Gyles Rawlings (5th Earl of Chillingworth and honorary member of the Cynster Clan) and Francesca his sight unseen bride. He'd hoped by organising an arranged marriage he would get what he wanted a meek and biddable wife that would impinge on his lifestyle not a bit. Little did he know he would fall in love with her, body, heart and soul.
I literally started it this time last night, and finished just now.
Connected to the Cynster series by marriage, Penelope Ashford (seriously independent and decidedly not meet) calls on the dashing Criminal Investigator, Barnaby Adair (Serial Bachelor) to assist in the case of missing orphans that were destined for her charge.
Together, along with the help of the redoubtable Inspector Stokes and Miss Griselda Martin, they solve the crime, restore the boys and tie the knot.
Another in the Bastion Club series. The story of Gervase Tregarth (6th Earl of Crowhurst) and Madelaine Gasgoine, independent and respected by all the local gentry and guardian of her brother's estate until he reaches his majority.
Continually brought back from London and disrupting his search for the Countess he requires, Gervase promises his sisters that he will agree to look at any local ladies, and decides that Madelaine has all the relevant attributes, and that he must get to know her better to decide if they might be compatible.
Quickly he discovers that they are in fact very compatible - and sets out to persuade Madeline of the fact.
A healthy does of smuggling, wrecking and two attempts to save her brothers and catch Dalziel's remaining traitor later, love wins out.
I actually quite like a the covers on these, and am really beginning to appreciate Miss Quinn's style - allbeit very different from Stephanie Laurens (who is at the moment my very favourite author).
The story of Elizabeth Hotchkiss, who is left almost destitute and looking afer her young siblings.
To help ends meet she acts as Lady's Companion to Lady Danbury, and one days comes across a most intriguing red leather book entitiled "How to Marry a Marquis" and hatches a plan to at least marry somebody with sufficient funds to allow her young brother to take his rightful place at Eaton.
Enter Mr Siddons, masquerading as Lady Danbury's Estate Manager, but in actual fact her nephew .... one James Sidwell, Marquis of Riverdale.
He undertakes to assist Elizabeth in finding her Marquis, but truth to tell he has already decided to take the post himself.
An entertaining and delightfuly story, with a cat called Malcolm assisting along the way, and Dunford from The Minx.
Who would have thought that an itinerant Highwayman may, or may not, turn out to the the rightful heir to the Dukedom of Wyndham.
On one fatefully night John (Jack) Cavendish-Audley holds up the carriage of the Dowager Duchess of Wyndham and her companion Miss Grace Eversleigh.
Even though he is masked, the Dowager recognises the very second he opens the door the features of her long dead son John Cavendish and begs him to hold Miss Eversleigh hostage whilst she fetches a miniature of said son from her reticule. Whilst the Dowager is locating it from the inside of the carriage, Jack steals a kiss from Miss Eversleigh.
To the Dowager he denies any connection, but to Grace he admits that his name used to be Cavendish long ago.
The Dowager is desperate and begs him to attend her at the Castle....... I won't spoil the rest, but they eventually journey to Ireland to reveal the truth .... and a very happy ending.
I have to admit that I am now getting used to Miss Quinn's writing style, and whilst couched in slightly more modern language they are entertaining, sometimes funny, and downright enjoyable in a happy kind of way.
Contrary to the belief of my mate, I positively do not spend all day reading, well not all day every day!
But I did manage to read this yesterday ... in my defence purely because it was only 391 of quite large print, and I am after all an inordinately quick reader, especially if I an engaged with the characters.
The story of William Dunford, referred to by all who know him as simply Dunford, who has newly inherited the title of Lord Stannage, and Miss Henrietta Barrett, who it turns out is his Ward.
A totally beguilling story of the hoydenish Henry, who had been running the estate that Dunford inherits without much trouble, since she was 14. She wore breeches, rode astride and was used to running the show.
I have to admit to a raised heart beat and rapid breathing towards the end, as I raced through the pages to a very happy conclusion to this read.
I simply couldn't put this one down, and read it in one day - Stephanie Laurens at her most sparkling. I am now completely in love with Devil Cynster .... perhaps not quite so much as Tony Blake, but definitely a close second.
This is another in the Cynster series, the story of Devil (Sylvester) 6th Duke of St Ives and Honoria Prudence Anstuthers-Wetherby.
Having just taken up another post as a finishing governess, aristotricatic and independently wealthy Honoria is trying to search out the elusive name of the Duke that her charge is apparently set to marry. Everyone merely refers to him as "the Duke", but the Duke of where?
On her first day off to visits the Church (pretending to discuss the church roof) to further her investigation, and gets caught in a storm on the way back to her employers, and takes a short cut to get back in time. Unfortunately, heading down the track as the weather worsens she comes acrosss the body of a young man, who has been shot, but is still cling to life. With nobody else around she attempts to help him, and her horse bolts leaving her fully alone. Enter a sataic figure riding a black devil horse to her aid. He recognises the lad, and between them they get him to shelter in a woodman's cottage.
The storm rages on and they spend the night together, unfortunately poor Tolly doesn't make it through the night. Next morning two separate search parties descend on them, one from Somersham Place and one from Honoria's employer ....they each converge on the cottage. Obviously her employers are scandalised and dismiss her on the spot, the Duke comes to the rescue and advises all present that they are fortunate to meet his intended Duchess - nobody is more astounded the Honaria at this point.
Honoria from then comes under his protection, with even her Brother colluded with him to keep her under his roof. The search for Tolly's murders commences, and the reason behind it.
Cynster men have a habit of making their ladies see the error of their ways, with a peppering of hot and steamy passion,and eventually Honoria agrees to marry her Duke, and then he has several attempts on his life. Honoria then also comes/and puts her self into danager.
All ends happilly in the end .... and the Church even gets a new roof. A 5 STAR ***** rating.
I am going to read a Julia Quinn novel next, as I can't really do yet another Stephanie Laurens review for Love Romance Passion can I? Not yet anyway.
A overpowering debt that will ruin her family drives Lady Alathea Morwellan to seek help from her childhood friend and combatant Rupert (Gabriel) Cynster. Except that she feels she can only do so disguised as a Widowed Countess to ensure that she gains his full support, and he doesn't just leave the matter to his men of business.
As is always obvious with the Bar Cynster he will of course seek, and claim a reward ... her.
His desires get higher along with the stakes and eventually thanks to the mistake of a tweenie she reveals herself to him in a ballroom, simply by the perfume she has used in error.
Eventually sufficient proof to get the debt overturned is obtained, and both declare their love ... apparently not something easy to obtain from a Cynster.
#12 - On a Wild Night ~ Stephanie Laurens ~ ISBN: 978-0-7499-3723-2
Oh dear, 2 books this weekend ... as you can guess pretty little crafting has been done ....
I won't bore you with all the details on these, except that they do live up to the usual expectations.
A Cynster Twin, Amanda hasn't found anyone to tempt her into marriage during her several seasons, and so takes matters into her own hands and descends to the demimonde to tempt out a suitable mate.
Suffice to say Martin Fullbridge, Earl of Dexter now returned from banishment after ascending his title proves to be exactly the thing once he has declared his love and solved the scandal that allowed him to return to his true place within the ton.
I am still not sick of these books, she writes so beautifully that I am completely enthralled and just want to learn more about the loves, lives and characters in her literary world.
This time the story of Gerrard Debbington (Brother of Patience Cynster - wife of Vane) a celebrated landscape painter, who also dabbled in portraits of people very close to him, but not any other in the ton, despite many requests to do so) who is lured down to Cornwall by Lord Tregonning to be the only person to paint the famous (and closely guarded gardens) at Hellebore Hall. All he needs to do in return for free access is to paint what he sees in his Lordships daugher, Jacequeline face.
The book weaves together the reason for the two murders, and why another murder is attempted. The killer is unamasked, and all becomes clear at the end in regards to the Truth About Love - be it the right or the wrong kind. Completely enchanting story that kept me guessing til the end a 9 out of 10.
The darkly mysterious Royce Varisey, 10th Duke of Wolverstone, and leader of the Bastion Club members, returns to his home on the death of his father (after serving his country for decades) and literally runs into Minerva Chesterton at the top of the stairs of his ancestral home.
She's outwardly serene, aloof and determinedly wilful but with a smouldering sensuality beneath ...... and he's everything you'd expect from an autocratic marcher lord - from that fateful moment she invades his waking thoughts and dreams, and eventaully teaches him to love.
Smut as usual, always fully expected with Ms Laurens ... I especially love the battlement sex scene .... worst nightmare getting caught in the act!