On a Wicked Dawn (Cynster Series)

( 79 )

Overview

Amelia Cynster is stunned to hear these words from Lucien Ashford?the enigmatic sixth Viscount Calverton and the man she has always loved?just before the handsome rogue passes out at her feet. Dawn is breaking and she's already risked scandal by lying in wait for him just outside his London home. And though torn between indignant affront and astonished relief, she's nevertheless thrilled that Luc has agreed to her outrageous marriage proposal.

However, rather than submitting to ...

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On a Wicked Dawn (Cynster Series)

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Overview

Amelia Cynster is stunned to hear these words from Lucien Ashford—the enigmatic sixth Viscount Calverton and the man she has always loved—just before the handsome rogue passes out at her feet. Dawn is breaking and she's already risked scandal by lying in wait for him just outside his London home. And though torn between indignant affront and astonished relief, she's nevertheless thrilled that Luc has agreed to her outrageous marriage proposal.

However, rather than submitting to a hasty wedding as Amelia had planned, the exasperating lord insists on wooing her properly…in public and in private. She longs for their time alone, when she can learn all about seduction from a master, yet frustratingly, they all too often find themselves beneath the stifling gaze of the ton.

But there is method behind the viscount's madness—he has a secret reason for wooing Amelia. And like all desirable things, his passion has a price.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060002053
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/7/2002
  • Series: Cynster Series
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 421
  • Sales rank: 259,592
  • Product dimensions: 4.18 (w) x 6.75 (h) x 1.12 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephanie Laurens

New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Laurens began writing as an escape from the dry world of professional science, a hobby that quickly became a career. Her novels set in Regency England have captivated readers around the globe, making her one of the romance world's most beloved and popular authors. Loving Rose is her fifty-fourth book. All of her previous works remain in print and readily available.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One



Mount Street, London
3 a.m., May 25, 1825

He was drunk. Gloriously drunk. More drunk -- drunker -- than he'd ever been. Not that he made a habit of inebriation, but last night, or more specifically and especially this morning, was a once-in-a-lifetime occasion. After eight long years, he was free.

Lucien Michael Ashford, sixth Viscount Calverton, sauntered along Mount Street, nonchalantly twirling his ebony cane, a smile of unfettered joy curving his lips.

He was twenty-nine, yet today qualified as the first of his adult life, the first day he could call said life his own. Even better, as of yesterday, he was rich. Fabulously, fantastically -- legally -- wealthy. There was not a great deal more he could think of to wish for. If he hadn't been afraid of falling on his face, he would have danced down the deserted street.

The moon was out, lighting the pavements, casting deep shadows. About him, London lay sleeping, but the capital, even at this hour, was never truly silent; from a distance, distorted by the stone facades all around, came the jingle of harness, the hollow clop of hooves, a disembodied call. Although even here, in the most fashionable quarter, danger sometimes lurked in the shadows, he felt no threat. His senses were still operational, and despite his state he'd taken care to walk evenly; any watching him with felonious intent would see a tall, sufficiently well built, gracefully athletic gentleman swinging a cane that might, and indeed did, conceal a swordstick, and move on to more likely prey.

He'dleft his club in St. James and the company of a group of friends half an hour ago, electing to walk home the better to clear his head of the effects elicited by a quantity of the very best French brandy. His celebrations had been restrained owing to the simple fact that none of said friends -- indeed no one other than his mother and his wily old banker, Robert Child -- knew anything of his previous state, the dire straits to which he and his family had been brought by his sire prior to his death eight years before, the perilous situation from which he'd spent the last eight years clawing his way back, and from which yesterday he'd finally won free.

The fact they'd had no idea what he was celebrating had not prevented his friends from joining him. A long night filled with wine, song, and the simple pleasures of male companionship had ensued.

A pity his oldest friend, his cousin Martin Fulbridge, now Dexter, earl of, wasn't presently in London. Then again, Martin was doubtless enjoying himself at his home in the north, wallowing in the benefits accruing to a recently married man; he had married Amanda Cynster a week ago.

Grinning to himself, Luc mentally -- superiorly -- shook his head over his cousin's weakness, his surrender to love. Reaching his house, he turned to the shallow steps leading to the front door -- his head spun for an instant, then righted. Carefully, he walked up the steps, halted before the door, then hunted in his pocket for his keys.

They slipped through his fingers twice before he grasped them and hauled them forth. The ring in his palm, he shuffled the keys, frowning as he tried to identify the one for the front door. Then he found it. Grasping it, he squinted, guiding it to keyhole...after the third try, it slid home; he turned and heard the tumblers fall.

Returning the keys to his pocket, he grasped the knob and sent the door swinging wide. He stepped over the threshold--

A dervish erupted from the black hole of the area steps -- he caught only a fleeting glimpse, had only an instant's warning before the figure barreled past him, one elbow knocking him off-balance. He staggered and fetched up against the hall wall.

That brief human contact, deadened by layers of fabric though it was, sent sensation rushing through him, and told him unequivocally who the dervish was. Amelia Cynster. Twin to his cousin's new wife, longtime friend of his family's whom he'd known since she was in nappies. An as-yet-unmarried female with a backbone of steel. Cloaked and hooded, she plunged into the dim hall, came to an abrupt halt, then whirled and faced him.

The wall behind his shoulders was the only thing keeping him upright. He stared, astounded, utterly bemused...waited for the effect of her touch to subside...

She made an angry, frustrated sound, dashed back to the door, grabbed it, and propelled it shut. The loss of the moonlight left him blinking, eyes adjusting to the dark. The door closed, she swung around; her back to the panel, she glared -- he felt it.

“What the devil's the matter with you?” she hissed.

“Me?” Easing his shoulders from the wall, he managed to find his balance. “What the damn hell are you doing here?”

He couldn't even begin to imagine. Moonlight streamed in through the fanlight, passing over their heads to strike the pale tiles of the hall. In the diffused light, he could just make out her features, fine and delicate in an oval face, framed by golden curls tumbling under her hood.

She straightened; chin rising, she set the hood back. “I wanted to speak with you privately.”

“It's three o'clock in the morning.”

“I know! I've been waiting since one. But I wanted to speak with you without anyone else knowing -- I can hardly come here during the day and demand to speak privately with you, can I?”

“No -- for a very good reason.” She was unmarried, and so was he. If she wasn't standing before the door he'd be tempted to open it and...he frowned. “You didn't come alone?”

“Of course not. I've a footman outside.”

He put a hand to his brow. “Oh...”

On a Wicked Dawn. Copyright © by Stephanie Laurens. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 79 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(33)

4 Star

(19)

3 Star

(18)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(6)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 79 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    enjoyable Regency

    After eight years of dire financial straits caused by his deceased father, Viscount Luc Ashford is wealthy. Successfully steering his family through the great debts, he allows himself a night of drinking to celebrate. When he tumbles home, Lady Amelia Cynster accosts him with a proposition that they marry and he use her large dowry to pay off his no longer existing debts. Perhaps it is the marriage of his best friend to Amelia¿s twin that encourages him (see ON A WICKED NIGHT) and though he has the income to pay his bills, Luc finds the idea of Amelia as his bride quite appealing. He accepts before falling drunkenly unconscious at her feet. <P>However, Luc insists on a proper courtship, which Amelia acquiesces to even as she tries seducing him. Waiting becomes agony, as Luc wants Amelia as much as she desires him. When they finally marry, passion is their middle names until someone steals items from their home. The theft causes Luc to worry how his beloved Amelia will react when she learns why he married her is not the reason she believes. <P>The ninth Cynster novel is an enjoyable Regency romance starring two likable lead characters spending much of the book hiding their love for one another when they are not gazing or kissing. The well-written story line focuses on these delightful protagonists whereas a subplot involving a mystery augments their tale with unnecessary suspense. Though nothing new is added to the Cynster universe, fans of the series and Regency tales in general will enjoy Stephanie Laurens¿ latest historical. <P>Harriet Klausner

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2013

    Glitches

    Did anyone else have glitches there were running horse images from page 179 on at ever chapter page

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2006

    WOW!!!!

    I thought the author did an excellent job on writing the book. The entire time you're reading it's bring you into the book it's self. Luc is such a hunk, no wonder Ameila can't wait to marry him.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2005

    Pretty Good

    It was pretty good cuz the story didnt just end after they were married.it went on to thier life after marriage.i liked on a wild night better.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2005

    What's missing? Everything but the love scenes!

    As a newcomer to the Cynster series I went into this book expecting nothing more than an interesting read. What I found was a book so slow to evolve that I used it as insomnia preventive. Stephanie Laurens has definitely perfected the art of seductive love scenes, but leaves you wanting more than just a physical connection between the two main characters, Amelia and Lucien. I found myself asking, ¿What¿s the point?¿ throughout the book. The plot lays out at the onset of the book with Amelia propositioning Lucien with marriage in order to save his family from dire straits. Of course, she has an ulterior motive and seeks to acquire him as a love match. What follows are intimate liaisons at various engagements and locations. I actually skipped through the majority of the love scenes trying to find something more fulfilling within the plot. Unfortunately, I think time would have been better-spent creating chemistry among the characters, rather than the physical pleasure both seemed to revel in with one another. You would never guess that the two of them have been family friends since Amelia was in nappies. Where's the emotional connection? So, in order not to waste a minute more on this book I'll leave you with this... If you are only looking for sensual love scenes, then this is the book for you. If you want something more connective then you would be better off saving your money and checking out another book. Happy reading!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2004

    not the best, but definitely not the worst in the series

    Well, this one was better than 'On A Wild Night', but not as great as some of the others in the series. Once again, the mystery was pretty obvious, but I DID like that Luc was actually in love with Amelia, and admitted it (at least to himself) early on. So not the best book of the series, but definitely better than some (like 'Devil's Bride', or 'Scandal's Bride').

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2003

    More of the same...would have been nice

    I've got to agree with many other reviewers; this one just didn't seem 'up to snuff' with most of her other books. Maybe I've just read too many, but the characters don't seem strong enough, the sex is a little too gratuitious, and it is hard to imagine going from just knowing each other all your lives to passion with never having had an idea of the sparks between them earlier. Read it if you love her stories but don't use this as an example of her best.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 26, 2014

    This book had a very weak storyline; seemed to be just an excuse

    This book had a very weak storyline; seemed to be just an excuse for WAY too many sex scenes.  Got old fast.  

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  • Posted March 6, 2014

    Wonderful book and series!!!  Recommend Very Highly!!!

    Wonderful book and series!!!  Recommend Very Highly!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2014

    Should be titled the many ways to seduce.  No story line.

    Should be titled the many ways to seduce.  No story line.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2013

    Review. Don't report.

    I'm getting disgusted with the "reviewers" on B and N. It should not be a summerization like a book report, but a review on your feelings about the book, the author's ability to tell the story, and character developement. If I'm getting a summery, why waste time with reading the whole book?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2012

    Not one of her better ones

    I really like Stephanie Laurens and the Cynster series but this one was lacking. It was a good story line but the conflict that usually exists wasn't great. Not a bad read but not as good as some of her others.

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  • Posted May 6, 2010

    Typical Historical Fiction

    Stephanie Laurents is one of the hallmarks of historical romance fiction. She has delighted readers with her novels of the regency era in England. One of the captivating elements of her novels is the interconnectedness. The same characters are intertwined throughout many of her novels in main and supporting roles. This novel focuses on the connections of the Cynester novel. A helpful family tree at the beginning of the book shows the family relationships. Another strength of the female characters. Rather than being simpering girls waiting to be rescued. They have strong, independent personalities. She also includes many rich and vivid details including historically accurate settings.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2008

    too difficult to finish

    i found myself skipping pages most of the time! besides, what's with all the thinking! there was hardly any conversation between luc and amelia!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2005

    Luc (what a hunk)

    I thought it was a great book! I could not put it down. The way Luc told her he loved her had me giggling with laughter, if that makes sense? I thought it had a great plot with a wounderful ending.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2004

    I Loved It

    The first few pages had me laughing out loud. I loved Amelia, soft on the outside hard as steel on the inside. One of the best of the Cynster series.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2004

    Very Satisfactory

    This was an intriguing story and very sensual, like I like them.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2004

    If You Like it Sensual

    If you like your romance hot and sensual, this is the best of the Cynster series. I find myself reading parts over and over again. I like the fact that they knew each other most of their lives even though they just found the wonderful passion that exist between them. I hope a Perfect Lover is just as breathtaking. Some may say it lacks a storyline but who cares, theres plenty of sex to make up for that, hee hee:)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2003

    Stephanie does It YET again!!!

    What more can I say...AGAIN and again Ms.Laurens writes truly great books...and this was another example...It is truly wonderful to follow the Cynster family , their passions, heart-aches, sorrows and joys...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2002

    I loved it!!!!

    This was a great book. I have read almost all of her book and I have never once been dissapointed. When I start one of her books I can't put it down. It usually takes me about two day to go thought one of her stories. This one was extremly enjoyable.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 79 Customer Reviews

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