Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Truth About Love (Cynster, #12)” as Want to Read:
The Truth About Love (Cynster, #12)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Truth About Love (Cynster #12)

3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  3,231 ratings  ·  75 reviews
When New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Laurens created the Cynsters, a phenomenon was born. Bold, passionate, and possessive, the Cynster men let nothing stand in their way when it comes to claiming the women of their hearts. Now, Stephanie Laurens has written her most romantic and powerful novel to date, one that dares tell "The Truth About Love."

Gerrard Debbing
ebook, 448 pages
Published March 15th 2005 by HarperCollins Publishers
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 The Truth About Love, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Truth About Love

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Susan (susayq ~)
This was a good bit darker than anything I've read by Stephanie Laurens before. It was a nice departure from the usual Cynster novel; yet Gerrard was just as arrogant as the rest of the Cynster men :)
An Odd1
"In the heat of the night, they'd burned. Soared. Shattered." Lots of exposure before the murderer's identity. #12 Cynster series did not continue past #1 Barnaby.

Deeply serious artists with seriously deep pockets, Lord Gerrard (landscapes) must paint Lady Jacqueline (embroidery) to prove true innocence in her mother's fatal fall into the sinister Gothic Garden of Night. Mutually entranced by deep eyes-endowments-charms-neckline, breath-stops betray their first-glance L-word. I languish in lush
3.5 Stars. I was still feeling pretty happy with the Cynsters when it came time for this August buddy read. I wasn't quite as eager for this one as I had been for those last three, but I was still looking forward to it. Gerrard was a likable character when we first met him as a young man in A Rake's Vow, so I was kind of interested in seeing him as a grown man, confident in himself. He didn't disappoint in that aspect, this guy was nothing if not confident, arrogant at times. He learned well fro ...more
What the hell, I'll review another romance novel. I might as well admit that I read them.

So, the best thing about this book is the cover. GREAT cover. I think it's funny that the cover is so non-typical of romance novels (no shirtless hero, nor gasping female), but the book is pretty typically romance novel-y. I don't think the plot is typical, just the way the way it was written. So dramatic. I thought the portrait painting aspect was interesting, and I enjoyed the description of the gardens, b
Love love love love it! I mean, it's the typical historical romance but it was the exchange between hero and heroine that got me hooked on this book. There was also a lot of things that kept me "hooked" but I guess you just have to read it and find it out for yourself!

So, it started of with rich-famous-painter-meet-damsel-in-distress. And first, Gerrard Debbington, yeap, he's the painter & our hero, have reserves on painting our heroine but there's a catch because upon painting Jacqueline
After the suspicious death of her mother, all eyes turn towards Jacqueline, whose fiance had mysteriously vanished as well. Desperate to prove her innocence, she entices renowned painter Gerrard Debbington to paint an honest portrait of herself to prove she had nothing to do with the deaths.

This was a sweet book with some appealing characters, but it fell flat to me, and was quite boring. It took me a while to get through it, and seemed like there wasn't enough to capture the reader. Nothing bad
Hilary Mack
I liked the other two Stephanie Laurens books I read. (Four in Hand and The Lady Chosen) So I picked this up thinking I was going to spend an enjoyable few hours. And, the writing was good, the main characters were good.


We are asked to believe that Gerrard agrees to paint a portrait in return for access to a garden that has been hidden away for decades, that landscape artists would kill to see it and that there's no way to sneak in for a quick peek. Without this, he would not come to paint
Sheila Melo
Another Great Story in the Cynster Series

THE TRUTH ABOUT LOVE is the twelfth book in the Cynster series. This is the story of Gerrard Debbington, Patience Cynster's brother who was introduced in A RAKE'S VOW. Readers of the series will recall that Gerrard is a painter who was unjustly believed to be a thief. It is therefore appropriate that Gerrard meets his match in a woman whose portrait he is painting and who is believed to have committed unspeakable crimes. Jacqueline Tregonning has encounte
The mystery was a bit of a surprise as I have a relatively non-perverted mind set. I don't want to get into any spoilers so I'll leave it at that. I have a longstanding deep seated adoration for the 'artist' type so this romance novel's plot devices worked on me. There was enough sexy scenes to keep the mystery going quickly. Ms. Laurens has a lovely way of describing and pacing the plot to keep the reader interested.

Writing 3 stars
Characters 3 stars
Hot scenes 3 stars
Mystery 2 stars
Use the word "shattered" one more time, Ms. Laurens, I dare you.

Also, what is with all this eye-flashing and sparking and such? I realize that eyes are very expressive and reveal a lot about a person's mood, but this author seems to think that her heroines' eyes are made out of fireworks and sparklers. Novice writing, for all this is the 12th in a set.
Mary: Harry Dresden's Love Slave
It was ok. Just a run of the mill historical romance. I don't really get how painting someone's portrait is supposed to prove they're not a murderer. Kind of stupid to me. If I had been reading the print version I probably would have dropped it but it was more tolerable in audio format. Could have been 100 pages shorter.
Danette Steward
3.5 The first 100 pages were boring. I hate murder mysteries anyways. If it wasn't for the steam factor I would have never finished this book. At least Laurens didn't recycle scenes from past books in this series. I will continue with the Cynster series, but would have skipped this one.
Brenda (b)
I liked this story a lot. I also liked Gerrard and Jacqueline. I would have loved to see his paintings. As usual with a beloved series, I enjoyed seeing glimpses of previous characters.
I liked this book a little more than most. There was a bit more mystery and the female lead was interesting.
This is the story of Jacqueline Tregonning and Gerrard Debbington.
Once again Gerrard Debbington is one of the in-laws of the Cynsters. His sister Patience is married to Vane Cynster. Gerrard is a landscape painter who has done a (very) few portraits that show the underlying character of the people he painted. He desperately wants to paint the gardens of Lord Tregonning's Hellebore Hall, b
Jj Li
Thoroughly enjoyable. Jacqueline and Gerrard are an enjoyable, distinct couple, the story thoroughly uses the talents of both young people, and the mystery is delicious. Jacqueline is sensible, and her ability with a ruler is admirable. Gerrard has enough of the Cynster qualities that Lauren's readers thoroughly enjoy, but is also distinct enough as his own person. Cameos are satisfying but not cloying, and Minnie and Tims makes an awesome appearance. I think Laurens writes more interesting old ...more
Like all Cynster men at the beginning of their books Gerrard Debbington has no intention of settling down. His only passion is to paint landscapes and he's been given the opportunity to be the sole landscape artist for the gardens of Hellebore Hall, the gardens are beautiful and named after the Greek gods. There is one catch. In order to gain access to the gardens he must first agree to paint a portrait of Lord Tregonning's daughter, Jacqueline. - Sounds simple enough- except that the portrait i ...more
Nov 30, 2008 Jacqueline rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who enjoys a period romance backdroped with a ton of suspense and murder
Set on a grand garden estate, Hellebore Hall, in 1832, this novel tells the story of Gerrard Debbington and Jacqueline Tregonning. Jacqueline, cast as the murderess behind her mother's and past-fiance's death, by society is determined to end the suspicion directed at her and force others to begin looking for her the real killer. In using Gerrard's amazing talent as an artist, Gerrard and she begin working on portrait that conveys her innocense and detmination to find the true killer of Hellebore ...more
Vane Cynster's brother-in-law is the subject of Cynster #12.

Gerrard Debbington, Patience's brother, is a very eligible gentlemen, but he is more interested in landscape painting than the fair maidens introduced at each season. He is invited to paint the fabled gardens at Hellebore Hall, in exchange for painting a portrait of Lord Tregonning's daughter. Debbington is not interested in painting portraits, but Tregonning offers him, in addition to his fee, up to a year to complete the portrait and
Jacqueline's life has been on hold, totally unmoving since her almost-fiance disappeared 2 years and 4 months ago. Worst her mother tragic death a little over 1 year ago was pinned on her.
To be sure that the reader understand how long and how slow everything has been, the beginning of the book is very slow, with lots of description of the gardens (quite nice actually and rather evocative), not much going on, a slow introduction to all characters; well everything very very slow and almost boring,
Patience, (wife of Vane)'s, brother Gerrard Debbington is invited to paint the famous gardens at Hellabore Hall, after he paints a portrait of Lord Treggoning's daughter, Jacqueline. He reluctantly agrees to do the portrait, upon first glance of Jacqueline, he instantly sees something deeper he wishes to figure out, a reserved sadness. He also imagines himself marrying her. To do her portrait he must get to know her better and is determined to find what tragic occurrence has made her kee
Let me first say that I had the unabridged audiobook version of this, which I couldn't find in the goodreads database.

I constantly went back and forth about this book. In the end I settled on a 3 star rating. Stephanie Laurens proficiency in writing is certainly here, as well as a likeable hero and heroine. It also has some lovely descriptive writing about the famous gardens, so why didn't I like it better?

Well, first off every time there was an intimate scene in the book, I fell asleep. I just
Kay Bolton
May 13, 2013 Kay Bolton rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Historical Romance Fans
Shelves: 4-star
Review taken from my Blog in October 2010:

I am still not sick of these books, she writes so beautifully that I am completely enthralled and just want to learn more about the loves, lives and characters in her literary world.

This time the story of Gerrard Debbington (Brother of Patience Cynster - wife of Vane) a celebrated landscape painter, who also dabbled in portraits of people very close to him, but not any other in the ton, despite many requests to do so) who is lured down to Cornwall by Lor
Alina Field
This is a three star "like" instead of a "love" because to me, the love scenes dragged, and the heroine's attitude toward her affair with the hero was (again, to my mind) too modern to be convincing. Aside from those points, the writing is mostly lovely and the story is intriguing. I love the detail of a portrait artist at work, the mystery plot, and the very engaging climax scene at the end.
Helene Harrison
ISBN? - 9780749937270

Genre? - Historical / Romance / Erotica

Characters? - Gerard Debbington / Vane Cynster / Jacqueline Tregonning / Patience Cynster

Setting? - England

Series? - Cynster #12

Title? - The titles of Laurens's books seem to be in general a bit generic, like this one.

Character Analysis? - I prefer the Cynsters to the wider family. The heroes seem less heroic and the relationships in a lot of ways seem more unlikely.

General Comments? - Similar comments to previous Laurens books like The
Another brilliant instalment to the Cynster series. I was not expecting the final plot twist and I struggled to put the book down. Excellent characters, but then I expect nothing less from Laurens. I look forward to reading Barnaby's tale next.
Even though I found part of the plot implausible, I liked the characters enough to finish the tale and find out whodunit.
I didn't really enjoy the whole premise. I didn't enjoy the theory that a girl would forget to explain the circumstances of her mother's death. The theory that a painter can reveal who is innocent or guilty through his painting. A painter who fears his arts will decrease because of love. A father who just thinks the daugther killed the mother, without any valid reason. The villagers who believe she is the murderer and just accept it and try to cover it because they know she is good. Whaaaat? onl ...more
It was really, really wonderfull :3 But I need more about their end...
+many cool points for the creation of Hellebore House and its gardens. Very evocative.

But this may have the ooky-est plot resolution I've come across in a romance novel. I'm not sure how common that plot element is. (view spoiler)

Minor quibble: Gerrard comments once that Jacqueline is doing some seriously artistic embroidery yet we don't see her sewing or have a finished piece at any point later in the book. Sorta dropped in for "depth".
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
  • My Scandalous Bride
  • Let Sleeping Rogues Lie (School for Heiresses, #4)
  • Seduction of a Proper Gentleman (Last Man Standing #4)
  • Dancing at Midnight (The Splendid Trilogy, #2)
  • No Choice But Seduction (Malory-Anderson Family, #9)
  • Rough Around the Edges
  • The Bride Hunt (Matchmaker Duncan Sisters, #2)
  • Duke Most Wanted (Heiress Brides, #3)
  • Slightly Tempted (Bedwyn Saga, #4)
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

Cynster (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)
  • A Secret Love (Cynster, #5)
  • All About Love (Cynster, #6)
  • All About Passion (Cynster, #7)
  • On a Wild Night (Cynster, #8)
  • On a Wicked Dawn (Cynster, #9)
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)

Share This Book

“Love wasn't a happening one decided on---to indulge or not, to partake or not. To feel or not. When it came, when it struck, the only decision left to make was how to respond---whether you embraced it, took it in, and made it a part of you, or whether you turned your back and let it die.” 19 likes
More quotes…