The thirteenth book I finished in 2014 was The Truth About Love by Stephanie Laurens. I finished this book on 3/9/14. This is the 12th book in the Cynster family series which I’ve discussed in previous blog posts. I rated this book 4 stars out of a scale of 5.
This story is about Gerrard Debbington (brother of Patience from the 2nd book in the Cynster family series). One of the things that I love about the Cynster family series is that characters can be introduced far before they star in their own novel. When we were first introduced to Gerrard (in A Rake’s Vow, the story of Vane and Patience), Gerrard assisted Vane in discovering who was stealing items from his aunt’s house party guests. Gerrard was charming and still then a boy and it was hard not to see his devotion to his sister Patience. Now starring in his own novel, Gerrard is a well-respected painter and the uncle to Patience and Vane’s 4 children. Gerrard is commissioned to paint a portrait of Lord Tregonning’s daughter. At first he refuses, but Tregonning’s promise to give him access to his famous gardens are too tempting an offer for his painter’s soul to refuse.
Upon arriving at Hellebore Hall however, he discovers that this is not to be any ordinary portrait. Lord Tregonning’s daughter, Jacqueline, has been accused of murdering her mother and the portrait has been commissioned in the hope that in it her father would see the truth of either her guilt or innocence. As Gerrard gets to know Jacqueline, at first in order to portray her accurately and then because he can not resist her, he realizes that the real murderer is still among them. He enlists the help of his friend, Barnaby Adair (a character discussed in my earlier blog post “2014 – Book #10”) to help him solve the mystery.
One of the things that I enjoyed most about this novel was the gardens of Hellebore Hall. The gardens are well known and are extensive. There are multiple sections to the gardens, each one portraying a different Greek or Roman god. The description of the gardens was riveting, I would have loved to see such a garden in real life. The author drew up a rough sketch of the garden’s outline so reader’s can easily follow the discussions of the gardens throughout the book.
Link to author website: http://www.stephanielaurens.com