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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Upstairs/Downstairs" through Regency London
This was a really enjoyable story with two major threads, a major and a minor romance and a murder/kidnapping mystery with an unusual mix of characters from different social levels in society. More time in the book is actually given to the murder/kidnapping story where various young orphan boys are kidnapped before being taken to a Foundling Home in order to be trained as...
Published on 6 Feb. 2008 by Helen Hancox

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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad, just rather predictable
This follows the story of Penelope, strong-willed sister of Lucien who appeared in a previous Cynster novel, and Barnaby Adair, sleuthing third son of an earl, who apparently appeared in another. Like most of Lauren's books, it's part romance, part mystery. Penelope is administrator of an orphanage, and seeks Barnaby's help when a number of youngsters are abducted...
Published on 3 May 2008 by Cherie - An Avid Reader


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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad, just rather predictable, 3 May 2008
This follows the story of Penelope, strong-willed sister of Lucien who appeared in a previous Cynster novel, and Barnaby Adair, sleuthing third son of an earl, who apparently appeared in another. Like most of Lauren's books, it's part romance, part mystery. Penelope is administrator of an orphanage, and seeks Barnaby's help when a number of youngsters are abducted. Although Barnaby and Penelope are both confirmed singletons, as they unravel the mystery they are drawn together and although Penelope fights her attraction to Barnaby, the inevitable happens.

For me the story was a bit contrived, and Laurens has already done this plotline to death. She writes quite well, and is reasonably adept at conjuring up the atmosphere of the post Regency era. However, the one piece of humour in the book did make me laugh, but for the wrong reasons, since it concerns on the heroine's inability to open mussels. Had she succeeded, it would have been a very short book, since she would have died of food poisoning - healthy mussels open when cooked!

It isn't a bad book, just rather predictable. And since none of the Cynsters make an appearance, fans of the series may be disappointed.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Upstairs/Downstairs" through Regency London, 6 Feb. 2008
By 
Helen Hancox "Auntie Helen" (Essex, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This was a really enjoyable story with two major threads, a major and a minor romance and a murder/kidnapping mystery with an unusual mix of characters from different social levels in society. More time in the book is actually given to the murder/kidnapping story where various young orphan boys are kidnapped before being taken to a Foundling Home in order to be trained as Burglar's Boys. Penelope Ashford, the administrator of the Foundling Home and the daughter of a Viscount, takes upon herself to investigate the disappearance of the boys. She knows she doesn't have the skills herself, although she has plenty of courage and energy, but she knows that Barnaby Adair, third son of an Earl, is known for investigating crimes and having links with the Police. She goes to Barnaby and persuades him to help her to find the boys, and thus starts this enjoyable plot.

Barnaby assumes that he can 'handle' Penelope but she soon confounds his ideas and expectations and he ends up working alongside her, sometimes following in her wake. Their attraction to each other becomes apparent but Penelope is dead set against marriage and so Barnaby has to use all his guile and his understanding of her nature to try to change her mind. There's a secondary romance between a policeman and his informant which is also sweet and well-written and an interesting insight into life for the middle classes and working classes in Regency London.

All the characters in this story are well drawn, ranging from the main characters to the dying mother of a young boy, and Laurens' pacing is always excellent. The point of view sometimes changes unexpectedly mid-text which can be a bit confusing and the historical detail is a bit suspect in that our heroine seems to be able to gad about all over the place without anyone noticing she's unchaperoned. However the story wouldn't work well if she was constantly under the surveillance of her parents so it's an acceptable fudge of historicity to further the plot. All in all this was a really enjoyable read with the kidnapping plot adding spice to the story.

Originally published for Curled Up With A Good Book © Helen Hancox 2008
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Where the Heart Leads, Stephanie Laurens, 12 Feb. 2012
By 
L. Green (West Midlands, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Where The Heart Leads: Number 1 in series (From the Casebook of Barnaby Adair) (Paperback)
Only recently discovered this author. After earlier years being hooked on Georgette Heyer I still love regency adventures and romances. Stephanie Laurens brings them into the 21st century and gives a new meaning to romance and bodice ripping. A really good read, which I can recommend to other readers.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Strong story, four very solid and different characters, lots of London background, 30 Jan. 2014
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This review is from: Where The Heart Leads: Number 1 in series (From the Casebook of Barnaby Adair) (Paperback)
What a refreshing story! Good solid plot line and introduction of each character - all of whom were very real and individual - prolonged interest. Really enjoyed except for extremely long drawn out sex scenes going on for pages and pages which were a bit unnecessary.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read, 5 Dec. 2013
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Stephanie Laurens is an author I will always buy as I know I will love her books, whichever series they are. I'm looking forward to more of the Barnaby Adair Casebooks novels.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars As always, 18 Mar. 2014
This was as always excellent, I usually long to know what happens with Stephanie's characters in the future, they are
so alive and real.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Need I Say More?, 19 Sept. 2013
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This is Stephanie Laurens we're talking about. No need to tell you about the story - it would spoil it. Her style and interpretations of her characters' thoughts and emotions are always the best, ensuring that I read every word, sometimes going back and reading a paragraph for a second time, whereas with other authors, I find myself skipping bits because they are not interesting enough. Always a cracking good plot; I have never disliked any of Ms Laurens' tales. Well worth more than one read!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars barnaby, 11 Jan. 2014
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This review is from: Where The Heart Leads: Number 1 in series (From the Casebook of Barnaby Adair) (Paperback)
very good. Interesting reading. Enjoyed it very much. The casebook of Barnaby is one of the best in the series.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A PLEASING POTPOURRI OF ROMANCE AND MYSTERY, 7 Feb. 2008
By 
Gail Cooke (TX, USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Do you enjoy Regency romances, vicariously visiting another time and place ? Do you like a narrative laced with descriptions of a heroine whose senses alternately swoon or quake and nerves clench at the slightest touch of a tall, handsome ? If so, you'll find much to relish in the latest by Australian novelist Stephanie Laurens.

This author has also crafted a mystery to accompany the increasing palpitations of Penelope Ashford and Barnaby Adair's roguish come-hither behavior. While the mystery is an intriguing one involving some of the most dastardly villains since Fagin in Oliver Twist, it certainly takes second place to the love stories Ms. Laurens has woven.

It is late one evening when we first meet Barnaby, who is known for uncovering the shenanigans of his fellow aristocrats. While his latest feat has been praised by many, including the Prime Minister, he's not reveling in his victory, but feels rather at a loss. We take it a bit bored - that is until the doorbell rings at this unlikely hour and Penelope is ushered into his parlor.

Penelope is a rather unusual heroine - beautiful, of course, but wearing gold rimmed glasses. Barnaby remembers what he'd heard of her - that "she was something of a firebrand, one who paid scant attention to social restraints if said restraints stood in her way." Precisely so as she's cast propriety aside to come to his home unescorted at an untimely hour. She is seeking his help. Penelope is the director of a foundling home, an institution that takes in orphans primarily from the East End. Once there the youngsters are well cared for and trained to be maids, footmen, etc.

The problem is that in the past month alone four of the boys who should have gone to the home have been taken by someone unknown before Penelope or others could pick them up. Naturally, she fears for their safety and wants the kidnappers stopped before more boys are taken.

Barnaby agrees to help her and enlists the assistance of his good friend, Inspector Basil Stokes. When it becomes obvious that they must somehow penetrate the East End in an effort to learn more, Stokes calls upon Griselda Martin, a former East Ender who now runs a millinery shop. No surprise - romance blossoms between this pair also.

Thus, Laurens presents two very different couples united by one baffling pursuit, while at the same time each explores the intricacies of his or her emotions. Just what this author's fans will stand in line for.

- Gail Cooke
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Difficult to put down, 12 April 2008
I picked up Where the Heart Leads by Stephanie Laurens, and I had not expected it to be much more than a semi-interesting read. However, with every page turn, I became more and more attached to the novel's heroine, and actually found it very difficult to put the book down. Since reading this book, I have highly recommended it to all my girlfriends. It's a beautiful story about life, love and friendship filled with excitement, heartbreak and hope. I'd also recommend reading Tino Georgiou's bestselling novel--The Fates--if you haven't yet!!
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Where The Heart Leads: Number 1 in series (From the Casebook of Barnaby Adair)
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