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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fourteenth in the Cynster series
This is the fourteenth novel in the Cynster series but it works very well as a standalone book with just occasional glimpses of characters from the other books. It gives an interesting insight into the wooing and the early days of a marriage between an Earl and a woman whom he has known his entire life. Sarah Conningham is a 23 year old woman who is part of a happy family...
Published on 10 Jun 2007 by Helen Hancox

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3.0 out of 5 stars Not at her best
I really enjoy Stephanie Lauren's books but this book although enjoyable wasn't to her usual standards. I think it was because there was no real reason than the two main characters couldn't be together a lot earlier in the book. Also the Villain in the piece was obvious that it it was annoying nobody else had pieced the puzzle together especially given the supposed...
Published 14 months ago by jane h


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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fourteenth in the Cynster series, 10 Jun 2007
By 
Helen Hancox "Auntie Helen" (Essex, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This is the fourteenth novel in the Cynster series but it works very well as a standalone book with just occasional glimpses of characters from the other books. It gives an interesting insight into the wooing and the early days of a marriage between an Earl and a woman whom he has known his entire life. Sarah Conningham is a 23 year old woman who is part of a happy family and whose nature is warm and loving. However the reason that she has turned down several offers of marriage in the last few years is because she believes that marriage without love isn't worth it - she's only going to marry for love. The inconvenient attraction she feels for Charlie Morwellan, eighth Earl of Meredith, is something she has to ignore as he has no interest whatsoever in her.

When Charlie offers for Sarah it is because he knows she will make the perfect countess. They have grown up together and although they don't know each other well he knows that she is just what he needs. However he's surprised to find that she doesn't instantly accept his proposal but instead asks for two weeks to get to know him. Charlie decides to use the time to persuade her into the marriage and goes about this with traditional wooing mixed up with sensual experience. A lot of the first section of the book is details of their kissing and more but it's well written and it gives an idea of the characters, their thoughts and how they are getting to know each other.

The second part of the book follows their early days of marriage when Charlie realises he has fallen in love with his wife but is afraid it will cause him to make bad decisions, as his father did, and so he tries to withdraw. Although whilst reading the story this makes some kind of sense, subsequently it all seems a bit unlikely. However, Charlie and Sarah's relationship has its troubles and there are also some unfortunate events taking place at an orphanage of which Sarah is the patroness. Is there a deeper plot against the owner of the orphanage? Will Charlie come to his senses? What is the link with the railway scam and their troubles?

Stephanie Laurens' writing style is very good. Although there's a fair amount of sex in this book it's written in a pleasant and loving style and it is part of the overall plot. The characters grow and change as the story progresses, Sarah coming into her element as countess and understanding more about her husband than perhaps he does, Charlie realising that his priorities in life up to now haven't been right. The 'baddie' in this story is a rather half-hearted one and it was fairly easy to guess who it was but the plot about the attacks on the orphanage added some interest to the story. Overall it was a very enjoyable read and although sometimes Charlie seemed to speak in a rather modern American manner about emotions, it was good to have a happy ending without too much heartache in the middle.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good steamy read, 31 Oct 2007
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When a rich handsome and highly eligible peer decides to marry he does not expect to be refused - especially by someone who could be considered 'on the shelf'. Sarah is no fool. She has known Charlie for years but although it is obvious she has nurtured a tendre for him she is determined to know why he has offered and is not impressed by his assessment that they are from similar backgrounds, have a long acquaintance and would 'deal exceptionally well together'. She insists he woos her before giving her answer. It is a challenge Charlie is determined to win. By degrees he seduces her - always going a little bit further but never too far in order to keep her wanting more. There are times when they cann't be alone and their desperation is tangible. The sex scenes are steamy and an integral part of the story as Charlie does his utmost to have Sarah agree to marry him without understanding what truly drives him to succeed. He succeeds in winning her hand yet he is determined not to love. Wanting only a conventional marriage for personal reasons he is devastated when he realises he does love her and tries to keep his distance. His behavior drives a wedge between them and allows for the subplot to develop. I think his rejection of her after their marriage was placed to allow the sub-plot to develop.
The sub plot threatens Sarah and her heritage (an orphanage)and Charlie's business interests, and this is threaded throughout the story - although the culprit etc is not difficult to guess.
I enjoyed the story but give it 4 stars as I thought it a little too formulaic - seduction (excellent), rejection (questionable), threat (very 'regency'), reconciliation (good).
I would read this book again as the relationship was developed very well, and the characters were well matched and believable but I'd cheat next time and skip the plot paragraphs.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly good read, 11 Mar 2013
All in all, another sparkling read from Stephanie Laurens, with the Cynster connection and various other characters running through it. I find the most appealing part of her works is that they can be read as an entire body, or independently with various characters and relationships popping hither and yon throughout. There is also just about the right content of smut throughout.

It was thoroughly enjoyed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant, 10 Mar 2013
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all her books are really good. different with a twist
look forward for more of them on kindle
can t wait.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good romp, 11 July 2014
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I'm working through the Munster series some are just a little formulaic but others have a good twist in the tail.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Regency romance, 23 Mar 2014
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This is another story from the Cynster series. This is the brother of a Cynster bar wife. This is written slightly differently from a growing romance to a man who recognises he is in love with his chosen bride but feel he has to hide it so it does not control him to takes the same risks his father made. This is done on a backdrop of suspense and a hunt for villain. Barnaby Adair is Also a main character. A good read as always
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5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent read, 19 Jan 2014
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Another book by Stephanie Laurens this is a exciting book in a excellent exciting series of books well worth reading
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not at her best, 4 Jun 2013
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I really enjoy Stephanie Lauren's books but this book although enjoyable wasn't to her usual standards. I think it was because there was no real reason than the two main characters couldn't be together a lot earlier in the book. Also the Villain in the piece was obvious that it it was annoying nobody else had pieced the puzzle together especially given the supposed intelligence of the Cynsters! There are better books in the Cynster series.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Working my through the Bar Cynster, 3 Jun 2013
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This review is from: The Taste Of Innocence: Number 15 in series (Bar Cynster) (Paperback)
Pure escapism - perfect for the beach, for long journeys or just lazy days. The hero is totally unbelievable but that is what makes this book so great !!
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1.0 out of 5 stars So boring!, 28 May 2012
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This review is from: The Taste Of Innocence: Number 15 in series (Bar Cynster) (Paperback)
This book was so boring it took me ten days to read, and this coming from a person who would stay up all night to finish a novel. It's all "love" this and " love" that. The book could be reduced to a quarter of it's size, that's how short the story is. By the time I was less than halfway through the book, I was skipping chunks of it. Her previous books are much better.
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The Taste Of Innocence: Number 15 in series (Bar Cynster)
The Taste Of Innocence: Number 15 in series (Bar Cynster) by Stephanie Laurens (Paperback - 6 Dec 2007)
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