All About Passion (Cynster Series)

All About Passion (Cynster Series)

4.3 70
by Stephanie Laurens
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

New York Times bestselling Australian author Stephanie Laurens delivers the latest tale in the immensely popular Cynster series. When Chillington is elected an ′honorary Cynster′ at the end of All About Love, he knows he needs a wife , and an heir. His goal; a simple marriage without romance. He agrees to marry a woman he believes to be pliant

See more details below

Overview

New York Times bestselling Australian author Stephanie Laurens delivers the latest tale in the immensely popular Cynster series. When Chillington is elected an ′honorary Cynster′ at the end of All About Love, he knows he needs a wife , and an heir. His goal; a simple marriage without romance. He agrees to marry a woman he believes to be pliant and quiet. Unfortunately for him, the woman he thinks is Francesca Rawling is really her cousin, Franni.Francesca herself is proud, passionate and opinionated in short, the perfect bride for a Cynster...

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Appealing characters and red-hot chemistry breathe new life into a familiar story line in the latest entry in Laurens's Regency-era Cynster series (following All About Love). This time, Cupid's arrow fells Gyles Rawlings, the Earl of Chillingworth and an "honorary Cynster." Gyles realizes that it's time to take a wife and carry on the line, but he's determined to go about it in a businesslike fashion with an arranged marriage. Fortunately, country heiress Francesca Rawlings, a distant relation, seems to be the perfect candidate. She's well favored, pleasant and endowed with an estate that will nicely complement his own. On his wedding day, however, he discovers that the serene, docile woman that he spied in the garden a few days earlier was not Francesca, but her cousin Frannie. The heiress he's contracted for is the passionate hoyden he's met galloping across the downs. Nevertheless, he goes through with the marriage, seizing the opportunity to complete his estate and indulge his passion for the spirited Francesca. She, in turn, is determined to make the earl admit his love for her. The stubbornness of the hero and heroine, though the center of the story's conflict, may irritate some readers, but Laurens's twist on the bride-switch, arranged marriage formula is fun, spicy and sure to please. (Sept. 4) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780380812028
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
09/28/2001
Series:
Cynster Series
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
448
Sales rank:
272,593
Product dimensions:
4.18(w) x 6.75(h) x 1.12(d)

Read an Excerpt

All About Passion

Chapter One

London

August 1820

"Good evening, my lord. Your uncle has called. He′s awaiting you in the library."

Gyles Frederick Rawlings, fifth Earl of Chillingworth, paused in the act of divesting himself of his greatcoat, then shrugged and let the heavy coat fall into his butler′s waiting hands. "Indeed?"

"I understand Lord Walpole will shortly return to Lambourn Castle. He wondered if you had any messages for the Dowager Countess."

"In other words," Gyles murmured, resettling his cuffs, "he wants the latest gossip and knows better than to return to Mama and my aunt without it."

"As you say, my lord. In addition, Mr. Waring called earlier. On ascertaining that you were returning this evening, he left word that he would hold himself ready to wait on your lordship at your earliest convenience."

"Thank you, Irving." Gyles strolled into his front hall. Behind him, the front door quietly shut, propelled by a silent footman. Pausing in the middle of the green-and-white tiles, Gyles glanced back at Irving, waiting, a picture of patience in his butler′s black. "Summon Waring." GyIes turned down the hall. "Send a footman with the carriage, given it′s so late."

"Immediately, my lord."

Another well-trained footman opened the library door; Gyles walked in; the door closed behind him.

His uncle, Horace Walpole, was sitting on the chaise, legs stretched out, a half-empty brandy balloon in one hand. He cracked open one eye, then opened both and sat up. "There you are, m′boy. I was wondering if I′d have to go back newsless, and considering what would be safe to concoct."

Gyles crossed to the tantalus. "I believe I can spare your imagination. I′m expecting Waring shortly."

"That new man-of-business of yours?"

Gyles nodded. Glass in hand, he crossed to his favorite armchair and sank into its leather-cushioned comfort. "He′s been looking into a small matter for me."

"Oh? Which matter?"

"Who I should marry."

Horace stared, then straightened. "Hell′s bells! You′re serious."

"Marriage is not a subject on which I would jest."

"Glad to hear it." Horace took a large sip of his brandy.

"Henni said you′d be making a move in that direction, but Ireally didn′t think you would -- well, not yet."

Gyles hid a wry smile. Horace had been his guardian since his father′s death; he′d been seven at the time of his sire′s demise, so it was Horace who′d guided him through adolesence and youth. Despite that, he could still surprise Horace. His aunt Henrietta, Henni to all, was another matter -- she seemed to know instinctively what he was thinking on all major issues, even though he was here in London while she resided at his principal estate in Berkshire. As for his mother, also at Lambourn Castle, he′d long been grateful that she kept her perceptions to herself. "It′s not as if marriage is something I can avoid."

"There is that." Horace conceded. "Osbert as the next earl is not something any of us could stomach. Least of all Osbert."

"So Great-aunt Millicent regularly informs me." Gyles nodded at the large desk farther down the room. "That letter there -- the thick one? That′ll be another missive demanding I do my duty by the family, pick a suitable chit, and marry with all speed. One arrives every week without fail."

Horace pulled a face.

"And, of course, every time I cross Osbert′s path, he looks at me as if I′m his only possible salvation."

"Well, you are. If you don′t marry and beget an heir, he′ll be for it. And Osbert in charge of the earldom is entirely too depressing a thought to contemplate." Horace drained his glass. "Still, I wouldn′t have thought you′d let old Millicent and Osbert jockey you into marrying to please them."

"Perish the thought. But if you must know, and I′m sure Henni will want to, I intend to marry entirely to suit myself. I′m thirty-five, after all. Further denying the inevitable will only make the adjustment more painful -- I′m set in my ways as it is." He rose and held out his hand.

Horace grimaced and gave him his glass. "Devilish business, marriage -- take my word for it. Sure it isn′t all these Cynsters marrying that′s niggled you into taking the plunge?"

"That′s where I was today -- Somersham. There was a family gathering to show off all the new wives and infants. If I′d needed any demonstration of the validity of your thesis, today would have provided it."

Refilling their glasses, GyIes pushed aside the prickling presentiment evoked by his old friend Devil Cynster′s latest infernal machination. "Devil and the others elected me an honorary Cynster." Turning from the tantalus, he handed Horace his glass, then resumed his seat. "I pointed out that while we might share countless characteristics, I′m not, and never will be, a Cynster."

He would not marry for love. That fate, as he′d assured Devil for years, would never be his.

Every Cynster male seemed unavoidably to succumb, jettisoning rakish careers of legendary proportions for love and the arms of one special lady. There′d been six in the group popularly known as the Bar Cynster, and now all were wed, all exclusively and unswervingly focused on their wives and growing families. If there was, within him, a spark of envy, he made sure it was buried deep. The price they′d paid was not one he could afford.

Horace snorted. "Love matches are the Cynsters′ forte. Seem to be all the rage these days, but take my word for it -- an arranged marriage has a lot to recommend it."

"My thoughts exactly. Earlier this summer I set Waring the task of investigating all the likely candidates to see which , if any, had dower properties that would materially add to the..."

All About Passion. Copyright © by Stephanie Laurens. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >