DEVIL’S BRIDE by Stephanie Laurens
Released in 1998, Devil’s Bride is the first novel in the Cynster series of historical romance books by Stephanie Laurens. The most famous and eligible of the Cynster males, Sylvester “Devil” Cynster meets his match in Honoria Wetherby, a finishing governess and a woman who would fit well in the 21st century.
Honoria Wetherby has been hired, to prepare the young daughter of a wealthy couple, for her coming out. But when she happens upon a bleeding and dying man alongside the road, Honoria isn’t one to pass by without notice. Giving aid to Tolly Cynster, Honoria is suddenly propelled into the world of the aristocratic rich and famous of the English countryside. When Sylvester, aka Devil Cynster, arrives to help his young cousin, it is then, that he meets the energetic young woman and swears to himself, that Honoria will be his bride.
Never one to step back from a threat or challenge, Honoria places herself in a compromising position to help Devil comfort his dying cousin. But when Tolly succumbs to his gunshot wounds, in the small cabin where they sought refuge, the Cynster males vow to find his killer. But Honoria is placed in a precarious predicament, when it is discovered, that she spent the night in the cabin, un-chaperoned with Devil Cynster, and Devil takes it upon himself, to demand her hand in marriage-to make an honest woman out of her.
Honoria is a very modern woman, for Regency England. Although investigating the death of Devil’s cousin, may prove to be exactly what she needs, her freedom is what she demands. But, when Devil announces to the family that he has found his bride, Honoria is whisked into action, helping prepare for the funeral and family mourning period. With the idea in mind, that she will aid the family during their time of grief, Honoria involves herself with the dealings of the Cynster males and their efforts to locate and ferret out Tolly’s killer. But, there are unsettling details surrounding the death, that require further investigation and Honoria takes it upon herself, to seek answers to the questions.
As with all romance storylines, Devil and Honoria are sexually and physically attracted to one another. Her physical beauty, as well as her penchant for finding herself in situations, that require her rescue, put Devil on alert. But, someone is trying to kill Devil, and with the help of his cousins, they try to track a killer. When the clues and information, start pointing to a beloved family member, Honoria is caught in a trap,that could very well end all of their lives.
Devil’s Bride introduces us to the Cynster family including the Cynster males. Demon, Vane, Gabriel, Lucifer, Scandal and Devil are all members of the Bar-Cynster, a name they had given themselves, as young, pleasure-seeking men. But one quiet and reclusive family member was never involved or accepted into the group, and now, a history of extra-marital affairs and ½ brothers, may bring the Cynster family to their knees.
As an introductory book to the series, the Devil’s Bride was a wonderful read. The ‘mysterious murderer’ is blatantly obvious, so the ‘mystery’ is less than palpable. Devil and Honoria’s relationship is filled with angst, smoldering sex, scandalous behavior and the realization of love. The introduction of the Cynster males, leaves plenty of opportunity to continue the storyline (18 at last count) and the romance world of Stephanie Laurens is forever etched in my soul. I found a new romance hero in Sylvester “Devil” Cynster, a man that I could truly call …my own!!