Sebastian Cynster knows time is running out. If he doesn't choose a wife soon, his female relatives will line up to assist him. Yet the current debutantes do not appeal....
It's December 1810, and Lady Therese Osbaldestone is looking forward to her usual Christmas with her family at Winslow Abbey....
In a quiet moonlit courtyard, Helena encounters a handsome and mysterious Englishman. Before parting, he rewards her with a special kiss....
The instant Captain Declan Frobisher lays eyes on Lady Edwina Delbraith, he knows she's the woman he wants as his wife....
A very practical marriage makes Alexander Westcott question his heart in the latest Regency romance from the New York Times best-selling author of Someone to Hold....
New York Times best-selling author Stephanie Laurens presents a brash, bold new series. They're battle-hardened, sinfully wealthy, completely unstoppable - and all male....
Michael Anstruther-Wetherby is a man destined for power. Except that Michael, for all his political skill and intelligence, lacks the most important element of success: a wife....
When Elizabeth Hotchkiss stumbles upon a copy of How to Marry a Marquis in her employer's library, she's convinced someone is playing a cruel joke....
Henry Collins, Viscount Blackwell, is far too intrigued by Mary to let her go so easily. He's drawn to her sharp mind, her indomitable spirit, and the fiery way in which she dismisses him....
Simon Frederick Cynster has a perfect life, one of enormous wealth and impeccable social status....
The gossips whisper that the new Duke of Murdoch is a brute, a murderer, and even worse - a Scot. They say he should never be trusted alone with a woman....
Titus St. John, Duke of Kendal, is known as the Forbidden Duke, a mysterious, intimidating figure who enters society just once each year at his stepmother's ball....
They meet in a clash of swords, drenched in the moonlight of Britain's rugged eastern coast: Captain Jack, his handsome features etched in silver and shadow, his powerful physique compelling "Kit" Cranmer to surrender. He is her dream lover come vividly alive, and his command of the smuggling gang is absolute. His all-knowing gaze penetrates her disguise as the male leader of a rival gang with frightening ease, and his "punishment" with kisses leaves her maidenly modesty in tatters. Suddenly Kit finds she's only too delighted to explore with Jack the pleasures conventionally reserved for married ladies - little knowing what dangerous forces she's unleashing, for even as Kit revels in midnight gallops and cottage rendezvous, Captain Jack is laying a gentle trap that will curtail her freedom and bind her to him with a ring, a promise - and ties of devotion and desire.
This is a prequel to The Bastion Club stories that I've waited for. It's NOT a Cynster or Bastion story. It has a flavor all it's own. But I have to say that Captain Jack is rather like Devil Cynster in that he's autocratic. Kit might be the standard for the Cynster women in later books. She's fearless and a perfect mate for Captain Jack.
The story has plenty of romance and a LOT of sex in it with a slight mystery. I like that the plot has spies in it--but that's a personal favorite of mine.
If you enjoy Stephanie Laurens stories...the Bastion Club and the Cynsters, you'll enjoy this one, too.
My only complaint is that I never knew that George had an accent. LOL.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
This book is such a sumptuous read! It’s like eating your favorite, most exotic fruit one juicy bite at a time! After reading the synopsis of the book, I thought I was in for a story about smuggling gangs in the rookeries of London, or something of that sort…but this fantastic story was far more (and far from that initial image). This story takes place in the beautiful countryside of Norfolk, England during tumultuous times between France & England, as both countries are at war with one another. Yet, the main characters are, in fact, aristocrats involved in underground, clandestine activities during the danger of the night. Both of our leads have gotten involved in managing smuggling gangs for different reasons. I think that’s one of the most interesting aspects of this book---aristocrats by day, and smugglers by night! How exciting is that???
Lady Kathryn Cranmer, otherwise known as “Kit” is such a likeable heroine! She is a maverick, and no one knew this better than her manipulative aunt & uncle who tried to marry her off for 6 years in London. After deeming her “unmarriageable,” Kit was returned to live with her beloved grandfather in the country. Yet, Kit has as much fire, curiosity and need for adventure as her beautiful black Arab horse and she’s beckoned into the night. Kit is one amazing woman. She has razor-sharp instincts, is daring, and a thrill-seeker, at heart.
OMG, I loved the hero, Lord Jonathan Henden (aka “Captain Jack)!! As Kit put it, he is “supremely male”…lol. Henden’s reputation precedes him. He is a beautiful specimen of a man with a respected military career, and a “rake” among the ladies. Yes, this man is a master of his own world, until a courageous, beauty with amethyst eyes and red locks of hair, dressed as a boy comes to rock his world. And, yes, this man works hard at keeping his world in check, but he finds himself working harder at unlocking the secrets that await him in discovering love in a woman, who is every bit his counterpart in instincts, stubbornness, ability and drive.
I loved the first time Captain Jack and Kit met. Their chemistry is off the charts and full of this animal attraction. There is a clever parallel between the attraction and unsettling connection that goes on between both of their horses (Jack’s grey stallion & Kit’s black Arab) and the riders….lol Since the initial meeting (which began as a sword fight) Captain Jack knew there was something “off” in the young lad who lead one of the smuggling gangs in the area; and when he finds out she is a woman! --Whoa!!! Talk about seeing sparks fly!! ---The two strike a deal, join forces; but I don’t think either of them were prepared for the powerful force that compels them to each other!
I adored the unveiling that occurred between both Jack and Kit as they learned about each other. Neither shared their true identify and station, with one another, so it was so fun to see the discovery of their secrets peeled off in layers (and much like their clothes…LOL). I also loved their teasing little games, and their relationship blossom in every stage of their commitment to one another. This novel is an absolute indulgence for the “helpless romantic” because the leads fall in love and share a passion with one another that is like molten lava! Yes, this is a steamy, “rock the boat—don’t come-a-knocking” romance without the unhelpful drama and angst that usually plague novels these days. I absolutely LOVED this book!!!
This novel is such a treat! You will feel the exhilaration as Kit and Captain Jack race through the countryside, both escaping and fooling the “Revenue” soldiers. You will be intrigued as they survive multiple dangers from all sides, and uncover a mystery related to top secret, governmental affairs. And, if riding the English countryside at a break neck pace, and engaging in covert governmental operations is not enough, the intertwined romance is another challenge that is sure to dazzle and keep your heart rate up!
I really enjoyed the narrator. She created such a perfect, crisp and young voice for Kit. I also enjoyed her male voices and ability to tell a story with proper timing and inflections. What can I say?--McCallister Lee was great!
This is an ever-moving story with vivid characters, who came across as real, with characteristics and inner challenges that seemed reflective of their time. I loved the supporting characters that moved within Captain Jack and Kit’s precociously, balanced world of the aristocracy by day, and smuggling runs by night. The ending and epilogue were perfect, and I hope this book captures your heart as it has captured mine. This is my first Stephanie Lauren’s book, but definitely not my last!
9 of 11 people found this review helpful
I enjoy all of Stephanie Lauren's books but this one, in my opinion, has to be one of her best - with a handsome, arrogant Smuggler/Rake/Lord/Spy Hero and a headstrong independent fearless Heroine that get caught up in a sizzling passion whilst perusing illicit exploits with a gang of smugglers.
SL transports you back to the shores of Regency England and has really captured the essence of a good historical romance story that I love so much.... it's got excitement, adventure, mystery, murder, spies, secrets, humor, great characters, lots of sex, an enjoyable question of 'oh when are they going to find out who the other person truly is?' and a passionate love story that somehow never really runs smoothly.
Worth a credit? Yes her books are all fairly similar, predictable and, let's face it, quite unrealistic but they captivate my imagination, they put a sappy smile across my face and I'll happily continue to buy them - so that's a YES to the credit.
15 of 19 people found this review helpful
If you like lots of deliciously descriptive sex in your romance novel, then this is the one for you. So much that I actually forgot the plot line. Mayhaps, it is a good thing, because the plot of the story was weak. Good characters, predictable outcome, and good narration, worth a credit.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful
This book was great. The story was very exciting and full of adventure and I just could not put it down. I adored Kit Cranmer's character and you can't help but love Captain Jack. Stephanie Lauren's seems to have put a lot of thought into her characters and their personalities. A great listen that is filled to the brim with steamy love scenes.
The story revolves around Catherine "kit" Cranmer who has a bit of a wild streak and enjoys riding her pure bread Arab across the country side dressed as a man in the dead of night. She ends up leading a small band of smugglers, and joins forces with the
Hunstanton gang and their leader Captain Jack. However the Hunstanton gang is smuggling more then just Brandy and Lace, and Kit has a bit of a problem when it comes to smuggling spies.
McCallister Lee was fantastic with the delivery of the story.
10 of 15 people found this review helpful
The setting, the characters and the plot were wonderfully typical of pretty much anything the superb author Stephanie Laurens writes. I am very hard to please, though, when it comes to narrators. I quickly get annoyed if the emphasis on words is stressed inappropriately or if character voices/accents are off. I have seldom heard such a wonderful performance as Ms. Lee's. I would be willing to stray from my usual genre just to have her as the narrator! Back to Ms Laurens, I had planned to purchase more of her books but for some reason, Audible has the incorrect concept that men should be the narrators of romance novels. We have told them, no, no , no but apparently they do not read the reviews. Very disappointed that I am unable to purchase many of Ms. Laurens books because of that very issue.
This is not a particularly well written book. However, I happen to think Ms. Lauren's is a better writer than many of her contemporaries and I gather those who determine what constitutes a good romance novel and what constitutes a poor romance novel disagree with me. Only one of her books is consistently rated highly by critics. And it wasn't this book, which is one of her earlier ventures as she moved on from writing Harlequin Regency clones.
But this book is saved by the same thing that saves many of Ms. Lauren's more readable books - there is a plot. It may be far fetched and it may be implausible, but there is a story beyond just the back and forth between two people trying to figure out if they hate each other or love each other. So many books in this genre are about nothing but the relationship, so if the relationship isn't plausible to the reader or if one of the characters isn't particularly sympathetic then the book has absolutely nothing else to fall back on.
I give Ms. Lauren's credit. This book starts a story arc that carries through another 9 or 10 novels in this particular series, and bleeds into her Cynster and Bride series as well. The plot never overshadows the love story and many times it should be emphasized more than it is. But it is always there, usually in the background, ready to remind the reader that there is more to the story and helping the author avoid dwelling too long on the romance at any given time.
I thought the narrator did a good job.
If you read any enjoyed other Lauren's novels, especially the Bastion Club series, then you will enjoy this.
2 of 4 people found this review helpful
Enjoyed this book very much.
It's fun and worth your time.
It has it all.
An unusual heroine, a dashing hero - even the horses are interesting! A funny, romantic story that hit the spot with me.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Would you try another book from Stephanie Laurens and/or McCallister Lee?
I am a long time fan of Stephanie Laurens and would certainly purchase another book of hers. McCallister Lee on the other hand doesn't have the voice or timing necessary to be a good narrator.
What was most disappointing about Stephanie Laurens’s story?
I couldn't finish the story due to the very bad narration. I'm going to purchase the Kindle version to better appreciate Stephanie's writing.
How could the performance have been better?
McCallister's voice is not suited to the characters. Her attempts to voice the english accent and many different voices were horrible. Her timing is off. It was like trying to listen to a child read a story.
You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?
Not the Audible version
Any additional comments?
I bought this thru my Kindle instead of the website. If I had it to do over I would have waited until I could connect to the website, read the other reviews and listened to the sample. I was so excited about buying a Stephanie Laurens book that I bought too soon
2 of 5 people found this review helpful