The Lady by His Side

  • by Stephanie Laurens
  • Narrated by Matthew Brenher
  • 12 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Sebastian Cynster knows time is running out. If he doesn't choose a wife soon, his female relatives will line up to assist him. Yet the current debutantes do not appeal. Where is he to find the right lady to be his marchioness? Then Drake Varisey, eldest son of the Duke of Wolverstone, asks for Sebastian's aid.
Having assumed his father's mantle in protecting queen and country, Drake must go to Ireland in pursuit of a dangerous plot. But he's received an urgent missive from Lord Ennis, an Irish peer - Ennis has heard something Drake needs to know and insists Drake attend an upcoming house party at his Kent estate so he can reveal his information face-to-face.
Sebastian has assisted Drake before and, long ago, had a liaison with Lady Ennis. Drake insists Sebastian is just the man to be his surrogate at the house party - the guests will imagine all manner of possibilities and be blind to Sebastian's true purpose.
Unsurprisingly, Sebastian is reluctant, but Drake's need is real. And with only more debutantes on his horizon, Sebastian allows himself to be persuaded.
His first task is to inveigle Antonia Rawlings, a lady he has known all her life, to include him as her escort to the house party. Although he's seen little of Antonia in recent years, Sebastian is confident of gaining her support.
Eldest daughter of the Earl of Chillingworth, Antonia has abandoned the search for a husband and plans to use the week of the house party to decide what to do with her life. There has to be some purpose, some role, she can claim for her own.
Consequently, on hearing Sebastian's request and an explanation of what lies behind it, she seizes on the call to action. Suppressing her senses' idiotic reaction to Sebastian's nearness, she agrees to be his partner in intrigue.
But while joining the house party proves easy, the gathering is thrown into chaos when Lord Ennis is murdered - just before he was to speak with Sebastian. Worse, Ennis's last words, gasped to Sebastian, are "Gunpowder. Here."
Gunpowder? And here? Where?
With a killer continuing to stalk the halls, side by side Sebastian and Antonia search for answers, and all the while the childhood connection that has always existed between them strengthens and blooms into something so much more.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

This book breaks my heart!

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

I would recommend the actual book, I would never recommend the audiobook as it ruins the story. When Simon Prebble retired I was so sad because no one can touch his narration of a Stephanie Laurens novel. I saw in interviews and newsletters that she was excited that the recording company had found a new narrator. I didn't like the first couple of times he narrated her books, but I love her writing so much, especially this series: I kept buying them. I can't take it anymore. Matthew Brenher cannot read a book of this genre. He may be brilliant in others but not for these books. He needs to feel the story more himself and not worry about enunciating the preciseness of the "Queen's English" that he is so obsessed with. He is a reader, not an actor or a narrator. It just makes me shudder with pain at how poorly these books are read to me. I wanted so much more.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Tied between Sebastion and Antonia. Who wouldn't love them both, look at the history their father's had: LOL. These are exactly the children I would have expected to see sired by Devil and Chillingworth.

What didn’t you like about Matthew Brenher’s performance?

He's too technical a reader with a complete lack of passion or feeling. He focuses more on expressing every syllable with no passion. There is no excitement during this book. It's stale.

What would have made this romance irresistible?

Simon Prebble or someone such as Patrick Lawlor. If you are going to perform a book, then do it; perform it!

Any additional comments?

I have never before listened to a book without having read it, I am now sorry I did. The book - which I was tapping my toes waiting for, left me feeling cold. I hate that, because this is one of my 3 all time favorite series!

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- Daphne L. Brown

Where is Stephanie Laurens?

Worse book and narrator. Cheated this must have been a ghost writer. Dead on arrival should have been the title. How could you do this to a Cynster? Can not convey the level of disappointment after waiting so lo n g for one of my favorite families to come back after such a long hiatus. I would rather you bury them than do such injustice. Do you realize that well written books stay with the reader whether a historical romance or a Pulitzer prize. If this is how you think of your loyal fans don't write again I am sure you have enough money don't degrade us or your self. If this was a ghostwriter then find someone who first of all has respects for your body of work. Talent someone who knows your characters and takes them seriously. This book was simply awful. The narrator voice had no inflection just monotone. I fell asleep more than once.

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- Kindle Customer

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-09-2017
  • Publisher: Stephanie Laurens