Number-one New York Times best-selling author Stephanie Laurens has returned to another utterly irresistible branch on her beloved Cynster family tree....
The only thing more troublesome than a Cynster man...
...is a Cynster lady who believes love is not her destiny. Famously known in London society as "The Matchbreaker", Henrietta Cynster's uncanny skill lies in preventing ill-fated nuptials - not in falling victim to Cupid's spell.
But then she disrupts one match too many and feels honor-bound to assist dashing James Glossup in finding a suitable bride for a marriage of convenience.
A task infernally complicated by the undeniable, unquenchable attraction that flares between James and Henrietta, who continues to believe she will never fall....
©2012 Savdek Management Proprietary Ltd. (P)2013 HarperCollins Publishers
If you've listened to more than one Cynster novel, you probably know the formula, and yet, like me, continue to buy because the characters are cozy and familiar.
This one is better than some - less repetitive description, more interaction between hero and heroine, and reappearance of characters from older books.
If I had one complaint, it would be the paucity of Lady Osbaldestone's acerbic dialogue.
(Has anyone else noticed that change of narrators means change in pronouncing her name?)
I liked it, which means I will listen to it again - my personal benchmark for any book.
This was a really good book in the Cynster Sisters series. I think it is helpful to have read a couple of stories on the Cynster family before you read this book, but it is not critical. I really liked Henriettta and James' story - it developed well and the characters were interesting. Henrietta, at 29, was known in society as the "Matchbreaker." She broke-up James' plans to marry another lady that he did not love, but he needed a wife in a set time frame to meet the terms of his Great Aunt's will. After learning his circumstances, Henrietta agrees to help James find a new bride, but they end up falling in love with each other during that process. I think what helped keep the book really interesting was the murder/attempted murder-mystery that intertwines with the story. I was surprised at the very PG nature of the sex scenes in this book, which were often times cheesy in their attempt to keep out any details, mild or otherwise. I seem to recall her books having much more heat and passion.
The narrator, Matthew Brenher, was not good. His female voices were pathetic and distracting. However, the book was still worth listening to.
Ms. Laurens set-up the next book for Henrietta's sister Mary, and based on the preview, I am hopeful that Mary's book is going to be excellent, so I look forward to listening to that!
I picked this up with a forlorn hope, but it seems that someone has gotten though to Stephanie that we enjoy her novels for the stories! I definitely don't object to a well done bodice ripping in support of the plot and character development but I'm not interested in gratuitous sex. I've seen a lot of complaints, and obviously agree with them all, that her recent books have completely neglected the story and characters for the sex scenes, which is disappointing and tiresome. HOWEVER, this book takes it back to the basics, I don't think there is a full on sex scene in the entire novel and it's wonderful. I didn't have to skip 3/4 of the book!! I love SL's stories and I hope this means that she's bringing them back!
Oh, and, the reader is abysmal. He's got a radio announcer voice which really would have been better as a straight read; too bad someone told him to try and voice characters. It takes an effort to ignore that he sounds like he'd be more comfortable announcing a horse race or game of golf. But the story is good if you can get around it.
Stephanie Laurens writes a lively story, but Matthew Brenher drains the life from it.
Sadly no, especially to a first-time listener. It would discourage further purchases.
He reads like a failed actor, droning through the prose and only animated during the dialogue. He is unable to manage long sentences, inventing pauses where none exist (presumably he reaches the edge of the page or runs out of breath), yet at the same time he appears to ignore the correct punctuation. The end result is at best irritating and at worst utterly nonsensical.I shall avoid this performer no matter how much I like the author.
Ms Laurens has been badly let down.
I tend to get into grooves where everything I read is historical romance, mystery, light romantic comedy, thrillers, or whatever. I used to read (in print) 2 or 3 books at the same time, switching one to the other, depending on mood. But there are medications for that now, LOL.
I love the Cynster family novels. Strong characters who try, but ultimately fail, to avoid the ONE fate has in store for them. It is Henrietta Cynster who seems to have successfully avoided fate. She is 29, firmly and determinedly on the shelf. But you can't really outrun fate if you're a Cynster, even if it takes a while to catch you. The crux of this story is that there is a time constraint there hasn't been on others, and Henrietta is actually trying to find a wife for James, a man whose marriage plans she had upset. Although, as in every romance, there is a happily ever after, the suspense lies in whether James will have to choose between his apparently fated bride or give up on his honorable goal. Will he? Won't he? The narration was good, though when I listened to the first Cynster novel, hearing a male reader (even though Simon Prebble is one of my faves) for a romance was a shocker. But with the first several, the main protagonist was male, so I got used to male readers for all the Cynster novels I have (13 at this point) and Matthew Brenher did not disappoint with this one. Production values are good, as usual.
I enjoyed this story more than some of Stephanie Laurens' more recent books but I prefer the love scenes in her earlier Cynster books. She has become a bit too flowery for me, in her later books. I still read them all though!
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