Devil's Bride (Cynster Series)

Devil's Bride (Cynster Series)

by Stephanie Laurens

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Overview

When Devil, the most infamous member of the Cynster family, is caught in a compromising position with plucky governess Honoria Wetherby, he astonishes the entire town by offering his hand in marriage. No one dreamed this scandalous rake would ever take a bride. And as society mamas swooned at the loss of England's most eligible bachelor, Devil′s infamous Cynster cousins began to place wagers on the wedding date.

But Honoria wasn't about to bend society's demands and marry a man "just" because they'd been found together virtually unchaperoned. No, she craved adventure, and while solving the murder of a young Cynster cousin fit the bill for a while, she decided that once the crime was solved she'd go off to see the world. But the scalding heat of her unsated desire for Devil soon had Honoria craving a very different sort of excitement. Could her passion for Devil cause her to embrace the enchanting peril of a lifelong adventure of the heart?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780380794560
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 03/01/1998
Series: Cynster Series , #1
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 141,911
Product dimensions: 4.19(w) x 6.75(h) x 1.04(d)

About the Author

#1 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.

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Devil's Bride

Chapter One

Somersham, Cambridgeshire

August 1818

"The duchess is so very ... very ... well, really, most charming. So..." With an angelic smile, Mr. Postlethwaite, the vicar of Somersham, gestured airily.

"Continental, if you take my meaning."

Standing by the vicarage gate while she waited for the gig to be brought around, Honoria Wetherby only wished she could. Wringing information from the local vicar was always one of her first actions on taking up a new position; unfortunately, while her need for information was more acute than usual, Mr. Postlethwaite′s comments were unhelpfully vague. She nodded encouragingly and pounced on the one point which might conceivably mean something. "Is the duchess foreign-born?"

"Dowager Duchess." Mr. Postlethwaite beamed. "She likes to be called that now. But foreign?" Head to one side, he considered the point. "I suppose some might call her so she was French-born and bred. But she′s been amongst us so long, she seems a part of our landscape. Indeed" - his eyes brightened - she′s something of a feature on our limited horizon."

That much, Honoria had gleaned. It was one reason she needed to know more. "Does the Dowager join the congregation here? I didn′t see any ducal arms about." Glancing at the neat stone church beyond the vicarage, she recalled numerous commemorative inscriptions honouring the deceased from various lordly houses, including some scions of the Claypoles, the family whose household she joined last Sunday. But no ducal plaques, helpfully inscribed with name and title, had she discovered anywhere.

"On occasion," Mr. Postlethwaite replied. "But there′s a private church at the Place, quite beautifully appointed. Mr. Merryweather is chaplain there. The duchess is always reliable in her devotions." He shook his head sadly. "Not, I′m afraid, a general characteristic of that family."

Honoria resisted a strong urge to grind her teeth. Which family? She′d been chasing that information for the past three days. Given that her new employer, Lady Claypole, seemed convinced that her daughter Melissa, now Honoria′s charge, was destined to be the next duchess, it seemed the course of wisdom to learn what she could of the duke and his family. The family name would help.

By choice, she had spent little time amongst them but, thanks to her brother Michael′s long letters, she was reliably informed of the current status of the families who made up that gilded circle - the circle into which she′d been born. If she learned the name, or even the major title, she would know a great deal more.

However, despite spending an hour on Sunday explaining in excruciating detail just why Melissa was destined to be a duchess, Lady Claypole had not used the lucky duke′s title. Assuming she would learn it easily enough, Honoria had not specifically questioned her ladyship. She′d only just met the woman; advertising her ignorance had seemed unnecessary. After taking stock of Melissa and her younger sister Annabel, she′d vetoed any idea of asking them; showing ignorance to such was inviting trouble. The same reason had kept her from inquiring of the Claypole Hall staff. Sure that she would learn all she wished while being welcomed to the local Ladies Auxiliary, she′d arranged for her afternoon off to coincide with that most useful of village gatherings.

She′d forgotten that, within the local area, the duke and Dowager Duchess would always be referred to in purely generic terms. Their neighbors all knew to whom they referred - she still did not. Unfortunately, the patent scorn with which the other ladies viewed Lady Claypole′s ducal aspirations had made asking a simple question altogether too awkward. Undaunted, Honoria had endured a lengthy meeting over raising sufficient funds to replace the church′s ancient roof, then scoured the church, reading every plaque she could find. All to no avail.

Drawing a deep breath, she prepared to admit to ignorance. "To which-"

"There you are, Ralph!" Mrs. Postlethwaite came bustling down the path. "I′m so sorry to interrupt, my dear." She smiled at Honoria, then looked at her spouse. "There′s a boy come from old Mrs. Mickleham - she′s asking for you urgently."

"Here you are, miss."

Honoria whirled and saw the vicar′s gardener leading the bad-tempered grey the Claypole Hall groom had harnessed to the gig. Shutting her lips, she nodded graciously to Mrs. Postlethwaite, then sailed through the gate the vicar held wide. Taking the reins with a tight smile, she allowed the gardener to assist her to the seat.

Mr. Postlethwaite beamed. "I′ll look to see you on Sunday, Miss Wetherby."

Honoria nodded regally. "Nothing, Mr. Postlethwaite, could keep me away." And, she thought, as she set the grey in motion, if I haven′t found out by then who this blessed duke is, I won′t let go of you until I have!

Brooding darkly, she drove through the village; only as the last of the cottages fell behind did she become aware of the heaviness in the air. Glancing up, she saw thunderclouds sweeping in from the west.

Tension gripped her, locking her breath in her chest. Abruptly looking forward, Honoria focused on the intersection immediately ahead. The road to Chatteris led straight on, then curved north, into the path of the storm; the long lane to Claypole Hall gave off it three miles on.

A gust of wind plucked at her, whistling mockingly. Honoria started; the grey jibbed. Forcing the horse to a halt, Honoria berated herself for remaining out so long. A ducal name was hardly of earth-shattering importance. The approaching storm was.

Devil's Bride. Copyright © by Stephanie Laurens. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Devil's Bride (Cynster Series) 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 282 reviews.
Aline92706 More than 1 year ago
The Cynster series is addtive. You finsih one and are looking for the next one to continue the stories.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've read most of the series.  The rest were good, but this one is by far the best.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
couldn' put it down. loved the characters strong personalities, how they didn't bow down to each other.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
POSSIBLE SPOILERS INCLUDED: Negative: There are some times when writers fall back on annoying habits that distract from the story. Generally I am pretty forgiving and can just move on to the next book. In "Devil's Bride" the author constantly made reference to Honoria's 'willful'/'uplifted'/'angled'/'proud'/' etc CHIN!!! I bet it was used as a description of Honoria at least 10 times per chapter. Even as I type this I cannot believe how much I let it irritate me but it did. The who-dun-it was made obvious early in the book. The sex scenes were overwrought and ridiculous. The writing felt lazy and wordy. Positive: I like the idea of the Cynster men and I enjoyed the interaction between Honoria and the twins as well as with Louise and some of the other secondary characters. I thought Chillingsworth was a good secondary character as well especially the encounter between Honoria and Chillingsworth towards the end of the book. A friend recommended this author to me so I will definitely try another book of Ms. Laurens based on how well this friend likes her books.
Honeysweet More than 1 year ago
Dont start this series unless you are prepared to finish. Because once you start you cant stop! I have lost count of the hours spent engroused in these novels! They are amazing! Stephanie laurens is a true reminder of why I love regency novels! NO ONE DOES IT BETTER THAN HER!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love this series !
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
good hot read. want me some devil
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
First-rate romance.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. It was a great introduction to the wonderful Cynster family. The bad guy was easy to guess, but I loved it anyway.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked the plot and character development, but would hav preferred less explicit sex to be a little less explicit.
lanath More than 1 year ago
The first of the Cynster novels-a classic Regency romance. And if you love Regency romance books, you'll love this one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is my favorite Stephanie Laurens book. I love Devil!
fs0206 More than 1 year ago
This is a great start to a wonderful series. I found my self laughing, crying, and falling in love! Great read, and do not stop with this book
Ezzie More than 1 year ago
I was at first put off when I read the back of the book and noticed that the main character's name was Devil. However, after getting about 30 or less pages into the book, I absolutely loved the name. Very dangerous and very unique. I never would have thought of it as a nickname. The persistence of Honoria and Devil and their bickering were amusing and had me laughing. It was definitely a feel good book. I think the most attractive thing about this were the names, most definitely. Cynster? Sinister? haha, loved it! Though I still don't know if I'm pronouncing Honoria's name correctly. The only thing I wasn't too happy about was the fact that it was easy to figure out who the murderer was. Perhaps if the hints weren't so obvious then it would have been a better suspense but the romance was wonderful. I'd love to read more books like this one to keep me entertained. I highly recommend this book to those who enjoy a rough romance where one refuses to admit to fate. Screw realism. That's what imagination is for.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Stephanie Laurens knows how to capture your attention!! A storm tossed meeting on a back road with a body to gather around. Stubborn wills opposing each other. Complimenting each other. Devil Cynster meets his match in all facets of life. Watch this budding patriarch take his place at the head of the family and finally have the lady to tame his wily brood.
Anonymous 8 months ago
It's my favorite out of the whole series !
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Must read love the series great author
jeffersonsambrosia on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I don't remember what made me decide to select this series to read, someone mentioned it on PBS I think. So in true me style. I collected all 15 books published in the Cynster series, before reading the first one. And I can say another GREAT choice of mine. This book is wonderfully written. Taking you through a colorful mystery of a family murder, as well as throwing that lovely Regency romance at you. Honoria is a wonderfully strong minded, stubborn female. And she's put up against the Duke of St Ives Devil Cynster. And what a DEVIL he truly is. He will set any ladies spine a tingling. If you like romance, and you like action. Give this book a read. You will meet the strong clan of Cynster men, their Women, and help solve a murder Mystery.
halo776 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Honoria Wetherby's life changes when she stumbles upon a dying man on a country lane during a storm. Her horse runs off, leaving her and the patient stranded. She is rescued by Sylvester "Devil" Cynster, the Duke of St. Ives. He takes them to a small cottage to wait out the storm. During the night, the young man (Devil's cousin) dies. In the morning, they are discovered. Although their time together was spent innocently, Devil has compromised Honoria and decides he must marry her. Honoria, however, has no desire to marry the handsome "Devil." She values her independence and seeks adventure and travel. Devil takes her to his home and introduces her to his mother, the Dowager Duchess, while Honoria continues to refuse his proposal. Then, Devil makes a proposition which Honoria, at the encouragement of her older brother, is forced to accept. She will stay with his family for 3 months...while they are in mourning (and, unbeknownst to him, to help solve his cousin's murder). Devil has his own plans that involve convincing Honoria to be his bride. Regency romance novels are hit or miss. Sometimes they are so predictable as to be utterly unreadable. This was not the case with "Devil's Bride." In fact, this story does not end with a wedding. I think it's safe to say that yes, Honoria does in fact marry Devil. The marvelous thing is that it's not the end of the story. There's much, much more that happens after they are wed. Their story continues as they search for clues that lead to Tolly's (Devil's cousin's) killer. This book is so well-written. It grabbed my interest right away and I could not put it down. The "mystery" is not complicated; you'll know pretty soon who it is, but it is still enjoyable to watch the characters solve it. The book's strength is in the character development. Honoria and Devil are both strong and likable characters, and it's a delight to watch their relationship grow. If you're a fan of a love story between a husband and wife, you'll enjoy this book. I can't wait to read the rest in the series!
tmommy4 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Being an avid romance reader, alot of the plots and characters often become the same. I was wonderful to see a male character who after playing the field finds his true lifemate and then acts horoably by wooing her before seducing her. The female character was strong and a stubborn as the male character causing many arguements which were often quite funny. it is a book that I would truely reccommend and I can't wait to continue with the series
regencyera on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Loved this book! I had strong reservations since I had read Devil's parents story first, loved it, and then found out Sebastian cheated on Helena and died young. However, I truly enjoyed the characters of Honoria and Devil. The villain of the story was not a surprise - it was almost too easy to figure out.
LisaMaria_C on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Meh. This Regency romance with a mystery plot struck me as standard romance novel--nothing too eye-rolling or wretched in style compared to most in the genre, but nothing that was pulling me through the pages either, and fits the marriage of convenience trope as well. After 100 pages I started skipping and skimming and finally just turned to the to the last few chapters to see if I was right whodunnit (which I'd guessed from the opening chapters--way too obvious). I think my biggest disappointment was the heroine, Honoria. She starts out with hopes of someday traveling to Africa and had set herself up as an independent women with plans toward that goal, but ultimately casts those dreams aside without a pang to have the Duke's babies. And there goes the one quality that made Honoria original or interesting. Part of a series centered on the men of the Cynster family I definitely won't be reading more of. (And btw, I found the cutesy/sinister nicknames for the men of that family--like "Devil" and "Scandal" eye-rolling.)
TheLibraryhag on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
While attempting to help a dying man, Honoria Wetherby finds herself in a compromising situation with the man's cousin, a Duke, no less. Although nothing happened, the Duke, who was immediately taken with Honoria, insists that they marry. Honoria agrees to spend time with the family but has no intentions of marrying anyone. Her resolve wavers though under the undeniable rakish charm of the Duke. Meanwhile, the family and Honoria are attempting to solve the murder that started their relationship. Hmmm, it has been a long time since I read a romance that had so much, well, romance in it. I have to say that Laurens is a very good writer for the genre. She certainly knows how to build the sexual tension. I was hoping for more about the mystery side, but all in all it was a nice read. I will probably read more in the Cynster series, but it is not at the top of my list. I would say if you like historical romance, with well-written sex scenes, this a book you should try.
van_stef on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
As the first Cynster novel that was released I have to say that it's a good introduction into the family. And Devil is the perfect duke and main character.
LadyBear09 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the first historical romance that I read. Normally I had avoided historical romances because I thought they were boring. However Stephanie Laurens writing manages to combine humor and romance together to make her stories seem like they could take place today instead of the 1800's. This is the story of Honoria Anstruther-Wetherby and Devil Cynster. The Cynsters are cousins who are hailed as heros because they all went to the war of 1812 and they all returned which was not a common occurance. Devil is the head of the family because he is the oldest cousin. He is brooding and mysterious but with a warm and kind heart. Honoria and Devil meet in an odd way and then become engaged in an odd way but you forget that in the story because it seems like Honoria and Devil were made for each other and would have met each other anyway. I loved this book it's funny, romantic and makes you wish you knew your own " Cynster". :-)