For years Cynster males defined Regency heroes for me. Those brave, strong, silent warrior males who recognized what they wanted instantly and then spent the rest of the book winning their lady love and following the ritual of easing them into the ton and Cynster family. In her new series of books, Stephanie Laurens introduces us to those heroes’ sisters, who are equally adept at navigating the social whirl to create their own love stories. Henrietta Cynster was content in her role as the ton’s matchbreaker by using her impeccable connections to help young ladies navigate their way around the rakes and fortune hunters. Fate and a necklace are not content to leave her be and love sneaks in and steals her heart when she isn’t looking.
When I started this book, I was a bit confused why this series is different from the Cynster Sisters Trilogy, but I guess because it’s two different sets of sisters the author has made this distinction, though the necklace first made its appearance when it was given to Heather as she struggled to come to terms and win her love, then passing it on to the three sisters before coming to Henrietta. Henrietta, of course, convinced that she’s firmly on the shelf, puts it away in her jewelry box until her sister Mary is convinced of its magical properties and her need to use them further convinces her to wear it. Lo and behold, the magic starts that very night.
James Glossup is desperate to make a match in order to keep his title and estates. He has nearly consummated a good match when a mistaken word of warning from Henrietta causes his relationship to collapse. Honor bound to make up for her mistake, she promises to find him a good match within his dwindling time frame. However, as she gets to know him, she finds herself wanting to keep him for herself, only to find that her feelings are reciprocated and they truly would make each other a great match.
They quickly come to find that they are both attracted to each other and decide to make a match of it. If the book ended here, it would only be a short story, but the author builds in a secondary story of murder and mystery to carry this into a full-length novel. One night as she’s leaving a party Henrietta bumps into a man. However, due to the darkness, she never really saw his features and did not, thereafter, bother herself about it. What she doesn’t know is that the man was escaping from the scene of a murder and was afraid that she could recognize and put him at the scene, thereby destroying his perfect alibi.
Various Cynsters and their extended family and even other members of the ton whom we’ve met in some of the other series from Ms. Quinn make their cameo appearances on the stage of this book as they help James and Henrietta find, isolate, and eliminate the threat.
This is a soft, slow-moving book with a very predictable outcome. I enjoyed it, but I do want to caution the modern romance reader who’s looking for an alpha hero and some degree of erotica in their romance that this book may possibly not be their cup of tea.
The only thing more troublesome than a Cynster man…is a Cynster lady who belives love is not her destiny.
Famously known in London society as “The Matchbreaker,” Henrietta Cynster’s uncanny skill lies in preventing ill-fated nuptials – not in falling victim to Cupid’s spell.
But then she disrupts one match too many and feels honor-bound to assist dashing James Glossup in finding a suitable bride for a marriage of convenience.
A task infernally complicated by the undeniable, unquenchable attraction that flares between James and Henrietta, who continues to believe she will never fall…