The Taming of Ryder Cavanaugh by Stephanie Laurens

RYDER
The Taming of Ryder Cavanaugh by Stephanie Laurens
Publisher: Avon: Harper Collins Publishers
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (340 pages)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Camellia

Lady Mary has been waiting years for this opportunity. Not that her sister has thrown off her spinster ways and become betrothed, it’s finally Mary’s chance for true love. She knows exactly who she wants –and it’s not someone as wild, unmanageable, and sinfully seductive as Ryder Cavanaugh.

Ryder Cavanaugh, Marquess of Raventhorne, had never met a woman who wouldn’t happily fall at his feet–or into his bed…until Lady Mary Cynster. But Ryder has made some decisiosn abotu his life and he’ll only succeed at being the man he wants to be with Mary by his side. And convincing her of that fact is just the kind of challenge he thrills at…

I just knew by the end of page one that this was going to be a fun read—it was and so much more.

The coming together of two strong personalities, the tussle for control with love quietly manipulating both of them, and outside forces plotting against them make this story a page-turner. Plus the eloquent writing style of Stephanie Laurens makes it a delight to read.

Mary Alice Cynster knows Ryder Cavanaugh, Marquess of Raventhorne, has a will stronger than hers—not good husband material. She long ago determined to be in charge of her own life. Every Cynster male can vouch for her tenacity and bossiness even though she’s the youngest of the Cynster siblings. Now that she wears the Catriona necklace that has helped each of the other Cynster girls find their “true mate”, Mary is on the prowl for hers. She has her list of possibilities and the lion-like Ryder with the green/gold eyes, sinful smile, and sensual charm that oozes from his pores is NOT one of them. She has her sights set on his half-brother Randolph. He just might be the one.

Ryder knows Mary would scare young Randolph to death. Ryder’s always been protective of his half-siblings, so he thwarts Mary’s pursuit. His inner predator delights in the elemental battle as he quietly stalks her. She is “pure challenge”. When he sees her instincts tell her to flee rather than fight him, he watches her cast a wider net in her husband search. Now he is always close to protect her. Mary considers him a “pest”, but waltzing with him is magical

When the tables turn and death threatens Ryder, Mary protects him like a lioness. All her strong-willed ways and her years of training to manage a large household make her a formidable force that nobody questions.

Lavinia, Ryder’s step-mother, is a pain in the neck working her way down. Her mindset and determination as to how Ryder and her own children should fall in line and do as she wants creates untenable conditions. The back story of Ryder and his family is enthralling.

Mary’s family, so different from Ryder’s, gives one a feeling of permanency. Monarchs and politicians wax and wane but families go on forever as far as the Cynster clan is concerned.

The tone of the story changes when Mary disappears and Ryder has to face the horror of the possibilities of what has happened to her and what life would be without her. Fears make heart-pounding scenes as an all out search is made for her.

How Ms. Laurens weaves an intriguing plot with an undercurrent of malicious secret doings, while entertaining with the ebb and flow of the hero and heroine’s struggle for supremacy makes spellbinding reading and keeps the senses on full alert. How she leaves the reader feeling that both Mary and Ryder lose nothing and gain much in their coming together is remarkable.

The Taming of Ryder Cavanaugh sparkles with humor, entices with nefarious doings, and enchants with love scenes that up the blood pressure and take one’s breath away. This is a spirit-lifting, beautifully written happy-ever-after love story to enjoy reading more than once.

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