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The Taming of Ryder Cavanaugh is a romance story in the truest form and provides us with a wrap up to the original Cynster series. We witness the last Cynster of age to marry-Miss Mary Cynster. Mary Cynster is thrilled when her sister, Henrietta, finally finds her true love and the family necklace comes to her.
This talisman is supposed to direct the wearer to her hero. Unfortunately for Mary, it seems to be directing her towards someone she is positive is not the one for her-Ryder Cavanaugh, the Marquess of Raventhorne. She wants a man that she can direct; as to retain her independence. Mary knows deep down that Ryder is not a man who will ever dance to her tune.
Besides, she is convinced it is his half brother, Randolph, who is her perfect match. Ryder Cavanaugh has never been particularly interested in marriage, but from his first meeting with Mary and her seemingly lack of interest in him, he finds himself taken with this woman and the challenge she presents.
Everyone knows the quickest way to send Ryder running the other way is to lavish him with attention; her lack is her undoing. Once Ryder learns she has her eye on his younger brother, he proceeds to shadow her, showing up at various functions and striving to prove to her that Randolph is definitely not the one for her.
Ryder decides she is to be his future marchioness and proceeds to set the stage for her conquest. Mary has other plans, though. When Ryder is attacked by footpads and suffers a potentially fatal wound, Mary finds him and uses her formidable skills to rally the troops and saves his life.
She decides to stay at his home to oversee his recovery. She seals their matrimonial fate and Ryder finds himself getting exactly what he wanted. You discover early on who the villain is and the reasons behind their criminal activities.
A smooth plot line that delicately reveals itself along a steady paced story, I found it was the characters who completely dominate this story. Mary and Ryder are perfect for each other. Both are intelligent, sensuous, natural born leaders who complete each other-like two halves of a puzzle. While Mary have never seriously contemplated marriage to Ryder, she realizes once he proposes that she has already begin to fall for him. He effectively wooed her all those weeks as she was chasing his brother.
He has met his match in Mary and he, unlike some alpha heroes, chooses to nurture and uphold her spirit rather than attempt to crush it. Ryder is quite the gentleman though when his growly side comes out, you understand just why Mary went willingly into marriage with him.
Seductive, playful, and experienced; he uses all his tricks to bind Mary to him both in and out of bed, but only ends up trapping himself. A place he is very happy to be. This is not to say he is a pushover. Not at all. Their love scenes are more tell then show Laurens has always had a bit of a heavy hand with the lyrical prose in her love making scenes but their smoking hot chemistry leaps from the pages.
I love that while Ryder may be the more experienced, he has no qualms about letting Mary take control in the bedroom. And when he realizes she likes to watch him undress…the gloves, err, I mean, the waistcoats, come off slowly. Ryder cast his eyes assessingly over the mare, then lifted Mary to her saddle. He watched as she settled and accepted the reins from the groom. Arched a brow as she met his eyes.
The majority of the book is watching Mary and Ryder dance, spar, fall in love, and settle into marriage. No real conflict between them at all. That surprised me.
Their journey to marriage and even beyond is all very easy and tame. I would have liked some explanation as to some of the accidents that happened. We never learn exactly HOW they were accomplished and it bears reasoning that in some instances, they should have never been able to happen. I did enjoy the various Cynsters that were woven in throughout the story. We even get a wonderful long epilogue showing all the Cynsters, what they have been up to, and their plans for the future.
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The Taming of Ryder Cavanaugh
The Honorable Miss Mary Cynster always gets what she wants. As the last unwed Cynster of her generation, she is determined to remain in charge of her life and of the man she will marry. At the very bottom of her list of potential husbands is Ryder Cavanaugh, the daring and devastating Marquess of Raventhorne, an overwhelming and utterly unmanageable lion of the ton. But destiny has a different plan.
Review: The Taming Of Ryder Cavanaugh by Stephanie Laurens