Where the Heart Leads

Casebook of Barnaby Adair

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New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Laurens knows the world of Regency London . . . especially the exclusive enclave of luxury in which the aristocracy lived in wealth and comfort. But outside that glittering circle lay another world . . . and Laurens pulls back the curtain that has hidden it from us—until now.

Penelope Ashford, Portia Cynster's younger sister, has grown up with every advantage—wealth, position, and beauty. Yet Penelope is anything but a pretty face in a satin gown—forceful, willful, and blunt to a fault, she has for years devoted her considerable energy and intelligence to caring for the forgotten orphans of London's sooty and seamier streets.

But now her charges are mysteriously disappearing. Desperate, Penelope turns to the one man she knows who might help her—Barnaby Adair.

Handsome scion of a noble house, Adair has made a name for himself in certain circles where his powers of observation and deduction have seen him solve several serious and unsavory crimes within the ton. His pedigree, relentless intelligence, and discretion make him a deadly avenger in an elegant guise. Despite his skills—or perhaps because of them—he makes Penelope distinctly uncomfortable, but the stakes are too grave. Throwing caution to the wind, defying every rule for unmarried ladies, she appears on his doorstep late one night determined to recruit his talents.

Barnaby is intrigued—both by her problem and her. Her bold beauty and undeniable brains make a striking contrast to the usual insipid ton misses. And as he's in dire need of an excuse to avoid said insipid misses, he accepts her challenge, never dreaming she and it will consume his every waking hour.

Enlisting the aid of Inspector Basil Stokes of the fledgling Scotland Yard, they infiltrate the streets of London's notorious East End. But as they unravel the mystery of the missing orphans, they uncover a trail leading to the upper echelons of society and a ruthless and clever criminal adept at pulling strings who, becoming aware of them and their efforts, is only too ready to destroy all they hold dear, including their newfound understanding of the intrigues of the human heart.

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Get the first three Cynster Novels in one boxed set from #1 New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Laurens! Fans of Regency-era historical romances with adventure and mystery will enjoy these stories of passionate alpha heroes and the ladies who bring them to their knees.

Devil's Bride

Was he the husband of her dreams . . . or a devil in disguise?

When Devil, Duke of St. Ives, and the most infamous member of the Cynster family, is caught in a compromising position with governess Honoria Wetherby, he astonishes the entire ton by proposing marriage.

Honoria, however, isn't about to bend society's demands and marry a man simply because they'd been discovered together unchaperoned. She craves adventure and longs to see the world—and though she's more than happy to assist Devil in solving the murder of a Cynster cousin, once the crime is put to rest she intends to bid Devil farewell forever.

But she underestimates the seductive power of this daring, dangerous man and the scalding heat of her own unsated desire. Does she dare let passion carry her into Devil's embrace . . . and into the most perilous adventure of all?

A Rake's Vow

He vowed he'd never marry

Vane Cynster knew the wind was blowing in a marrying direction. Other Cynster men might not mind stepping up to the altar, but Vane never wanted to be leg-shackled to any woman. Bellamy Hall seemed like the perfect place to temporarily hide from London's husband-hunters. But when he encounters Patience Debbington, Vane realizes he's met his match and soon he has more than seduction on his mind.

She vowed no man would catch her

Patience wasn't about to succumb to Vane's attentions. Yes, his kisses left her dizzy and his caresses made her melt, but he was arrogant, presumptuous . . . and, despite his protests, bound to be unfaithful, just like every other man. Patience has promised herself that she will never become vulnerable to a broken heart. But is this one vow that was meant to be broken?

Scandal's Bride

"He will father your children . . . "

When Catriona Hennessy, Scottish Lady of the Vale, receives this prediction, she is aghast. How could she unite with a rake like Richard Cynster—a masterful man with a scandalous reputation? More shocking still was her guardian's will that decreed she and Richard be wed within a week! Though charmed by his commanding presence and wooed by his heated kisses, she would not—could not—give up her independence. So she forms a plan to get the heir she needs without taking wedding vows.

Richard is just as stunned by the will's command. Marriage hadn't been on his agenda, but lately he'd been feeling rather restless. Perhaps taming the lady was just the challenge he needed. But can he have the rights of the marriage bed without making any revealing promises of love?

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Additional Information

Publisher
Harper Collins
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Published on
Oct 13, 2009
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Pages
496
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ISBN
9780061795169
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Historical / General
Fiction / Mystery & Detective / Historical
Fiction / Romance / Historical / Regency
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Enter the unforgettable world of New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Laurens, creator of the phenomenal Cynster family. This amazing clan -- and their friends -- is a bold, powerful group of men who let nothing stand in their way when it comes to matters of the heart. And in this, Stephanie Laurens's newest novel, a passionate man and a daring woman confront the ultimate question. . . .

What Price Love?

There is nothing more fascinating than a darkly handsome rake, especially one as controlled and elusive as Dillon Caxton, protégé of Demon Cynster. Despite his dangerous air, Dillon is a man of sterling reputation, but it wasn't always so. Years ago, an illicit scheme turned into a nefarious swindle, and only the help of his cousin, Felicity, and her husband, Demon, saved Dillon from ruin. Now impeccably honest, he guards his hard-won reputation and is the Keeper of the Register of all racing horses in England. His standing and aloofness make Dillon undeniably desirable to young ladies, but despite all the lures thrown his way, he remains uninterested -- his attention unfixed.

Until "Miss Priscilla Dalling" erupts into his life. A stunning beauty, she affects Dillon as no other ever has, but what fascinates him even more is that this tempting young lady is clearly desperate, and equally clearly lying about wanting to see the Register to fulfill the whim of an eccentric aunt.

Lady Priscilla Dalloway will do anything to see what's in the Register -- even lie! Her twin brother, Russell, who had fought with their father and left the family home to work with the finest racehorses, has disappeared. Pris knows that clues to his whereabouts can be found in the tome Dillon Caxton refuses to let her see.

She unleashes her feminine wiles on Dillon -- to no avail. But Dillon is now determined to learn the truth behind her quest. Exploiting the powerful attraction that flares between them, he succeeds in convincing Pris to tell him all, to trust him with her twin's life. Together, Dillon and Pris locate Rus, only to discover that his life is being threatened by the perpetrators of a massive betting swindle.

The time is ripe for Dillon to repay old debts by helping another as he himself was helped. Assisted by Demon, Felicity, and Barnaby Adair, Dillon and Pris embark on a journey riddled with danger -- and undeniable passion -- as they seek to overturn the swindle and expose Rus's deadly enemies. And along the way they discover the answer to that age-old question: What price love?

For no gentleman is this more true than Charles Morwellan, the eighth Earl of Meredith. Although he's seen the many successful unions of his Cynster connections, he has also watched his father's obsessions nearly destroy their family and fortune, a mistake Charles will not repeat. But as Lord Meredith he must marry, so he offers for Sarah, the daughter of his neighbors Lord and Lady Conningham. She's intelligent enough to run his social life, beautiful enough to grace his arm, and old enough to know the value of his offer.

For most young ladies of the ton, the right marriage is the culmination of years of training, perfect deportment, and intricate plans that would impress a general. But as a lady of independent means with a life of her own, Sarah is unwilling to wed unless it is for unbounded love.

But Charles always gets what he wants. He convinces Sarah to give him two weeks to win her; if he succeeds, they will marry immediately. And so begins an intense courtship. By day, Charles and Sarah are models of decorum indulging in innocuous walks, polite conversation, sedate waltzes. Each night they steal away to the lush, moonlit gardens, where sensual embraces turn to searing kisses, and much, much more. Both are swept away on a tide of passion and feeling neither can resist.

And yet, after the wedding, despite nights of insatiable passion, Charles remains aloof, as if the near-sinful sweetness of their nights exists only in a dream. Sarah battles to prove that true love is a force that can't be contained, a gift worth fighting for, but it's only when she's engulfed in a web of increasingly dangerous incidents that Charles discovers how much he's willing to surrender to protect . . . the taste of innocence.

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