The Promise in a Kiss (Cynster, #0.5)
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The Promise in a Kiss (Cynster 0.5)

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3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  3,292 ratings  ·  102 reviews
What would you do if you were kissed by the most handsome stranger you'd ever seen? And what if that man was a Cynster?

Every girl--even convent-educated ones--dreams of forbidden kisses. So when a man literally falls at Helena's feet as she's walking through the courtyard one moonlit Christmas Eve, the pretty, young comtesse d'Lisle knows he's up to no good. He's clearly a...more
Paperback, 377 pages
Published November 5th 2002 by Avon (first published 2001)
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Kelly
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
rockycloe
Ok, I made the super huge mistake of reading this as my first Cynster novel because, you know, it was about the parents and I have a total ocd when it comes of cronological order in a series. Then, while I was reading, I found out that some years later the HEA the hero cheats on the heroine. Well ok, i didn't like it but I have an open mind, shit can happen, apparently it was a one night stand sort of thing done out of pity (yeah.... Uhmmm) and then they were happy and in love till death. And TH...more
Barks & Bites
I listened to this audio while burned out on traditional historical romances and dozed my way through most of it with a vague feeling of having read all it before. I had heard nothing but raves about this author but I didn't find anything special here to wake me out of my book induced semi-coma.

The hero is an arrogant alpha man and the heroine is an arrogant, privileged virgin. Whoopie, how many times have I read this love story before? Still, I finished it hoping the whole time that I wasn't g...more
Tam B.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. What I liked best about it was that the hero and heroine were equals and viewed each other as such. They matched in pedigree and wealth, but more importantly in attitude.

This wasn't some girl being feisty to the indulgence of a suitor. It wasn't some blue stocking drawn into the limelight and made fashionable by a man's interest. It wasn't some eccentric who is adorable being discovered. This was acknowledgement and recognition of equals between equals. I've read...more
Melissa
I was going to give this a 4-star, because it has great character development for books that were already written (books 1-6, particularly Devil's Bride since Devil is Sebastian and Helena's son) but there's one glaring point at issue that is bothering me.

(view spoiler)...more
Desiree
I started to read this one because it was the prequel to the popular Cynster series and I have the first book on my bookcase but I wanted to read about what started this family off.

I read about the first 75 or so pages. The writing was fine, it wasn't hugely fantastic to me but it was fine and I was enjoying but still not completely invested in the romance between Sebastian and Helena.

However I had found out, through a friend who absolutely loves this series, that (view spoiler)...more
Brittany
Good overall romance and the action was trilling to read. The romance scenes were average but not boring to read. I was excited to read how Sylvester's parents met and married. I loved seeing them fall in love and Helena's internal and sometimes very visible external struggles with her feelings for the Duke. The one question I have about this book is, if the Duke so truly loved his wife and was such an proud man why would he cheat on her while in Scotland with Lady Eleanor McEnery and create Ric...more
Neeuqdrazil
While this is book 7.5 in the Cynster series, it's actually the first, chronologically, telling the story of Helena and Sebastian, the Duke and Duchess of the generation before the Cynsters of the rest of the series.

This feels like a Regency romance, although it's set 30 years earlier, and really shouldn't. Both English and French society were significantly different in the years leading up to the end of the Napoleonic wars when most 'Regency' romances are set (around 1815). This is set in 1783...more
Elizabeth
I really don't think I will ever grow tired of reading about the Cynsters. Unlike the other books in Stephanie Laurens' series, A Promise in a Kiss is actually a backstory--> the story of Sebastian and Helena, Devil's parents. This was another book that was so much fun to read, especially since both Sebastian's and Helena's are stubborn and determined to manipulate other's in order to gain their wish, until they realize it is better if they don't. The strength and determination in Helena's ch...more
Sheila Melo
Story of Two Strong Willed People

THE PROMISE IN A KISS is the prequel to Lauren's Cynster series. It is the story of Helena de Stansion, the Comtesse d'Lisle, and Sebastian Cynster, the Duke of Ives. These are the parents of DEVIL from the first book of the series. The two meet for the first time when Sebastian breaks into a convent where sixteen year old Helena is. The two kiss without knowing anything else about one another. Seven years later the two meet again when Helena comes to England to...more
Charlotte
I enjoyed reading this novel. Despite the character types, which I suppose one could say are somewhat cliché, and the outcome at the end of the novel when picking up this novel genre is to be expected, I had fun reading it. The two reasons I listed above are generally the ones that justify why I don't tend to read a lot of romance novels. But at the same time, I see how these could be the very reasons I do pick them up from time to time. After finishing this novel, I read some other reviews, and...more
Jane (PS)
2.5 stars

There is a lot of internalization in the characters' thoughts which tends to bore me out of my brain, plus some rather extended luv scenes. I liked the theory of this book with the h not trusting the H's intentions, and there is some good MC friction, but parts just drag.
Martha
Mmm... not a favorite. I liked Sebastian well enough, but really didn't feel anything for Helena. She has a complex about powerful men, she's ridiculously stubborn, and her main criteria in a husband is how easily she might manipulate him (close seconds are wealth and land). The writing was engaging enough at times, but the "villain" turns out to not be a villain, and not because he was a deep, complicated, well-developed character, but because somehow he "didn't really mean it" and then becomes...more
Nenya
This was pretty much a 3 or 4 star book (for the genre)... However, we find out in later books (later chronologically, not by year of publishing) that the H cheated on the h. Oh boy! They were supposedly so in love. But when H goes to some associate's place and sees how his poor wife is mistreated, he pities her, and wants to comfort her, so he sleeps with her, and puts her (and the baby) in a worse situation than before... It just defies logic. The h accepting the baby I get, but accepting what...more
Rawan
Finishing this book is like stepping out of a dream.
Joy
I enjoyed reading it although it could've been a prequel to all the Cynster books. The age gap between them bothered me but I set it aside because since this is a love story, anything can happen and it's plausible at that time. To start, the story is very romantic, the title was explained through and through and it was really fitting. As the other reviews said, characters are parallel with Devil and Honoria, but in this case, Helena is more feisty compared to Honoria. It may be the case because...more
Clare
I love prequels. They always add something to my reading of the rest of the series. I wish I had read this before I read some of the other books. If only because it gives me an insight into some of the characters who are mentioned in other books but are deceased. In particular Sebastian. I have never liked Sebastian when he is mentioned in future books (if only because he slept with another woman resulting in Richard) but reading this book it was impossible to deny that he genuinely loved Helena...more
JoAnn
A year or two ago I came across a book at the local library bookstore that contained both Devil's Bride and A Rake's Vow by Stephanie Laurens, an author I had not read before though I had seen her name several times and knew she was popular. I thought this would be a great way to try out a new-to-me author without a big investment and I was happy to see that I had both books in this Cynster series of hers since I am very good at getting myself involved in series without realizing it, usually wit...more
Helene Harrison
ISBN? - 9780749937249

Genre? - Historical / Erotica / Romance

Characters? - Sebastian, Duke of St Ives / Helena de Stansion, Duchess of St Ives / Fabien / Ariele de Stansion / Eleanor McEnery

Setting? - London (England) & France

Series? - Cynster #0.5

Title? - The title derives from the first time Sebastian and Helena kissed, and how she saw so much promise in the kiss and no one else measured up.

Character Analysis? - What I really loved about The Promise in a Kiss is that it told the story of He...more
Lili
I found this book quite boring.
Did not like the characters, the plot nor the writing.
First of all, what's with the countless ball scenes???, seriously!

Helena was this feisty, strong woman who wanted her independece more than anything... or so I was told but never believed, she was so very shallow (because she was raised to know her worth) and incredibly immature, she was a bitch to "show her temper"... bleh!
Sebastian was a brilliant mastermind, he knew what his enemy thought and what he thought...more
Dawn
I did enjoy this story. However, it was difficult for me to really dig my teeth into, and I'm not sure why.

Sebastian and Helena have a wonderful tale. They first meet in France when he steals onto the grounds of the convent she and her sister are at. He is there to retrieve an item which was the object of a bet. He also steals a kiss from her. She is 16 at the time.

Seven years later, they once again meet in London. He is immediately smitten. I think part of my problem with this story was how muc...more
Kay Bolton
Review taken from my Blog in 2010:

I think Stephanie Laurens might well become one of my favourite authors ~obviously not No. 1 that distinction goes to another Stephanie .... Meyer~ I really love her easy style of penning a romantic novel.

I think I might have got one with an old cover, as this image of the cover I have been reading was quite hard to find ~the newer ones by Harper and Collines give the novel a much trashier feel, which is a huge shame ....but then, is it right to judge a book by...more
Evie
Sebastian Cynster, a total stranger, kisses Helena de Stansion under the moonlight, little did they know they'd meet again seven years later. (Sigh)... It's been years, I mean years, since I read this book the first time. Since, I've read it several times more, and each and every time it makes me "aawww".

It's as if that first kiss sealed their fates, and a whole Cynster dynasty began. Sebastian is a total playboy who falls head over heels for Helena who is such an innocent. The foreplay between...more
Christine
Though this was shorter than most of Stephanie Lauren's books, I thought it could have been shorter still. A novella, maybe, or even a short story. There were far too many ball scenes, in which far too little of substance happened. The intrigue behind the story didn't work for me at all, and really didn't need a whole novel to explore. The characters were very typical Laurens -- male conqueror, independent female who either doesn't want to get married or wants to marry someone she can control (t...more
Sandy Emerson
When I was reading 'Devil's Bride' I always wondered about Devil's father. I was so glad when I saw this had been released. I do think Sebastian is a conundrum though. You can see he loves Helena plainly, but if you've read 'Scandal's Bride, well...
Susan (susayq ~)
In my opinion, this wasn't the most well written book I've ever read. I've read fanfiction that was written better. HOWEVER, the story that was contained within the words spoke to me. Helena was determined to find freedom from an overbearing guardian and didn't want a husband that would be the same. Yet she fell for a man cut from the same cloth. When her guardian set out to blackmail her, she realized she loved Sebastian and knew she'd have to hurt him, and herself, to protect her sister. In th...more
Tonileg
Aug 15, 2014 Tonileg is currently reading it
Shelves: historical, romance
Every girl--even convent-educated ones--dreams of forbidden kisses. So when a man literally falls at Helena's feet as she's walking through the courtyard one moonlit Christmas Eve, the pretty, young comtesse d'Lisle knows he's up to no good. He's clearly a bit dangerous... and obviously caught in the middle of a clandestine rendezvous. Why else would he have risked his neck and jumped out of a window into the snow?

377 pages and bought used for $2.99 +taxes
Kit★
I read this a few years ago, long before I found GR, maybe back in 2007? Not sure, but it was awhile ago. Way before I read any of the rest of the Cynster books. Now that we have read the last currently available in the series, I'm wanting to give this a re-read, now that I'm involved with the family. The epilogue of The Taming of Ryder Cavanaugh, where Helena briefly thought about Sebastian, well, it kinda made me want to remind myself about their story. I remember liking it, but not adoring it...more
Brenda Margriet
I do enjoy SL, but she's probably as flowery as I can take. It's lucky her men and women are so kick ass - they stop it from being soppy.

Loved watching the fall of Sebastian, and the start of the Cynster series.
Bebe Four
This can, and in some ways should, be read as a standalone, without trying to tie it too much to the (chronologically) later novels.
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Stephanie Laurens was born in Sri Lanka, which was at the time the British colony of Ceylon. When she was 5, her family moved to Melbourne, Australia, where she was raised. After continuing through school and earning a Ph.D. in Biochemistry in Australia, Laurens and her husband moved to Great Britain, taking one of the last true overland journeys from Katmandu to London.

Once in London, Laurens and...more
More about Stephanie Laurens...
Devil's Bride (Cynster, #1) A Rake's Vow (Cynster, #2) Scandal's Bride (Cynster, #3) A Secret Love (Cynster, #5) A Rogue's Proposal (Cynster,  #4)

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