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To Distraction by Stephanie Laurens
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Another in the Bastion Club series of aristocratic men who worked as Crown spies until after Waterloo.
He comes off as a real bastard in the beginning by ignoring her opinions and just steamrolling over her wishes regarding his pursuit of her for his wife. He slowly begins to show more redeemable tendencies as he catches her in a questionable situation and, when he tries to intimidate her, becomes horrified and ashamed when she responds in terror. He does stalk her to find out if she has become involved in something nefarious, but once he discovers that she has established a working safety net for endangered women and has, herself, become endangered, he begins to work with her group as a support person. Even when it becomes apparent that there is organized crime involved, he gathers the support of his colleagues to help, and each of them (even Dalziel) operates with her as the leader.
I have yet to comprehend why the publisher chooses female narrators for this series. ( )
  jetangen4571 | Jul 25, 2016 |
Another in the Bastion series. Paignton needs a wife, and his aunt suggests the perfect match. Phoebe is tempted by Deverell, but will he distract her from her agency and mission of rescuing girls from ton homes where they're being taken advantage of? ( )
  nancynova | Feb 15, 2016 |
I adore this series!! Stephanie Laurens is a master at the Alpha Rake!! I love the men pursuing their ladies!! Easily my favorite book in the series!!

What a great story! I laughed and cried many times! Such wonderful writing and really engaging characters!! I love this authors work!!

I adore this whole series and can not wait to see each man get his lady. It is a bit formula with the alpha male who is often chased finding a lady he wants and being forced to pursue her. But formula works that why we love it!

Each book has an add but of intrigue that draws you in. And Stephanie Laurens knows how to deliver the steam!!

I am currently on a Regency kick and this one was terrific!! ( )
  grapeapril75 | Oct 18, 2014 |
This story is a little different from the previous books in this series. There is no hunting for traitors in this story just a little mystery that doesn't really start until close to the end of the book. This book is mostly about Jocely Deverall, Viscount Paignton trying to win over Phoebe Malleston heart. Phoebe is terrified of large, powerful men and as such has never married. She is twenty-five and has made a satisfying and rewarding life for herself. For all that she is happy and determined to not wed her aunt and godmother have other ideas. Phoebe’s godmother is Deverall's aunt, Audrey Deverall, so when he goes to her and asks for her advice on who he should marry Audrey suggests Phoebe. The rest is a chess match of trying to find the right strategy to win Phoebe because once Deverall meets her he is determined to have her.

Deverall is the like the rest of the gentlemen in the Bastion Club. He is a warrior knight that in his base make up is a protector of the innocence and weak. He joined the fight against Napoleon to keep a tyrant from gaining power of the world. Now the war is over he is at loose ends. He needs a challenge and a purpose for his life, something other than running his estates. He also needs someone to help him with the social obligations that are required because of his title. He is unimpressed with the young women that are on the Marriage Mart and is tired of running a gauntlet that may find him wed to the wrong woman. Four of his friends have found their mates and he wants the same thing. Deverall is all dominant alpha male but he is also compassionate, caring and patient. He is also very good at business and at reading people. He is also charming when he wants to be which serves him well.

Phoebe started an agency to employ women of the lower classes for various jobs that the ton requires. That is just the tip of the iceberg as far as the agency is concerned. Phoebe main purpose with the agency is to save woman from sexual abuse at the hands of their employers. She also finds out which households will be safe for these women and makes sure that the ladies aren't tracked down by their former employers. This endeavor is what brings Deverall's attention to the fact that woman are being kidnapped and turned over to white slavers. Phoebe is very intelligent, caring and willing to take on all comers to protect these women. Unfortunately she is no match for a man. I will say that she is clever enough to bring protection with her. She just hasn't been trained to plan for all the things that could go wrong with her rescues. It is a good thing that Deverall helps with that problem.

This is a very enjoyable read and it is fast paced enough that you don’t get bored half way through the story. There are a number of wonderful characters in the books that provide the care and security for Phoebe. We also get to see several of the others from earlier stories which are always very nice. There are a number of steamy hot love scenes and some really hot role playing that will have to searching for a cold glass of water and a fan. As always Ms. Laurens writing is outstanding and she makes you want to read the next book to see what is going to happen with the rest of these amazing men. ( )
  LadyIsis | Oct 7, 2014 |
  Ebeth.Naylor | Sep 30, 2013 |
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Stephanie Laurensprimary authorall editionscalculated
Tanner, JillReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060839104, Mass Market Paperback)

The gentlemen of the Bastion Club have proven their courage while fighting England's enemies, but nothing has prepared them for dealing with that most formidable of challenges: the opposite sex.

Deverell, Viscount Paignton, is in desperate need of a wife. Unmoved by the matchmaking “herd,” he seeks help from his aunt, who directs him to a lady she vows is perfect for him. Dispatched to a country house party to look the lady over, he discovers her not swanning about among the guests but with her nose buried in a book in the library.

Phoebe Malleson is tempted to distraction by Deverell, but marrying him isn't part of her plan. Moved by an incident in her past, Phoebe has a secret cause to which she's committed. Unfortunately, telling Deverell to go away doesn't work, and he quickly learns of her secret. But someone powerful has her cause targeted for destruction—and her in their sights. Phoebe must accept Deverell's help…though the cost to them both might be dear—and deadly.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:37 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

In desperate need of a wife, Deverell, Viscount Paignton, sets his sights on Phoebe Malleson, who is determined to avoid marriage to promote a secret cause.

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