by Stephanie Laurens

August 2001
ISBN: 0-380-81202-9
Reviewer Graphic Button Avon Books
Mass Market Paperback

This is Stephanie's next book in the Cynster series.

Gyles Frederick Rawlings, fifth Earl of Chillingworth, has decided to take a bride. He plans it to be a business arrangement and refuses to let his heart become engaged in the affair. He may be an 'Honorary Cynster', but that doesn't mean he'll fall in love with any woman, especially his wife. His potential wife must only bear him children and then turn a blind eye while he pursues his outside pleasures. He asks his man of business to make a list of potential brides and comes up with Francesca Hermione Rawlings. Not only is she a very distant cousin, but she also brings a piece of land with her that will complete Gyles' estates at Lambourn Castle.

When Gyles, goes to make his proposal to Francesca's guardian, Charles Rawlings, he states very plainly that this a business arrangement and that he has no desire to see Francesca before the wedding. Charles is to tell Francesca of his plans and they are to meet at Lambourn Castle in four weeks time for the wedding. As Gyles is leaving from his meeting with Charles Rawlings, he literally runs into a beautiful vision in long black hair and striking green eyes. He thanks God that this isn't Francesca; this little gypsy would surly steal his heart if he let her.

Little did Gyles know, but that 'gypsy' is none other than Francesca! When her Uncle Charles tells her of Gyle's plans, she is of course infuriated. How dare he dictate that she marry him, just because he's head of the family and he says so. Unfortunately for him, he doesn't know that his 'gypsy' woman is none other than his intended, and she uses it to her advantage in trying to seduce him into loving her. But the real action begins at the altar when he realizes that his bride isn't the docile, quiet Francesca that he's been told about. No, she's the beautiful gypsy witch who will steal his heart and soul.

This is the best Cynster book yet! You'll love how Gyles deals with the consequences of being a stubborn and arrogant 'MAN', and how he learns to love and accept love in return. It's fast paced and very hard to put down. Stephanie Laurens writes with character and passion. The characters are fully developed and the reader is never left wondering about details of their past. Every one of her books is a treasure and there will be many more Cynster adventures to come. (Read an interview with Stephanie Laurens in our September 2001 issue.)

I guarantee you'll love this book. It's sure to be a welcome addition to your library!

Reviewed in September 2001 by Debbie.

Read more reviews of Stephanie Laurens books.Click Here