Barbara’s rating: 5 of 5 stars
Series: Cynster Next Generation #7
Publication Date: 3/14/19
Number of Pages: 435
I’ve never met a Stephanie Laurens book that I didn’t love – and this one is no different. Demon (A Rogue’s Proposal) was one of my favorites in the original Cynster books and now, I get a peek at him in his sixties and I loved him all over again. Those original books presented us with the most memorable and larger-than-life characters, and it is nice to see them as they’ve grown older. Meeting their children has been so much fun. I’ve loved all of the later books too, but those heroes are pale in comparison to the originals.
Twenty-nine-year-old Prudence (Pru) Cynster now runs the breeding program for the Cynster stables. She’s the oldest of four siblings and all except the youngest are involved in running the stables. As head of the breeding program, Pru knows that they need a fresh infusion of breeding stock to remain in the top position. Pru has decided not to marry – she cares nothing for fripperies, balls, teas – she’d much rather be out among the horses – but – her mother is trying to persuade her to have ‘just one more season’. Then, to Pru’s delight, she receives a letter from Ireland asking if the Cynsters might be interested in an ‘arrangement’ with the writer’s breeding stock. The letter includes enough information about the horses to intrigue Pru and she knows she has to leave immediately for Ireland – well – immediately after managing to convince her father to allow it. She sends a letter to Ireland to let them know she’s coming and sets off.
After his father’s death, Deaglan Fitzgerald, now Earl of Glengarah, returns home to Ireland to find a neglected estate. His father never cared for the estate nor the people who resided on it – the ONLY thing he cared about was collecting prime horseflesh. He didn’t collect for making a profit or using the horses in any way – he only wanted to possess the very best horses. Deaglan is slowly putting things to right on the estate and his next task needs to be the stables because they are a drain on the estate – not adding anything at all – other than the beauty of the horses themselves.
Deaglan was on his way into his castle when his brother Felix came hurrying up to him – filled with excitement. Deaglan manages to calm him and find out what has happened. Shocked, but not unhappy, Deaglan learns that Felix has written to the Cynster stables – using Deaglan’s name – and a P.H. Cynster is on his way – to arrive that very afternoon!
When the visitor’s carriage arrives, a beautiful woman alights – hmmm – she must be P. H. Cynster’s sister or wife. Lucky man if it is his wife. So, why is it taking so long for P. H. Cynster to leave the carriage – then, the footman shuts the door leaving only the beautiful woman and her two servants standing there. Deaglan can’t believe it – P. H. Cynster is a woman!
As Pru and Deaglan evaluate the horses and work together – sinister things begin to happen. Are they accidents? It doesn’t seem like it. As they work together and as they try to puzzle out what is causing the ‘things’ to happen, they become closer and closer.
This is a pretty steamy read and it begins early on – but Pru puts some limitations on their relationship from the very beginning. Daeglan agrees to the stipulations, but he’s not sure he’s happy about them. Can he overcome Pru’s objections to marriage?
This book isn’t quite as intense and urgent as some of this author’s books, but it does have arson, murder attempts, theft, and betrayal – they are just somewhat blander than some.
I highly recommend the book – I loved it.