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All About Passion (Stephanie Laurens, Cynsters #7)

3.5 out of 5 stars

Cut to the Chase:
This had a more serious drive than some of the other Cynsters novels, but for any of us who are fans of the series, this was actually a good add-on. As an “honorary” Cynster, Chillingworth fits the mold of the Cynster-dominant-male-prototype nicely. The sex scenes are longer than usual, and almost get in the way of the love story here, but the characters are actually somewhat believable, and though the plot and characters are predictable, Laurens is a talented writer, and this was, overall, a worthwhile addition to the initial series.

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A Rogue’s Proposal (Stephanie Laurens, Cynsters #4)

2.5 out of 5 stars

Cut to the Chase:
My reaction to this book can probably be summed up in one word: meh. While all the necessary elements are there (the dashing rake of a bachelor who sees no use for marriage and desperately wants to escape the matchmaking mamas, the innocent and somewhat flighty heroine, the subplot that has elements of mystery)… there just wasn’t anything that I ultimately connected with or to in this book. Laurens is a talented writer, and I didn’t regret my time reading this book, but parts of it were definitely skim-worthy, and overall, it just felt kind of mediocre… and meh.

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Scandal’s Bride (Stephanie Laurens, Cynsters #3)

5 out of 5

Cut to the Chase:
This is my second favorite Laurens novel, and a bit of a guilty pleasure — I know she’s playing on stereotypes and glossing over details, but somehow I just don’t care. With our heroine Catriona, who is a healer and witch, there is an aspect of magic and fantasy that Laurens rarely explores and in Richard, the bastard son of a Duke, we have a noble hero who is nonetheless a bit of an outsider looking in. They are both people whose family situations have been defined for them; watching them discover each other and form a family is enormously engaging and enjoyable.
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A Secret Love (Stephanie Laurens, Cynsters #5)

5 out of 5 stars

Cut to the Chase:
This is Laurens at her best – an engrossing blend of mystery, an especially well characterized heroine, and of course, her trademark steamy sensuality.  Though Laurens’s characters are always attractive and intelligent, they sometimes feel a little interchangeable; this is one of the few examples to the contrary.  Alathea is a twenty-nine-year-old spinster who willingly sacrificed the possibility of marriage to become the titular financial head of the family and Gabriel, though he’s a little more of the stereotypical strong, protective, masculine trope, is nonetheless engaging enough to follow.  You need to take a small leap of faith at the set-up: that Alathea and Gabriel are childhood friends, but when she needs his help, she comes to him in disguise (one that he doesn’t see through).  Once you do, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how well their dual day/night relationships develop, and be engrossed in what is a very enjoyable read.

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