By Winter’s Light by Stephanie Laurens

by winter's lightTitle: By Winter’s Light

Series: The Cynster’s bk 21, The Second Generation Cynster’s bk 1

Author: Stephanie Laurens

Genre: Historical Romance, Holiday Romance

#1 New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Laurens returns to romantic Scotland to usher in a new generation of Cynsters in an enchanting tale of mistletoe, magic, and love.

It’s December 1837, and the young adults of the Cynster clan have succeeded in having the family Christmas celebration held at snow-bound Casphairn Manor, Richard and Catriona Cynster’s home. Led by Sebastian, Marquess of Earith, and by Lucilla, future Lady of the Vale, and her twin brother, Marcus, the upcoming generation has their own plans for the holiday season.

Yet where Cynsters gather, love is never far behind—the festive occasion brings together Daniel Crosbie, tutor to Lucifer Cynster’s sons, and Claire Meadows, widow and governess to Gabriel Cynster’s daughter. Daniel and Claire have met before and the embers of an unexpected passion smolder between them, but once bitten, twice shy, Claire believes a second marriage is not in her stars. Daniel, however, is determined to press his suit. He’s seen the love the Cynsters share, and Claire is the lady with whom he dreams of sharing his life. Assisted by a bevy of Cynsters—innate matchmakers every one—Daniel strives to persuade Claire that trusting him with her hand and her heart is her right path to happiness.

Meanwhile, out riding on Christmas Eve, the young adults of the Cynster clan respond to a plea for help. Summoned to a humble dwelling in ruggedly forested mountains, Lucilla is called on to help with the difficult birth of a child, while the others rise to the challenge of helping her. With a violent storm closing in and severely limited options, the next generation of Cynsters face their first collective test—can they save this mother and child? And themselves, too?

Back at the manor, Claire is increasingly drawn to Daniel and despite her misgivings, against the backdrop of the ongoing festivities their relationship deepens. Yet she remains torn—until catastrophe strikes, and by winter’s light, she learns that love—true love—is worth any risk, any price.

A tale brimming with all the magical delights of a Scottish festive season.

Thoughts: I’m a HUGE fan of Stephanie Laurens, in fact she’s one of the few historical authors that is an auto-buy for me. Of all the books she’s written by absolute favorites are the first six Cynster books. There is just something about those six books that keeps me coming back to the series time and time again.

In fact they are the series I pull out when I’m really sick and in serious need of comfort reads. So when the last Cynster book came out and we got to see how old the next generation was I knew it was only a matter of time before we got their stories. And I was right.

By Winter’s Light picks up the Christmas after The Capture of the Earl of Glencrae and has two stories lines in it. One is the love story of the tutor of Lucifer’s sons and governess of Gabriel’s daughters. The other is the story of the six oldest of the next generation who range in age from eighteen to seventeen.

I’ll admit it took me a bit to get into the love story, mainly because there were so many names to keep track of. I found myself going back to the cast of characters at the beginning of the book to try and figure out who was who. I also wasn’t that invested in the love story, other than how the Cynster girls led by Devil’s daughter behaved.

The story line I wanted more of was that of the oldest cousins, mainly because I knew Lauren’s was setting us up for the first book in the next generation series. The oldest six are Devil’s sons, Sebastian (the future head of the family) who is eighteen, his brother Michael who is seventeen, Marcus and Lucilla, Scandal and Catriona’s twins also seventeen, Christopher, Vane’s oldest, and Prudence, Demon’s daughter also seventeen.

While out on a ride looking for deer to hunt they are called upon to help a crofter’s wife deliver their first child. Just as they arrive at the crofter’s home a harsh winter storm arrives, trapping them there with no food. Help arrives in the form of the Thomas Carrick. What transpires in the crofter’s home over a twenty-four hour period forever changes all of those involved. Most especially Lucilla and Thomas.

Can you guess who’s the first of the next generation to get their story?

Yep, Lucilla and Thomas. Luckily we don’t have to wait a super long time for this book as it comes out in February of 2015 followed by Marcus’s story.

As much as I enjoyed this book, there was one thing that annoyed me. It was the use of the Bar Cynster’s birth names. To me they are Devil, Vane, Scandal, Demon, Gabriel and Lucifer. For the most part Lauren’s called them by these names, but in place she had one of the next generation say Uncle Sylvester, I had to stop and think who the heck is Sylvester because no one in any of the many books in this series ever called Devil Sylvester. So if his brother and cousins never called him Sylvester why would the next generation. The other one was Gabriel and Lucifer. In Gabriel’s story (A Secret Love) it was a major story line the fact that Alathea stopped calling him by his birth name and accepted who he was an adult, Gabriel. So every time his birth name was used it took me a minute to figure out who he was, the same with Lucifer.

Overall this is a great story, a perfect holiday love story, and a great way to kick off the next set of stories in this family.

Grade B+


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