New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Laurens presents a brash, bold new series.
They're battle-hardened, sinfully wealthy, completely unstoppable – and all male: Four officers of the Crown, fighting against a deadly foe known only as the Black Cobra.
He is a man who has faced peril without flinching, determined to fight for king and country.
She is a bold, beautiful woman with a scandalous past, destined to become an untamed bride.
Together they must vanquish the ruthless enemy, while confronting the dangers of the heart…
Gareth Hamilton is stunned when he recognizes Emily Ensworth on his ship. The veil she wears is not enough to disguise her from him – or from the man hired to kill her. Whisking Emily to safety, Gareth realizes that the Black Cobra is on to them. In order to protect her, Gareth must let Emily in on the dangerous plot she is now intimately involved in. Emily Ensworth is no wilting flower. She knew the packet the dying soldier thrust upon her held vital information, and she has every intention of seeing it into safe hands. But she is also determined to bring the men trying to kill her to justice. Together, she and Gareth do their best to lure the Black Cobra and his men into the open. Putting their lives at risk draws Emily and Gareth ever closer together, the constant danger sparking a passion neither one can resist. But with threats lurking around every corner, Gareth and Emily must work harder than ever to make sure that their newfound love isn't snuffed out before it ever has a chance.
When New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Laurens created the Cynsters, a phenomenon was born. Bold, passionate, and possessive, the Cynster men let nothing stand in their way when it comes to claiming the women of their hearts. Now, Stephanie Laurens has written her most romantic and powerful novel to date, one that dares tell The Truth About Love.
Gerrard Debbington is one of the chosen few – the gentlemen who've learned their social and amorous skills at the feet of the masters. Handsome and wealthy, protégé and brother-in-law of Vane Cynster, Gerrard is part of the charmed Cynster family circle. One of the most eligible gentlemen in the ton, Gerrard is constantly besieged by offers from London's most sought-after beauties, but as the ton's foremost artistic lion, there's only one offer he wants to accept – the chance to paint the fantastical but seldom-seen gardens of reclusive Lord Tregonning's Hellebore Hall.
That chance is dangled before Gerrard, but to grasp it he must fulfill Lord Tregonning's demand that he also create an open and honest portrait of the man's daughter. Gerrard loathes the idea of wasting his time and talents on some simpering miss, but with no alternative, he agrees…
Only to discover that Jacqueline Tregonning inspires him as no other lady has. Certainly she is beautiful, but Gerrard is stunned by the deep emotions she stirs and is captivated by her passionate nature and innate goodness. He is soon convinced that Jacqueline is the soul mate he needs as his wife.
But something is horribly wrong at Hellebore Hall. Evil lurks in the beautiful gardens and along the rambling pathways. And that evil reaches out to ensnare Jacqueline, trapping her in a web of insidious whispers – whispers that paint her as a double murderess.
The rumors are false, but someone is actively spreading them. Convinced that Jacqueline is innocent of all wrongdoing, Gerrard is confident his portrait will open others' eyes to the truth he sees, but when a long-dead body is discovered in the gardens, the campaign to blame Jacqueline escalates – Gerrard and she are running out of time. The days they spend together lead to nights of sweeping passion – and Gerrard vows to move heaven and earth to protect the woman who, for him, personifies the truth about love.
The Barnes Noble Review
In this captivating historical romance about Stephanie Laurens's intriguing Cynster family, an unexpectedly perilous house party is the setting for an equally unexpected love match between Simon Cynster and Portia Ashford. Simon has known Portia for ages, and his natural protectiveness toward her has always encouraged her defiance. Their clashes have only gotten worse since his sister wed her brother (in On a Wicked Dawn). But, when Portia decides it's time for her to explore the passions that inspire men and women to marry, she needs a tutor who is both discreet and accomplished. Despite Simon's rakish reputation, she knows she can trust him absolutely…if she can persuade him to go along with her wild plan. What she doesn't know is that Simon has also decided it's time to marry, and he's prepared to employ all his seductive wiles to persuade Portia to become not just his paramour but also his wife. In a family known for bold warriors and passionate lovers, Simon Cynster is about to prove himself The Perfect Lover. This volume also includes a teaser chapter for Laurens's exciting Bastion Club series, scheduled to debut in the fall of 2003. Sue Stone
Enter the unforgettable world of New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Laurens, creator of the phenomenal Cynster family. This amazing clan – and their friends – is a bold, powerful group of men who let nothing stand in their way when it comes to matters of the heart. And in this, Stephanie Laurens's newest novel, a passionate man and a daring woman confront the ultimate question…
What Price Love?
There is nothing more fascinating than a darkly handsome rake, especially one as controlled and elusive as Dillon Caxton, protégé of Demon Cynster. Despite his dangerous air, Dillon is a man of sterling reputation, but it wasn't always so. Years ago, an illicit scheme turned into a nefarious swindle, and only the help of his cousin, Felicity, and her husband, Demon, saved Dillon from ruin. Now impeccably honest, he guards his hard-won reputation and is the Keeper of the Register of all racing horses in England. His standing and aloofness make Dillon undeniably desirable to young ladies, but despite all the lures thrown his way, he remains uninterested – his attention unfixed.
Until "Miss Priscilla Dalling" erupts into his life. A stunning beauty, she affects Dillon as no other ever has, but what fascinates him even more is that this tempting young lady is clearly desperate, and equally clearly lying about wanting to see the Register to fulfill the whim of an eccentric aunt.
Lady Priscilla Dalloway will do anything to see what's in the Register – even lie! Her twin brother, Russell, who had fought with their father and left the family home to work with the finest racehorses, has disappeared. Pris knows that clues to his whereabouts can be found in the tome Dillon Caxton refuses to let her see.
She unleashes her feminine wiles on Dillon – to no avail. But Dillon is now determined to learn the truth behind her quest. Exploiting the powerful attraction that flares between them, he succeeds in convincing Pris to tell him all, to trust him with her twin's life. Together, Dillon and Pris locate Rus, only to discover that his life is being threatened by the perpetrators of a massive betting swindle.
The time is ripe for Dillon to repay old debts by helping another as he himself was helped. Assisted by Demon, Felicity, and Barnaby Adair, Dillon and Pris embark on a journey riddled with danger – and undeniable passion – as they seek to overturn the swindle and expose Rus's deadly enemies. And along the way they discover the answer to that age-old question: What price love?
Stephanie Laurens's books have shown the Cynster men to be wealthy, attractive -- and elusive when it comes to matrimony. Their lovely, headstrong cousins, Amanda and Amelia, are clearly their equals. They're beginning their sixth social season and seem to be no closer than ever to accepting any of their numerous suitors. Indeed, the young beauties are obviously unimpressed with the quality of bachelors available in the venues approved for proper young ladies. That being the case, they've decided it's time to search less respectable locales. Wild Amanda begins among the gaming clubs and salons that are the domain of dangerous men, hoping to find one with spirit and passion and honor to match her own. There she encounters the mysterious Earl of Dexter, who seems content to dwell forever in the shadows of a former scandal. Drawn to the bright flame of Amanda's spirit, the handsome earl agrees to be her guide on four secret adventures that soon bring to light a wild and wonderful love.
When Gyles Rawlings, Earl of Chillingworth, was named an honorary Cynster (in ), he was pleased at the recognition of his longtime friendship with the Cynsters but certain that the gesture would not affect his future in the slightest. Unlike the Cynsters, who are destined to wed for love, Gyles is determined that love will play no part in his marriage plans. That's why he's contracted to wed an heiress, sight unseen, to acquire an estate that had once been part of his family's land. He considers it a bonus that, while conducting the negotiations for his perfectly suitable bride, he's met an unforgettable beauty whose passionate nature is the perfect match for his own -- until he discovers that the brazen beauty he plans to make his mistress is, in fact, his promised bride, and she is determined her marriage will be a perfect fusion of passion and love.
All of Regency London knows that no Cynster male would ever walk away from a lady in distress...but their protection can come at a tantalizingly high price. And now, Stephanie Laurens has created her boldest Cynster yet-Gabriel-a man who has known the pleasure of many women, but who has given his heart to no one.
She was desperate for his help...
When a mysterious lady, her face hidden by a black veil, begs Gabriel Cynster for his help, he cannot refuse her plea. For despite her disguise, Gabriel finds the woman alluring and he is powerless to deny her. But he exacts payment as only a Cynster would demand: with each piece of information he uncovers, she must pay him-in the form of a kiss.
He was powerlerss to resist...
Lady Alathea Morwellan knows Gabriel is intrigued, but despite the sparks that fly between them, they have never passed a civil moment together. Yet as the stakes get higher, so does Gabriel's desire for payment. And with each overpowering kiss, each passionate embrace, Alathea knows that she will not be able to resist his ultimate seduction...but what will happen when she reveals the truth?
Six notorious cousins, known to the ton as the Bar Cynster, have cut a swath through the ballrooms of London. Yet one by one, each has fallen in love and married the woman of his heart, until only one of them is left unclaimed…the most rakish of Stephanie Laurens' captivating clan…and he's not about to go easily.
Alasdair Cynster – known to his intimates as Lucifer – decides to rusticate in the country before the matchmaking skills of London's mamas become firmly focused on him, the last unwed Cynster. But an escape to Devon leads him straight to his destiny in the irresistible form of Phyllida Tallent, a willful, independent beauty of means who brings all his masterful Cynster instincts rioting to the fore. Lucifer tries to deny the desire Phyllida evokes – acting on it will land him in a parson's mousetrap, one place he's sworn never to go. But destiny intervenes, leaving him to face the greatest Cynster challenge – wooing a reluctant bride.
Phyllida has had a bevy of suitors – her charm and wit are well known throughout the countryside – but none of them has tempted her the way Lucifer does. His offer to teach her all about the ways of love is almost too tantalizing to resist. And though she's not yet completely surrendered, she knows only a fool stands against a Cynster…and Phyllida is no one's fool.
Demon Cynster has seen love bring his brethren to their knees, and he's vowed that he will not share their fateuntil he spies Felicity Parteger sneaking around his country estate. Demon remembers Felicity as a mere chit of a girl, but now she stands before him-begging for his help-all lush curves, sparkling eyesand so temptingly worthy of the love he's vowed never to surrender to any woman.
Felicity knew Demon was one of the ton's most eligible bachelors and a rogue of the worst sort, but he was the only one capable of getting her friend out of trouble. Her fascination with him had nothing to do with the power lurking just beneath his devil-may-care fagade-or with the desire that flares when he takes her in his arms. She knows he'll never yield her the love she desperately seeks, but could a marriage with passion alone-even with a man like Demon-be enough?Demon Cynster has seen love bring his brethren to their knees, and he's vowed that he will not share their fateuntil he spies Felicity Parteger sneaking around his country estate. Demon remembers Felicity as a mere chit of a girl, but now she stands before him-begging for his help-all lush curves, sparkling eyesand so temptingly worthy of the love he's vowed never to surrender to any woman.
How can an honorable lady like Lady Catriona Hennessy unite with a rake like Richard Cynster? Though charmed by his commanding presence, she cannot give up her independence. Marriage had not previously been on Richard's agenda, but perhaps taming the lady was just the challenge he needs-if he can have the rights of the marraige bed without making any revealing promises of love?
With both of her parents gone, Patience Debbington is accustomed to managing her own affairs, and those of her teenage brother Gerrard. To her love is dangerous, men uninteresting and faithless. Gerrard needs a suitable mentor, but when tall elegant Vane Cynster rides into her life, Patience sees nothing but an arrogant, presumptuous dandy-a man who drinks in her very soul like a fine wine and intoxicates her in the bargain.With both of her parents gone, Patience Debbington is accustomed to managing her own affairs, and those of her teenage brother Gerrard. To her love is dangerous, men uninteresting and faithless. Gerrard needs a suitable mentor, but when tall elegant Vane Cynster rides into her life, Patience sees nothing but an arrogant, presumptuous dandy-a man who drinks in her very soul like a fine wine and intoxicates her in the bargain.
When Devil, the most infamous member of the Cynster family, is caught in a compromising position with plucky governess Honoria Wetherby, he astonishes the entire tom by offering his hand in marriage. No one dreamed this scandalous rake would ever take a bride. And as society mamas swooned at the loss of England's most eligible bachelor, Devil's infamous Cynster cousins began to place wagers on the wedding date.
...And To Hold
But Honoria wasn't about to bend society's demands and marry a man "just" because they'd been found together virtually unchaperoned. No, she craved adventure, and while solving the murder of a young Cynster cousin fit he ill for a while, she decided that once the crime was solved she'd go off to see the world. But the scalding heat of her unsated desire for Devil soon had Honoria craving a very different sort of excitement. Could her passion for Devil cause her to embrace the enchanting peril of a lifelong adventure of the heart?TO HAVE. . .
When Devil, the most infamous member of the Cynster family, is caught in a compromising position with plucky governess Honoria Wetherby, he astonishes the entire tom by offering his hand in marriage. No one dreamed this scandalous rake would ever take a bride. And as society mamas swooned at the loss of Englands most eligible bachelor, Devils infamous Cynster cousins began to place wagers on the wedding date.
. . .AND TO HOLD
But Honoria wasnt about to bend societys demands and marry a man just because theyd been found together virtually unchaperoned. No, she craved adventure, and while solving the murder of a young Cynster cousin fit he ill for a while, she decided that once the crime wassolved shed go off to see the world. But the scalding heat of her unsated desire for Devil soon had Honoria craving a very different sort of excitement. Could her passion for Devil cause her to embrace the enchanting peril of a lifelong adventure of the heart?
Amelia Cynster hears these words from handsome, enigmatic Lucien Ashford, 6th Viscount Calverton, and is stunned. It's near dawn and she's risked scandal by lying in wait for him just outside his London house. But he agrees to her outrageous marriage proposal — just prior to falling unconscious at her feet. Amelia is torn between astounded relief and indignant affront, then decides she doesn't care. She has always loved him — no other man will do for her — and she's tired of waiting.
Sometimes a young lady needs to take matters into her own hands.
But matters of the heart are never that simple. The first hitch in Amelia's plans comes when Luc refuses to agree to a hasty wedding, but insists on properly wooing her…in public and in private. Soon she longs for those moments away from the watchful gaze of the in which she can learn all about seduction from a master. But unknown to Amelia, Luc has a very good reason for wooing her.
Every wicked gentleman has his price.
Michael Anstruther-Wetherby is a rising member of Parliament -- a man destined for power. Aristocratic, elegant, and effortlessly charming, he is just arrogant enough to capture the interest of the ladies of the ton. And with his connections to the wealthy and influential Cynster family -- his sister is married to Devil Cynster, the Duke of St. Ives -- his future appears assured.
Except that Michael lacks the single most important element of success: a wife.
Political pressure sends him searching for his ideal bride, a gently bred, malleable young lady, preferably one with a political background. Michael discovers such a paragon but finds a formidable obstacle in his path -- the young lady's beautiful, strong-minded aunt -- Caroline Sutcliffe.
One of London's foremost diplomatic hostesses, Caro has style and status but, having lived through an unhappy political marriage, wants nothing of the sort for her niece, who has already lost her heart to another.
So Caro and the younger woman hatch a plot -- Caro will demonstrate why an inexperienced young lady is not the bride for Michael. She succeeds in convincing him that what he really needs is a lady of experience by his side.
And the perfect candidate is right under his nose -- Caro herself. Then it is Michael's turn to be persuasive, a task that requires every ounce of his seductive charm as he tempts and tantalizes Caro, seeking to convince her that becoming his bride will bring her all her heart desires . . . and more.
But then a series of mysterious, and dangerous, accidents befall Caro -- an assailant has stepped in with their own idea for Caro's future -- one that could involve murder. Before Caro can become Michael's ideal bride, they must race to uncover the unknown's identity before all hope of what they long for, and wish for, is destroyed.
Antonia Mannering refused to become an old maid!
She was a young woman with plans, and Lord Philip Ruthven played a large part in them. Though the childhood friends had not seen one another in years, she was perfectly aware that Philip had no lack of female companionship. But he had never married, and it was high time he did. If she could prove to him that she was capable of running his home and would not disgrace him in society, Antonia was certain he would propose a comfortable arrangement. But never had she expected that their hearts would somehow find their way into the bargain!
Content with her humdrum country life, Miss Dorothea Darent had no intention of marrying. She knew that her unfashionable curves and her outspoken ways made her a disastrous match for any gentleman of the ton. But one kiss from a dashing stranger changed everything.
They proved their bravery fighting for His Majesty's Secret Service and were rewarded with brides of great beauty and breeding. But one member of the Bastion Club has remained a bachelor… until now.
"Christian, I need your help. There is no one else I can turn to… L."
When Christian Allardyce, 6th Marquess of Dearne, reads those words, his world turns upside down. Lady Letitia Randall is a woman like no other, and the day he left her behind to fight for king and country was the most difficult of his life. He never forgot the feel of her lips against his, but never expects to see her again. Yet now she seeks his help, and Christian knows he will not resist her plea.
Letitia believes that Christian abandoned her when she needed him most, and she hates to call on his aid. But to clear her brother's name, she has sworn to use every weapon at her command, even if it means seducing her ex-lover. Yet all the while, Christian is waging a war of his own – a campaign of pure pleasure and sweet revenge that will take them both beyond the edge of desire.
Jack Lester has to find a bride…
But where can he find the perfect woman? She has to be attractive, kind, a good conversationalist… and more important, she has to accept him as he is: devilishly handsome, charming and, as far as anyone knows, poor as a church mouse! If London society discovers his hidden wealth, he'll never find the right wife.
Jack's heart races when he first lays eyes on Sophie Winterton. She is everything he desires – and more – but he is caught in his own trap. Believing that Jack needs to marry into wealth, Sophie rejects all his advances, certain he would never marry a poor girl like her. As they play out a game of cat and mouse, can Jack convince her that she is the woman he wants – and that he is the husband she deserves?
They're bold, courageous, resolute… ex-officers of the Crown united against a deadly traitor known only as the Black Cobra.
Shipwrecked, wounded, he risks all to pursue his mission – only to discover a partner as daring and brazen as he.
Fiery, tempestuous, a queen in her own realm, she rescues a warrior – only to find her heart under siege.
Bound by passion, linked by need, together they must brave the enemy's gauntlet to win all their hearts' desire.