Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Secret Love (Cynster, #5)” as Want to Read:
A Secret Love (Cynster, #5)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

A Secret Love (Cynsters #5)

4.16 of 5 stars 4.16  ·  rating details  ·  5,554 ratings  ·  120 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
Paperback, 400 pages
Published July 3rd 2000 by Avon (first published 2000)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about A Secret Love, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about A Secret Love

Devil in Winter by Lisa KleypasLord of Scoundrels by Loretta ChaseDreaming of You by Lisa KleypasNine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake by Sarah MacLeanMarried By Morning by Lisa Kleypas
Best Rogue/Rake Romance Books
50th out of 473 books — 1,050 voters
Pride and Prejudice by Jane AustenOutlander by Diana GabaldonDevil in Winter by Lisa KleypasJane Eyre by Charlotte BrontëGone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
Favorite Historical Romance Novels
153rd out of 2,163 books — 4,092 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
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
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
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
Head in the clouds
Dammnit I really wanted to like this...but it is missing that romance and that spark, and that magic that draws me in and makes me care for the characters. It feels like I am reading a poorly scripted soap opera - and people are going through the motions but there is little to anchor them emotionally. I can see where I am supposed to feel the passion - but I don't - I just want to get it over with.
Author: Stephanie Laurens
First published: 2000
Length: 374 pages
Setting: London, 1820 (Regency).
Sex: Explicit. Reasonably frequent. Appropriate for the storyline.

Ah, that's better. This is what a good regency romance should be.

A good story with hot sex that's appropriate to the (more mature) characters. A believable romance with an HEA we know will last. Two strong individuals who, together, are more.

Back to the quality of Devil's Bride.

Cynster Family Saga Series, Bar Cynster:
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
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
Ivana Azap
Nice story, liking it ;)
Recommendations :D
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!
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
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
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
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
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
The beginning of the book was contrived and predictable as well as frustrating because the heroine does some incredibly stupid things to further the story line while being billed as an intelligent and mature young lady. It didn't work for me. Even skipping the unnecessary sex scenes did not pull this one out of the humdrums. I kept falling asleep while trying to read it.
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
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
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
Another one of the Bar Cynster leaves the bachelors ranks and despite being initially reluctant, he accepts his fate when the right woman comes along.

Thankfully, I liked the heroine of this book a lot more than the previous one and with the excellent narration by Simon Preble that brought the characters and story to life, this was an enjoyable, if not memorable, romance.

Next comes All About Love and the story of Lucifer, the last unmarried of the Bar Cynster, who is determined to remain a bachel
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
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
3.5 stars

A really unbelievable plot but it was done so well ,(view spoiler)

I would have given it 3 stars if not for (view spoiler)
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!
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.

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
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
Ambrosia Sullivan
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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
  • Rules of Attraction (Governess Brides, #3)
  • A Matter of Scandal (With This Ring, #3)
  • One Night of Sin (Knight Miscellany, #6)
  • The Masquerade
  • To Pleasure a Prince (Royal Brotherhood, #2)
  • Seduction
  • Kiss Me, Annabel (Essex Sisters, #2)
  • The Love Affair of an English Lord (Boscastle, #2)
  • Slightly Sinful (Bedwyn Saga, #5)
  • The Marriage Lesson (Effingtons, #3)
  • Everything and the Moon (The Lyndon Sisters, #1)
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, Stephanie and her husband moved to Great Britain, taking one of the last true overland journeys from Katmandu to London.

Once in London, Stephanie
More about Stephanie Laurens...

Other Books in the Series

Cynsters (1 - 10 of 24 books)
  • The Promise in a Kiss (Cynster, #0.5)
  • Devil's Bride (Cynster, #1)
  • A Rake's Vow (Cynster, #2)
  • Scandal's Bride (Cynster, #3)
  • A Rogue's Proposal (Cynster,  #4)
  • All About Love (Cynster, #6)
  • All About Passion (Cynster, #7)
  • On a Wild Night (Cynster, #8)
  • On a Wicked Dawn (Cynster #9)
  • The Perfect Lover (Cynster, #10)
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)

Share This Book

“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.”
More quotes…