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Mastered by Love (Bastion Club Novels, Book 8) Audio CD – Audiobook, Unabridged

4.1 out of 5 stars 139 customer reviews
Book 8 of 9 in the Bastion Club Series

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Editorial Reviews


''An outstanding story of love, honor, and commitment. The characters' behavior reflects the deepest meanings of these words. The depth and intensity of their feelings show what romance and love really mean.'' --Romantic Times, Top Pick

''Erotically specific yet emotionally touching and infinitely romantic, this electrically charged, danger-tinged romance deliciously concludes Laurens' Bastion Club series.'' --Library Journal

''Vintage Laurens: excellent plot, erotic love scenes, mystery, and danger.'' --UK Historical Novels Review

''Mastered by Love is what historical romance is all about! A spellbinding story. This one is definitely a keeper.'' --TheRomanceReadersConnection.com

''The humor, romance, and intrigue kept me flipping the pages to discover the next secret hidden within its covers. Stephanie Laurens has another winner on her hands.'' --Coffee Time Romance, 5 Cups rating

About the Author

STEPHANIE LAURENS began writing as an escape from the dry world of professional science. Her hobby quickly became a career when her novels captivated readers around the globe, making her one of the romance world's most beloved and popular authors. She has been writing for more than twenty years and is a New York Times, Publishers Weekly, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author.

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Product Details

  • Series: Bastion Club Novels
  • Audio CD: 13 pages
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.; Unabridged edition (March 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1455125695
  • ISBN-13: 978-1455125692
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1.5 x 5.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (139 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,765,026 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. D. Witt on August 2, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Finally, after so many wonderful stories we come to Dalziel. And that may be the source of some of my difficulty with the finale. Expectations that are raised way too high to be met. I like Dalziel so much that of course I expect much of his story. Fortunately I was very satisfied with his lady. Minerva Chesterton was raised by his parents from the age of six and for the last eleven years she has served as Wolverstone's chatelaine. But she has been fascinated and infatuated with Royce nearly all her life. As a little girl she followed him all over the estate and even got a bit of early sex education when she was eight by spying on him with the blacksmith's daughter. She loves every inch of Wolverstone and its people. Since Dalziel has been banished for 16 years she knows more about the running of Wolverstone than he does. She has also made deathbed promises to his parents to bring him up to speed and see him settled as Duke. There could be no better duchess for Wolverstone than Minerva.

My problem was with the plot. Dalziel is told that he must marry immediately because Prinny is so short of money that he is tempted to kill Dalziel so he can take back all his estates and his money. This is the thanks he gets after serving for so many years! I thought this was the most ignorant plot device I have ever read bar none. How can Prinny possibly pull this off since the whole ton knows about it? Nevertheless all the grand dames tramp out to Wolverstone to demand he marry immediately. They actually make up a list of women and tell him to pick one right this minute. This is Dalziel we are talking about. I expected him to raise one eyebrow and give them the Ducal glare.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Stephanie Laurens' Bastion Club series of novels have generally been good reads, and 'Mastered by Love' was no different. Focusing on the spymaster, Dalziel, it follows his first few months as the new Duke of Wolverstone following the unexpected death of his father. Estranged for sixteen years, Dalziel/Royce regrets that he didn't have a chance to repair matters with his father, especially as his work as a spymaster had finished and he would shortly have been returning home.

When Royce returns to his home, Wolverstone, he finds everything ably managed by his chatelaine, Minerva Chesterton. He remembers Minerva as a young girl when he left, one who followed him around; she has grown up rather considerably in the intervening sixteen years and runs his home ably. When society requires Royce to marry, he is given a list of possible brides. However, he very quickly realises that Miranda is the woman for him - only will he be able to persuade her?

What was particularly good about this book was the way in which Stephanie Laurens described Royce taking up the mantle of duke and learning how his estate works, relating with his tenants and carrying out the daily business of a duke. His relationship with Minerva was believable, if occasionally requiring a few stretches of imagination. What didn't work for me was the sub-plot of the baddie, the final traitor that Royce has been hunting; very little book space was given to this part of the plot so it felt rather rushed, as if it were included just to create some kind of dramatic tension at the end. Still, overall it was a good enough read, with some nods toward historicity even if the behaviour of some characters felt a little unlikely.

Originally published for Curled Up With A Good Book © Helen Hancox 2009
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I struggled to finish this book in the hopes it would get better. The first hundred pages were an excellent set up for a compelling book. Over the Bastion series, Dalziel was set up as a complex and interesting character - a master of manipulation and strategy. In the opening pages of Mastered By Love he's also a sympathetic character, rushing home after his estranged father dies unexpectedly. Minerva is established as a capable and mature person, the estate's second in command. It would seem the reader is about to embark on a tale of emotional complexity. She's not.

There are about a hundred or so pages of less than erotic sex. Dalziel decides, for no real reason, that he cannot be honest with her until she's granted him complete physical submission. Ok, whatever - so she does. For pages, and pages, and pages. He feasts on breasts and she turns "sopping wet" and it's all boring as anything while the story grinds to a complete halt. What about the last traitor? What about the allegedly dire (and actually both plausible and interesting) plot from the crown that's forcing Dalziel to marry? It's lost in crimson silk sheets and the declarations of ducal beds and possession.

Then it's the last fifty pages and time to cram all the plot points in. Who could the traitor be? Well, since only one non-employed, non-befriended male character is mentioned by name, I wonder...... Right, but the traitor only gears up in the last pages where he swiftly puts his plot into action and talks endlessly through the whole thing. "First I'll rape her, then I'll kill her, no I'll cut her to pieces, no, I'll...." Seriously. Just like that. And it is preceded by all the past heroines saying her man won't tell Minerva he loves her until her Life Is In Peril.
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