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The Truth About Love (Bar Cynster, #12)
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The Truth About Love (Cynster #12)

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  3,889 Ratings  ·  98 Reviews
Gerrard Debbington is besieged by offers from London's most sought-after beauties, but there's only one offer he wants to accept - the chance to paint the fantastical but seldom-seen gardens of reclusive Lord Tregonning's Hellebore Hall. However, to get that chance he must paint a portrait of Tregonning's daughter, Jacqueline.
Paperback, 432 pages
Published 2008 by Piatkus Books (first published March 15th 2005)
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An outstanding story filled with searing romance, panoramic landscapes and a sprawling estate crawling with intrigue and sinister mystery. Gerrard and Jacqueline are dynamic, passionate and electrifying together.

Although it was obvious to me who the villains were, I couldn't wait to see how it all played out. The ending was imaginative and stunning.

This novel is filled with mesmerizing descriptions and some of the best research in historical fiction. It's why I love this family series and why
An Odd1
Nov 24, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: xrate
"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
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 :)
Feb 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: will-read-again
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
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
Chitra *CJ*
Jul 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: safety-first, v-card
A good addition to the series.
Gerrard is a well renowned painter and Patience's brother. He is summoned reluctantly by Lord Tregonning to paint his daughter, Jaqueline and in turn given a chance to sketch his very mysterious, rarely visited garden of night.
He and his friend Barnaby travel to the elusive garden to gain once in a lifetime opportunity to visit it.
While entranced by the beauty of the place, what fascinates both the man and the artist is the innocent Jaqueline, who is under suspicio
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
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
Apr 03, 2011 rated it it was ok
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.
Jan 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
”Adevărata față a dragostei” este o captivantă carte historical-romance, cu un aer ușor gotic, plină de mister, intrigi, suspans, romantism și momente fierbinți.

Recenzia mea:
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 enjoy every book for Stephanie Laurens I read, however, there are some of her books that I liked more than this one.

Jacqueline is accused of killing her mother. Gerrard Debbington is a famous painter asked by her father to create her portrait. Jacqueline and her aunt hope the picture will show her innocence and put an end to rumours of her crimes. Gerrard who initially is reluctant to paint a portrait of a non-family member, soon becomes interested in Jacqueline and actively engaged in proving
Kim Gasparini
I am sick to death of the idea that jealousy equals love ...more
Joann Krause Radke
It was ok
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
Bea Flores
Mar 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Truth About Love by Stephanie Laurens is a historacal fiction which was set during the british regency. It follows painter Gerrard Debbington, whom was offfered to paint Lord Tregonning's daughter--with it was the offer of having the honor to paint the famous garden of the night. As Gerrard hesitantly accepts the offer, he discovers the devil lurking in the gardens of the Hellebore Hall whom trapped Jacqueline into the profile of a double murderess. Getting to know each other was a requireme ...more
Oct 01, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
This story is revolves around Gerrard Debbington and Jacqueline Tregonning. Gerrard is commissioned to paint a portrait of Jacqueline. At first Gerrard is hesitant because he only really does landscapes. It the rare opportunity to paint the splendor of the Hellebore Hall gardens, Jacqueline's home, that finally gets Gerrard to do the painting. When Gerrard gets to Hellebore Hall he finds out exactly why Jacqueline's father commissioned the portrait. People think Jacqueline killed her mother. Ger ...more
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,
Sheila Melo
Apr 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 24, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 15, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Fangirl Musings
Nov 23, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  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
Kay Bolton
May 13, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  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
Jan 28, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance, historical
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
Helene Harrison
Review - Similar comments to previous Laurens books like The Ideal Bride in particular, but I just felt that it wasn't as good as the earlier ones in the Cynster series. However, Laurens's writing style is still engaging and the general storylines are interesting, but the execution could have been better. I prefer the Cynsters to the wider family. The heroes seem less heroic and the relationships in a lot of ways seem more unlikely.

Genre? - Historical / Romance / Erotica

Characters? - Gerard Debb
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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, 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 27 books)
  • 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)
  • On A Wild Night / On A Wicked Dawn
“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.” 21 likes
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