A Fine Passion (Bastion Club Series)

( 46 )

Overview

Set in Regency England, Stephanie Laurens' New York Times best-selling Bastion Club series evokes a bygone era where romantic entanglements rule the day—and inflamed desires rule the night. In A Fine Passion, Jack, Baron Warnefleet, narrowly avoids marriage when he flees London for the refuge of his estate. But there waits Lady Clarice Altwood, whose beauty is impossible to ignore.

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A Fine Passion (Bastion Club Series)

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Overview

Set in Regency England, Stephanie Laurens' New York Times best-selling Bastion Club series evokes a bygone era where romantic entanglements rule the day—and inflamed desires rule the night. In A Fine Passion, Jack, Baron Warnefleet, narrowly avoids marriage when he flees London for the refuge of his estate. But there waits Lady Clarice Altwood, whose beauty is impossible to ignore.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781449813451
  • Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC
  • Publication date: 2/15/2010
  • Series: Bastion Club Series
  • Format: MP3
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Sales rank: 1,104,616
  • Ships to U.S.and APO/FPO addresses only.

Meet the Author

Stephanie Laurens

#1 New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Laurens began writing romances as an escape from the dry world of professional science. Her hobby quickly became a career when her first novel was accepted for publication, and with entirely becoming alacrity, she gave up writing about facts in favor of writing fiction.

Laurens's novels are set in the time period of the British Regency, and her settings range from Scotland to India. Laurens has published fifty-one works of historical romance, including thirty New York Times bestsellers. All her works are continuously available in print and digital formats in English worldwide, and have been translated into many other languages. An international bestseller, among other accolades Laurens has received the Romance Writers of America's prestigious RITA® Award for Best Romance Novella 2008, for The Fall of Rogue Gerrard.

Her continuing novels featuring the Cynster family are widely regarded as classics of the genre. Other series include the Bastion Club novels and the Black Cobra Quartet. For information on upcoming releases and updates on novels yet to come, visit Stephanie's website.

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Read an Excerpt

A Fine Passion

Chapter One

Early May
Avening village, Gloucestershire

Apple blossoms in springtime.
Julius—Jack—Warnefleet, Baron Warnefleet of Minchinbury, reined in on the rise above Avening valley and looked down on the pink-and-white clouds surrounding Avening Manor. His first sight of his home in seven years could, he felt, have been more apt.

Apple blossom always reminded him of brides.

Regarding the blossoms with a jaundiced eye, he twitched the reins and set his gray gelding, Challenger, ambling down the long hill. Everything, it seemed, was conspiring to remind him of his failure, of the fact he hadn't found a bride. Avening Manor had been without a lady for most of his life. His mother had died when he was six years old; his father had never remarried.

Jack had spent the last thirteen years fighting for king and country, almost entirely behind enemy lines in France. His father's death seven years before had brought him briefly home, but only for two days, just long enough for the funeral and to formally place the running of Avening into the hands of old Griggs, his father's steward, before he'd had to slip back over the Channel, back to the varied roles he'd played in disrupting French shipping and commercial links, draining the lifeblood from the French state, weakening it.

Not the sort of battles most people imagined a major in the Guards engaged in.

Along with an elite group of fellow officers, he'd been seconded to work under a secretive individual known as Dalziel, who'd been responsible for all covert English operations on foreign soil. Neither Jack nor any of the sixcolleagues he'd met knew how many operatives Dalziel had commanded, or how wide the arena of their activities had been. They did know those activities had directly contributed, indeed been crucial, to the final ultimate defeat of Napoleon.

But the wars were now over. Along with his colleagues, Jack had retired from the fray and turned his mind to picking up the reins of civilian life. The previous October, he and his six colleagues, all gentlemen blessed with title, wealth, and the consequent responsibilities, and therefore all sorely in need of wives, had banded together to form the Bastion Club—their bulwark against the matchmakers of the ton, their castle from which each would sally forth, do battle with society's dragons, and secure the fair maid he required.

That, at least, had been their plan.Matters, however, hadn't fallen out quite as they'd supposed.

Tristan Wemyss had stumbled across his bride while overseeing the refurbishment of the house that was now the Bastion Club. Shortly after, Tony Blake had even more literally stumbled across his bride along with a dead body. Charles St. Austell, fleeing the capital and his too-helpful female relatives, had found his bride haunting his ancestral home. And now Jack was fleeing the capital, too, but not because of female relatives.

The rattle of carriage wheels reached him. Through the screening drifts, he glimpsed a black carriage bowling along the road from Cherington. The carriage crossed the junction with the Tetbury lane down which Jack was descending, and continued west toward Nailsworth.

Jack wondered who the carriage belonged to, but he'd been away so long he had no idea who might be visiting whom these days.

On returning permanently to England, he'd had to decide which of his responsibilities to attend to first. He was an only child; his father's death had set Avening in his lap with no one else to watch over it, but he knew the estate from the ground up—he'd been born and raised there, in this green valley on the northwest slope of the Cotswolds. Avening had been in sound hands; he trusted Griggs as his father had. Much more pressing had been the need to come to grips with the varied investments and far-flung properties he'd entirely unexpectedly inherited from his great-aunt Sophia.

His mother had been the daughter of an earl and his father the grandson of a duke; an eccentric spinster, Great-aunt Sophia had been a twig somewhere on his paternal family tree. Her hobby had been amassing wealth; although Jack could only recall meeting her briefly twice, on her death two years ago, Great-aunt Sophia had willed a sizable portion of her amassed wealth to him.

By the time he'd returned to England, various decisions associated with that inheritance had grown urgent; learning about his new holdings and investments had been imperative. He'd duly suppressed a deep-seated longing to return to Avening—to reassure himself it was all as he remembered, that after all his years away, after all he'd had to do, witness, and endure, his home was still there, as he remembered it—and instead had devoted the last six months to coming to grips with his inheritance, welding the whole into one workable estate.

Although he now owned numerous elegant country houses, to him, Avening was still the centerpiece, the place that was home, the place that held his heart.

That was why he was there, slowly ambling down the lane, letting his jaded senses absorb the achingly familiar sights and sounds, letting them soothe his abraded temper, his less-than-contented mood, and the dull but persistent ache in his head.

Temper and mood were due to his failure to find a suitable bride. He'd accepted he should and had bitten the bullet; while in London organizing his inheritance, he'd applied himself to looking over the field. Once the Season had commenced, he'd assumed suitable ladies would be thick on the ground; wasn't that what the marriage mart was all about? Instead, he'd discovered that while sweet and not so sweet young ladies littered the pavements, parks, and ballrooms, the sort of lady he could imagine marrying had been nowhere to be found.

He would have said he was too old, and too finicky, yet he was only thirty-four, prime matrimonial age for a gentleman, and he had no physical preference in women. Short, tall, blond, or brunette were all the same to him; it was being female that counted—soft, perfumed skin, feminine curves and, once they were beneath him, those breathy little gasps falling from luscious, parted lips. He should have been easy to please.

A Fine Passion. Copyright © by Stephanie Laurens. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 46 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(27)

4 Star

(12)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 46 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2005

    It Was A Fine Passion...

    I have never read any books by the author Stephanie Laurens until I got this one - A Fine Passion. I have been reading historical novels for over 20 years (since my high school years) and had taken a bit of time off - got burnt out on this stuff! So...I came back and found some new authors. I actually enjoyed this book quite a bit. The characters had a lot of fun in the beginning getting to know one another. It was nice to see a heroine who was smart, witty, attractive and not 'perfect in every way'. She was very appealing in her strength and it was great to see a hero respond to these characteristics as well. Clarice - the main character - was a handful and that was part of the fun - she gave as good as she got. In turn, the main character hero, Jack - had a lively sense of humor, intresting take on women and life. Fortunately, he had been around the block and upon discovering Clarice at his home running the world...he got to see what he had really been missing in life. A true partner. I like books that make characters realize all they really want in life is the simple things - a partner who they can live with, laugh with and love until the end of their days. These two were an excellent match and the story flowed smoothly. The intimate relations they had together were strong and positive too - beautifully told. It wasn't silly - it was real. I believe readers will enjoy this story line well. I just wish the main character had a better name than 'Jack' - all I could think of was 'Jack the Ripper' and we know what happened there! Other than the name issue, this was a fine read. Enjoy!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 27, 2013

    5 stars for the entire series

    5 stars for the entire series

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2013

    Osama Bin Laden

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 14, 2011

    I recommend this book.. This book is for someone who likes a mystery and also romance.

    I have read almost all of Stephanie Laurens books, and they never fail to please me.. The stories have mystery to them as well as romance. I can't wait to find out what happens at the end. I especially like them as eBooks.. I like the trilogy books, that lead you from one book to the other following the same story line. This book was from the Bastion Club Series. I think I have read them all... I have also pre-ordered her next book coming out in Jan 2012

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  • Posted June 15, 2011

    Great Summer Read

    Though this was not my favorite if the series, due to a slow start, the book was a great summer read and picked up pace more consistent with Lauren's novels about half way through. Don't miss this book in the series, as it gives you more glimpses into the lives of other Bastion Club members and their leader, Dalziel.

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  • Posted August 18, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A good, solid read.

    Although I have been told that for first-time SL readers, this book isn't the way to go, now that I have experience just that, I would have to disagree. This was my first book by her, and it sent me scamping off to the library to find many, many more.

    I found that the relationship between the two main characters was, while perhaps not entirely unique, at least easy to relate to and perfectly able to hold my attention, although I typically don't prefer the bold, outright "liaison" type scenarios. I think initially after I finished reading, I was surprised that the author had managed to keep me perfectly enthralled after what seemed like a record amount of "love scenes" (I'm generally disenchanted after around 3 or 4 full-blown encounters).

    As for the mystery/suspense aspect of the book, I thought it was pretty good. The premise was fairly solid and there were enough turns to keep me mildly surprised. I felt the end was a bit open-ended, in a confusing "Did I miss something?", rather than in a full "cliff-hanger" sort of way. I read this book out of order with the other ones, so that may have contributed to that; I'm not really sure.

    Either way, while I wouldn't say this book can stand out so intensely in my mind as to deserve a full 5 stars, it kept me entertained enough that I feel 4 is a fair assessment. I will be reading more of the author's work in the future.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2005

    Not much passion

    I have really enjoyed virtually all of SL's books, but, despite the fact there are lovemaking scenes in this book, there really doesn't seem to be much fire/passion. The characters mesh well together, so there isn't any of the usual verbal sparring between them (I suppose that's a welcome change). But the story otherwise seems a little too pat. Her prose is not as choppy as the last couple, like 'The Truth About Love'. I think the lack of suspense between the two main characters is what is missing, and the 'suspense' of the mystery doesn't make up for it. If this is your first SL title, don't judge all hers by this one. Try A Secret Love (Cnyster series), or a Lady of His Own (Bastion Club)

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    Posted February 4, 2012

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    Posted March 25, 2011

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    Posted May 18, 2012

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    Posted January 19, 2011

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    Posted August 19, 2011

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    Posted December 10, 2009

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    Posted May 30, 2009

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    Posted January 25, 2010

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    Posted February 29, 2012

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    Posted January 27, 2010

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    Posted November 11, 2010

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    Posted June 7, 2011

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    Posted June 26, 2011

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