THE CAPTURE OF THE EARL OF GLENCRAE Stephanie Laurens
The Cynster Sisters Trilogy, Book 3
Avon Historical
ISBN-13: 978-0-06-206862-0
February 2012
Historical Romance

London, England 1829

After two failed attempts at kidnapping a Cynster daughter, Dominic, Viscount Debenham, but more importantly the eighth Earl of Glencrae, has decided to do the deed himself. Leaving his castle in Scotland he has returned to his long neglected house in London and set about finding out where he might happen to come upon the last Cynster daughter, Angelica, and how to pull off the kidnapping. But fate smiles down on him as he goes to Lady Cavendish's salon and finds the object of his kidnapping in attendance. Again, fate smiles on him and soon he is escaping with her to his waiting carriage. Dominic and the woman who he hopes will save his clan go to his townhouse where he begs for her help; without it his entire clan will lose their lands and livelihoods. The story is long, but to borrow money, Dominic's late father went to London banks and used a golden, jeweled goblet, the final piece of the Scottish Regalia, called the Coronation Cup, to secure his repayment. Unfortunately, Dominic's mother stole the goblet and has hidden it, and won't give it up until a Cynster daughter is brought to her, with her reputation ruined forever. This is in retaliation for Dominic's father's infatuation with the sister's mother, Celia. Years ago Dominic's father and Celia were engaged, until she eloped to Gretna Green with the sister's father, Martin. Until the end of his life Mortimer Guisachan, the seventh Earl of Glencrae, was obsessed with Celia Cynster and her family, especially her daughters, Heather, Eliza and Angelica. Now Dominic has to place his future and the future of his clan into twenty-one-year-old Angelica's hands.

Angelica Cynster is at Lady Cavendish's salon wearing a special necklace, a talisman called The Lady, a Scottish deity, which was given to the Cynster girls to help them find their true loves. It had worked for Angelica's older sisters Heather and Eliza, and now Angelica is wearing it and determined to find her own hero, starting at the Cavendish soiree. Surely all the upper echelon of the ton will be there and she knows she will recognize her true love, her hero, at first glance. In fact, when she feels someone watching her, she slowly looks around until she sees the tall man in the corner. As she looks at him and considers all his attributes, she slowly realizes he is her hero, despite not ever having been introduced to him. But soon he is kidnapping her, and after learning the entire story, is totally behind Dominic's plan to secure the goblet. He has offered marriage, but Angelica knows he must fall in love with her first, even though her love is already not in doubt.

It takes a long time to get to Edinburgh and Dominic's house, and then to the Castle, the head of the clan and where his mother lives. Dominic is astounded at the way Angelica helps him with plans, and how events just seem to go the way she wants. It takes Dominic a while before he realizes that the Cynster women rule the family, and his future happiness and life depend on following Angelica and enjoying where she leads. Any more of the story will spoil it for you, but trust me it's full of lying, deceit, horses, modistes, and Angelica's mind and its many quirks.

Stephanie Laurens has finished the Cynster Sisters Trilogy with a bang and has wrapped up all the loose ends to perfection. Dominic is stalwart and yet afraid, willing to marry Angelica after the goblet is returned and spend the rest of his life doing whatever she wants. Angelica, on the other hand, is quick witted, smart, beautiful, and knows her hero when she sees him. Told from their points of view, along with the rest of Angelica's family, we become enthralled as events unfold before our eyes and give us a small look into the sanctity of Scottish clans and the leaders who are responsible for their welfare, and also a close family, itself almost like a clan, banding together in whatever way it takes to protect each other. The first two stories in the trilogy set this one up, and while introducing the family and especially the sisters, Angelica's story is the impeccable conclusion and, I feel, overshadows the previous two.

Secondary characters are Dominic's servants who aid them in going from London to Scotland, a very long journey in those days, and the entire Cynster family which we have met in previous novels. All of them are brought together to figure out what happened to Angelica, even Heather and Eliza, the other two sisters who were kidnapped but were saved by their true loves.

THE CAPTURE OF THE EARL OF GLENCRAE completes the Cynster Sisters Trilogy in an awesome and exciting way. Any book that can bring tears to your eyes is an excellent story, and this one did several times. I believe it was the devotion of Dominic to his clan, Angelica's devotion of Dominic, and the Cynster family's devotion to each other. This is the type of family that supports each other, not tears each other apart. Ms. Laurens has written many novels about the Cynster Family, a list of which appears at http://www.stephanielaurens.com . In those times as now, if your family cannot be depended upon, who can you trust? I savored every page of this book, and if you want to reconnect with the Cynster family, please give THE CAPTURE OF THE EARL OF GLENCRAE a try this month.

Carolyn Crisher