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Devil's Bride (Cynster Novels) by…
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Devil's Bride (Cynster Novels) (edition 1998)

by Stephanie Laurens

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1,0933011,437 (3.88)33
Member:charlee2
Title:Devil's Bride (Cynster Novels)
Authors:Stephanie Laurens
Info:Avon (1998), Mass Market Paperback, 416 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
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Devil's Bride by Stephanie Laurens

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Devil's Bride
4 Stars

Honoria Prudence Anstruther-Wetherby (quite a mouthful, isn’t it?) is just settling in to her new governess position when she inadvertently stumbles upon a dying man. To confound matters, the victim’s cousin soon puts in an appearance and the two spend the night together in a cottage. The problems begin the next morning when Honoria’s reputation is place in jeopardy and her companion turns out the be none other than Sylvester “Devil” Cynster, 6th Duke of Ives. So begins the ultimate clash of will between a man unaccustomed to the word “no” and a woman determined to maintain her independence at all costs.

This is my second attempt at Devil’s Bride and I’m glad that I gave it another chance. The romance is entertaining, the characters engaging and the mystery adds spice to the story.

Honoria and Devil are the perfect match. Between her stubbornness and his arrogance there is never a dull moment and their passion both in and out of the bedroom scorches the pages.

The secondary characters in the form of the rest of the Cynster family are wonderful. The Bar Cynster cousins are completely incorrigible but in an endearing way and the Cynster wives/mothers provide Honoria with an incredible sense of belonging. The Dowager Duchess is a definite favorite.

The mystery is the weakest element mainly due to the fact that the villain is obvious from the start. Nevertheless, it adds an extra layer of intensity to Honoria and Devil’s romance.

All in all, a fun read and the epilogue made me smile. Looking forward to continuing with the series. ( )
  Lauren2013 | May 24, 2018 |
Stephanie Laurens is one of the biggest names in historical romance, having been prolific for years. She's an "auto-buy" author for many romance fans with at least nine series so far. By far the longest of her series are the Cynster books about the Bar Cynster family. Arguably (there is a prequel written long after the original novel of the bunch) the first book in that series, published way back in 1998, is Devil's Bride about the 6th Duke of St. Ives and his chosen bride.

Sylvester, known to all and sundry as Devil, is the 6th Duke, head of this large and intimidating family. Honoria Prudence Anstruther-Wetherby is a finishing governess on her way to her latest post when, in advance of a coming storm, she stumbles across a young man who has been shot and is bleeding out. No shrinking violet, Honoria tries to stem the tide of blood but cannot do anything else for him until a dark, imposing man on horseback arrives and helps her get the injured man to a woodsman's cottage. The two spend the night in the cottage with the dying man, thoroughly compromising Honoria. In the morning, she learns that her companion throughout the night was Devil Cynster and the dead man, his young cousin Tolly. Devil is determined to marry the lovely governess but she has no intention of marrying him, coming as she does from a family that is his own family's equal. She dreams of traveling the world, seeing Egypt, and remaining free of any marital or maternal ties. But Devil is used to getting what he wants. She stays at his family home throughout the ensuing funeral, meeting and being seamlessly folded into the Cynster family so skillfully she cannot object mostly because she wants to find who murdered Tolly almost as much as the rest of the Cynster men. None of the other women know that he was murdered and Devil doesn't want Honoria anywhere close to the quiet investigation he and the others are conducting so, of course, she inserts herself as often as possible.

Devil is an autocratic and arrogant character. He never doubts that Honoria will eventually cave to his wishes and marry him. And in fact he generally does have the upper hand and plays her so that she has no choice but to fall in with what he wants. But if he is strong-willed and single-minded, so is she, and she fights for the information she wants from him even as she gives ground in other ways. The narration moves back and forth from Honoria to Devil so that the reader sees each move in this game from both perspectives. The sex scenes between these two not quite combatants, not quite lovers are incredibly steamy and if Devil's restraint in the bedroom, waiting for Honoria to agree to marriage, is a little unrealistic, the unfulfilled, or perhaps more accurately unconsummated, desire arcing between them does heighten the sexual tension as the story goes on. As this is the introduction to the Cynster clan, there is an enormous character list in this book and none of the secondary characters are all that well differentiated from the others, with the notable exception of the Dowager Duchess. Laurens introduces each of the family members with a light hand, perhaps in anticipation of them having their own books in the series, which they eventually do. The murderer is never in question in the book, requiring little in the way of uncovering plot lines for the reader. (The characters, on the other hand, are frustratingly blind to the truth right in front of them.) Without much of a mystery, the second half of the book is chock full of extended sex scenes, Devil demanding Honoria agree to what they clearly both want, and her silence on the matter, followed by more hot, sexy times, renewed demands, and more silence (repeat at will). There's a certain something about the book which makes it definitely feel of its time, perhaps the very alpha male hero or maybe the heroine who gives up long cherished dreams without a backwards glance once her hormones fire up, but I am willing to try another Cynster novel the next time I get the urge to read an historical romance and see how I like the rest of the family. ( )
  whitreidtan | Nov 22, 2017 |
Meh. It was alright. I didn't really buy the initial interest from the hero which made the rest of the book seem very one-note. ( )
  GoldenDarter | Sep 15, 2016 |
I enjoy most of Laurens' s books, and I really like Devil Cynster, overbearing rake that he is (well, he did become duke of a very large holding and fortune at age 15).
He pretty much meets his match in Honoria, who stymies him from the time they meet. The murder of one younger cousin sets up the introduction to readers of the current set of eligible rakes of the family.
The story is sound, the characters very interesting, and the murder investigation draws things together.
I have reread it several times, despite my copies vanishing with visitors. I finally stopped that leak by getting audio.
Simon Prebble does a good job, once again. His try at women's voices is no worse than most, and is only fitting that a man with a pleasant baritone interpret a collection of male characters. I feel that it would have been disastrous to use a female narrator. ( )
  jetangen4571 | Jul 5, 2016 |
Great book. I loved it. I would recommend. ( )
  CrystalW | Dec 15, 2015 |
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Stephanie Laurensprimary authorall editionscalculated
Elisabeth HartmannReadermain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Prebble, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zegers de Beijl, KarinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Book description
TO HAVE. . .

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 tom 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.

. . .AND TO HOLD

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 he ill 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?
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 038079456X, Mass Market Paperback)

Setting: Regency England
Sensuality: 8

Governess Honoria Wetherby is determined not to marry; she plans to have adventures among the Egyptian pyramids in lieu of wedding a controlling husband. But even the best-laid plans can run afoul of luck and outrageous fortune, as is fatefully proven one stormy evening when Honoria happens upon a dying young man in the woods. After passing the night in a cottage alone with the corpse and his cousin, the rakish and very much alive Devil Cynster, it's decided--by the handsome rake--that Honoria has been compromised by the unchaperoned evening and the only remedy is to marry. Despite her flat refusal, Devil is determined to have the beautiful and feisty governess; his family is overjoyed that he's finally planning to marry. But Devil definitely has his work cut out for him as he attempts to convince Honoria to wed him and forego her plans for adventure. Luring Honoria to the altar is further complicated when she insists upon aiding him in the search for his cousin's killer. Which will Devil accomplish first: seducing Honoria or unveiling a murderer? Or will Honoria foil the first plan and solve the second before Devil can?

Devil's Bride is the first of several novels by Laurens that feature the members of the noble Cynster family in Regency England. The larger-than-life hero is bold, brave, daring, and determined and meets his perfect match in the heroine, who is plucky, intelligent, practical, and wise. Lush sensuality, deft plotting, and charming secondary characters make this novel a stellar beginning for the Bar Cynster series. --Lois Faye Dyer

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:23 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Independent governess Honoria Wetherby stumbles upon a mortally wounded young man in the woods on a stormy night. when the stranger dies, she is trapped in a cabin with his newly arrived cousin, Devil, who insists that their unchaperoned night together has compromised her honor and, therefore, she must marry him.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 5 descriptions

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