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4.3 out of 5 stars
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4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 27 April 1999
In DEVIL'S BRIDE, we meet Honoria Wetherby, a woman determined to enjoy life to it's fullest without the shackles of marriage. One stormy night she encounters a young man who is dying of a gunshot wound. While trying to help him, she meets the young man's powerful cousin, who she later finds out is Sylvester "Devil" Cynster, Duke of St. Ives. Due to the storm and the circumstances, they end up spending the night in a cottage. Young Tolly Cynster dies during the night never being able to reveal what happened to him. Unfortunately, when Honoria and Devil are found, she is compromised. Devil immediately decided to have her as his duchess. But first he has to convince her into marrying him. This starts off a delightful cat and mouse game. We also meet the other wickedly handsome and rakish Cynster cousins, Vane, Scandal, Gabriel, Demon and Lucifer. The six are called the Bar Cynster . I nearly passed out because this book got soooo HOT! Devil is an absolute dream! Add an unknown murderer on the loose, coincidental "accidents", steamy erotic sex, and a mushy romance and you've got yourself a winner!
You just have to read A RAKE'S VOW, Vane's story, and SCANDAL'S BRIDE, Richard's story. Talk about HOOOT!!! I can't wait for the other Cynster novels to come. We still have three Cynster rakes to go.
DEVIL'S BRIDE is a wonderful romantic read filled with humor, mystery, suspense, and a passionate love. I recommend it and the other Cynster novels. You'll love them! Trust me!
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on 8 February 2013
I can't finish this. I keep rolling my eyes with the ridiculous dialogue and attitudes of the inanely named characters within the pages of this book. After I read that the hero and heroine got to "the porch" of his grand estate house, I almost threw the book in the trash. Did Pemberly have a PORCH? Does Balmoral have a PORCH? Good Gracious. And sorry, I know I'm not supposed to, but I keep pronouncing the heroine's name so it rhymes with "gonorrhea". Absolute tripe. I feel robbed and I don't understand all these glowing reviews. The writing is deplorable and silly. My first and last from this author, unfortunate that I invested in some others as they had a reduced price, but I think my time would be better spent filing my nails.
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on 2 November 2002
"Devil's Bride is the first novel in Ms Laurens' Cynster Dynasty series. The story is set in Regency England and it takes us into the exciting lives of the ton especially the Cynster ducal family.This is my first book by the author and I have decided to read the series in order.Devil's story is a very entertaining read and I hope the others will live up to their reputation too.
Devil Cynster originally called the Duke of St. Ives is the head of his extensive family. Everyone thinks his nickname is very accurate because he is like the "devil" in appearence and behavior too.He meets Honoria Anstruther-Wetherby under very strange circumstances but he immediately knows that he has just met his fate.They find the body of a young man who was shot in the woods. The boy is Tolly, Devil's cousin and his mysterious death starts their story together. They spend a night under the same roof of a cottage together with the corpse and Devil knows Honoria is copromised in the eyes of society. He decides that the best solution for them is to marry and this is his wish as well. He wants Honoria for his Duchess because he is attracted to her and she fulfills all his requirements in a wife. And when a Cynster wants something in life they go and get it without leaving any obstacles in the way.Honoria is a well bred young lady who loves adventure. That is the reason she works as a finishing governess for aristocratic families. She plans to travel to Africa and enjoy her independent life among the pyramids of Egypt. The last thing on her mind is to marry, especially a tyrant controlling Cynster like Devil.Both leading characters are wonderfully alive, strong, intelligent and a matching pair in every possible way.
Honoria is attracted to Devil's charm, his confidence in himself and his honour to his family. She fights the attraction because she doesn't want to give up her plans for independence. Devil is intrigued by Honoria. He knows he wants her in his bed and in his life as a mother of his children. He takes up the challenge of winning her hand in marriage. Their battle of the sexes is powerful, sometimes funny, exciting and very sensual. At the same time the Cynsters want to solve the mystery around Tolly's death. All the Cynster males are arrogant, handsome and very controlling. They protect what is theirs, their women and children but they have clear definitions what a woman can and cannot do. They certainly don't agree with Honoria's intention to be involved in the murder mystery. Devil has his hands full of Honoria, her stubborness drives him crazy and at the same time he is lusting after her.The author has a wonderful writing style and gives us a detailed description of her heroes' behavior, their feelings and passion for each other. Devil and Honoria fight love at every possible turn until they must surrender to it. The way it comes to them is very realistic and warms the reader's heart.
DEVIL'S BRIDE is a well-written Regency romance from the pen of a talented author. The historical era is well researched and the characters are well developed. The novel is full of action and the story needs to be savoured step by step.
Stephanie Laurens introduces a bunch of promising secondary characters.The Cynsters are a charming lot and I look forward to continue reading about them.
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on 4 October 2000
This was the first of the Cynster stories that I have read, and what a treat it was - I really had difficulty putting this one down! The hero and heroine were both compelling characters - exactly the way I like them. With faults like everybody else, but thoroughly engaging. Miss Laurens certainly knows how to write love scenes also. Absolutely sizzling comes to mind!. The only reason I haven't rated this novel at the five stars it should receive is that it fails completely as a thriller. The villian is entirely too obvious and it is almost insulting to the reader in it's simplicity. All in all, I would recommend this book to anybody who enjoys romance with a sensual twist - but don't buy it if you're looking for a 'who dunnit' or you'll be very disappointed.
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on 8 March 2003
Honoria Wetherby, a very exclusive governess, stumbles over a dying man on her way back to her employer's home one stormy evening. Her horse bolts and she's left alone with no way of helping the man... until a tall, dark and handsome stranger arrives. He takes her and the injured man to a cottage, whereupon Honoria discovers that her rescuer is the injured man's cousin, and he introduces himself as Devil.
The following morning, the shooting victim dead, Honoria finds out that 'Devil' is actually Sylvester, the Duke of St Ives. And he discovers that her name is really Anstruther-Wetherby; she's of very good family indeed. Given that he's already attracted to her, the fact that he's compromised her is, from his point of view, very convenient.
But Honoria has other plans. She has no intention of marrying anyone, and especially not an arrogant duke who simply announces his plans for her. And she wants to travel to Africa and explore the continent; a husband doesn't figure in her plans at all. So they seem to be at an impasse... except that Honoria can't seem to help getting sucked into the duke's family, especially given their grief at young Tolly's death. Her skills with young girls come in very useful indeed.
And when everyone in the family, let alone Society in general, assumes that Honoria will marry Devil, how can she fight that? When his kisses heat her blood and make her want more, she realises how attracted to him she is too. So what of her own plans? Can she become Devil's Bride?
This is an enjoyable romp in most respects; however, there are a number of irritating elements which prevent it getting a higher rating. First, those names!! What on earth possessed Laurens to give her heroes names such as Devil, Scandal, Gabriel, Lucifer et al? What's the point? As someone else pointed out, they don't seem to do a lot to deserve them, and anyway it just sounds ridiculous. (Speaking of 'Scandal', incidentally, since I read The Promise In A Kiss before reading this book, I was curious to discover where Sebastian's illegitimate son came from. The story of his arrival - and of Helena's unquestioning, even delighted, acceptance of him - is simply ridiculous and lacks all credibility).
Second, while I know this is Stephanie Laurens and not Jo Beverley or Mary Balogh, the behaviour of her characters as regards sex is not credible either. Sneaking around the house - in London and at Somersham - at night to bed-hop is ludicrous. Okay, Devil doesn't have a valet, but what about Honoria's maid? What about the footmen who may well do night duty? What about other occupants of the house hearing footsteps or other noises? I couldn't suspend credibility for that illicit lovemaking at all.
Third, I don't know where Laurens gets her ideas from about mourning, but deep mourning was for six months, and half-mourning for a further six months after that. There is no way at all that the family would have been preparing for a ball within six weeks of Tolly's death.
Fourth, the murder plot was so transparent even I could figure it out, and I'm no good at all with whodunits. I think I'd worked out the identity of the murder within about 30 pages. So then it got quite boring waiting for the characters to catch up with me - and when Laurens made it clear about 3/4 way through that Devil knew who it was but she kept it from the reader, I was shaking my head. Did she really think that people wouldn't have guessed it? As for the motive, again that was easy.
And fifth, the book really lost momentum after Devil and Honoria married. The only thing to sustain the plot from then on was the identity of the murderer, plus further attempts on Devil's life - that took up close to half the book, which was tedious given that by then the romance element had been wound up. Poor pacing there.
An entertaining light read, but no more than that.
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on 28 January 2015
Not sure there is much point in adding another review when this book has so many, but it does seem that there need to be more warnings for readers like me. I have tried three Stephanie Laurens books now and maybe it is just my bad luck in the choices I made, but I have found the characters and their basic interactions all rather similar: a reasonably strong-minded young woman trying to resist the attentions of a rich, titled and domineering man who is equally determined that she will marry him. Reasonably good writing, lots of lust and token historic accuracy, but nothing memorable. This was a dull and predictable story. I gave up and haven't finished it. I will not bother with another book by this author.
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on 13 September 2006
This has got to be the best Stephanie Laurens book. I have read all her other books and this beats them hands down. Devil is such a strong character and Honoria needs to have a backbone of steel to handle him. I like the Cynster books because all the main male characters are very arrogant and domineering and very use to getting their own way, that is until they meet the women they fall in love with, then the fun starts.

I would definately recommend any romance fan reading this book, I coud'nt put it down. It was funny and witty and you were applauding Honoria when she woud'nt be dictated to by Devil and stood up to him.
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on 23 August 2004
This is the first Stephanie Laurens book I have read, and it has got me hooked on her work.
This is the first of the Cynster series, and is about the head of the family, Devil.
Honoria Anstruther-Weatherby, a strong minded young lady, determined never to marry. Devil Cysnter, rake, is just as determined that they will marry. The sparks fly whilst they work to revole their difference and to solve a murder.
Honoria comes across as a very realistic personality, she is intelligent, strong willed and stubborn. Devil is honorable, just as stubborn but is very protective and possessive. The writer manages to paint the scenes/backgrounds so well that it is very easy to imagine being there.
I really fell in love with all of the characters, and have gone onto the further enjoy the other Cynster books. All the books in the series can be read and enjoyed as stand alones.
Highly recommend this series.
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on 13 July 2011
I read this book as a bit of light refreshment after a 'heavy' book and for this purpose it was perfect. It will never win any literary prizes so if you want a deep and meaningful read then steer clear of this book!

The story is classic romantic fare - boy meets girl and there is friction and passion and then they all live happily ever after. The subplot of a murder is nothing more than padding and doesn't really add anything to the story. The love scenes are just the right level of raunchy. Not erotic fiction explicit but more detailed than a standard mills & boon.

I think that the books in the series are slightly overpriced for what they are but I must confess that I will be buying more for my holiday reads!
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on 25 June 2013
This is the best of the Cynster novels that I have read. I did enjoy it and liked the fact there wasn't TOO much shilly shallying over the getting married bit as it always annoys me when heroines fail to see what an improvement in circumstances it would be for them to marry the Duke or Earl or Lord whoever is asking. The murder mystery was ok although I correctly guessed the whodunit early on. I was a bit disappointed as I had read earlier books of hers which I enjoyed much more. I'm sure I'm not the only one who found the men's names toe curling but it seems a bit churlish to complain about that. The story was good but the author goes on to use a variation of this plot in those of the rest of the series I have read.
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