The internationally best-selling author continues her extraordinary success with this lushly romantic new tale featuring the wildly popular Cynsters.
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?
©2006 Savdek Management Proprietor y Ltd. (P)2010 Recorded Books
My print edition is dog-eared from frequent re-reading, so when I saw that this book had FINALLY been released in unabridged audio I couldn't wait to drop a credit. This story is well paced, with enough action that you won't be bored.
Dylan is a likable hero who is dominant without being domineering--sometimes Laurens' male protagonists are just a little too omnipotent and omniscient. Dylan, who we first met in "A Rogue's Proposal", is a character with a tainted past, and his own awareness of his previous mis-steps helps make his moral dilemma both easy to relate to and reasonably believable.
If you can excuse the somewhat hairbrained nature of her initial scheme to rescue her brother, you'll probably come to really enjoy Priscilla. she is a quick-witted woman who learns from her mistakes and spends the majority of the novel working to resolve her problems rather than bemoaning them.
The love scenes are some of the best in this series, in my opinion. One of the things I always enjoy about Laurens' books is that while she may re-use some phrases in her novels a bit too much--(if I read one more "whirling and twirling" ballroom scene I might throw something)--she almost always writes creative, steamy sex scenes that don't make you roll your eyes or press fast-forward. She also steers clear of bedroom cliches--you know the words and phrases I mean!
This novel has similar themes to "A Rogue's Proposal", and takes place some 10 or 12 years later in Newmarket, where that book was also set. Of course, it's a Cynster novel, so there are plenty of recurring characters including Barnaby Adaire. Priscilla is one of the more savvy heroines--more on a par with Alathia from "A Secret Love", than Felicity in terms of worldly experience, while Dylan is only a Cynster by marriage, so he's not quite as much of a loving tyrant as some of Laurens' other heroes.
You've just got to love that voice! Smooth and cultured and so well paced. Unfortunately, I got the sence at several points during his narration that Prebble wasn't really into the story all that much--which you can't really blame him for, after reading God knows how many romances. However, if I get even the flicker of a feeling that the narrator isn't really taking a book seriously, that somewhat lessons the listening pleasure for me.
If you're a fan of this series, definitely get this book! If you're new to the Cynsters, you can certainly read it as a stand-alone, but I think the story is made more rich by the context of the series and the readers' familiarity with the characters.
I am an avid reader. I read during my commute to and from work each day, on the plane when I travel and instead of watching TV.
This is a 15 hour book that could have been about an 8 hour book at best. The story behind it, fixing horse races by substituting horses at the last minute to throw a race, was really interesting. I also liked the characters. Still, I found myself falling asleep all the time while reading this novel. Simon Prebble's voice was way too droning for such a long book with a lot of down time between the action parts, though I typically enjoy his narrations. There are plenty of Laurens' books out there and I'd recommend selecting one of the others!
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