The Truth About Love
With The Truth about Love, Stephanie Laurens has created a smartly-plotted murder mystery as well as a torrid Regency romance. The hero, Gerrard Debbington, is as handsome, bold, and self-assured as the genre requires, but with a charming twist. He is a painter, and until now he has reserved his passion for his art. In fact, he has resolved not to fall in love—as his Cynster cousins have done—because he fears one passion might drain potency from another. The heroine, Jacqueline Tregonning, is a damsel in distress. Nevertheless, she is a superior protagonist—intelligent and honest. Jacqueline has been accused, by means of a whispering campaign, of murdering her mother. Not only that, but Jacqueline’s beau vanished without a trace three years earlier. If she is a murderer, she is likely responsible for his disappearance, too. Here, the premise becomes a bit shaky. Jacqueline and her aunt put a bug in her father’s ear to commission Gerrard to paint her portrait. They are convinced her true nature will shine through, proving her innocence. (Fortunately for me, Gerrard brought along his friend Barnaby, who has a more scientific way of looking at the evidence.) Of course, as he paints her, Gerrard not only becomes her determined champion, but falls in love. If you enjoy romance with strong plotting to hold together the bedroom scenes—and there are those aplenty—you’ll enjoy this latest Cynster novel.