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Customer reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
All About Passion: Number 7 in series (Bar Cynster)
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on 25 July 2017
Another great book from Stephanie Laurens. Good combination of romance and mystery.
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on 27 September 2001
Having read all of the Cynster series so far I was desperate for the next one! The tale deals with the honorary cynster the Earl of Chillingworth. Like the Bar Cynster before him, he decides to marry and concocts this ridiculous notion of marrying a quiet obedient girl who will not interfere with his life. As fans of Stephanie Laurens will know - he doesn't exactly get what he orders! Definately worth buying and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes historical romance - but start at the beginning if you haven't read the others in the series. "Devil's Bride" is the first book - but I warn you - once you start you'll get hooked!
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on 17 September 2001
After reading the Bar Cynster series I fell in love with the Earl of Chillingworth for all his sarcasm in regards to the marriages of the Cynsters which ended up as a love matches. In this book The Earl has sweet revenge visited upon him by a character full of life and a sense of her sensuality. The book has a nice twist to it that is not too much of a surprise but it leaves you wondering throughout the book of when will it happen and how it will it be orchestrated and what will the end product be.
Overall if you loved the Cynsters you will love All About Passion, now I am waiting for the next three books that will extend the series. Buy it and enjoy it!
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on 18 March 2013
This is another one that I borrowed from the local Library, but I found it so good that I managed to finish it almost overnight.

Gyles Rawlings (5th Earl of Chillingworth and honorary member of the Cynster Clan) and Francesca his sight unseen bride. He'd hoped by organising an arranged marriage he would get what he wanted a meek and biddable wife that would impinge on his lifestyle not a bit. Little did he know he would fall in love with her, body, heart and soul.

Highly recommended, especially if you are a Cynster Hero fan.
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on 1 September 2003
Gyles Rawlins, the Earl of Chillingworth, was a minor character in several of the earlier Cynster books. Now that the Bar Cynster members are all married off, Laurens turns her attention to other characters in their environs, and her first - and very welcome - choice is Chillingworth. Of course, this development was trailed very clearly when, at the end of All About Love, the Duke of St Ives declares Chillingworth to be an honorary Cynster. He’s determined not to go the same way as his friends, however, when it comes to matters of the heart.
So, yes, it’s another hero who is determined not to fall in love. But Chillingworth seems to mean it; he has decided to contract an arranged marriage with a suitable female, and preferably the sort who will be indistinguishable from the wallpaper in his various homes. If she happens to come with strategically-important land, such as the segment which was cut out of his own lands some years ago, so much the better. Such as his distant cousin, Francesca Rawlins.
Francesca, he believes, is quiet and dull; the kind of woman he can marry, bed and then leave safely buried in the country while he carries on with his normal lifestyle. What Chillingworth doesn’t know is that the young woman he saw wasn’t Francesca but her cousin Frannie (why Laurens felt the need to give the two women such similar names is beyond me. It certainly wasn’t necessary for the plot).
Anyway, Chillingworth and Francesca marry, and are very attracted to each other - this is not the kind of marriage Chillingworth was looking for, however! He’s determined not to fall in love, and so his behaviour towards Francesca is very odd; he keeps sending her mixed signals. He’s warm and passionate in bed, and yet very distant elsewhere. She, on the other hand, is finding her new husband more and more irrestible. But if he doesn’t want her, is there any hope of happiness?
My sneaking liking for Chillingworth in the earlier books was confirmed in All About Passion, and I also liked Francesca very much. This is quite a bit better than a number of the other books in the Cynster series, largely because it’s *not* a carbon copy of the other books. It’s still similar, but at least this time I didn’t feel as if I was reading exactly the same book yet again. This could have been a very enjoyable and interesting study of an arranged marriage which turned out to be something other than what Chillingworth had intended. But, as usual, Laurens had to bolt a dramatic plot onto it, in this case murder attempts. The villain, as ever, was predictable, and in this case it was a particularly offensive use of stereotypes. I wish this book had been purely about the relationship; if it had been, I would have rated it more highly.
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VINE VOICEon 9 April 2007
This is actually one of the few Cynster novels I've read; for some reason I've been avoiding them. There's already a good synopsis and a detailed review by another reader.

So here you have an honorary Cynster, Gyles Rawlings, who because of his father's early death does not trust love, as it breaks hearts. Gyles therefore decides to make a marriage of convenience with a distant Rawlings cousin who owns a peice of land that once belonged to his estate. He wants a quiet, biddable, nonentity of a wife, who will be content to allow him to get on with his own life and have affairs. He spots who he thinks is his future wife sitting in the gardens of her uncle's home and is content. However, he is immediately and passionately attracted to a young lady who he thinks is his future wife's companion and thanks heaven's that it is not she whom he is marrying, although he is not adverse to making her his mistress. However, due to his decision not to meet his fiance until the actual wedding, it is only then that he discovers that the 'companion' is in fact his about to be wife. He also finds out that Frannie, his wife's cousin, who was the girl he thought he was getting, is somewhat strange and thanks his lucky stars that she was not his bride. Frannie is described as "simple" and "difficult".

Francesca, his wife, knows that Gyles is holding back his heart from her,so sets out to win it. I've put "...obviously predictable" in my title, because we all know with this type of novel that boy gets girl/girl gets boy in the end, so it has to end happily.

However, as one reader mentions, there is a murder plot and yes the villan is predictably stereotyped. I would question, however, whether in real life this type of person would be able to think through all the ins and outs of the murder attempts; particularly in hiring thugs. How did this person know that Francesca would be visiting that particular person on that particular road at that time? It stretches the imagination somewhat.

Still, its a pleasant easy read.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 7 October 2010
This historical romance, set in 1820 just after the Prince Regent had finally ascended to the throne, fits into the author's "Bar Cynster" series. The hero, Gyles Rawlings (Earl of Chillingworth) is a friend of the Cynster family and appears as a minor character in earlier books of the series such as "Devil's Bride (Bar Cynster)" and "A Secret Love (Bar Cynster)", and has even been elected by Devil Cynster (the duke of St Ives and head of the Cynster family) and his cousins as an "Honorary Cynster."

In the bible, Jacob had lost his heart to his patron's beautiful younger daughter Rachel and asked for her hand in marriage, but found when his bride lifted her veil that instead of the woman who stirred his blood he had been given instead her sister Leah. This is a story of a man who finds himself in exactly the opposite position ...

In this book Gyles Rawlings has seen all his Cynster friends and fellow rakes smitten by, and marry for love: and finding that he needs a bride, is determined not to go the same way. He wants a calm, placid marriage which will not interfere with his other pursuits.

So the Earl goes to a distant cousin who is the guardian of a young niece and has a daughter the same age, and negotiates for the hand of one of the two ladies concerned. One of the cousins appears to be calm and placid, well behaved and reasonably good looking without being a great beauty. The other is a fiery, tempestuous and voluptuous beauty who sets his pulse racing. Wanting a docile wife rather than a passionate marriage, Chillingworth offers for the former - or so he thinks.

However - and I'm not giving away anything here which isn't clearly stated on the back of the book - Gyles has offered for the wrong woman. Through a series of ironic chances he does not get formally introduced to either girl before the wedding and misjudges which is which. Having thought he was offering for the placid girl who doesn't set him on fire, he looks around as his bride is coming up the aisle - to see the girl he thought he was marrying sitting in the front row while the girl who drives him mad with desire is the bride who is taking her place beside him. And she's absolutely furious ...

Ridiculously unlikely but highly amusing and entertaining. One of Stephanie Laurens' better books.
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on 18 November 2008
i think this novel fits in after all the cynster men have found their ladies but before amanda and amelia find love. gyles rawlings is an honorary member of the bar cynster but still lives up to all the previous gents. so with time marching on he decides to get himself a wife, albeit a marriage of covenience but he gets more than he bargained with when he marries Francesca rawlings. no docile wife for him. most of the story is about them getting to know each other so nothing to exciting happens, lots of familiar faces appear, but to bring our lovely couple together and realise how much they mean to each other, there is a murder mystery to solve. although to me it was PAINFULLY obvious who the culprit was, i just couldnt believe that laurens could even entertain the notion that gyles would not have sniffed it out earlier so that just killed it for me. if this is the first laurens book you have read dont judge to harshly and read the others, although for fans of the cynster books this is a disappointment!!!
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on 22 May 2015
I have read the cynster series so far and when I read the sample and proceeded to pay for this book I was Shocked at the price £7.50 !!! I have read hundreds of books in this genre because that is all I read Recency.... I have never been more disappointed and struggled to finish it I found it boring and seemed to take forever to get to the end which was the best bit, sorry I have never given such a low star rating but feel robbed at paying the price I did for a book I felt could have been wrote with 200 pages less
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VINE VOICEon 16 February 2010
I really enjoyed this novel in a series that is becoming very formulaic. We finally get to see Chillingworth get his comeuppance! His innocent, Francesca Rawlings (a distant cousin) is a real match in wits and temperment, and for once the more sexually experienced person in the partnership doesn't get to be the one who holds all the cards or directs how their relationship progresses. I couldn't put this one down.
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