What happens when fate, love, and passion collide?
The number one New York Times best-selling author Stephanie Laurens returns to Scotland with a tale of two lovers irrevocably linked by destiny and passion.
Thomas Carrick is a gentleman driven to control all aspects of his life. As the wealthy owner of Carrick Enterprises, located in bustling Glasgow, he is one of that city's most eligible bachelors and fully intends to select an appropriate wife from the many young ladies paraded before him. He wants to take that necessary next step along his self-determined path, yet no young lady captures his eye, much less his attention - not in the way Lucilla Cynster does, even though she lives miles away.
For over two years, Thomas has avoided his clan's estate because it borders Lucilla's home, but disturbing reports from his clansmen force him to return to the countryside - only to discover that his uncle, the laird, is ailing, a clan family is desperately ill, and the clan healer is unconscious and dying. Duty to the clan leaves Thomas no choice but to seek help from the last woman he wants to face.
Strong-willed and passionate, Lucilla has been waiting - increasingly impatient - for Thomas to return and claim his rightful place by her side. She knows he is hers - her fated lover, husband, protector, and mate. He is the only man for her, just as she is his one true love. And, at last, he's back. Even though his returning wasn't on her account, Lucilla is willing to seize whatever chance fate hands her.
Thomas can never forget Lucilla, much less the connection that seethes between them, but to marry her would mean embracing a life he's adamant he does not want.
Lucilla sees that Thomas has yet to accept the inevitability of their union. But how can he ignore a bond such as theirs - one so much stronger than reason?
©2015 Savdek Management Proprietary Limited (P)2015 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
In the end, not much. To begin with, I chose this story because it had so many 4.5+ ratings. Must be a lot of folks who haven't listened to the really good audible books. I agree with the others who found this listen less than acceptable. The heroine is supposed to be "strong" but she just chases the hero who is too weak or dumb to say buzz off. The mystery was the only reason I listened to the whole story and the mystery didn't wrap up with this book. I'm not interested enough, however, to get the next in this series. That tactic didn't work on me with this story, though I have fallen for it before.
Still love historical romances. One clinker isn't going to stop me!
The narrator was ok but his female voices all sound like little old ladies which makes the steamy scenes uncomfortable or pretty funny. Except for the major problem of the young ladies voices, he was really pretty good.
Ms.Laurens has done much better. I will hope to see that again in future.
Fairly good story. Tho the narrator was as good as he could be, a male voice doing female dialogue is just not right, particularly in intimate scenes.
Also definitely must be read as part of the series or the ending would be (as it it was for me) unsatisfying.
Typical Laurens novel.. but kinda gentle, slow moving, passionless, and anticlimactic. A mystery with a cliffhanger ending and a set up for the next book.
The interaction between the H/h could have been spiced up some with more flirting.. you know, smiling and glances and touches and demonstrated desire. Instead she kisses him out of the blue and instigates sex for no apparent reason. Each time. It was rather sad and pathetic really. They were so disconnected that I felt nothing for them as a couple.
I really liked Thomas' character in the previous book but Laurens turns him into a total a hole in this book. I actually hated him and wished he had stayed away in Glasgow. Around the second last chapter, he comes back and confesses all to her and she takes him back. its the first real communication between them, and the sudden intimacy is jarring. They are still strangers and not sure if what they feel is love. The ongoing mystery is left unresolved too. Then suddenly, they promptly marry, have sex and confess their love, all in ONE paragraph. They are quickly forgotten as the author sets up the next book. WTH?
I wanted to read this book because I love the Cynster family and want to see them all find love and happiness. That said, I don't want to read about every move a character makes described in slow, plodding detail. That's tedious, boring filler. I need substance. I need to see and feel the love and passionate connection between the H/h. Show me the love Stephanie Laurens.
On a side note, take a look at the male model on the cover of the book. I believe that's supermodel David Gandy, the most sinfully gorgeous man on earth. He was the hunky underwear model for Dolce&Gabana and much more. Google him! You're welcome.
Reader, writer, quilter, needleworker, Kentuckian.
I've been a fan of Stephanie Lauren's since her first book, and this newest does not disappoint. It's worth your time and credit.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. it captured my attention and held me captivated. Readers will not be disappointed .
I enjoy historical, paranormal, and contemporary romance. Also steampunk, sci-fi, fantasy, suspense, and fiction. I'm open to about anything
Grrrr! Why can't I copy & paste from Goodreads?
3 1/2 stars as it's slightly better than average.
Setting: Scotland 1848
Though it isn't absolutely necessary to read the rest of the series, it's helpful to read the first generation book that is about this Cynster's parents (Scandal's Bride).
This is the first full length Cynster TNG (the next generation) novel. This one features Lucilla, the daughter of Richard Cynster and Catriona. She is apprentice to her mother, who is Priestess to the Lady of the Vale, a local deity who protects the estate which is, as far as I understood, the Vale itself. In this book we learn that the Carrick lands fall under the Lady's purview as well.
Thomas Carrick is the orphaned nephew of Manachan Carrick. He was raised from the age of 8 by both Manachan and Quentin Hemmings, his maternal uncle who is part owner of Carrick Enterprises in Glasgow. The uncles agreed that, as Thomas was the heir to his father's portion of the business, he would be educated in Glasgow, but spend school holidays with Uncle Manachan. Since he was 8, Thomas has had a plan for how his life would develop: education in business, work at Carrick Enterprises with his maternal relatives, marry an appropriate lady, and have a family. There is simply no place in his plan for Lucilla Cynster.
Lucilla, however, has plans that conflict with his. She has known for 10 years (since they met in the novella By Winter's Light when they were both 18) that Thomas would be her consort in the Vale, as her father is consort to her mother. And she's been waiting for him to come to her for every one of those 10 years. Although Thomas is attracted to Lucilla, he's been avoiding her to the point that he has not visited his family for the past 2 years. That's a pretty clear message, don't you think? Seems like The Lady could have lured a man who would accept his role before Lucilla was past prime child-bearing age. But no, it has to be Thomas.
A letter from a farmer on the Carrick estate expressing concern about seed delivery, then another letter from another concerning the illness of the Bradshaws, bring Thomas back to clan lands. He finds the family very ill and dehydrated, and his clan's healer dying in the kitchen. He sends to the Vale for a healer and Lucilla shows up. She discovers that the illness the family is suffering is not just a common stomach bug. She decides to stick around at Carrick Manor to find out what killed the healer and check on Manachan, who has been feeling poorly for the past year. There is a series of "accidents" that lead to the death of the healer's sister and threaten Lucilla. Thomas tells her to go home, but she refuses. Hey, she's willing to risk death to get Thomas in her clutches.
As you can probably tell, I don't like these characters. Lucilla is manipulative. Even though Thomas has told her his life plan, she disregards it and continues with her machinations. She doesn't come right out and tell him that she's known he was to be her consort for 10 years, but since he can refuse, she continues her manipulations . Thomas wants Lucilla physically, but is unwilling to pay the price. Does he reiterate his plan? No, that might bring the incentives Lucilla is doling out to a halt, and he really enjoys them. This goes further than the usual miscommunication trope that I'm not fond of, and there are scenes that border on the "stupid used as a plot device" which I hate even more.
The mystery of who is perpetrating the murders and the accidents that seem aimed at Lucilla is mildly interesting, but there's not even an allusion to it in the last quarter of the book until right at the end. Also, By Winter's Light was a sort of prologue to this book, but the Thomas in that book doesn't resemble the Thomas in this one. There are set-ups in that novella that didn't get follow up. And, as with many of Laurens' books, it could have been tightened up and a couple of hours shorter.
As for narration, Brenher is inconsistent, not so much from book to book in the series, He just doesn't have the range and pacing of some other narrators. Oh, and the accents! Every character spoke pretty much standard British English, even though all of them were born and raised in Scotland. Oh wait, I think a very minor character had a line or two, and he spoke with a country Scots accent.
Okay, I have a bit of a complaint about this series. Most of the books are from a male Cynster's point of view, so a male narrator is appropriate, perhaps preferred. [ I honestly have nothing against male narrators reading romance, nor females reading books with a major male point of view.] But with this series, it would have been so nice to have those books that have a female Cynster focus to have a female narrator. That's, I think, 6 books of the 21 in the series. It would have been a lovely difference. But that's just my opinion.
Hearing Trahearne speak lustfully of taking a woman to bed... worth it. XD
In all seriousness though, it's an OK book. I'm not a fan of romance novels, but of the ones I've read, this one was rather lackluster. The book starts off with a murder mystery that brings our two main characters, Lucilla Cynster and Thomas Carrick, together, but then nothing ever gets resolved. And if you are reading purely for the romance scenes, then, well... there aren't many. And the chemistry is very unexplored ("fate" and "destiny" are the reasons behind their chemistry... not a lot of delving in to the whys). :\ If that's your thing, then I just think there are other romance books out there that build a better story/scene than this one.
But... I like Matt Brenher's voice. And since part of the story happens in a place called "The Grove", it's easy to think it's Trahearne talking from Guild Wars 2. Fans can enjoy. :P
Reading and listening is fundamental.
awesome story yet again. The narrator is a great reader. you will not be let down.
luvs to get lost in a book
No! Matthew Brenher can do male voices ok but his females sound like old women, not the young vibrant heroines they are supposed to be. Compare him to Simon Prebble who did the older Cynster series and they are fabulous!
It was memorable but not in a good way. When Thomas left, it didn't take him long to realize he didn't want his former life. While all well and good but it lacked oomph. He fought hard to keep it but the way it was written made it seem as if it wasn't a big deal. Disappointing.
Simon Prebble or Susan Duerden
No. It was an ok book.
Stephanie Laurens -- please don't use Matthew Brenher to narrate the cynster books. Your amazing characters lose their luster.
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