The Capture of the Earl of Glencrae
Avon, $7.99/$6.99 digital, Jan. 31, 2012
We joyfully request your attendance at the wedding of Miss Angelica Cynster
...but not until she and her hero confront a devious enemy and lay to rest an ancient grudge in the Scottish Highlands!
Headstrong Angelica Cynster is certain she’ll recognize her fated husband at first sight. And when her eyes meet those of a mysterious nobleman across a candlelit ballroom, she knows beyond doubt that he’s the one. But her heart is soon pounding for an entirely different reason—when he hero abducts her!
The eighth Earl of Glencrae has no choice but to kidnap Angelica, the one Cynster sister with whom he hadn’t wanted to tangle. But to save his castle and his clan, he must persuade her to assist him—and he’s prepared to offer marriage to seal the deal.
Stephanie Laurens winds up her Cynster Sisters trilogy with her newest release, The Capture of the Earl of Glencrae. In the previous two books, the Cynster sisters have been prey, the objects of a kidnapping plot set in motion by a mysterious Scottish laird. In this book, the Cynster sister is the one on the prowl.
Dominic Guisachan, Earl of Glencrae, has been hunting for a Cynster sister. Any unmarried Cynster sister will do. His mother has hidden a priceless artifact and will not return it until she is presented with a ruined Cynster girl. It doesn’t matter that her demand is ludicrous and quite, quite mad, Dominic has no choice if he wants to protect his clan and the people who depend upon him. Now that two of the three marriageable girls have escaped his reluctant clutches, he is left with Angelica Cynster: the youngest and most headstrong of the bunch.
Angelica, freed by the belief that the laird who kidnapped her sisters is dead, is on the hunt for her hero, the man she is meant to fall in love with and marry. She believes she has found him in the large man she spies across a crowded ballroom. Wrangling an introduction from an acquaintance at the ball, she discovers he is Viscount Debenham. The conviction that Debenham is her destined hero soon turns to outrage as she is unceremoniously carried from the edges of the ballroom and kidnapped. She discovers, much to her annoyance, that Viscount Debenham is also Dominic, Earl of Glencrae, the mysterious (and most definitely alive) Cynster-kidnapping laird.
Chivalry, duty, and a near feudal responsibility to those who depend on them is something that both Dominic and Angelica share. It defines them. And it guides much of the course of the novel. It is this unbreakable loyalty that sends the earl on his failed attempts to satisfy his mother’s demands. And it is this bone-deep understanding of that burden which allows Angelica to willingly accompany Dominic to Scotland and attempt to fool his mother and recover the jewel-encrusted cup she holds hostage.
Dominic is “a natural hunter, born and bred to stalk, to circle, to study his prey with cold calculation until he knew just how to bring it down. It wasn’t only game he hunted in that fashionm with that same cool deliberation.” Angelica’s eager assistance surprises Dominic. Not many ladies, especially young ladies, would take being kidnapped with such equanimity. What he doesn’t fully realize is that while he has successfully captured his prey, that very prey is plotting to capture him: his heart, his regard, and her own happily ever after.
“Perhaps you’ll tell me—in all candor and without any overnice adherence to the social strictures—why you inveigled Curtis to introduce us.”
She opened her eyes wide. “You were hunting me.”
He held her gaze. “So?”
She’d expected him to deny it; the look in his eyes, an expression she associated with an intent and focused predator, made her breath tangle in her throat, but she evenly replied, “So now I’m hunting you.”
A fun twist on who is the hunter and who is the prey makes this book a bit of a departure from Stephanie Laurens’s normal style. The villain turned hero may have started the hunt, but it is our heroine, Angelica, who carries much of the novel as she runs her earl to ground and seeks to capture his heart.
Amber McMichael, Romance and Mystery Reviews, Buried By Books