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4.1 out of 5 stars
All About Love (Cynster Book 6)
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 1 September 2003
In All About Love, it's Rupert Cynster's turn to meet his fate, and he does so in the form of Phyllida Tallent, the daughter of the magistrate in the village whence Cynster has fled to escape his matchmaking family. They first meet when she almost kills him, which I suppose is one way of leaving a lasting impression.
There is a murder plot: the old friend whom Rupert - Lucifer, as we�re supposed to call him - has come to visit has just been killed. And Lucifer knows that Phyllida knows something about the murder, just as he later discovers that her life is in danger - which gives him a very good reason to insist on protecting her. And, being a Cynster, he does a lot more than just protect her. Which begins to sound somewhat familiar...
Here's the formula for any Cynster book: Alpha-male hero, dead set against marriage, does his best to escape the plotters among the rest of his family. And then, when he least expects it, he runs into an unusual woman, very different from the run-of-the-mill female in that she's independent and confident, and immediately he falls in love and wants to marry her. Said female, on the other hand, does not want to marry him - for various, usually not very convincing reasons. Cynster male then exerts multiple powers of persuasion, some not exactly fair, but the one thing he refuses to do is to *tell* her exactly why he wants to marry her. So if she's holding out for a declaration of love, she's unlikely to get one, and this is what carries the story, which could really have been over within 150 pages, on to close to 400 pages.
Oh, and there�s always some sort of mystery/murder/crime plot, which generally gets far too much time and attention devoted to it, and which is usually pretty much paper-thin.
But clearly the formula works, since Laurens seems to be selling millions of the books in this series. This one's okay, although the murder plot dominates rather too much and at least some of the links were far too obvious from the beginning. If I�d read it as a stand-alone novel, since I did quite like Phyllida and Lucifer I'd probably have given it a three or four; however, it really feels as if I'm just reading the same book over and over again.
wmr-uk
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 4 July 2001
This is the 1st of the "Bar Cynster" series that I have read. It will not be the last!
Ms Laurens manages to combine a well written tale with humour and wit, great primary and secondary characters and a plot that has enough "meat" to flesh out a sensual love story.
I was very impressed with the communication between the main characters. Nothing annoys me more than an entire plot based around a misunderstanding that a 5 min mature conversation between the "hero" & "heroine" on page 1 would have negated the need for the rest of the story. In "All About Love" there are, of course, some misunderstandings but they are recognised and discussed in a mature and sensible way adding depth to the development of the characters as they discover their feelings for each other. The hero was perhaps a little "too" perfect, but what the heck - we can all dream. Although I don't share many of the character traits of the heroine, she was someone I would like to call a friend.
The love scenes were well crafted with a sensual more than sexual feel to them. The attraction was both believable and well developed. They worked their way through awareness to desire and finally love. This seems a much more realistic approach than the full blown passion at first sight that a lot of historical writers indulge in.
All in all a good read. My only complaint was that it was a very quick read. However, with a whole series out there this was just an appetiser!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 4 May 2008
I actually enjoyed this particular book in the series more than some of the others. It has far more of a developed romantic suspense story in it, rather than just the development of the romance between the two main characters, which is the case with some of the other Cynster novels.

Lucifer Cynster is invited down to Devon by his old friend and mentor in the world of collecting, Horatio Welham, because Horatio wants Lucifer's opinion on some special find that Horatio is very excited about. As Horatio is a specialist collector of books and Lucifer a collector of jewelry and silver, Lucifer can not imagine what Horatio wants his opinion on. However, as he is the last of the Bar Cynster's to remain unwed, Horatio's iniviation is an ideal way to avoid all the London match-making mama's and avoid marriage. He is sure that there will not be any interesting young misses in Horatio's village to tempt him into marriage. How wrong he is!

When he arrives at the village of Colyton, Lucifer finds a dead body in the dining room of the Manor and nearly ends up dead himself. Lucifer is sure that the enigmatic Phyllida Tallent, the very competent daughter of the local magistrate, knows more about the murder than she is letting on and he sets out to find out. However, Phyllida is a very independent 24 year old, used to organising both her father's household and the lives of the villagers - she is 'miss fix-it', and she has no intention of being intimidated by a mere dominating male. Why she has nearly all the eligable males in the district queuing up to marry her and will have none of them.

So Lucifer has a battle on his hands, both in how to woo the reluctant Phyllida and to discover the identity of the murderer.

Then it appears that the murderer is also trying to murder Phyllida and all Lucifer's protective Cynester genes come to the forefront.

Very witty and enjoyable, with likeable secondary characters.
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VINE VOICEon 17 May 2009
I read Ms Laurens books when I come across them in my library, which has recently had a trickle of them appearing, so I read 'em as I find 'em, ie not in sequence. This works just fine as a stand alone, apart from the epilogue which has nothing to do with the book and all to do with the preceding books - I skimmed it, got totally lost in all the names, and moved on!
I really enjoyed this one - it didn't strike me as being quite as formulaic as one of the other reviewers here thinks, there isn't any great misunderstanding or miscommunication - they fancy each other from the start and don't really try to fight it. The love scenes are very sensual, with no eeuw moments, the plot doesn't get tediously in the way of the underlying love story, and while its hard to believe a 19th century Papa would be quite so obliging, I didn't find it all totally unbleievable!
We never learn why Phyllida was quite so dead set against marriage, and her brother was a potentially interesting character who wasn't really developed, but these are all quibbles. This is a nice story that holds the attention with good lead characters - give it a go!
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Review taken from my Blog in November 2010 (#30).

Lucifer (Alasdair) Cynster and Miss Phyllida Tallent of Colyton (Twin Sister of Jonas from #5 - Temptation and Surrender).

She was wilful and independent and reluctant to the very, very last .... proving that it's only possible to stall a Cynster when they have their mind set, not stop them!

At best a 3.5 star rating for the purposes of the blog, but on Amazon and Good Reads it didn't warrant upgrading to a 4 stars, so I have rated at 3, which would in my opinion be fair for this book.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 31 August 2001
I love the Cynester clan, the succeptability of the males to the marriage 'curse', the spirited females, the interplay and supportive web of characters... However I found this installment something of a disappointment. Lucifer seemed too sketchily drawn and somewhat immature, a pale copy of his brother and cousins - Chillingworth already seems a more solid character, someone I already care about. I found I didn't much care about Lucifer or Phylliwhatsit - ugh, what a name. Here's hoping desporatly that Chillingworths' story lives up to expectations. And if you've never read any of the Cynister series START with this one, it's fun enough and the others only get better, they are a truely entertaining, thrilling, fun series of books that will leave you sighing in longing for a Cynister male in your life
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on 22 February 2014
Haven't finished this yet but am enjoying the book. I like the characters and the story is good going along at a good place. (haven't got bored with it)
I still think the first of this series was best one but I've read them all up to this one, some better than others.
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on 12 December 2013
As I wrote in the review for the truth about love I like these books for various reasons I like knowing the family I enjoy it being set in the regency period I just like the books
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on 15 November 2012
I do love the bar cynster series, but this was my least favourite,I just didn't warm to Lucifer as I did with the others. However, my mum also read it and loved it!
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on 22 February 2013
The best kind of romance. Takes you away from everyday. I have long been a great fan of Stephanie Laurens and she never disappoints.
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