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What Price Love? (Cynster Series)

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Overview

Enter the unforgettable world of New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Laurens, creator of the phenomenal Cynster family. This amazing clan — and their friends — is a bold, powerful group of men who let nothing stand in their way when it comes to matters of the heart. And in this, Stephanie Laurens's newest novel, a passionate man and a daring woman confront the ultimate question. . . .

What Price Love?

There is nothing more fascinating ...

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What Price Love? (Cynster Series)

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Overview

Enter the unforgettable world of New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Laurens, creator of the phenomenal Cynster family. This amazing clan — and their friends — is a bold, powerful group of men who let nothing stand in their way when it comes to matters of the heart. And in this, Stephanie Laurens's newest novel, a passionate man and a daring woman confront the ultimate question. . . .

What Price Love?

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?

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
Bestselling author Stephanie Laurens returns to the world of the Cynsters with this lush romantic adventure set in the thoroughbred racing world. It features two reckless and attractive people with no time for love: Dillon Caxton and Lady Priscilla Dalloway. Caxton, protégé of Demon Cynster, has recovered from an earlier mistake and is prepared to guard the sport of kings. Soon enough, he hears of an extremely clever criminal racing scam. Lady Priscilla has come to Newmarket from Ireland to rescue her brother, who's gone missing after presumably stumbling upon the same scheme. Caxton is the only one who can possibly help Priscilla, but his help seems to have a price. As the two collaborate, then begin a passionate romance, both the plot and the relationship escalate, culminating in a most ingenious solution. Laurens's many fans will appreciate the cameo appearances of various Cynsters seen earlier in A Rogue's Proposal, including Demon and Flick. Ginger Curwen
Publishers Weekly
Set in 1831, bestseller Laurens's crowd-pleasing hot-blooded romance reintroduces Dillon Caxton, a young rake now reformed, who first appeared in A Rogue's Proposal. Recruited by the Jockey Club to investigate rumors of race fixing in Newmarket, Suffolk, Dillon is startled to discover that a gorgeous young Irishwoman calling herself Priscilla "Pris" Dalling (in reality an earl's daughter) is trying to get a look at the two official tomes on breeding and racing in England, the Breeding Register and the Stud Book. The green-eyed femme fatale is determined to help her twin brother, Lord Russell Dalling, whose dream to train an Irish Derby winner for Lord Cromarty's stables has landed them both in heart-stopping danger. Wanton sparks fly, bodices rip and trousers drop, though the novel's main juice comes from the well-researched horse-racing backdrop, not from the sometimes accidentally funny lust scenes ("Far beyond sanity, her world shook; reality tilted and quaked"). (On sale Mar. 14) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
The very eligible Dillon Caxton (protege of Demon Cynster) flees the clamoring young ladies for the racetrack, where gorgeous Lady Priscilla Dalloway is stalking her wayward brother. Do sparks fly? You bet. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060840853
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/30/2007
  • Series: Cynster Series
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 496
  • Sales rank: 153,390
  • Product dimensions: 6.54 (w) x 11.06 (h) x 1.08 (d)

Meet the Author

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

What Price Love?

A Cynster Novel
By Stephanie Laurens

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 Stephanie Laurens
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060840846

Chapter One

September 1831
Newmarket, Suffolk

I had hoped we'd have longer in reasonable privacy." Letting the door of the Twig & Bough coffee shop on Newmarket High Street swing shut behind him, Dillon Caxton stepped down to the pavement beside Barnaby Adair. "Unfortunately, the sunshine has brought the ladies and their daughters out in force."

Scanning the conveyances thronging the High Street, Dillon was forced to smile and acknowledge two matrons, each with beaming daughters. Tapping Barnaby's arm, he started strolling. "If we stand still, we'll invite attack."

Chuckling, Barnaby fell in beside him. "You sound even more disenchanted with the sweet young things than Gerrard was."

"Living in London, you're doubtless accustomed to far worse, but spare a thought for us who value our bucolic existence. To us, even the Little Season is an unwanted reminder of that which we fervently wish to avoid."

"At least with this latest mystery you have something to distract you. An excellent excuse to be elsewhere, doing other things."

Seeing a matron instructing her coachman to draw her landau to the curb ten paces farther on, Dillon swore beneath his breath. "Unfortunately, as ourmystery must remain a strict secret, I fear Lady Kershaw is going to draw first blood."

Her ladyship, a local high stickler, beckoned imperiously. There was no help for it; Dillon strolled on to her now-stationary carriage. He exchanged greetings with her ladyship and her daughter, Margot, then introduced Barnaby. They stood chatting for five minutes. From the corner of his eye, Dillon noted how many arrested glances they drew, how many other matrons -were now jockeying for position farther along the curb.

Glancing at Barnaby, doing his best to live up to Miss Kershaw's expectations, Dillon inwardly grimaced. He could imagine the picture they made, he with his dark, dramatic looks most commonly described as Byronic, with Barnaby, a golden Adonis with curly hair and bright blue eyes, by his side, the perfect foil. They were both tall, well set up, and elegantly and fashionably turned out. In the restricted society of Newmarket, it was no wonder the ladies were lining up to accost them. Unfortunately, their destination -- the Jockey -Club -- lay some hundred yards distant; they had to run the gauntlet.

They proceeded to do so with the glib assurance that came from untold hours spent in ton ballrooms. Despite his preference for the bucolic, courtesy of his cousin Flick -- Felicity Cynster -- over the last de-cade Dillon had spent his fair share of time in the whirl of the ton, in London and elsewhere, as Flick put it, keeping in practice.

In practice for what was a question to which he was no longer sure he knew the answer. Before his fall from grace and the scandal that had shaken his life, he'd always assumed he would marry, have a family, and all the rest. Yet while spending the last decade putting his life to rights, repaying his debts of social and moral obligation, and reestablishing himself, his honor, in the eyes of all those who mattered to him, he'd grown accustomed to his solitary existence, to the life of an unencumbered gentleman.

Smiling at Lady Kennedy, the third matron to detain them, he extricated himself and Barnaby and strolled on, casting his eye along the line of waiting carriages and their fair burdens. Not one stirred the remotest interest in him. Not one sweet face even moved him to curiosity.

Unfortunately, becoming known as a gentleman with a hardened heart, one unsusceptible to feminine enticements, had piled additional fuel on the bonfire of the ladies' aspirations. Too many now viewed him as a challenge, a recalcitrant male they were determined to bring to heel. As for their mothers, with every year that passed he was forced to exercise greater care, to keep his eyes ever open for social snares, those traps certain matrons set for the unwary.

Even those select ladies with whom he occasionally dallied discreetly in the capital weren't above hatching schemes. His last inamorata had tried to convince him of the manifold benefits that would accrue to him should he marry her niece. Said benefits had, of course, included her fair self.

He was beyond being outraged, beyond even being surprised; he was close to turning his back on the entire subject of marriage.

"Mrs. Cartwell, a pleasure to see you, ma'am." Taking the hand the haughty matron extended, he shook it, bowed to the vision of loveliness sitting beside Mrs. Cartwell, then stepped back and introduced Barnaby. Always interested in people, Barnaby exchanged platitudes with the lovely Miss Cartwell; cravenly grateful, Dillon stood back and let him have the stage.

Mrs. Cartwell was monitoring the exchange between her daughter and Barnaby, the third son of an earl and every bit as eligible as Dillon himself, with absolute concentration. Reduced to the redundant, Dillon's mind returned to the matter he and Barnaby had retreated to the Twig & Bough to discuss, until they'd been ousted by the invading ladies. They'd chosen the quieter shop catering to the genteel element rather than the club coffee-house favored by the racing fraternity for the simple reason that the subject of their discussion would set ears flapping and tongues wagging among the racing set.

Another racing scandal was precisely what he was working to avoid.

This time, he wasn't engaged on the wrong side of the ledger; this time, he'd been recruited by the angels, to wit the all-powerful Committee of the Jockey Club, to investigate the rumors of race fixing that had started to circulate after the recent spring racing season.

That request was a deliberate and meaningful vote of confidence -- a declaration that the Committee viewed his youthful indiscretion as fully paid for, the slate wiped clean. More, it was a clear statement that the Committee had complete faith in his integrity, in his discretion, and in his devotion to the breeding and racing industry that the Committee oversaw, and that he and his father before him had for so long served.

Continues...


Excerpted from What Price Love? by Stephanie Laurens Copyright © 2006 by Stephanie Laurens. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 23 )
Rating Distribution

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(16)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 23 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2007

    Not her best work. .

    I've really enjoyed all of the other titles in her Cynster series, but this one was a pretty big letdown. I really felt like it focused way too much on horse racing and not enough on the relationship between the main characters. I never thought I'd say this about an SL novel, but give it a pass.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2006

    Disappointing

    I have read all Ms. Laurens' books and this one is the most tedious I have ever read. There is so much introspection going on you are left craving dialog. The main characters--Dillon Caxton and Priscilla Dalloway--find themselves so beautiful that ordinary people cannot understand them. As they try to solve the mystery of a horse racing scandal involving her twin brother you are trying to get to the end of the book without skimming over the words. I will not give up on Ms. Laurens and hope the next one will be as good as her previous books (minus 'What Price Love')

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2006

    What price would you pay?

    Would you risk your own heart if you were unsure of your love being returned?...No. Would you condemn the heart of the one you loved to a passionless, meaningless, loveless life leaving them incomplete?¿.Never! Such is the dilemma of the two newest characters in this latest Cynster novel. Priscilla and Dillon are among my favorite of the Cynster characters. Laurens did a wonderful job of allowing us to see what so many in Priscilla and Dillon¿s world don¿t see- the very wild, reckless, loving and deserving people they are. Of course there was a great mystery to solve that brings our two fated together thus changing their lives forever, for the better. This book of all of the Cynster tales let us see and understand how the famous Cynster motto ¿To have and to hold¿ comes to be the center of life to those who love so completely and deeply in this family. And for Cynster fans we get to see a glimpse of old and new favorite characters in this series. If your not a Cynster fan, you¿ll want to become one now. A great read!!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 27, 2014

    Loved this book and love the series!!  Great Work!!!  Recommend

    Loved this book and love the series!!  Great Work!!!  Recommend Highly!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2009

    What price love

    Great book to curl up with. Being part of the Cynster Series, I loved the tale of Barnaby and Penelope.

    The book had a great amount of excitment, myster and romance.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2007

    A reviewer

    I had to skim through pages of verbage describing the 'sexual tension' between the main characters in hopes of finding something that would advance the plot line. Just finding dialogue was a welcome change from their seemingly endless introspection.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2006

    Suspenseful & Sensual Cynsters

    As usual, Stephanie Laurens will not disappoint in this sensual and suspenseful romance. Once again, we not only revisit the Cynster Family, but particularly Demon & Flick. Another racing scandal builds as a set of twins Lord Russell & Lady Priscilla Dalloway of Ireland work to uncover a scandal to set races and replace thoroughbreds. Who holds the register of horses & racing? - Dillon Caxton, Flick's cousin, once the center of scandal himself years ago. He has worked hard to redeem himself and would do anything to avoid involvement in yet another scandal, but upon looking in the Emerald eyes of the beautiful Pris, he is lost. Dillon and the Cynsters form their plan and work together to uncover the dasterdly characters involved. The sensual scale is an 8 as the seduction builds to powerful love scenes that Ms. Laurens is noted for. Her fans won't be disappointed. Once again, the dashingly handsome Cynster connected male pursues his mate in ways that keeps your heart a thumpin'. Makes you want to beg Stephanie Laurens to please continue the Cynsters. After all, 13 is such an odd number.

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  • Posted February 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    STERLING NARRATIVE FOR ROMANCE LISTENERS

    A romance writer for some 16 years, Stephanie Laurens won readers with her first story of the Cynster cousins. She knows the recipe for keeping fans coming back for more - sizzling sensuality, historical settings, and seemingly unattainable, handsome heroes. All of that is here again in What Price Love? How can Laurens go wrong with descriptions such as 'There is nothing more fascinating than a darkly handsome rake, especially one as controlled and elusive as Dillon Caxton.' He is, of course, 'undeniably desirable to young ladies.' Pure Laurens and readers devour every page. It is England in 1831 and Dillon is now the Keeper of the Register of all racing horses in England, he is enjoying the good life after a rather checkered and almost ruinous past. He relaxes with his friend, Barnaby Adair, at the Twig & Bough coffee shop. Upon leaving, he notes that the sunshine has brought out all the ladies and their marriageable daughters. However, no pretty, flirtatious young woman held the least bit of interest for him until (you knew it would happen) Priscilla Dalloway came upon the scene. She will go to any lengths, and we do mean any to have a look at the Register. Russell, her twin brother, known as Rus, had taken a job with Cromarty's stable. It was rumored that something was amiss with the horses there and then Rus disappeared. Eventually, Priscilla confides in Dillon and they join forces to find her brother. Finding him is only a partial answer as they discover a huge gambling swindle is underfoot, and those running it don't mind disposing of their enemies. Actress Elizabeth Sastre delivers a sterling narrative, perfectly capturing the voices of early 19th century England. Whether the scene is a tavern or an exclusive parlor she takes you there. Romance listeners, enjoy! - Gail Cooke

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2006

    Good Cynster Novel

    I really did not like Dillon in A Rogue's Proposal but he sure changed in Price. He was an amazing character. At first I did not like Pris at all she seemed so into herself. I did not like her until the middle of the book. I like Rus and wished he had his own book but happy he ended up Adelaine. It was a good book but not as good as the original Cynster novels. Anyways I enjoyed this book but I liked the Truth about Love better. IT has good love scenes and I can't wait for Chalie M story.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Excellent Cynster tale

    At one time he came close to being part of a major scandal, but his cousin Felicity and her spouse Demon Cynster saved more than just Dillon Caxton¿s reputation. Since then he has been the epitome of integrity, a man that Diogenes would believe is that honest fellow he sought. Because of his stellar reputation and credibility, Dillon is the Keeper of the Register that lists all racing horses in the country. --- In 1831 Lady Priscilla Dalloway wants to look at the Register, but Dillon refuses to allow her a peak. Priscilla hopes the Register can give her a clue as to the whereabouts of her missing twin brother, Russell, who after a heated argument with their father, left to work with racehorses at Cromarty, but like his predecessor there has vanished without a trace. Priscilla tries to seduce Dillon, who wants her, but he rejects her efforts as dishonest as honesty means everything to him. He demands the truth so he tries to reverse the seduction as she contemplates whether she can trust him with her twin¿s life. Neither is aware of a potential racetrack scandal that could destroy both of them and her sibling. --- The thirteenth extended Cynster tale stars a protégé whose strong ethics make him an interesting character as his demon is a sexy temptation who wants him to do a minor transgression that no one but they would know about. The relationship between Pris and Dillon make for a fresh entry, perhaps the best in several years, as she will do anything to insure her brother¿s safety while he would do anything for her except sell his integrity. Some readers might say he is too honest, but as historical fans ponder a response to the relevant question WHAT PRICE LOVE? --- Harriet Klausner

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    Posted November 14, 2010

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    Posted February 7, 2011

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    Posted October 29, 2012

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    Posted May 17, 2009

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