A Lady of His Own
Avon, October, 2004.
Paperback, 435 pages.
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Stephanie Laurens is in fine form with the second book in the vastly entertaining Bastion Club series. The Bastion Club consists of wealthly former spies for England who have not really made their peace with the fact that society expects them to find an appropriate wife and take their places in society, so they formed a club to protect themselves from the matchmaking mamas. Lord Charles St. Austell, Earl of Lostwithiel, is home from the Napoleonic Wars and knows that it's time to find a suitable consort. But the giggly girls of the ton leave him cold so he heads off to his country estate to investigate the rumors of spies and smuggling in Cornwall at the behest of his commander, Dalziel. Charles immediately encounters an old flame, Lady Penelope Selborne, sneaking around his house at midnight, dressed as a man. Naturally, his curiosity is aroused, but Penny has problems of her own. Her late brother appears to have been doing some very illegal things such as smuggling, and it looks like someone is carrying on the tradition. But will the fact that Charles is an expert at intrigue prove to be a help or a hindrance in Penny's quest for the truth?
Stephanie Laurens could have a successful career as a thriller writer if she chose, and A Lady of His Own certainly illustrates that point. Penny and Charles are an interesting and very strong-willed couple. Penny has a mind of her own and is willing to rebel against the staid conventions of society in order to achieve her goals. The couple is mercifully free of the endless misunderstandings that sometimes seem to plague Regency-era historicals. The sensuality quotient is off the charts on this one (and that's saying something for a Stephanie Laurens book), and the intrigue makes for added enjoyment. With Charles safely plucked off the marriage mart, fans can breathe a sign of relief and wait for the next Bastion Club member to step onto the stage.
Reprinted with permission from The Internet Writing Journal®.
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