The Truth About Love (Cynster, #12)

ISBN: 0060505761
ISBN 13: 9780060505769
By: Stephanie Laurens

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Cynster Historical Historical Fiction Historical Romance Regency Regency Romance Romance Series Stephanie Laurens To Read

About this book

Bold, passionate and possessive, the Cynster men let nothing stand in their way when it comes to claiming the women of their hearts. Gerrard Debbington, Vane Cynster's brother-in-law, is one of London's most eligible gentlemen. Uninterested in marriage, his driving passion is to paint the fabled gardens of Lord Tregonning's Hellebore Hall -- an opportunity that is now at hand...if Gerrard agrees to create an honest portrait of Tregonning's daughter as well. Gerrard chafes at wasting his talents on some simpering miss, only to discover that Jacqueline Tregonning stirs him as no other. Certainly, she is beautiful, but it is her passionate nature that strikes sparks with Gerrard's own, igniting desire and sweeping them into each other's arms, convincing Gerrard that he has found his ideal soul mate -- the lady he must have as his wife. But something is horribly wrong at Hellebore Hall. Evil and lies are reaching out to ensnare Jacqueline -- and Gerrard will have to move Heaven and Earth to protect the remarkable woman who, for him, personifies the truth about love...

Reader's Thoughts


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 Tregonning, she's our damsel in distress, he can also paint the famous gardens of Hellebore Hall. So, finally, he decides to go to Hellebore Hall, accompanied by his good friend Barnaby Adair. They arrive and meet the people residing at Hellebore Hall. Gerrard meets Jacqueline for the first time and he's curious and very much attracted to her but has reserves thinking he might lose his painting prowess if ever he falls in love with her. But still he pursues her and then goes his journey to win her. But then there's a mystery to be solved and until then they can't really be together. Both main characters were likable and at the same time lovable. Gerrard shows this persona where at first I though he was this cold very faraway person but then, it was revealed that he's very compassionate and loving. He goes out of his way to win Jacqueline over. Loved the part where Jacqueline was proving that he does not intend to marry her, and they get into a fight about it, it was really funny and sweet. Jacqueline, on the other hand, she's the type that I can relate to, she doesn't have any special talents, except for the embroidery that was mentioned at the beginning, but she is as normal and mediocre as anyone out there. And during reading, throughout the story, everything she did was a normal reaction with regards to her situation. I can see it actually happening in real life. I felt like her situation wasn't over exaggerated like some stories are. Love Barnaby too, it seemed like he was the opposite of Gerrard. Where Gerrard was artistic he was the logical one. Where Gerrard was quiet and reserve, he was the funny, outgoing one. And they both put their heads together to solve the mystery around Jacqueline. Love Aunt Millicent too, she's very supportive and kept things together. Lord Tregonning, Jacqueline's dad, was at first annoying because how can you just let your daughter be a victim of rumor and gossip. But then comes the end and everything was all put to order. Eleanor was annoying especially when she was trying to seduce Gerrard. Jordan was just an ass. I don't want to give anything away really because it was such a nice story, more than nice actually. I enjoyed it a lot. And there was this one chapter where I just love their dialogues that I kept on twitting them on twitter. I loved how Gerrard never let go of Jacqueline even though she was determined not to marry him; with a good reason of course. But Gerrard, in that chapter, was convincing her that everything's going to be alright and that he won't let her go and he would keep on "seducing" until she accepts him as her husband. It was so cute, I swear! So, all in all, it was really an amazing read! This made me smile a lot! Made me giddy too! The word we use is "kinikilig". I don't know how to translate that to English but yeah, that describes how I felt. Anyway, I do recommend this book. It was my first Stephanie Laurens novel and I can definitely say I wasn't disappointed! Hoping to read more from her in the future! ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ :D


Disappointing and dull. Aside from the premise that an artist is somehow able to magically discern innocence, the characters were rather uninteresting. No, that's not true. Barnaby is interesting, but he's not a main character. The first Stephanie Laurens novel that has not pleased me.

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 :)

Lisa Lindsey

I liked this book! I read a review on here that told me the ending, therefore leaving no chance of a mystery, but the story it self was really good. I didn't think I'd be able to take "Gerrard the Artist" seriously as a "Cynster hero"... But in his own way, he was able to hold his own. He's romantic and more accepting of love than most of the Cynsters, as well as has more of an understanding of women. The story has a pretty surprising twist that I wish hadn't been ruined for me.

Sheila Melo

Another Great Story in the Cynster SeriesTHE 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 encountered much sadness in her life. She believes that Gerrard's portrait can help free her from the suspicions against her. The two are soon engaged in a hot affair while sinister forces plot against them.I really enjoyed this book. While not explicitly mentioned, the comparison between Gerrard's past situation and Jacqueline's current one is clear and probably underlies some of Gerrard's initial compassion for Jacqueline. Neither character fights too hard against their attraction. The conflict in their relationship is more about the outside dangers to Jacqueline than the emotional difficulties of the characters. The mystery in this book was particularly good and kept me engaged throughout.This book also introduced Barnaby Adair who is an amateur detective and will be the subject of his own book WHERE THE HEART LEADS. Barnaby is just adorable and I can't wait to read his story.This book can be read independent of the other books of the series. I would rate it a 4.5.


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 wasn't feeling it at all. It was one of those stories that felt like they had been put in randomly. They were oddly added in without good build up and messed with the pacing of the book. The other thing that really bothered me was the idea that guilt or innocence could be proven by a painting. This is one of the stupidest things I've ever read about. I have no idea if this concept has any bearing in historical fact but I just couldn't wrap my head around it.The book also has a massive amount of contrivances, which probably wouldn't have bothered me so much if not paired with the bad pacing and weird pot. Even with these gripes it's not a terrible story, and I will still be picking up this author's books.


The word you are looking for is....'crap'. Not even got any of the charm of other's I've read by Lauren's, which makes the terrible plot and writing even worse to read than usual.

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 multi-syllable language depicting rich old aristocratic Britain. Bon mots may not be original "What will be will be" p375, are catchy, "such as I don't follow fashion ... We set it" p67. Pal Barnaby, curious about crimes, convinces me to stay the distance, despite others' sardonic "indeed" that incongruously reminds me of Stargate's sober Tealc. Strong brave men are comfort, protect passive women vessels. Tough funny females are more admirable; sadly easier to identify with weaklings. For the younger naive girl to not think of marriage first seems foolish, not forceful. The finale, disclosure, hostage rescue, reveals warped crazy deviant villains. Question: Huntress Greek Artemis is Roman Diana, Athena is also a virgin (protector), so three separate gardens seem redundant. If Gerrard's ominous dream is ignored anyway p11, couldn't the portent be cut?


Best one out of the past few for sure!

Kay Bolton

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 Lord Tregonning to be the only person to paint the famous (and closely guarded gardens) at Hellebore Hall. All he needs to do in return for free access is to paint what he sees in his Lordships daughter, Jacequeline face.The book weaves together the reason for the two murders, and why another murder is attempted. The killer is unmasked, and all becomes clear at the end in regards to the Truth About Love - be it the right or the wrong kind. Completely enchanting story that kept me guessing til the end a 9 out of 10.

Edna Vilchez

One thing I liked about this book was the vivid description of the Gardens. As the author gave each part of the whole garden a description, I almost wished I was able to see even one picture of the gardens. I also liked that fact that the book focused not only on the romantic scenes but also the plot twists. Also gave me a glimpse behind a painter's perspective

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.But...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 the portrait. So it was a bit of a shock to find, when we got to Cornwall, that this inaccessible, hidden, secret garden is about as private as Clapham Junction. There are the neighbours who cut through it to visit the family, the locals who cut through it to get from one town to the next, illicit lovers using it as a trysting place... are we seriously to believe any determined artist could not also find his way in?Then we are asked to believe that the entire neighbourhood believes Jacqueline guilty of serial murder. However, they like her, so they're willing to hush it all up and refuse to see justice done rather than see this sweet lady punished. They still invite her to all their dos, and act as if she is one of their best friends, and other than whispering that she's a murderer, no-one turns a hair.I'm happy to suspend disbelief long enough to think a painting can prove someone's innocence. Because, compared to the other things I am asked to believe, that's really nothing. Quite honestly, I'd have believed there were fairies in the garden rather than the refusal to investigate the murders to be nice to the lady.And how come they make love non stop and she never once worries about pregnancy? (Nor does he.)I did read to the end, more to find out if I was right in my deductions. (I got the killer right from the first time they appeared, though the full motive only came to me towards the end.) Put it like this, I had to put the book down for three days for work, and when I returned to it, I wasn't fussed, and only picked it up again because I hate leaving something unfinished.I got it out of the library. I'd have been most upset if I had paid good money for my own copy. That said, I'll happily read another of Ms Laurens' books. Provided the plots make a bit more sense than this one did.

Bebe Four


Stephanie wagner

I don't know again a stretch to prove she is innocent the father contracts a painter to "paint her as only a painters eye could capture her" I mean it was a little hooky to begin with. I mean I was grossed out about the brother and the sister getting it on with one another YUCK!!! But it was a good story over all.


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 Hall. Yet the more Gerrard gets to know Jacqueline, the more he falls for her. The two fall madly in love throughout the duration of the novel, both set to uncover the identity of the "bad guy."This book was rather good, and the suspense climax's at the end with an unexpected twist. My only critisism is that the novel was a bit too long. The actual lenght of a book is never a specific issue, yet only becomes so when the author seems to throw in unneeded details. There were a few dry/dead parts in the book, but over all I was very impressed with the plot.

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