Dalzeil has headed up the Bastion Club for 16 years, serving the King and the country. Now that Napoleon has been defeated, he’s ready to return to his civilian life as Royce Henry Varisey. When he made the decision to lead the Bastion Club, Royce’s father publically cut him off. Now, it’s time to make peace except Royce’s father dies making Royce the tenth Duke of Wolverstone. Returning home for the first time in 16 years, Royce not only has to deal with his father’s death and funeral arrangements but the realization that his estate may have the crown’s eye on it. To end this turn of events, Royce must find a proper bride and fast.
The ninth Duke of Wolverstone and his Duchess raised Minerva Chesterton at Wolverstone castle. Her parents were killed in an accident when she was young. Minerva, at 29 years old, has been the castle’s chatelaine for several years, a position that she excels at. When Royce returns to take up the reins as Duke, he finds that Minerva is indispensible. Her knowledge of the lands, the people and society will keep him from making a fool of himself. When she learns that Royce must find a bride soon, she helps compile a list of suitable young women, not knowing that Royce has begun to look at his chatelaine in a new light.
Royce is the last member of the Bastion Club needing to find a wife. The previous books in this series were about the other members. While you don’t need to read about their adventures in finding brides to enjoy this book, the entire series has been excellent and it would behoove you to take the time to read them for pure enjoyment. Characters from the previous books make appearances in this one including the spy who eluded the Bastion Club at the end of the war. The spy causes Royce a bit of trouble until he discovered which makes a nice twist in this love story that tries to define how to tell when you’re in love.
The characters were wonderful. Royce came across as determined to do the best he can using whatever resources that he needed to, including Minerva. He is likeable as he makes his way through situations that he needs to relay on other people. He recognizes that he isn’t doing things like his father which earns him the disapproval of his older sisters. Minerva wants to do what is right but she also wants to keep her heart whole. Royce is offering her what she’s desired for years but once offered, she’s not sure she can take it. She’s smart, well liked and can stand on her own two feet. These two main characters are a force to be reckoned with but the secondary characters in this story are just as interesting and their interference and manipulations make them just as interesting as the more prominent characters.
As Royce romances Minerva, the scenes come alive with passion and desire. There is a tenderness in each that reviles the emotions the characters are feeling and gives the reader a sense of being there. The love that is shown, though not talked about or verbally expressed, touches the heart.
I loved this book from the first page until the last. I had no desire to put it down but wanted to sit and read uninterrupted. This was an excellent ending to this series of books but it looks like we don’t loose these wonderful characters, as it appears that they might play a role in Ms Laurens next series too! I can’t wait to return to this time in England and the excellent characters and stories that come from Ms Laurens imagination.
MASTERED BY LOVE in hardcover will be a Main Selection for Rhapsody Book Club and a Featured Alternate for Doubleday Book Club. Their website is: www.rhapsodybookclub.com
The men of the Bastion Club proved their bravery secretly fighting for their country. Now their leader faces that most dangerous mission of all: finding a bride.
As the mysterious leader of the Bastion Club known as "Dalziel," Royce Varisey, 10th Duke of Wolverstone, served his country for decades, facing dangers untold. But as the holder of one of England's most august noble titles, he must now take on that gravest duty of all: marriage.
Yet the young ladies the grandes dames would have him consider are predictably boring. Far more tempting is his castle's willful and determindedly aloof chatelaine, Minerva Chesterton. Beneath her serene facade lies a woman of smoldering sensuality, one who will fill his days with comfort and his nights with sheer pleasure. Determined to claim her, he embarks on a seduction to prove his mastery over every inch of her body...and every piece of her heart.