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The Lady Chosen (Bastion Club) Hardcover – Large Print, 1 Jan 2004
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London's most eligile - and adventurous - bachelors have banded together to form the Bastion Club, an elite society of gentleman dedicated to determining their own futures when it comes to marriage! --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Back Cover
# 1 New York Times bestselling author creates an unforgettable tale of love and mystery and introduces that band of former special agents known as the Bastion Club
Tristan Wemyss, Earl of Trentham, has a most unexpected challenge: like all men of his class he must find a suitable wife, but within a year, and if he fails he must forfeit his inheritance. Despite the many alluring young women paraded before him, he picks his neighbor, Miss Leonora Carling. Spirited, educated, and no man's fool, Leonora meets his requirements perfectly. Unfortunately, she has no desire to marry anyone . . .
But then unanticipated danger finds her, and Leonora must beg Tristan for his aid. A mysterious stranger is attempting to force her family from their home, so when Tristan extends his services as protector, she has little choice but to accept. Yet, as they get ever closer to uncovering the source of the threat, Tristan discovers his offer of convenience is becoming an offer of love.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. See all Product description
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The "Bastion Club" stories start just after the battle of Waterloo brought to an end twenty years of war. A group of British officers who have been serving their country, first as officers in the Guards and latterly as spies, have to adapt to peacetime life. Most of them have recently inherited titles, all are single and most of them need to marry. For example, the hero of this book, Tristan Wemyss, has just become the Fourth Earl of Trentham, but the late Third Earl, who had a jaundiced view of his successor's side of the family, put a clause into his will requiring Tristan to marry within a year, or all the unentailed property and money he would otherwise inherit will be given to various charities. And the whole of the "ton" as high society was called, knows that they are very eligible batchelors.
Realising that they are likely to be mobbed by matchmaking mothers, our heroes decide to set up a club where they can retreat to enjoy one another's company, and to call it the Bastion Club.
So they buy an empty property in Belgravia to serve as the club. But while setting up this building, Tristan becomes aware that a sinister figure has nefarious plans for one of the houses on the street. At the neighbouring property are the Carling family, where Miss Leonora Carling lives with their uncle and brother. An agent acting for a mysterious person or group has tried unsuccessfully and very persistently to buy the Carling's house. This may or may not be linked to a series of actual or attempted break-ins at all three properties in the vicinity.
Tristan investigates these suspicious events, and finds that Leonora, who is also trying to find out what is going on, keeps getting in his way. Tristan is concerned that Leonora may get hurt - with good reason, she does get attacked while trying to catch the prowler - and is also very attracted to her. Leonora, who at 26 is regarded as an old maid and has given up hope of marriage, nevertheless finds his predatory charm irresistible. So she decides to seduce him ...
The story is about 50% romance and about 50% detective story. It is utterly implausible but quite charming. Gentlemen and Ladies of the ton did not generally behave in the way the characters in this book do, but it is quite entertaining if you can suspend disbelief. Some other reviewers have commented that there is too much sex in the book: there is certainly more than normal for the regency romance genre but it wasn't that excessive by the standards of most other romances.
Anyway, I gave her 2 stars, just for the plot. Maybe Laurens should cut the size of her book to compact a bit more the story rather then trying to fill it with too many sex scenes!
The first chapter about aristocratic spies during the Napoleonic Wars, who have resigned from the army and must marry, interested me. So did the opening scene set in October 1815 in which The Prince Regent burbled on about the Battle of Waterloo causing the former officers, who have sold their commissions, to escape from the Brighton Pavilion to a snug at an inn where they could chat about their inherited titles and fortunes and decide to form a club.
“The men of the Bastion Club proved their bravery secretly fighting for their country. Now their leader faces that most dangerous mission of all:finding a bride.”
The plot and theme of the novel are interesting and the larger than life characters spring to life. Unfortunately, instead of reading repeated descriptions of the hero and heroine kissing each other etc., which I found tedious, I wanted to find out what happened next. Eventually, I became irritated because although Stephanie Laurens’ many fans might not agree, in my opinion, the story was too long drawn out.
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