by Stephanie Laurens

March 2005
ISBN: 0-060-50575-3
Reviewer Graphic Button William Morrow

Stephanie Laurens never disappoints!

Gerrard Debbington has learned social and amorous skills from the masters, the Cynster men. Now one of the most eligible gentlemen in the ton, Gerrard is constantly bombarded by offers from society’s most eligible beauties, but as the tons foremost artistic talent there is only one offer that he is willing to accept; the chance to paint the fantastical, but seldom seen, gardens of the reclusive Lord Tregonning’s Hellborne Hall.

Jacqueline Tregonning has a beauty that is only rivaled by the gardens that Gerrard so passionately covets. When Jacqueline’s father approaches Gerrard with the commission of painting Jacqueline’s portrait, he sweetens the deal with the offer of complete access to his famed gardens. This is too good of an offer for Gerrard to resist. That is until he meets Jacqueline for the first time. Never has he ever become emotionally involved with his subjects. Jacqueline may pose to be a problem because no matter how hard he tries to concentrate on her portrait, he can only imagine what the feel of her in his arms would be like.

But something is wrong at Helleborne Hall. Evil lurks within its beautiful gardens. Gerrard must find out what that evil is, or it could well destroy many lives, not to mention take the life of the one woman he can ever love.

Ms. Laurens brings us yet another Cynster novel to keep near to our hearts. We have brief visits from past Cynster members, but the story mostly centers on Gerrard and Jacqueline’s budding love and the danger that surrounds them. Ms. Laurens always beings us fresh, wonderful characters and Gerrard and Jacqueline are no exception. Both are very charismatic people, with a love for life and family, but also an element of wanting to ‘be’ loved by someone is who the other part of their soul.

The gardens that Ms. Laurens brings to life for us are spectacular. Many gardens make up the whole, with each garden named after a Greek god. Truly beautiful to the imagination.

This is another Cynster story to keep on your shelf, next to the other Cynster books that you have collected. Me, I’m going to start reading them all over again…it will be like visiting long lost friends!

Happy reading!!

Reviewed in April 2005 by Debbie.

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