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Beyond Seduction by Stephanie Laurens
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I first read and loved this book in paperback, and have now (finally) gotten it on audiobook! Especially since the paperback is in shreds!
Each of the Bastion Club series can stand alone, but they call and coerce you to read all of them!
Set in time just after Waterloo, this collection of retired spies are all titled and must find wives. But on their own terms! In this one, the earl has been sabotaged in his hunting in London by his loving half-sisters. At their insistence, he looks closer to home and nearly falls on his face when he sees who he has overlooked. And then the fun and romance begins, complete with villains, smugglers, murder, and more. The plot is complex and has many twists.
Steven Crossley does a great job of differentiating the characters and adding to their depth. ( )
  jetangen4571 | Feb 23, 2016 |
The oldest TBR in my stash at the time I read it. Upset over the antics of his half-sisters, Gervase swears to consider marriage to the next woman that crosses his path. His family ensures that neighbor Madeline is just that lady. Once he sees that they are right, he sets out to woo the recaltrant lady. And the every elusive English traitor slips through the Bastion Club members' hands yet again. ( )
  nancynova | Feb 21, 2016 |
Gervase Tregarth, Earl of Crowhurst, is dragged back from London by his misbehaving sisters. He never wanted to be their keeper but he has to and in order to get them to behave he has to promise to stay in the area for three months and try to find a local wife, a wife that won't send them away like happened to one of their neighbours.

While he's there he rediscovers the company of Madeline Gascoigne, a woman who rides side-saddle in trousers while being regent to her brother with the family estate, but her brother is growing up and she is looking at a life of spinsterhood. She knows shes too old for most marriages and her independent ways turn most men off, along with basically making her a social pariah outside their small circle.

It was riddled with historical inaccuracies, smugglers, kidnappings and wild chases across country, entertaining but left me wanting more. ( )
  wyvernfriend | Dec 7, 2015 |
Gervase Tregarth, Earl of Crowhurst has to return home because of mischief his three young sisters has gotten into. When he determines that the reason for their misbehavior is to prevent him from marrying a "London" lady who will send them away, Gervase promises them that he will only marry a lady who meets their approval.

Immediately, the girls indicate that their neighbor, Madeline Gasciogne, would be perfect. Having known Madeline for many years, Gervase takes a closer look, getting involved with her family, 3 mischievous younger brothers, as well as local issues.

The romance that evolves as well as the story of the mixing of the families was very entertaining. ( )
  cyderry | Feb 13, 2015 |
Well we are getting down to the last few in the Bastion Club, well one official member of the club and Dalziel. Five of these men have found their wives and are now happily married living a quiet life after risking so much. Gervase Tregarth, Earl of Crowhurst, hasn't been able to stay in London long enough to even really start looking for a bride. Something keeps calling him home, one problem after another that needs his attention to solve. It takes some investigation and stake outs to find the culprits, his half-sisters. They are afraid that Gervase will marry someone that will send them off to the Great Aunt in Yorkshire. So he makes a deal to stay home for the summer and seriously look for a suitable bride closer to home. He is more than a little surprised when that perfect woman walks in his door to apologize for her brothers and his bull being turned with the milk cows. What follows is a battle of wills between Gervase and Madeline Gascoigne. Madeline is convinced that Gervase is only interested in her because she is an older woman that is available and he is bored. Gervase knows better and is willing to lay siege to her objections. There is also the chase to try and capture the final traitor that Dalziel has been after for so very long.

Gervase is like the rest he is of warrior stock. He has a protective streak a mile wide. He never thought that he would find himself as Earl of Crowhurst. However fate has different ideas about that. He, also like the others, is tired and wants to find some peace and happiness after all the ugliness of war. There is also the problem of his half-sisters, one is soon to be old enough to come out and one is close behind. He needs a wife to help make the debut a success. When Madeline stops by on her rounds he is stuck by how attracted he is to her. I am not sure he is prepared for how hard it is to win Madeline. He never gives up though. Gervase is arrogant and hardheaded but he is also compassionate and caring. He is all alpha male and a tender lover. He also recognizes that Madeline is the guardian of her brother Viscount Gascoigne and that she will be until he is twenty one.

Madeline, for the last decade, has been seen as the de facto Gascoigne. He father set his will up so she would be able to take care of her brothers after he died. She has enjoyed a certain amount of freedom because of this. She rides astride her horse; she manages the estate and the income that it earns. She knows all the local people and they respect her. She has made herself a strong and self-reliant woman and as such most consider her on the shelf, a spinster. For the most part Madeline is happy with her life but she does miss having companionship with someone other than her aunt and brothers. She fights falling in love with Gervase because she just can’t imagine that he could ever care for her. She is, however, the perfect mate for him. She proves that over and over throughout the story.

We don’t get to see much of the other members of the Bastion Club in this book. The only ones are available to come to Gervase's aid or Christian and Dalziel. When Dalziel finds out that the man that he is searching for is involved with the kidnapping of one of Madeline brothers he rushes off with the others in hopes of finally catching the man. I am beginning to think that this traitor is a family member or a very close friend. It is driving me crazy because we get to see so much about the man in this story. He is so sure Dalziel will recognize him if Dalziel sees him, but he doesn't seem worried about the other members of the Bastion Club.

This is a wonderful story that can be a little slow in places but the last several chapters are fast paced and build to a brilliant climax. I hate to say this but I was glad that the woman that worried Gervase's sister so much was dealt with in a very permanent way. As always these characters are enjoyable and you hope that they will one day get stories of their own, especially the Gervase's sisters and Madeline's brothers. I would be remiss in not mentioning that Ms. Laurens writes for very steamy love scenes and Gervase and Madeline are very imaginative about taking each other to new heights of pleasure. I am looking forward to reading the next book in this series. ( )
  LadyIsis | Oct 23, 2014 |
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Laurens, Stephanieprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Crossley, StevenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060839252, Mass Market Paperback)

In a moment of recklessness, Gervase Tregarth, 6th Earl of Crowhurst, swears he'll marry the next eligible lady to cross his path. Cloistered at his ancestral castle in Cornwall, with nary a suitable woman for miles, he never expects he'll have to fulfill his pledge, at least not until the London Season begins. But then he meets his neighbor, the very appealing Madeline Gascoigne.

Years of secret service to the Crown have taught Gervase the value of always having a loophole—there will be no wedding if he and Madeline are incompatible in any way. So he sets out to prove that they would make a most dreadful match . . . by luring her into his arms and, ultimately, his bed.

From their very first kiss, Gervase discovers that the headstrong and independent Madeline is no meek country miss . . . and that the fire between them will burn long beyond that first seduction.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:05:28 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

In a moment of recklessness, Gervase Tregarth, 6th Earl of Crowhurst, swears he'll marry the next eligible lady to cross his path. Cloistered at his ancestral castle in Cornwall, with nary a suitable woman for miles, he never expects he'll have to fulfill his pledge, at least not until the London Season begins. But then he meets his neighbor, the very appealing Madeline Gascoigne.… (more)

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