TO HAVE. . . When Devil, the most infamous member of the Cynster family, is caught in a compromising position with plucky governess Honoria Wetherby, he astonishes the entire ton by offering his hand in marriage. No one dreamed this scandalous rake would ever take a bride. And as society mamas... read more
Honoria stumbles across Tolly, a mortally wounded young man on the road in a driving rain, and within minutes the dashing Duke comes galloping up (on a giant black stallion named, naturally, Sulieman), not revealing his identity, either as the Duke or the victim’s cousin. They make haste to a... read more (warning: may contain spoilers)
Honoria stumbles across Tolly, a mortally wounded young man on the road in a driving rain, and within minutes the dashing Duke comes galloping up (on a giant black stallion named, naturally, Sulieman), not revealing his identity, either as the Duke or the victim’s cousin. They make haste to a country cottage on the Duke’s estate and take each other’s measure as they tend the dying young man. By morning, Devil has decided that this goodlooking, courageous, level-headed woman “would do very well as his wife”. When folks show up, Devil announces their engagement, ostensibly to protect Honoria’s reputation, and sets his formidable sights on that goal exclusively until the midpoint in the book, when they eventually do marry, and Devil’s Bride becomes something else: a pretty interesting study of early marriage.
Oh, sure, there’s the “mystery” of who killed Tolly, a mystery only to those readers under the age of 8 or on crack. Tolly’s death serves to (a) force Honoria to stay with Devil for a while, though the funeral at least, (b) gather the Cynster clan, allowing a display of Mass Cynsterness. As the book continues, the mystery serves create hazards for the blossoming couple, forcing them to learn to trust each other and protect each other.
“Because you’re shortly to become my duchess, that’s why.”The glance she bent on him held every ounce of exasperation she could summon. Then, with a swish of her skirts, she turned and stepped out of his shadow, following the balustrade. “I’ve warned you – don’t later say I haven’t. I am not going to marry you at the end of three months.” She paused, then, head rising; eyes widening, she swung back and waved her finger at him. “and I am not a challenge — don’t you dare view me as such.”
“I will not permit you to turn your back on who you are, on the destiny that was always intended to be yours. I will not let you turn yourself into a governessing drudge, nor an eccentric to titillate the ton.”Sylvester Sebastian “Devil” Cynster
“Quite what she’d expected, she couldn’t have said — she had come to her marriage with no firm view of what she wanted from it beyond the very fact of laying claim to the role, of being the mother of his children. Which left, as she discovered during those long quiet weeks, a great deal to be decided. By them both.”
“Cynsters, as you well know, do not give a damn about social strictures. Society, as far as we're concerned, can think what it pleases— it does not rule us.”Sylvester Sebastian “Devil” Cynster
“Yes, of course," Honoria half gasped. Her lungs had seized, courtesy of the long fingers spread over her ribs. If he kissed her wrist again, she would faint."Wave to their ladyships," her tormentor instructed."With what," she hissed back. "The plate?”
“It was not the first time she'd been kissed, yet it was. Never before had there been magic in the air, never before had she been taken by the hand and introduced to a world of sensation. Pleasure rose, warm and enthral ing, then whirled through her, a kaleidoscope of delight, leaving her giddy. Pleasurably giddy.”
“No?" The question came out as a muted wail; in utter disbelief, Honoria stared at him. "You're a rake—rakes don't say 'No'!”
“You can't fear losing me half as much as I fear losing you .”Sylvester Sebastian “Devil” Cynster
Followed by A Rake's Vow.
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