A Secret Love (Cynster, #5)
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A Secret Love (Cynster #5)

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4.15 of 5 stars 4.15  ·  rating details  ·  4,840 ratings  ·  104 reviews
All of Regency London knows that no Cynster male would ever walk away from a lady in distress...but their protection can come at a tantalizingly high price. And now, Stephanie Laurens has created her boldest Cynster yet--Gabriel--a man who has known the pleasure of many women, but who has given his heart to no one.

She was desperate for his help...When a mysterious lady, he...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published July 3rd 2000 by Avon (first published 2000)
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Karla (Mossy Love Grotto)


So that's a Cynster book.

Huh.
Gaby
Oh My Books!

I believe this is my first book from Stephanie Laurens, pero now I know why she's one of the favorite historical romance writers.

Alathea Morwellan has a huge problem. Her family's fortune is on danger. She's the only one who can save her family, like always, but she knows she need help from her friend, Gabriel Cynster.

Gabriel Cynster is, like every Cynster, looking for adventure. When a sexy woman asks for his help, he's is glad to help receiving kisses for payment. He doesn't know w...more
Joy
Loved it!!! Definitely 5 stars ++!!! Devil may be my favorite Cynster, but so far this is my favorite story. I've always liked childhood friends turning to sweethearts because in those old relationships, new things could be discovered. I don't mean offense to the author but this heroine has the most beautiful name, and I loved her character too. Gabriel, in terms of nicknames, has the most angelic one as it does not concern anything evil unlike the other Bar Cynsters (Devil, Scandal, Demon, Luci...more
Christine
A three-star rating for a book I didn't finish? Really?

Well, the thing is that this book was pretty darn good for the first 3/4 or so. Then it was done, but the author didn't seem aware of the fact. I tried to stay with her throughout all the tedious questing for the three magic words, but there were only so many times and so many ways the heroine could say (or think), "He's honorable, passionate, sexy, a great friend, and I love him but he hasn't said he loved me so I can't marry him" before I...more
Oleta Blaylock
I don't remember this story and I know that I read it when I read the rest of the series. I do remember the first little bit of it but the rest of the story is a blank. I do like that we got to see more of Chillingworth. He is such a character and I am glad that Ms. Laurens wrote a story for him. I also like that we got to see so much of Alathea's family and the life of getting girls ready for their debut to society. There is also more of the things a family might have done for entertainment in...more
Mara
2 1/2
A standard fare in romance. It was fun too. Unfortunately my experience was somewhat marred by the clear tricks to keep the story going. There were three jarring moments for me that took me out of the flow of the story.

1) At the beginning, when the author was setting up the romance, there really was no reason for the heroine to go with Gabriel at the meeting to frame the villain. As a scene it was clearly absurd and there only so he can seduce her. He may not know her, but she knows him per...more
Clare
Definitely one of my favourites of the series so far. Its impossible to choose one favourite because they are all so good.

Alathea was a decidedly different heroine from the normal ones. Apart from her determination to marry for love, and her unwillingness to do as she was told. Unlike the other Cynster wives, she was well acquainted with the Cynsters- particularly Gabriel. And it was that level of knowledge that initially prevented them getting to know each other in a romantic sense. However, on...more
Bronwyn Rykiert
Gabriel,aka Rupert, is the next in line to get married. At least that's what everyone is saying. His cousin Demon has just gotten married to Flick and now its only Gabriel and his brother Lucifer left of the unmarried Cynsters and they plan to stay that way. That is until Gabriel meets a mysterious woman in a black veil. She needs his help desperately but has taken great pains to keep her identity a secret from him. He must never find out that she is old friend/adversary Lady Alathea.

Alathea's f...more
Kit★
Once again continuing on with the Cynster family with some friends in Romance Lovers for the Challenge-Impaired. We're talking about it over here. I was again hoping to be impressed, but Gabriel was really just another Cynster like the others before him. Same type. Sure, I imagined him as all sexy and stuff, but as far as his high-handedness and controlling ways, yep, he's a Cynster. Not necessarily a bad thing, the whole family has these similar traits, but Gabriel wasn't my favorite. Alathea w...more
Susan (susayq ~)
3.5 stars

Sadly, this is my least favorite of the series. Gabriel just rubbed me the wrong way. He was very over bearing and always TOLD Alathea how things were going to be. Gabriel's one redeeming quality was that he did say the words "I love you" and when he sent Alathea the bouquet of poseys with the note, I melted :) Alathea's taking over of the family's finances at age 18 was unbelievable. She's a girl. In Regency times. No way that would've happened. I did like the action scene at the end...more
Melissa
Probably my favorite yet because it takes a different tack beyond the love/lust at first sight device. Gabriel (anyone remember why his nickname is Gabriel? and his brother's is Lucifer? no one blinks at these names and I don't remember there being an explanation in book 1) and Alathea grew up on neighboring estates and played together as children...then fell out in adolescence. Alathea is now 29 (and determined to be a spinster to sacrifice for her family) and enlists/entices Gabriel into helpi...more
CaroB
I'll admit to having a soft spot for the Cynster men, and Gabriel was no exception. There is something about a man who prefers a strong-minded woman, who likes a challenge. Althea's level of autonomy and responsibility at the beginning of the story seemed unrealistic to me, but were a good reflection of her commitment to the same ideal Cynsters hold above all else: family.
There were a few inconsistencies for me, just enough to pull me out of the story and think: hmm, really?! but overall this wa...more
Sheila Melo
Two Kindred Spirits

A SECRET LOVE is the fifth novel in the Cynster series. It is the story of Gabriel Cynster the financial genius in the family. He is approaches by a mysterious widow with a plea to help uncover a financial fraud scheme. Gabriel is intrigued. What he doesn't know is that the "widow" is actually a spinster that he has known all her life. Alathea Morwellan have up her future to save her family before and now she needs Gabriel's help to save them again. She and Gabriel have rubbed...more
Vivian
One of my favorite romance novels of all time! This is the book that made me fall in love with the "childhood friends/romance" plot, but really, no other books with that plot have come up to snuff with this one. I keep trying, but I guess I'll just have to keep rereading this one. I would elaborate on the plot, but I don't want to spoil anything. Highly highly recommend!
Keri
This series for me has been like a box of chocolates, some have been sweet, some have been spicy and some of been nothing but smooth caramel. This one brought tears to my eyes with the flowers and the note...loved it! :-) The entire book was great read!
Gaby
Publicado en Historias Imaginarias

Creo que este es el primer libro de Stephanie Laurens que leo, pero ya se porque es una de las escritoras favoritas de romance histórico.

Alathea Morwellan tiene un grave problema. La fortuna de su familia, o la poca que queda, pende de un hilo gracias a un mal negocio por parte de su padre. Ella es la que debe sacar a su familia adelante, como siempre, pero sabe que esta vez necesita ayuda, la cual la encontrada en su amigo de la infancia Gabriel Cynster.

Gabriel...more
Celina
This one redeems the third Cynster book I've read: Scandal's Bride.

I love, love, love Gabriel's (I refuse to call him Rupert) and Alathea's love story. They knew each other way back when they were still in cradles. At some point in their teenage years, an affliction developed between them. It was just the new awareness between them. Gabriel was finding it harder to treat her as a sister. It was obvious they were meant to be from their childhood.

It wasn't explained in the book why Gabriel got his...more
LaFleurBleue
A good surprise. I was afraid the rhythm of the series might decrease and the stories might start being too similar, but this one definitely is not too similar with the previous ones.
The heroine, Alathea, despite her Cartlandesque first name, cannot be mistaken for one of the former writer's heroine. She's old (29 years), very responsible, in charge of her family finance for the last 11 years. I liked the barbs she and Gabriel spent their whole time together sharing.
Her transformation into the...more
Ambrosia Jefferson
Time to dive back into the realm of the Ton and the Bar Cynster. Gabriel is next in line who is running from destiny, he is determined (like those before him) not to marry. Of course he happens to be in town for the season and even though he chooses the events he goes to carefully he can not escape what happens next. A mysterious Countess approaches him and is in deep need of help, like any good Cynster male he can not say no to a woman in distress and so he accepts her deal of helping her and n...more
Helene Harrison
ISBN? - 9780749937201

Genre? - Historical Fiction / Romance / Mystery / Erotica / Drama

Characters? - Alathea Morwellan / Charles Morwellan / Rupert 'Gabriel' Cynster / Devil Cynster / Lucifer Cynster / Demon Cynster / Honoria Cynster / Helena Cynster

Setting? - London (England)

Series? - Cynster #5

Title? - Alathea secretly loved Gabriel Cynster, and she was also a secret to him as the mysterious countess.

Character Analysis? - I loved Alathea because she was so strong for her family and gave up on t...more
Dawn
Another enjoyable Cynster read. This time it is Gabriel and Alathea. She grew up playing with Gabriel (she knew him as Rupert) and Lucifer. They lived next door to each other. Once they reached puberty, they stayed away from each other. They didn't realize it at that time, but they developed a physical attraction which scared them both. They went separate ways. Fast forward 11 years.

Alathea discovers her family is about to lose everything. She disguises herself and turns to Gabriel for help. The...more
Jessi
My favorite Stephanie Laurens book. I read it often, not sure why it's my favorite but I do love it. Lady Alathea Morwellen has been protecting her family's financial fortunes for years, ever since her father first brought them to the brink of collapse during her first season. Since then, her life has been on pause.
Gabriel Cynster grew up next to Alathea but the two haven't been friendly for over a decade. However, Alathea needs help and she knows that Gabriel is her best choice. So she concocts...more
Melodramaticfool
I just adore this series.
The stubborn Cynster males vs. the strong females! I've gotten attached to the Cynster ways, to have and to hold, only letting their wives ride with them in the carriage around the park, only waltzing with their wives...just too adorable.
I really enjoyed Alathea and Gabriel's story, the fact that they had a history of friendship was really romantic to me, especially once they work out their past tension. I always love stories with love found in friends. Alathea's under...more
Kelly
I've read quite a few Stephanie Laurens now and I've come to realise that I just don't enjoy them. Julia Quinn, Tessa Dare and Anne Stuart all write similar books but they have just a little something extra that Laurens novels are lacking.

Laurens writes really great characters, Alathea and Gabriel being amoung the best so far, and yet she doesn't seem to know how to write and sustain an intersting plot. Her books are all substantial in size but they lack pacing and excitement.

This novel had grea...more
Brittany
Great 5th book in the Cynster Series. In this Gabriel and Alathea find their way to each other. They were childhood friends then at around 12 years old they started to feel differently and ever since would be on edge with each other. Neither understood that it was attraction and love they shared for each other until one season 20 years later! The mystery of proving the Central East African Gold Company a fraud brings them closer together and adds great action to the story. The romance is hot and...more
Bridget
Gabriel Cynster, with his brother Lucifer, have grown up with a neighboring family and played since infancy with Alathea Morwellan. As they grew into their teens, some discomfort evolved between Gabriel and Alathea, which neither understood and so avoided one another. Alathea's father foolishly signed a Note, hoping to insert some funds into the tenuous finances of the family. His judgment was faulty and he puts the family in serious peril. Alathea is certain the investment is a fraud and attemp...more
Kay Bolton
May 13, 2013 Kay Bolton rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Historical Romance Fan
Shelves: 5-star
Review taken from my Blog in October 2010:

A overpowering debt that will ruin her family drives Lady Alathea Morwellan to seek help from her childhood friend and combatant Rupert (Gabriel) Cynster. Except that she feels she can only do so disguised as a Widowed Countess to ensure that she gains his full support, and he doesn't just leave the matter to his men of business.

As is always obvious with the Bar Cynster he will of course seek, and claim a reward ... her.

His desires get higher along with...more
Sneha
This book was my introduction to the genre of historical romance. I picked it up one day at the library when I was bored by what their fantasy section had to offer and voila , I became a romance novel aficionado....
I remember my surprise at how much I liked it , especially the comforting knowledge that everything will end with a HEA!
Re-reading it now, some years later, I can admit that it has its flaws - cliches abound, the characters are too black-and-white, the writing is a little florid...more
Agne
I have never heard of Stephanie Laurens or the Cynsters series. Bought this book from a second hand store and got interested by the summary.
So I started this book with pure curiosity, which well didn't disappoint me. I loved the main character Althea, a strong female, thinking of her family and very smart as well.
The only thing i didn't expect where the sex scenes. Some 2/3 pages long. But it wasn't like that every 20pages so you don't really get 'bored' of reading every single breath/touch o...more
Amira
Rupert 'Gabriel' Cynster is summoned by a mysterious lady in need of assistance, and true to his name (Gabriel and Cynster), there is nothing he won't do to help a beautiful damsel in distress. Lady Alathea Morwellan is all too aware of who her hero is, having known and disliked Gabriel most of her life. However, in disguise Alathea is able to seek his assistance and they both begin to experience other intense emotions, unclouded by their prejudices
I read this one a while ago and although the m...more
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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 Rogue's Proposal (Cynster,  #4) On a Wild Night (Cynster, #8)

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“She searched his face. "Why did you do this -- go to all this trouble, indulge in what I'm sure will prove a shockingly hideous expense?
He returned he gaze steadily "You like music."
It was that simple -- he let her read the truth in his eyes. Then she shivered. He reached for the shawl she'd left over her chair and held it up. She hesitated, then turned so he could drape it over her shoulders. Releasing the fine silk, he closed his hands about her shoulders; leaning closer, he murmured, "As with other pleasures, my reward is your delight.”
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