A Rake's Vow  - Stephanie Laurens "Ah," he murmured, his voice very low. He shifted fractionally closer. "But, you see, I'm not a gentleman. I'm a Cynster." As if letting her into some secret, he gently informed her: "We're conquerors — not gentlemen."This is the second book from the Bar Cynster series, and another great one too The storyVane Cynster is running away from fate. After seeing how the mighty have fallen (Devil in love with Honoria), he decides to go as far as possible, away from any temptation (as in women he might marry ). BUT, fate has her own plans. To avoid a thunderstorm, he seeks shelter at his godmother's house, and there he meets Patience. She's the niece of Lady Bellamy, Vane's godmother, and is staying at her house with her brother Gerrard (so nice to see him, he'll get his own book too). So, back to the story... They are very much attracted to each other, and Vane has seduction on his mind (don't they always ). The strange happenings at the Bellamy manor only help his cause, he was asked to stay and investigate."Why did you stay?"He tipped her face up so that her eyes locked on his. He studied her, her eyes, her face, for one instant longer. "I stayed to help Minnie, to help Gerrard… and to get something I want."Well we all know what he wants khm khm BTW Minnie is the godmother :DAnyway, what are they investigating? Well, there are thefts at the house, random things gone missing, and frequent appearances of the "Spectre", someone lurking in the ruins near the main house. And I have to say, this was a re-read, but I actually forgot who done it! Maybe because it was very Agatha Christie-like, you know, loads of characters in one house, something shifty going on, everyone's a suspect and all...PatiencePatience is trying to raise her brother to adulthood (with no family she is the only one to do it), so she comes to her aunt's house in hope that he would be influenced by some of the men residing there. She has a very strong aversion to polished, elegant gentlemen rakes, and in Vane Cynster she sees only bad things and doesn't want him anywhere near her brother, and she tells him exactly that . Oh boy, when she insulted him, I thought he'd really do something he would regret hahah, hell, I'd have hit her if she said something like that to me! BUT, lucky her, she sees she was in the wrong and decides to explore their sensual relationship. What she doesn't know is that Vane has his sights on her, she's what he wants, and he'll have her, even if it takes marriage to get her. "I asked you to be my wife, you offered to be my lover. I still want you as my wife." Her eyes flew open. He met her gaze, his face set, etched with passion, hard with determination. "But if I can't have you as my wife, then I'll have you as my lover." Forever, if need be.VaneVane is a typical Cynster. A gentleman, a rake, a conqueror. He fears tying himself to one woman and giving up control to her. After witnessing that exact thing happening to Devil, he decides to run away from women, from marriage, but ends up right at destiny's path. Patience is a woman that suits him perfectly. He can't resist her, and doesn't want to, really. He plans a seduction untill he realises he must have her forever, not just as a temporary lover. So he offers for her hand, and she flatly refuses . Did I mention Vane's a typical Cynster? So that, of course, means they always get what they want, and they get it through careful seduction (and loads of sex , but hey, I ain't complaining). He then finds out what will it take for her to accept him, and it's a price he's not sure he could make.He sighed, and rested his forehead on hers. "It's not that." After a moment, he went on, "I don't like losing control—it's like losing myself—in you."She felt him gather himself, felt the tension swell and coalesce about them."It's giving myself to you—so that I'm in your keeping." The words, low and gravelly, rolled through her; closing her eyes, she drew in a shallow breath. "And you don't like doing that.""I don't like it—but I crave it. I don't approve of it, yet I yearn for it." His words feathered her cheek, then his lips touched hers. "Do you understand? I haven't any choice."Why 4 stars?Two things. Patience and her ramblings about the "elegant gentleman" as the personification of all evil in the universe , that being the reason she constantly refuses Vane.Vane being unable/unwilling to admit to himself/her that he loves her (although that doesn't take that long, but still)Other than that, I really enjoyed their story, how they fell in love and slowly began to trust each other. Beautiful.The love scenes. Hmm.