A Gentleman's Honor (Bastion Club Series)

( 55 )

Overview

The Season has yet to begin, and the second member of the Bastion Club, tall, handsome Anthony Blake, Viscount Torrington, is already a target for every matchmaking mama in London. None of their flighty daughters can fix his interest, but a certain lady does...

Alicia is living a deception. Desperation has caused the determined but penniless lady to boldly launch her ravishing younger sister into the ton and have her make a spectacular match. By masquerading as the widowed "Mrs....

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A Gentleman's Honor (Bastion Club Series)

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Overview

The Season has yet to begin, and the second member of the Bastion Club, tall, handsome Anthony Blake, Viscount Torrington, is already a target for every matchmaking mama in London. None of their flighty daughters can fix his interest, but a certain lady does...

Alicia is living a deception. Desperation has caused the determined but penniless lady to boldly launch her ravishing younger sister into the ton and have her make a spectacular match. By masquerading as the widowed "Mrs. Carrington" Alicia can act as the perfect chaperone…but fashionable ladies are not accused of murder...

When Tony Blake discovers Alicia standing over a dead body in his godmother’s garden, every instinct tells him she is innocent. His connections allow him to take control of the investigation, his social prominence provides her public support, but it is more than honor that compels him to protect her and to do everything in his seductive power to make her his.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this steamy Regency, the second in Laurens's new Bastion Club series (following The Lady Chosen), Lord Anthony Blake, a former spy for England, finds himself at loose ends after the fall of Napoleon. Genteel widow Alicia Carrington, who's in London to chaperone her younger sister, puts an end to Anthony's ennui when she stumbles upon a dead body at a soir e and he stumbles upon her at the same time. A mysterious villain seems determined to frame Alicia for the murder, but the real danger lies in the secret she's hiding from everyone-including Anthony, who quickly insinuates himself into her life. As in all of Laurens's romances, the love scenes are passionate, and chemistry hums between the pair. Alicia is a classic Laurens heroine: plucky and determined. Anthony is high-handed at times but not offensively so. Although the romantic tension relies heavily on a few unspoken words, it's entertaining to watch the baffled couple finally admit to their feelings. Unfortunately, the mystery subplot is less compelling, depending as it does on following a paper trail that offers up little drama. Still, Laurens's fans should be more than satisfied with this heady tale. (Oct.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Although impoverished, Alicia Pevensey is determined to give her young sister a proper come out, even if she has to pose as a married woman so that Adriana can have a "proper" chaperone. But when Anthony Blake, Viscount Torrington, finds the lovely Alicia standing over a body with a bloody knife in her hands, and it turns out that the dead man had threatened to expose her masquerade unless she married him, Tony is torn between his desire for the truth and the inexplicable feelings he has to protect Alicia. Well plotted, wickedly sensual, and suspenseful, this fast-paced, Regency-set adventure is the second in Laurens's new "Bastion Club" series ("a last bastion against the matchmakers of the ton"). Laurens is a New York Times best-selling author, noted for her well-received "Cynster" series; she lives in Melbourne, Australia. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060002077
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/10/2003
  • Series: Bastion Club Series , #2
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 464
  • Sales rank: 208,750
  • Product dimensions: 4.18 (w) x 6.75 (h) x 1.16 (d)

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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Table of Contents

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First Chapter

A Gentleman's Honor

Chapter One

The Bastion Club
Montrose Place, London
March 15, 1816

"We've a month before the Season begins, and already the harpies are hunting in packs." Charles St. Austell sank into one of the eight straight-backed chairs around the mahogany table in the Bastion Club's meeting room.

"As we predicted." Anthony Blake, sixth Viscount Torrington, took the chair opposite. "The action in the marriage mart seems close to frenetic."

"Have you seen much of it, then?" Deverell sat beside Charles. "I have to admit I'm biding my time, lying low until the Season begins."

Tony grimaced. "My mother might be resident in Devon, but she has a worthy lieutenant in my godmother, Lady Amery. If I don't appear at her entertainments at least, I can be assured of receiving a sharp note the next morning, inquiring why."

There were laughs -- resigned, cynical, and commiserating -- from the others as they took their seats. Christian Allardyce, Gervase Tregarth, and Jack Warnefleet all sat, then, in concert, all eyes went to the empty chair beside Charles.

"Trentham sends his regrets." At the head of the table, Christian didn't bother keeping a straight face. "He didn't sound all that sincere. He wrote that he had more pressing engagements, but wished us joy in our endeavors. He expects to be back in town in a week, however, and looks forward to supporting the six of us through our upcoming travails."

"Kind of him," Gervase quipped, but they were all grinning.

Trentham -- Tristan Wemyss -- had been the first of their number to successfully achieve his goal, the same goal they all were intent on attaining. They all needed to marry; that common aim had spawned this, their club, their last bastion against the matchmakers of the ton.

Of the six of them as yet unwed, gathered this evening to share the latest news, Tony felt sure he was the most desperate, although why he felt so restless, so frustrated, as if poised for action yet with no enemy in sight, he couldn't fathom. He hadn't felt so moody in years. Then again, he hadn't been a civilian, an ordinary gentleman, for years, either.

"I vote we meet every fortnight," Jack Warnefleet said. "We need to keep abreast of events, so to speak."

"I agree." Gervase nodded across the table. "And if any of us has anything urgent to report, we call a meeting as needed. Given the pace at which matters move in the ton, two weeks is the limit—by then, the ground has shifted."

"I've heard the patronesses of Almack's are thinking of opening their season early, such is the interest."

"Is it true one still has to wear knee breeches?"

"On pain of being turned away." Christian raised his brows. "Although I've yet to ascertain just why that would be painful."

The others laughed. They continued trading information -- on events, the latest fashions and tonnish distractions -- eventually moving on to comment and caution on individual matrons, matchmaking mamas, dragons, gorgons, and the like -- all those who lay in wait for unsuspecting eligible gentlemen with a view to matrimonially ensnaring them.

"Lady Entwhistle's one to avoid—once she sinks her talons into you, it's the devil of a job to break free."

It was their way of coping with the challenge before them.

They'd all spent the last decade or more in the service of His Majesty's government as agents acting in an unofficial capacity scattered throughout France and neighboring states, collecting information on enemy troops, ships, provisions, and strategies. They'd all reported to Dalziel, a spymaster who lurked, a spider in the center of his web, buried in the depths of Whitehall; he oversaw all English military agents on foreign soil.

They'd been exceedingly good at their jobs, witness the fact they were all still alive. But now the war was over, and civilian life had caught up with them. Each had inherited wealth, title, and properties; all were wellborn, yet their natural social circle, the haut ton -- the gilded circle to which their births gave entrée and in which their titles, properties, and the attendant responsibilities made participation obligatory -- was an arena of operations largely unknown to them.

Yet in gathering information, evaluating it, exploiting it -- in that they were experts, so they'd established the Bastion Club to facilitate mutual support for their individual campaigns. As Charles had described it with typical dramatic flair, the club was their secured base from which each would infiltrate the ton, identify the lady he wanted as his wife, and then storm the enemy's position and capture her.

Sipping his brandy, Tony recalled that he'd been first to point out the need for a safe refuge. With a French mother and French godmother intent on encouraging any and all comers to bat their lashes at him—both ladies were aware such a tactic was guaranteed to make him take the matter of finding a wife into his own hands without delay -- it had been he who had sounded the warning. The ton was not safe for such as they.

Set on in the gentlemen's clubs, hounded by fond papas as well as gimlet-eyed matrons, all but buried beneath the avalanche of invitations that daily arrived at their doors, life in the ton as an unmarried, wealthy, titled, eminently eligible gentleman was these days fraught with danger.

Too many had fallen on the battlefields of the Peninsula, and more recently at Waterloo.

They, the survivors, were marked men.

They were outnumbered, but they'd be damned if they'd be outgunned.

They were experts in battle, in tactics, and strategy; they weren't about to be taken. If they had any say in it, they would do the taking.

That was, at the heart of it, the raison d'être of the Bastion Club ...

A Gentleman's Honor. Copyright © by Stephanie Laurens. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 55 )
Rating Distribution

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(32)

4 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 55 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2003

    Back in her form

    Ms. Laurens is back to her usual style, flair and fun of the Cynster series with this second in the Bastion Club series. I did not think 'The Lady Chosen' (Bastion Club number one) was worth the time, but this book has all her hallmarks. The characters are developed, the story is a little hard to buy, but she puts it together with enough plausibility so you don't have to think too much. And, it has plenty of the sensual scenes to keep you turning the pages. The only thing I think is a little too far is the inclusion of the Cynster characters in the book, which don't actually add anything to the story. I want more like this!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Not the Best...

    so the whole story in context was good, but every time there was a rise of excitment it was like it didn't go high enough and it lets you down way to fast... also the whole step by step sex/love relationship just got old after a while... this is probably the first book i have skipped so many pages in my whole life... if you wanna read about sex, this is your kind of book... i think the author focused too much on the sex rather than how good the story could have been... still the idea of the story was good... i just think she could have made it more exciting...

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2013

    Chrissy

    Here?

    0 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 September 28, 2012

    As Always, A Great Read

    This is one of my favorite books. I like the main characters and the story line keep me wanting to read more. Stephanie Laurens is one of my favorite authors!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2012

    So Good!

    Gotta love a good romance mixed with a little action!! I love this series and can't wait to read more about the Bastion Club!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2005

    Poor Read

    If you like your fiction to read like a how-to sex manual, this is your book! About half the book is sex scenes, which by the middle of the book I was skimming over. The plot was engaging enough to have me finish the book, but I still regret having wasted my time and money on this one.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 17, 2004

    True to its title¿.Romantic

    This is truly a wonderfully written, stimulating, mature romantic story. The various scenarios and subplots are also true to the pre-Victorian era it¿s written in respect to several social issues it touches upon. Julian Hampton, `The Romantic¿, is a well respected and trusted solicitor for the Laclere family. Throughout his adolescence and adulthood, Julian Hampton clandestinely desired the affections of Penelope (Pen), the Countess of Glasbury. His safest discourses of expressing his pent-up desires are passionate love letters and poems addressed to her, but never dispatched. He carefully wrote and hid them away for over ten years ¿ since he was 16 yrs old. Pen¿s mother, in an attempt to save her family from financial ruin, as well as fulfill her young daughter¿s excitement and fantasy of having a husband, coyly encourages Pen to marry a presumably respectable Earl, Count Glasbury ¿ who agrees to give her family a significant endowment to wed her. After a year of marriage, Count Glasbury introduces his naive wife to the darker side of his sexual passions and lusts. Needless to say, due to her lack of experience and isolation from people outside of Glasbury, Pen believes these new versions of bed play are `natural¿ ¿ although they were emotionally upsetting and physically painful for her (i.e. whips and chains, bondage, crawling, etc.) Pen eventually confides in ¿Mr. Hampton¿ (Julian), and discloses the embarrassingly sordid secrets of why she wants a legal separation from her husband. Discreetly, Julian secures her a separation from Count Glasbury with alimony ¿ by threatening to publicly expose his sexual appetites to the ton. Ten years later, upon finding out that his heir (last remaining male in his family line), nephew, cannot have any children, the Count wants to nullify the separation and re-enforce his marital rights as her husband. He is determined that no one will stop him from getting his wife back and will use any means necessary, legal or otherwise, to have her back under his roof. Here is where Julian, beyond a doubt, is a knight in shining armor. His unconditional, surrendering love for her is unveiled. Julian offers himself (from her list of possible lovers) to demonstrate to her what it¿s really like to make love with someone who truly loves you. As a result their very public act of adultery ¿ Pen¿s efforts to high handedly force Count Glasbury into divorcing her vs submit to his `unnatural¿ sexual desires, Julian¿s poems and letters are literally and agonizingly laid bare for all of society to `judge¿ him to the point of possibly convicting him to hang for murder to save Penelope. Don¿t let the word ¿adultery¿ wrestle you away from reading this as a romance story. There is so much more to it that it will stimulate your mind and kindle your heart which can not be expressed in any brief review.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2003

    I reread this one immediately!

    Everything about this stort was wonderful. I could not put it down and reread it immediately to enjoy it all over.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2003

    Wonderful

    This was a wonderful story. There are only so many ways a man and woman can be 'forced' to endure each other until they fall in love, this was a new one. I liked that the man was the one looking for marriage and was always sure she was the one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2003

    Laurens is Back on Track

    After the the last few plotless and oversexed Cynster novels, Ms. Laurens has stopped insulting her readers' intelligence and remembered that the intellect as well as the libido must be titillated. The Bastion Club is well-plotted with heroes in the Cynster mold. Better yet, they are in the paperback format they deserve rather than hardcover - we are not talking great literature here. ! My rating is $$$

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Typical Regency romance for fans of the genre

    In 1816 Alicia Carrington pretends to be a widow escorting her younger sister Adriana Pevency during her first season. Alicia and Adriana know that the younger sibling needs a good match so that their three younger brothers can go to school. Anything less that a marriage to a kind wealthy man means disaster for the five Pevency orphans.<P> Lord Ruskin has offered marriage to Alicia who rejects him. However, he knows she is a fake having flaunted the Ton with her widow fabrication. He uses blackmail to force her into his bed, but someone kills him before he succeeds. Lord Anthony Blake of the Bastion Club, men dedicated to finding their own wives without the aristocracy interfering, notices Alicia with the dead Rusken. He helps her flee the scene, but wonders if she is involved as he was investigating the deceased in an effort to uncover those traitors who abetted Napoleon during the war. As he stays close to Alicia, he wonders if his heart is hiding the truth about her because she hides something from him.<P> The second Bastion Club tale is a typical Regency romance though the chase for the traitors occurs after the war is over. The story line entertains the audience, as Anthony knows his beloved has a deep secret she fears will be revealed, but he has a problem seeing her betraying her country. Though adhering to the conventional sub-genre tale and her own Cynster novels, Stephanie Lauren¿s latest novel will provide pleasure to her myriad of readers.<P> Harriet Klausner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2011

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