To Distraction (Bastion Club Series)

( 41 )

Overview

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 ...

See more details below
Paperback (Mass Market Paperback)
$7.99
BN.com price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (152) from $1.99   
  • New (13) from $3.95   
  • Used (139) from $1.99   
To Distraction (Bastion Club Series)

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$7.99
BN.com price

Overview

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&#8212and her in their sights. Phoebe must accept Deverell's help…though the cost to them both might be dear&#8212and deadly.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Yet another brave member of the Bastion Club-a small band of wealthy, eligible gentlemen sworn to protect each other from the "marauding mamas" of London society-falls for an unconventional woman in the winning fifth novel of Laurens's Regency series. A former spy for the Crown, Jocelyn Deverell, Viscount Paignton, is in need of an heir, and for that he will need a wife. His aunt has just the match in Phoebe Malleson, her spirited, ruby-haired goddaughter. Unfortunately, Phoebe has no desire to marry, no matter how much Deverell might tempt her, having learned long ago to distrust men. Besides, Phoebe is busy with a secret crusade to rescue abused servants from wealthy households, a campaign she knows no man from the ton would support. Undaunted, Deverell undertakes his most delicate mission yet, beginning a slow seduction that he hopes will win Phoebe's trust and, ultimately, her heart. When young female servants begin disappearing-apparently kidnapped-Phoebe finds herself caught in a deadly standoff with powerful criminals and must turn to Deverell. Though characters and language may ring familiar, Laurens introduces an enticing villain who promises to return, bringing the series some needed fresh air. Aptly titled, Laurens's latest generates enough heat to make you forget about sticky summertime weather. (Sept.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060839109
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/29/2006
  • Series: Bastion Club Series
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 496
  • Sales rank: 198,895
  • Product dimensions: 6.72 (w) x 10.90 (h) x 1.05 (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.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

To Distraction


By Stephanie Laurens

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 Stephanie Laurens
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060839104

Chapter One

London
Late April, 1816

"Dear Deverell, of course I know exactly the right lady for you." Head high, Audrey Deverell swayed back on the stool on which she was perched, narrowed her eyes at the canvas she was daubing, then delicately touched the tip of her brush to one spot. Apparently satisfied, she regained her equilibrium and looked down at the palette balanced on her arm. "I'm only surprised it's taken you so long to ask."

Seated in a well-cushioned wicker armchair beside the wide windows through which the afternoon sun washed across his aunt's "studio," Jocelyn Hubert Deverell, 7th Viscount Paignton, known to all as simply Deverell, watched Audrey select another hue to add to her creation--a landscape featuring what he thought was supposed to be a single large oak.

The last time he'd visited, a mere few months ago, this room had been devoted to basket weaving. When he'd been shown in and had discovered Audrey sitting on a high stool before a canvas on an easel, her long, thin frame swathed in a dun-colored smock with a black beret atop her brassy curls, he'd had to fight a grin, one she, who took each of her outlandish pursuits absolutely seriously, would not have appreciated.

His only paternal aunt, much younger than her threebrothers, of whom his father had been the eldest, Audrey was in her late forties. A determinedly confirmed spinster, she frequently pursued the outrageous. Nevertheless, being a Deverell and comfortably well-to-do, she remained an accepted member of the haut ton. Even though her more conventional friends, all long married, often displayed a certain jealousy over Audrey's flamboyant freedom, she was much sought after, if nothing else to add color and verve to said matrons' entertainments.

Audrey's audacious unconventionality had from his earliest years drawn Deverell to her; he felt infinitely closer to her than to any of his other aunts--three maternal and two by marriage. Consequently, now that he quite clearly needed the sort of assistance aunts provided gentlemen such as he, it was Audrey to whom he'd turned.

He hadn't, however, expected quite such a definite answer. Caution made him hesitate, but recollection of his state made him ask, "This lady--"

"Is quite perfect in every way. She's of excellent family, attractive and lively, suffers from no affliction, physical or mental, is well dowered, correctly and appropriately educated, and I can personally vouch for her understanding."

That last had him arching a brow. "A connection?"

Audrey flashed him a smile. "She's one of my goddaughters. I have a small platoon of them." She refocused on her painting. "Goodness knows why, but a multitude of my friends named me godparent to their offspring. I often wondered if they thought, childless as I am, that I shouldn't be allowed to escape the nurturing role entirely."

Deverell thought that only too likely. "This lady--"

"Will make you an outstanding wife. Trust me, I've seen your predicament coming for months, so of course I've given the matter due thought. You're thirty-two, and what with the title as well as the estates, you really must marry. Admittedly there are your uncles who could inherit after you, but as neither George nor Gisborne have sons of their own, that really isn't an acceptable alternative." Pausing in her daubing, Audrey shot him a severe glance. "And the last thing any of us would wish is to see the estate revert to Prinny!"

"Indeed not." The idea of the estates that, courtesy of the unexpected death of a cousin twice removed, had fallen into his lap reverting on his death to the Crown, and its licentious bearer, was one Deverell viewed with intense disfavor. He might not have expected to have to care for entailed estates, but now they were his, he'd be damned if he let Prinny, or whoever succeeded him, get their greedy hands on them.

Especially not now he'd visited his new holdings, the houses, farms and fields, and met those who tended them. Along with a title came responsibilities, and he'd never been one to shirk such obligations, even if unlooked for.

He was now Viscount Paignton; as such he had to marry. "Quite aside from the matter of an heir--"

"There's the social obligations, of course." Audrey nodded sagely, her gaze still on her canvas. "Your wife must be able to manage your houses, and even more importantly manage the dinners, parties, balls, and so on that as Paignton you will have to attend."

He didn't try to hide his grimace. "If she could minimize the latter--"

"Don't even think it, not until you've been married for years. Then, perhaps, you might be allowed to slink off and hide in your library. Until that time, you'll have to grit your teeth and stand by her side at all necessary functions." Audrey threw him another strait glance. "Along with managing your appearances, your wife's duties will include keeping you up to the mark--ensuring you appear at all the functions you ought."

Deverell met Audrey's glance levelly and inwardly wished his wife-to-be good luck. She'd need it. "You seem to have a very clear vision of the qualities my wife should possess."

"Well, of course, dear. I've known you from birth, and despite what you think, you are very like your father--you have little time for artifice and none at all for fools. And after spending the last ten and more years being a spy in France, I imagine your prejudices have only become more fixed. Consequently the notion of you finding any degree of marital satisfaction with the general run of young ladies is utterly untenable." She arched a brow at him. "I understand you've been casting your eye over the herd."

"The 'herd' appear to be henwitted flibbertigibbets with less sense than my horse."

Audrey grinned. "Quite. Well, there you are--it's clearly necessary to look elsewhere for your bride." Laying aside her palette, she reached for a rag; sitting back, she started cleaning her brush.

Continues...


Excerpted from To Distraction by Stephanie Laurens Copyright © 2006 by Stephanie Laurens. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Read More Show Less

First Chapter

To Distraction LP

Chapter One

London
Late April, 1816

"Dear Deverell, of course I know exactly the right lady for you." Head high, Audrey Deverell swayed back on the stool on which she was perched, narrowed her eyes at the canvas she was daubing, then delicately touched the tip of her brush to one spot. Apparently satisfied, she regained her equilibrium and looked down at the palette balanced on her arm. "I'm only surprised it's taken you so long to ask."

Seated in a well-cushioned wicker armchair beside the wide windows through which the afternoon sun washed across his aunt's "studio," Jocelyn Hubert Deverell, 7th Viscount Paignton, known to all as simply Deverell, watched Audrey select another hue to add to her creation&#8212a landscape featuring what he thought was supposed to be a single large oak.

The last time he'd visited, a mere few months ago, this room had been devoted to basket weaving. When he'd been shown in and had discovered Audrey sitting on a high stool before a canvas on an easel, her long, thin frame swathed in a dun-colored smock with a black beret atop her brassy curls, he'd had to fight a grin, one she, who took each of her outlandish pursuits absolutely seriously, would not have appreciated.

His only paternal aunt, much younger than her three brothers, of whom his father had been the eldest, Audrey was in her late forties. A determinedly confirmed spinster, she frequently pursued the outrageous. Nevertheless, being a Deverell and comfortably well-to-do, she remained an accepted member of the haut ton. Even though her more conventional friends, all long married, often displayeda certain jealousy over Audrey's flamboyant freedom, she was much sought after, if nothing else to add color and verve to said matrons' entertainments.

Audrey's audacious unconventionality had from his earliest years drawn Deverell to her; he felt infinitely closer to her than to any of his other aunts&#8212three maternal and two by marriage. Consequently, now that he quite clearly needed the sort of assistance aunts provided gentlemen such as he, it was Audrey to whom he'd turned.

He hadn't, however, expected quite such a definite answer. Caution made him hesitate, but recollection of his state made him ask, "This lady&#8212"

"Is quite perfect in every way. She's of excellent family, attractive and lively, suffers from no affliction, physical or mental, is well dowered, correctly and appropriately educated, and I can personally vouch for her understanding."

That last had him arching a brow. "A connection?"

Audrey flashed him a smile. "She's one of my goddaughters. I have a small platoon of them." She refocused on her painting. "Goodness knows why, but a multitude of my friends named me godparent to their offspring. I often wondered if they thought, childless as I am, that I shouldn't be allowed to escape the nurturing role entirely."

Deverell thought that only too likely. "This lady&#8212"

"Will make you an outstanding wife. Trust me, I've seen your predicament coming for months, so of course I've given the matter due thought. You're thirty-two, and what with the title as well as the estates, you really must marry. Admittedly there are your uncles who could inherit after you, but as neither George nor Gisborne have sons of their own, that really isn't an acceptable alternative." Pausing in her daubing, Audrey shot him a severe glance. "And the last thing any of us would wish is to see the estate revert to Prinny!"

"Indeed not." The idea of the estates that, courtesy of the unexpected death of a cousin twice removed, had fallen into his lap reverting on his death to the Crown, and its licentious bearer, was one Deverell viewed with intense disfavor. He might not have expected to have to care for entailed estates, but now they were his, he'd be damned if he let Prinny, or whoever succeeded him, get their greedy hands on them.

Especially not now he'd visited his new holdings, the houses, farms and fields, and met those who tended them. Along with a title came responsibilities, and he'd never been one to shirk such obligations, even if unlooked for.

He was now Viscount Paignton; as such he had to marry. "Quite aside from the matter of an heir&#8212"

"There's the social obligations, of course." Audrey nodded sagely, her gaze still on her canvas. "Your wife must be able to manage your houses, and even more importantly manage the dinners, parties, balls, and so on that as Paignton you will have to attend."

He didn't try to hide his grimace. "If she could minimize the latter&#8212"

"Don't even think it, not until you've been married for years. Then, perhaps, you might be allowed to slink off and hide in your library. Until that time, you'll have to grit your teeth and stand by her side at all necessary functions." Audrey threw him another strait glance. "Along with managing your appearances, your wife's duties will include keeping you up to the mark&#8212ensuring you appear at all the functions you ought."

Deverell met Audrey's glance levelly and inwardly wished his wife-to-be good luck. She'd need it. "You seem to have a very clear vision of the qualities my wife should possess."

"Well, of course, dear. I've known you from birth, and despite what you think, you are very like your father&#8212you have little time for artifice and none at all for fools. And after spending the last ten and more years being a spy in France, I imagine your prejudices have only become more fixed. Consequently the notion of you finding any degree of marital satisfaction with the general run of young ladies is utterly untenable." She arched a brow at him. "I understand you've been casting your eye over the herd."

"The 'herd' appear to be henwitted flibbertigibbets with less sense than my horse."

Audrey grinned. "Quite. Well, there you are&#8212it's clearly necessary to look elsewhere for your bride." Laying aside her palette, she reached for a rag; sitting back, she started cleaning her brush.

To Distraction LP. Copyright © by Stephanie Laurens. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 41 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(25)

4 Star

(12)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 41 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    A fine Bastion romance

    In London four of his founding brothers who made up the Bastion Club, chartered to fend off 'marauding mamas', have succumbed to love and marriage. Retired espionage agent Viscount Jocelyn Deverell vows never him even as he knows his aunt is the family mole trying to do him in with a wife what he remains unaware of is she has chosen feisty independent Phoebe Malleson as her nephew¿s perfect match.--------------- Phoebe is a difficult choice because she distrusts men who she believes all use and abuse helpless females. In any event, she is too busy to care how much she desires Deverell still he plans to court her anyway. Instead she serendipitously rescues maltreated servants from wealthy miscreants she knows the male Ton would never support such a venture especially led by a crusading female. However, Jocelyn realizes he loves Phoebe, but must overcome her stereotyping of men and persuade her he would not harm her. When she becomes embroiled in a dangerous scenario involving operation rescue, only her beloved Deverell can keep her safe and save the abducted female servants.---------------- Though similar in many ways to the previous Bastion adventures, TO DISTRACTION is a fine Regency romance due to a refreshing and fascinating villain. The story line is fast-paced as Phoebe ignores her feelings, her desires, and her man to go about her dangerous underground activity to rescue abused servants while Jocelyn accepts his feelings, his desires, and his woman as he goes about his ¿dangerous underground¿ activity to pursue her. Stephanie Laurens provides a fine Bastion romance.------------ Harriet Klausner

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 19, 2013

    Y

    Uoy

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 27, 2013

    5 stars for the entire series

    5 stars for the entire series

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2013

    Highly Recommend

    This book is full of suspense and romance! Keeps you entertained from the time you open the book until you the reach the very last word.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 7, 2012

    highly recommended

    the whole Bastion Club series is excellent. I have read almost all of her books. Keeps your attention and is written well.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 6, 2012

    Another winning distraction

    I love almost everything that Stephanie Laurens writes and this book is a definite winner. The characters are engaging, the sex steamy, and the flow of the story perfectly paced.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 23, 2011

    A R Ttif A Trifecta

    A perfect read in my book... Interesting characters, great plot and a good bit of mystery. I love how the characters from the other Bastion Club novels are present ince again to aid their friends.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 5, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Amazing

    Yes... was an OMG book from Miss Laurens, but every one of her books are. Love this set of books as well as all her books.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 20, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Great Build up and then...

    I really wish I could give this one a 3.5.

    Anyway, for the first 2/3 of this book, I was loving life: the characters are great, the story was compelling, I felt pretty enthralled. But around 150 pages from the end or so, maybe even more, an addition to the plot is made. I'm not sure whether the author thought this necessary, or if the book would have been too short without it, or too neat; I'm sure there was some divine purpose for adding a random complication to the plot so far into the book (yes, 150 pages is nothing when you're reading a 485 page book...), but I honestly think this is what sunk it for me.

    I knew when I looked at how much was left in the book and discerned where the addition was going, it was over. The whole 70 pages more I read (I couldn't continue after about 80 pages to the end because I had to return it and couldn't summon up the energy to finish it in one fell swoop), was painstaking. I tried so hard to drudge through unnecessary plot developments and love scenes that were just starting to get until, until finally, I just gave up in favor of packing my stuff and cleaning my apartment.

    Good escapism? I think not. However, I cant completely sink this book because up until that (not quite so random as perhaps unnecessary) plot addition, I couldn't put it down.

    So, if you've got time, and a little bit of patience, go for it. You'll probably be able to make it through.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2007

    Now She's Talking!!

    A big improvement over some of her other books. She kept the bedroom scenes down to only a few pages and kept the reader involved with the plot. Even though the plot would probably be unrealistic in merry old England, I enjoyed reading it. More plot and a little less sex made this book a big improvement over some of the others where it was the other way around and the plot got lost in the love scenes. Good read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2006

    A Worthy Read

    Not my favorite Bastion Club book, but a worthy read, that can hold the reader captivated...until they final act becomes a bit plodding and the interest begins to wan. Witty, sensual, and wild. Difficult to put down. It held me...To Distraction

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 4, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 41 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)