intents, a witch.  Well of course she was a good witch, always looking out for the people of her estate lands known as The Vale.  It was a calling she put above everything else in her life.  Richard “Scandal” Cynster was a Rake of the first order and his own restlessness led him to consider the strange bequest of Catriona’s guardian.

Stephanie Lauren’s can weave a truly wonderful story and I was so happy that this one was indeed different from the first two in the series.  She brings her characters to life with intriguing personalities.  Her side characters are so intriguing that I wish for more of them in the story.  There is still lots of sex that left me exhausted just thinking about how our protagonists managed in between sessions in the sheets.  Of course, this is romance and our hero is tall, handsome, protective, intelligent, sexy (and insatiable) and wealthy.  Our heroine is strong, beautiful, loving, capable, a virgin (who becomes insatiable) and supportive of her man.  There is a suspenseful element in the plot that is fairly easy to deduce.  There is nothing not to like about the Cynster men and their lady loves are paragons of womanhood.

All in all this is a fabulous addition to the Cynster Series.  I look forward to reading more.

The Cynster Series books I have read and reviewed: (use the author’s name in my “search” widget on the left to find these reviews)

  1. Devil’s Bride (4.5 stars)
  2.  A Rake’s Vow (3.5 stars)
  3. Scandal’s Bride (4 stars)

14. A taste of Innocence (3 stars)

The Cynster Sisters Trilogy:

  1. Viscount Breckenridge to the Rescue (3.5 stars)

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Review- A Rake’s Vow by Stephanie Laurens

Title:  A Rake’s Vow (Bk 2, Cynster Series)

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Stephanie Laurens

Publisher: Avon, 1998

Source: purchase

Rating: 3.5

Sexy Rating: 5+

Description from amazon.com:

He vowed he′d never marry.

To Vane Cynster, Bellamy Hall seems like the perfect place to temporarily hide from London′s husband hunters. But when he encounters irresistible Patience Debbington, Vane realizes he′s met his match …

She vowed no man would catch her.

Patience isn′t about to succumb to Vane′s sensuous propositions. Yes, his kisses leave her dizzy and his caresses made her melt; but Patience has promised herself she′ll never become vulnerable to a broken heart. Is this one vow that was meant to be broken?

**

I am fairly new to this series that has been around for years.  So when I read the first book in the Cynster Series, DEVIL’S BRIDE, and loved it (reviewed here), I knew I would have to read more.  But I didn’t expect book number two to be so much like book number one.  It isn’t like I disliked it, not at all, it is very well written but it was like the author used a template from the first book and entered different characters and scenes.  The mystery does seem to go on for an interminable amount of time and it was pretty easy to figure out early-on.  I actually was hoping for some eye opening twist.  There is lots of sex which seems to be the hallmark of this series.  Not complaining, mind you, just saying there is lots.  The hero, Vane Cynster, is certainly everything I like in a hero, strong, handsome, caring, protective, sexy, etc.  The heroine, Patience, was a bit one dimensional and I had trouble understanding why Vane fell so hard, so fast.  But I’ll allow that it was just one of those chemistry things.

 

 

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Review- A Taste of Innocence by Stephanie Laurens

Title:  A Taste of Innocence

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Stephanie Laurens

Publisher: Avon, 2007

Source: Library

Rating: 3

Sexy Rating: 5+

Description from amazon.com:

He knows all too well how dangerous love can be…

For no gentleman is this more true than Charles Morwellan, the eighth Earl of Meredith. Although he’s seen the many successful unions of his Cynster connections, he has also watched his father’s obsessions nearly destroy their family and fortune, a mistake Charles will not repeat. But as Lord Meredith he must marry, so he offers for Sarah, the daughter of his neighbors Lord and Lady Conningham. She’s intelligent enough to run his social life, beautiful enough to grace his arm, and old enough to know the value of his offer.

For most young ladies of the ton, the right marriage is the culmination of years of training, perfect deportment, and intricate plans that would impress a general. But as a lady of independent means with a life of her own, Sarah is unwilling to wed unless it is for unbounded love.

But Charles always gets what he wants. He convinces Sarah to give him two weeks to win her; if he succeeds, they will marry immediately. And so begins an intense courtship. By day, Charles and Sarah are models of decorum indulging in innocuous walks, polite conversation, sedate waltzes. Each night they steal away to the lush, moonlit gardens, where sensual embraces turn to searing kisses, and much, much more. Both are swept away on a tide of passion and feeling neither can resist.

And yet, after the wedding, despite nights of insatiable passion, Charles remains aloof, as if the near-sinful sweetness of their nights exists only in a dream. Sarah battles to prove that true love is a force that can’t be contained, a gift worth fighting for, but it’s only when she’s engulfed in a web of increasingly dangerous incidents that Charles discovers how much he’s willing to surrender to protect . . . the taste of innocence.

**

I have read and liked many of the novels in Lauren’s CYNSTER SERIES but this one was really rather boring.  Well, except for the non-stop sex scenes….well, even that got boring after awhile.  These characters seemed to have nothing else in common.  The courtship was carried on in pages way too long and then after the marriage the conflict, with a thrown in side plot that admittedly was more interesting than the original, seemed also to never end.  The villain’s turnaround was a bit too pat.  This book was just okay, not terrible but certainly not as well done as Ms Lauren’s other novels.

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Review- Devil’s Bride by Stephanie Laurens

Title: Devil’s Bride (Book #1, Bar Cynster Series)

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Stephanie Laurens

Publisher: Avon, 1998

Source: Kindle Purchase $.99

Now: $6.99/Kindle

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from amazon.com:

When Devil, the most infamous member of the Cynster family, is caught in a compromising position with plucky governess Honoria Wetherby, he astonishes the entire town by offering his hand in marriage. No one dreamed this scandalous rake would ever take a bride. And as society mamas swooned at the loss of England′s most eligible bachelor, Devil′s infamous Cynster cousins began to place wagers on the wedding date.

But Honoria wasn′t about to bend society′s demands and marry a man “just” because they′d been found together virtually unchaperoned. No, she craved adventure, and while solving the murder of a young Cynster cousin fit the bill for a while, she decided that once the crime was solved she′d go off to see the world. But the scalding heat of her unsated desire for Devil soon had Honoria craving a very different sort of excitement. Could her passion for Devil cause her to embrace the enchanting peril of a lifelong adventure of the heart?

**

Honoria was sophisticated, stubborn, intelligent, feisty, kind…in other words, everything a heroine should be.  Devil was arrogant, worldly, handsome, dangerous, sexy as all get-out…everything I want in a hero.  He is the Duke of St. Ives, is used to getting his way in most everything, but he runs into a brick wall with Honoria.  She doesn’t want to marry, she wants to have adventures and see the world.  He wants her for his wife.  It is a stand-off only until she starts to fall under his seductive spell.

Lauren’s can write romance.  She builds up a most delicious sexual tension and is not afraid of bringing it all home, again and again and again.  In fact I think my only objection to this book was that there was too much sex. (never thought I’d ever say that!)  The mystery wasn’t difficult to figure out since from the beginning we pretty much can guess whodunit.  How it all culminates is worth knowing the bad guy in advance.

This is my first BAR CYNSTER SERIES novel and I really can’t wait to read about the rest of the cousins in the series.  Laurens has introduced us to them and they are all intriquing.

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Review- The Reasons For Marriage by Stephanie Laurens

Title: The Reasons for Marriage

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Stephanie Laurens

Publisher: Mira, 2009

Source: Purchase Kindle

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Book:

A story of romance and passion from a best-selling author – Miss Lenore Lester was perfectly content with her quiet country life, so she took steps to remain inconspicuous when managing her brothers’ house parties – but to no avail! Though Lenore hid behind glasses and pulled-back hair, she couldn’t disguise her beauty. The notoriously charming Jason Montgomery, Duke of Eversleigh, easily saw behind Miss Lenore’s brilliant disguise, and while she was determined not to be thrown off balance by this charming rake, he was equally determined to loosen the hold she had on her heart.

**

This novel was originally written in 1995 and reissued on Kindle in 2009.  I was captivated by the story of an avowed spinster who is cajoled into marriage by the handsome Duke.  Until they actually are married and living together for a month the book was 5-star.  It lost a star to become only a very-good-read because it slowed down terribly about 2/3 of the way through.  I still loved the hero and heroine and plodded through to the predictable end.   It did have a deliciously slow building romance that was not consummated until after the wedding.  That was a refreshing bit since most of today’s H.R.’s have the couple all over each other immediately.  Yes, I really liked it and No, it wasn’t the best Laurens romance I have read.

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Review- Impetuous Innocent by Stephanie Laurens

Title: Impetuous Innocent

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Stephanie Laurens

Source: Library

Rating: 4

Sexy rating: 3

Description: Georgiana Hartley flees the lecherous advances of her cousin to seek refuge from nobleman neighbor Dominic Ridgely.  He packs her off to be helped by his married sister, Bella.  Georgiana thinks she will find a place as a ladies’ companion but Bella has plans to sponsor Georgiana and introduce her to society.  Several likely suitors propose but Georgiana insists she loves a man she can never have.  But that man is also pining for her.  It is their romance that ensues.

**

This is an older Stephanie Laurens book and my first by this author.  I usually like a little more spice (aka sex) than that which is presented in this book.  That said, this is one wonderful romance.  It is one of those delightful slow builds.  We know these two are ideal for each other in spite of their problems.

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