The first book in the Cynster Sisters series, published August 30, 2011. I like the cover of the bigger picture, but my copy has the little picture as a cover. And the “K.I.S.S. and teal” stamp.
Determined to hunt down her very own hero, one who will sweep her off her feet and into wedded bliss, and despairing of finding him in London’s staid ballrooms, Heather Cynster steps out of her safe world and boldly attends a racy soiree.
But her promising hunt is ruined by the supremely interfering Viscount Breckenridge, who whisks her out of scandal – and straight into danger, when a mysterious enemy seizes her, bundles her into a coach, and conveys her out of London. Now it’s up to the notorious Breckenridge to prove himself the hero she’s been searching for all along …
Heather Cynster is 25, and after this season she will be well and truly on the shelf. Her hero won’t appear in the boring ballrooms of the ton, so together with her sisters, she has concocted a scheme to find her own hero. She will visit Lady Herford’s soiree, where the more mature and married members of the ton will be. But the last person she wanted to find was Lord Breckenridge, her nemesis for the last four years. As soon as he sees Heather Cynster enter the room, Breckenridge is determined to get her out. It is after all his duty as a close friend to her brothers.
Heather is furious with him, but can’t resist without making a scene. But she refuses to allow him to walk her back to her carriage, it is only a few short feet away. And so she leaves him at the door and walks away. But her carriage is farther away than she led him to believe, and while he is watching her, a travelling coach stops next to her on the street, and a pair of ruffians pick up Heather, toss her in the coach, and take off. Breckenridge runs of to the Cynster carriage, determined to get her back, but traffic hinders him. They are able to determine she is been taken down the Great North Road to Scotland, and he sends the carriage back to alert the Cynsters, hires a curricle and a fast pair, and set out to follow.
But when he finds Heather at an inn, and attempts his rescue of her, she refuses to go with him. Her capturers are treating her very well, even have provided a maid for her, who has taken away her clothes. But the most important thing is, they were after one of the Cynster sisters. So she wants to learn everything she can about the man who has her abducted, and safe her sisters the same fate. Breckenridge reluctantly agrees with her, this is not a “normal” abduction. He agrees to follow them from a distance, ready to whisk her away when the danger is growing. But first Heather will try to learn as much as possible. And she will have to meet him every night to tell him what she has learned so far.
Knowing Breckenridge is close by, really settles Heather’s fears. Because in spite of the treatment, she is afraid of what will happen. She is never alone, and the story her capturers will tell when she causes a scene, is too believable for anyone to help her. And so Heather plays the demure society miss, calm and obedient, while searching for information.
But when their last stop is Gretna Green, and her captors have nothing more to tell her about the mysterious Laird who ordered her abduction, Breckenridge and Heather have to flee. When the plot Breckenridge has come up with, backfires, they will have to flee on foot, and reach Catriona and Richard’s Vale to be safe. Safe from the constables on their trail, and the mysterious Laird. He will not give up that easily.
Finally in safety, Breckenridge knows that society will demand their marriage, or Heather will be ruined. But Heather refuses to marry him. She will not give into society’s demands, she has made up her future already. A future without him. And that will simply not do. But Breckenridge is unable to comply with her demands: to tell her he loves her. Never again will he give his heart away. Will they be able to settle?
I really enjoyed this book. Due to the writing style of Stephanie Laurens (lots of big words and descriptions) this is not a fast read. But it sure makes a good atmosphere, background, for the story. I liked Heather, how she is unafraid to take her destiny in her own hands, and determined to protect her sisters. And Breckenridge, although he is as much an alpha male as all the Cynster males she knows (and loathes), he listens to her, and let her do what is necessary, even though his every instinct is to whisk her away to safety. By force if necessary. But he has to agree with her arguments, and will keep protecting her from a distance. He wants her for his wife from the start, but can not even admit to himself it is love that rules him. Love from the first time they met, four years ago. They were great together, and of course the many lovescenes are scorching hot. Both are very stubborn, determined to have their way.
They had a great adventure together, getting to know each other, rely on each other. And I just liked them both a lot.
I also liked reading about Catriona and Richard again, I have been thinking about re-reading their story again, one with more than a dash of magic in it.
And then the bad guy. I know why he needs one of the Cynster girls, and it is not his own doing. But I still have no clue to whom he is, or his mother. He is an even bigger male than the Cynsters and Breckenridge, so the woman who will be his, will have her hands full.
Lucky for me, the next book will be published in October and has been on pre-order for some months already.