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The Perfect Lover [Mass Market Paperback]

Stephanie Laurens
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Book Description

15 April 2004 Cynster Novels (Book 11)
Simon Frederick Cynster knows that a perfect bride--and a perfect lover--are one and the same. So he sets about finding a mate to suit his needs--someone who will be a perfect lady by day... and a wanton lover by night.

But Simon is not about to broadcast his search to the entire town and run the risk of every dowager foisting her flighty charges upon him. Instead, he carefully begins his search at a house party at Glossup Hall--and is astonished when wilfully independent Portia Ashford immediately captures his interest.

He's known her since childhood and certainly never considered her a potential wife--until an unexpectedly heated kiss changes his mind forever. But as he and Portia begin to explore the depths of their passion, a shocking event occurs--one that puts Portia in deadly peril, and that will require Simon to use his considerable strength and influence to protect his once and always perfect lover.

Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 399 pages
  • Publisher: Avon Books London; Reissue edition (15 April 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060505729
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060505721
  • Product Dimensions: 17.1 x 10.6 x 2.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,147,252 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

The first romance stories Stephanie Laurens read were set against the backdrop of Regency England, and these continue to exert a special attraction for her. As an escape from the dry world of professional science, Stephanie started writing Regency romances. Her hobby quickly became a career when her novels about the masterful Cynster cousins captivated readers, making her one of the romance world's most beloved and popular authors. Currently living outside Melbourne, Australia with her husband and two cats, she has been writing historical romance novels for more than 20 years and is a New York Times, Publishers Weekly, Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestseller.

Learn more about Stephanie's books from her website at

Product Description


"'Marvellous!' - Cathy Kelly" --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Stephanie Laurens is the New York Times bestselling author of many Regency-set Romances, The Perfect Lover is part of the Bar Cynster series. The first six Cynster books deal with the stories of the six cousins known to the town as the Bar Cynster. Subsequent books deal with other members of the Cynster family, extended family, and close friends, Stephanie Laurens' romances have gained many fans, Piatkus will be publishing the entire Cynster series, Other titles will include: On A Wicked Dawn, On a Wild Night, The Promise in a Kiss, The Taste of Innocence. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
"Hell and the devil!" Simon Cynster reined in his bays, his eyes narrowing on the ridge high above Ashmore village. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Simon is one hot Cynster! 31 Mar 2003
The tenth novel in the Cynster series both lives up to the expectations built by its predecessors, and also brings along something a little different. I love the Cynster family and have enjoyed watching them match up with there mates. Here, some years after the events of ‘On a Wicked Dawn’ Simon Cynster is going to a house party attended by, amongst others, his brother-in-laws sister (i.e. no blood relation) Portia Ashford. Simon and Portia have known each other for 10 years, and have spent the time challenging each other at every turn. Unknown to the other, both of them have recently resolved to investigate the potential of marriage. The intelligent, cerebral and at the same time beautiful Portia vows to seriously consider all at the house party. Simon has already decided, the way Cynster males invariably do come to eventually, that it is time for him to find his own branch of his family – to have and to hold.
Both Simon and Portia know themselves and each other pretty well. They come to recognise the latent attraction, which bursts into passion (phew, nearly sets the pages alight!) as Simon tutors Portia in the ways of physical love, while also trying to win her over emotionally.
Portia is definitely a thinking woman. She’s always leaving the house to go off and think, or pacing the library (or drawing room, or her bedroom….) and pondering on her situation. This often slows the action down, and there’s action aplenty to be had because this is also a strong murder mystery book. The murder and resulting investigation naturally moves the story along, and I think it needed it. Portia is an interesting woman, but once she’s thought about her situation, assessed it and come to a decision – get on with it already!
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A perfect read!! 19 July 2004
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Amazon Verified Purchase
I've read every single one of the Cynster novels and I have to say that the Perfect Lover more than provided a fitting ending to a fabulous series!!
I had to admit that after reading some of the reviews I did expect to be disappointed - as it was Ms Laurens did not let me down.
Both Simon and Portia are engaging and likeable characters and their romance manages to be both tender and sweet aswell as passionate. The book is also aided by the use of the murder mystery storyline, and some strong supporting characters. It was also nice to see a previous background character coming to the fore (Lady Osbaldestone).
Portia is indeed a bit of a thinker, but I found that this did not bother me at all, as once she has made her decision she tends to jump in with both feet. I also liked the fact that she was more than a match for Simon, both intellectually and between the sheets.
I am now eagerly awaiting "The Ideal Bride". Up until now my favourite of the series was A Secret Love, but I think The Perfect Lover comes in a definate second - enjoy!!
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
By Anna Oxford VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Amazon Verified Purchase
I have so enjoyed all of the other Cynster books and so had really been looking forward to reading Stephanie Laurens's latest offering - which re-visits two characters from previous books (Simon and Portia). Whilst the book isn't actually bad - it's just not in the same league as her others. Just not enough character development and (dare I say it) rather too many dull sex scenes....If you haven't read any Stephanie Laurens yet - I'd suggest you buy Devils' Bride right now and don't waste your money on the hardback of this book. Similarly, if you've read the other Cyster books already - wait for the paperback!!
I'm pleased to see that Ms. Laurens has started a new set of stories - which promise to be intriguing and witty if the sneak preview at the end of A Perfect Lover is anything to go by. Hopefully a return to form!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Slow reading 18 Mar 2004
This is the latest and possible last book following the love fortunes of the Cynster family. I have all the other Cynster books, and have enjoyed reading most of them immensely, often reading them again and again. Unfortunately I can't say the same about this one. The story follows Simon Frederick Cynster, and his Nemesis, Portia Ashford. Sadly for the majority of the book you are given an in-depth insight into Portia's every thought, which really slows the story down. I found it so tedious having to read through pages and pages of Portia 'in thought', I almost gave up! This really spoilt the book for me. A bit of a let down to a really good set of books.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Perfect Read 16 Feb 2013
An easy read of Simon Cynster and Portia Ashford, friends/adversaries since childhood and their slow discovery of love that develops. More saucy scenes and a murder ~with Simon and Portia trapping the murderer at the end all ends happily ~ just what I would expect.

I think this one is book 11 in the Cynster series, but as before you can read any of them as stand-alones ... actually though, pay attention they do weave together very nicely!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Tedious 10 Jan 2008
By romfan
When I first started reading the Cynster novels they were fresh and exciting but I've found it harder and harder to read them in recent years. The Perfect Lover was in one word, tedious. I have never given up on a Stephanie Laurens book before but I did with this one. The action was so slow as to leave me almost comatose and I just found myself skipping pages just to get to the next stage in the story. Yes, Simon and Portia work as a couple and as usual with Lauren's heroines Portia is an intelligent individual but the plot was just so slow and contrived that I just had to put it down in frustration. I skipped to the end to find out if the murderer was who I thought it was (it was!) but his reasons were ridiculous! Devil's Bride, A Secret Love, Scandal's Bride and A Rake's Vow are by far the best of the series - the test being you can reread them over and over again and still get great pleasure from them. With the rest I always get a niggling sense of deja vu - that the prose I read is taken from the other (better) novels and just regurgitated.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant.
This is another book from Stephanie laurens that i couldn't put down until id finished it. I've got it in paperback and i must have read it a dozen times but still come back to... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars The Fabulous Cynsters
I'm in love with the Cynsters! I have read quite a few of these books and really enjoyed them. They all have their faults but manage to overcome them and win the girl. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Marilyn
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a good Cynster novel
Simon Cynster knows now is the time for him to marry. While at house party he runs in to Portia Ashford, a woman he has know for most of his life. Read more
Published 13 months ago by M. E. Newell
5.0 out of 5 stars One of her best!
I have read all of the Cynster novels and this one is one of my favourites. The characters were engaging, especially Simon, a man who comes across as entirely seductive without... Read more
Published 18 months ago by H. W. Taft
5.0 out of 5 stars the perfect lover
one of my favourites by stephanie laurens x read this from the library but have since purchased as i know i will read again x
Published on 16 Feb 2011 by littelgems
4.0 out of 5 stars slightly naughty but love it
in the tenth(???) book in the cynster series it is the turn of simon, brother to twins amanda and amelia to find his other half. Read more
Published on 2 July 2009 by Lindymck
5.0 out of 5 stars thought-provoking
Having read many of the Bar Cynster books (not particularly in order) and enjoyed them, I looked forward to another enjoyable read. And I was not disappointed. Read more
Published on 23 Dec 2008 by R. Hawes
2.0 out of 5 stars As a fan of Stephanie Laurens and the Cynster family, I was happily...
What a dissapointment! Simon and Portia's romance is, essentially, the same story that Laurens told in her last Cynster novel, ON A WICKED DAWN, except in a different setting, with... Read more
Published on 28 Dec 2007 by Haes
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