RECOMMENDED. I have read this book probably close to 100 times. I can quote some scenes from memory.There are two excellent things I love most. One, as Jane at DA has pointed out, the hero does the pursuing, and the heroine, Honoria, does the resisting. Two, Honoria is a bit of an iconoclast, but part of her strength is in managing a home, because she knows how -- it's not easy, either. Some of my favorite scenes are Honoria managing things - and people. Which is probably why she's the first Cynster bride. Devils' Bride is the first book in the Cynster series, and is $1.99 digitally.
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?
This is the 11th book in the Cynster series, and the hero is Honoria's brother, Michael Anstruther-Weatherby. The Ideal Bride is .99c.
Michael Anstruther-Wetherby is a rising member of Parliament—a man destined for power. Aristocratic, elegant, and effortlessly charming, he is just arrogant enough to capture the interest of the ladies of the ton. And with his connections to the wealthy and influential Cynster family—his sister is married to Devil Cynster, the Duke of St. Ives—his future appears assured. Except that Michael lacks the single most important element of success: a wife.
Political pressure sends him searching for his ideal bride, a gently bred, malleable young lady, preferably one with a political background. Michael discovers such a paragon but finds a formidable obstacle in his path—the young lady's beautiful, strong-minded aunt—Caroline Sutcliffe. One of London's foremost diplomatic hostesses, Caro has style and status but, having lived through an unhappy political marriage, wants nothing of the sort for her niece, who has already lost her heart to another.
So Caro and the younger woman hatch a plot—Caro will demonstrate why an inexperienced young lady is not the bride for Michael. She succeeds in convincing him that what he really needs is a lady of experience by his side. And the perfect candidate is right under his nose—Caro herself. Then it is Michael's turn to be persuasive, a task that requires every ounce of his seductive charm as he tempts and tantalizes Caro, seeking to convince her that becoming his bride will bring her all her heart desires . . . and more.
But then a series of mysterious, and dangerous, accidents befall Caro—an assailant has stepped in with their own idea for Caro's future—one that could involve murder. Before Caro can become Michael's ideal bride, they must race to uncover the unknown's identity before all hope of what they long for, and wish for, is destroyed.
This is book #10 in the Cynster series - which is eighteen or twenty books long, I think. I don't recommend you mainline the Cynsters, as you'll get Cynsterweary, but at .99c, buy now, save for later, enjoy any time.
Never let it be said that a Cynster male can't face up to the one unassailable truth: A successful marriage gives life its fullest meaning. To all of English society, Simon Frederick Cynster has a perfect life—one of enormous wealth and impeccable social status. His lean handsomeness turns the heads of naïve debutantes, while his sensual allure ensures he never lacks for more sophisticated partners for a night, or more, of pleasure. Yet despite all of this, Simon knows that there is something—or rather someone—missing in his life. To achieve true contentment, Simon must find a lady accomplished enough to be his wife, someone who will spend her days as a member of one of England's most influential families ... and her nights pursuing duties of a more private—and personal—nature.
But Simon knows what to expect if he reveals his intention to choose a bride; nothing could be more tiresome than having every blushing miss on the marriage mart thrust upon him. So he discreetly begins his search at a house party at Glossup Hall . . . and is astonished that the lady who immediately captures his interest is Portia Ashford. Simon has never considered Portia as a potential wife. He's known the raven-haired beauty since childhood; she's willfully independent and has always claimed to be uninterested in marriage. But an unexpectedly heated kiss abruptly alters the rules of their decade-long interaction. Soon they begin to long for the moments they can spend in each other's arms.
But all is not as it seems at Glossup Hall. As Simon and Portia begin to explore the depths of their mutual passion, a shocking murder is committed ... and it appears that the next victim will be Portia herself. And even more shocking than the fact that a murderer secretly walks among them is the realization that all of Simon's considerable strength and influence may not be enough to protect Portia—his once and always perfect lover . . .
Jonas Tallent, who has masterfully taken the reins of his family's estate, never expected a delectable morsel like Miss Emily Beauregard to step into his library, but he certainly isn't about to hire her as manager for the village inn. A lady as tempting as Emily belongs in a ballroom, or a bedroom—preferably his.
Emily herself hadn't expected her current circumstances, but she has her reasons and doesn't plan to share them, even with someone as seductive as Jonas. Yet he can be so devilishly persuasive. But a villain knows her secret, and soon danger threatens Em, her family, and the powerful love she and Jonas have found in each other's arms.