Shop now Shop now Shop now  Up to 50% Off Fashion  Shop all Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Listen with Prime Shop now Shop now

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars14
4.4 out of 5 stars
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
Format: Paperback|Change
Price:£8.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

VINE VOICEon 16 May 2007
A very good, fast paced romantic suspense. This is a follow on of the first Bastion Club novel i.e. same male characters and offshoot of the suspense plot that was set up in the earlier book. All Bastion Club members were former spies in the Penninsula Wars.

Charles St. Austell has his wife hunting interupted by the need to go back to his Cornish estate and follow up a French spying lead, as directed by his former spy-master, the enigmatic Dalziel. It is believed that the traitor was using local Cornish smugglers to take and receive secrets during the Napoleonic wars which have just ended.

On his first night back in his home, Charles discovers that his former lover, Lady Penelope Selborne has made herself at home in his house. She appears late that night dressed in male costume and has been out following her distant cousin who has been acting suspiciously.

Charles and Penny have not seen each other for thirteen years since she was sixteen. Charles had been her first (and only) lover and things had not gone so well. She was in love with him and was disallusioned when they made love, as she thought that on his part it was just lust and he didn't love her. She avoided him from that moment on. Confused by her behaviour and thinking that he had physically hurt her, Charles was then called up into his regiment, as he was a younger son and has not seen her since. His father and two brothers now dead, Charles has inherited the title.

Now seeing each other again, the attraction, and indeed love, is still there. However, Charles has been instructed to find the old spying network and Penny is deeply worried about her family. It turns out that someone else is searching out the spying network and is targetting the Selbourne family for execution and this person is a ruthless killer.

The story moves through the various smuggling groups in the district as Charles and Penny join forces to try and discover what has been going on, how the Selbournes were involved and who the killer is. In the meanwhile they both renew their affair and fall in love.

Very enjoyable.
0Comment|22 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 23 May 2013
Review taken from my Blog Post #144 in August 2011, after borrowing the book from the local library:

After years as a spy in France Charles St Austell, Earl of Lostwithiel, returns to London and launches himself on to the marriage mart .... however he is quickly disillusioned by the sweet young misses and their mamas, and hies back off to Cornwall to work on a case for Dalziel.

Before he went into the army he had had spent an unforgettable afternoon with his childhood friend, Lady Penelope Selbourne, which has haunted him ever since.

His return finds Penelope still unmarried, and her mind has told her she wants nothing more to do with him ... her body on the other hand has very different ideas.

Will they get it together? ............ find out in this 4 star read.
0Comment|3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 31 October 2010
stephanie laurens writes well, slightly inclined to write very similar vocabulary and situations in each of the books but luckily she seems to get away with it. l bought the books as a regency romance which they are but unlike georgette heyer the ladies do not wait till they are married to let their partner have their wicked way! great fun and a good read.
0Comment|3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 20 November 2010
This book is the third in the "Bastion Club" romance/espionage series if you don't count the prequel, "Captain Jack's Woman."

The Bastion Club series starts immediately after the battle of Waterloo, as described in "The Lady Chosen: Bastion Club Series, Book 1," as seven officers who have served Britain during the Napoleonic wars, first in the guards and latterly as spies, agree to support one another in time of peace. And particularly, as most of them need to marry, they set up the Bastion Club as a place where they can meet away from the "matchmaking mamas" of the Ton and ensure that each has the best chance of finding the wife who is right for him, not some simpering miss thrown at him by society.

In the that book and the following six, all set between 1815 and 1816, each of the seven Bastion Club members finds his bride, as follows:

1) The Lady Chosen, Tristan Wemyss and Leonora Carling
2) A Gentleman's Honor, Tony Blake and Alicia "Carrington"
3) This book, A Lady of His Own, Charles St Austell and Penelope Selborne
4) A Fine Passion (Bastion Club Series), Jack Warnefleet and Clarice Attwood
5) To Distraction (Bastion Club Series),Jocelyn Deverell and Phoebe Malleson
6) Beyond Seduction (Bastion Club), Gervase Tregarth and Madeline Gascoigne
7) The Edge of Desire (Bastion Club Series), Christian Allardyce and Letitia Randall.

As mentioned, there is a prequel, Captain Jack's Woman (Bastion Club) which is set a few years earlier, in 1811. The prequel fills in a story hinted at in "A Gentleman's honour" when it was mentioned that Tony Blake, hero of that book, had been rescued from drowning in mysterious circumstances by Kathryn (Kit), who is the wife of a close friend and colleague of the Bastion Club members.

And in the last volume Mastered By Love (Bastion Club), we find out who their mysterious former boss, the spymaster "Dalziel" really is: and it is his turn to find his lady.

At the start of this book, Charles St Austell, who unexpectedly inherited the title of Earl of Lostwithiel after both his elder brothers died in freak accidents, has returned to his family home at Restormel Abbey in Cornwall. He is supposed to be in London for the season, trying to find a wife, but the efforts of his sisters, sisters-in-law, and aunts to help him a suitable lady are driving him mad: they keep throwing innocent teenage maidens at him, and after more than ten years living as a spy behind enemy lines, that sort of young miss is the last person Charles needs as a wife. So when Dalziel, the spymaster who was his former commander, asks about something strange going on in Cornwall, Charles is delighted by the excuse to get away from London for a few days.

Scarcely has he arrived back home, than who should he find walking the corridors at midnight than his childhood friend and old flame, Lady Penelope Selborne. Charles' mother, who is also Lady Penelope's godmother, had given her permission to use a room at the Abbey, but he is more than a little surprised to find her arriving in riding clothes in the middle of the night.

It soon becomes clear that Penelope and Charles are both investigating various mysterious goings-on which may be related, so they agree to work together. It also quickly becomes clear to Charles that the passion he once felt for Penelope when they were much younger, before he went to France as a spy, has never wholly died. But persuading the fair Lady Penelope that she is really the person he want as a lady of his own may be even more difficult than outwitting French agents ...

This is a well-written and entertaining romance, but I have three problems with it, both of which apply to several of the books in the "Bastion Club" series.

Stephanie Laurens has a brilliant pen, but she is in danger of becoming to the genre of Georgian Romances what Douglas Reeman is to Royal Navy fiction or Robert Ludlum to spy thrillers. E.g. a highly competent and entertaining writer, who has successfully published many best-sellers, but whose plots are so similar as to put her at risk of being accused of bringing out fifty variants of the same book.

Essentially the romantic aspects of all the "Bastion Club" novels except for "Captain Jack's Woman," and indeed also of most of the author's "Bar Cynster" novels are minor variations on the same standard plot.

As someone who has lived in Bristol, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Cumbria at various stages of my life, I find the differences between the regions of Britain to be fascinating. The Bastion Club novels are set in various different parts of England, yet these differences do not come out in the books. There seems to be hardly any difference between Norfolk as a setting for "Captain Jack's Woman," the border country as depicted in "Mastered by Love" and the West Country as depicted in this book. These places are gloriously different, each with their unique charms, and not really bringing that out in the books is a bit of a missed opportunity.

My third problem with this book and several, though not all, of the "Bastion Club" novels is the unspoken assumption that agents of the new French government in 1816 would have been keen to settle scores run up against Napoleon's regime. This is complete and utter nonsense.

There were a few people such as Talleyrand who had formerly worked for Napoleon and who gained appointments in the restored Bourbon government, but most of them (including Talleyrand himself) had been estranged from the former emperor for years. Louis XVIII had been generously supported by the Prince Regent and restored to the throne by Wellington's armies. Elections in France after Waterloo and the second restoration produced a ministry of extreme royalists who organised a purge of Bonapartist supporters known as the second "White Terror."

The new Chamber of Deputies was quite literally more royalist than the King, and had a lot of scores to settle. So much so that they were disappointed with Louis XVIII for not agreeing to as many executions of Bonapartists as they wanted. Several of Napoleon's Marshals faced firing squads for treason, some 250 other supporters of Napoleon's regime were imprisoned or executed, and an estimated fifty thousand to eighty thousand Bonapartist officials were sacked from their jobs. (See Louis XVIII by Evelyn Lever if you want to read further about this.)

To explain in full why the espionage plot of this novel is ridiculous would give too much of the story away. Let's just say that those officials in the previous French government who might have wanted to order the actions which a French agent carries out or attempts in this book would have been sacked or worse during the "White Terror."

Nevertheless, while the tale is pretty nonsensical for a whole host of reasons which can't be explained in detail without spoiling the story, I did manage to suspend disbelief and enjoy the book.

If you're not too bothered about historical accuracy or the formulaic romantic plot, I can therefore recommend this book.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 21 April 2014
Well written as always. Not my favourite book of Ms Laurens, but certainly a good read and I have enjoyed the books so far in this series.
0Comment|One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 21 July 2012
like all stephanie laurens books this one is sexy and funny, the hero is hansome and the lady is fiesty.a very good read.
would recommend the entire bastion club series
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 19 April 2013
Good story spoilt by sexual detail.
I share them with my daughter and will not give her this.
She is a good story teller.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 21 June 2016
I read a couple of these a week at the moment. Easy reading.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 20 February 2015
Great book - love the series and this does not disappoint
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 10 March 2015
Look forward to the rest of this series
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse