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Publisher's Summary

The men of the Bastion Club proved their bravery secretly fighting for their country. Now their leader faces the most dangerous mission of all: finding a bride.

As the mysterious leader of the Bastion Club, known as “Dalziel,” Royce Varisey, tenth 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 the gravest duty of all: marriage.

Yet the young ladies the grande dames would have him consider are predictably boring. Far more tempting is his castle’s willful and determinedly aloof chatelaine, Minerva Chesterton. Beneath her serene façade 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.

Stephanie Laurens began writing as an escape from the dry world of professional science. Her hobby quickly became a career when her novels captivated readers around the globe, making her one of the romance world’s most beloved and popular authors. She has been writing for more than twenty years and is a New York Times, Publishers Weekly, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today best-selling author.

©2009 Savdek Management Proprietory Ltd (P)2012 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

“An outstanding story of love, honor, and commitment. The characters’ behavior reflects the deepest meanings of these words. The depth and intensity of their feelings show what romance and love really mean.” (Romantic Times, Top Pick)
“Laurens brings her Bastion Club series to a splendid conclusion with the story of the club leader’s own romantic comeuppance. Composed of equal measures of sexy romance and dangerous intrigue, Mastered by Love is irresistible.” (Booklist)
“Erotically specific yet emotionally touching and infinitely romantic, this electrically charged, danger-tinged romance deliciously concludes Laurens’ Bastion Club series.” (Library Journal)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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  • Ramona
  • PRUDENVILLE, MI, United States
  • 02-19-12

Don't Miss this Super Ending to the Series

This is one of Stephanie Laurens best books! In my top 5 of romance books. Never a dull or slow moment, as in some of her other books. The characters and little sub-plots are wonderful The Grand Dames are hysterical! Hammish, Royce's half-brother, is great too, as are Royce's sisters. The book paints a delightful picture of life on the castle estate with Royce's handling of situations showing a different, softer, side of Royce. The sex scenes are sizzling, and the dialogue and dynamics between the lovers is some of Laurens' best.

Laurens brings in many of the characters in the series, as well as reveals who the Last Traitor is. It would be best if one had read the other books in the series first, although the love story is strong enough, the book would still be great as a stand-alone. Part of the fun of the book, however, comes from knowing Royce's personality and history, as well as the wrap-up of the Last Traitor sub-plot. Without having read the other books, it would be hard to understand this part of the story.

Crossley does a good job with the narration, but the female voices are not as good as Simon Preble's. I particuarly didn't like Minerva's voice (the lead female character), but after awhile you get used to it.

The book is compelling and a super read! I had read the book before listening to the audio, but still stayed up half the night not able to take a break. Get this one, you won't be dissapointed.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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AWFUL voices

What would have made Mastered by Love better?

Narrator!!!! Honestly I am only about an hour into this 15 hour novel and so disappointed. I do not think I can finish it due to the narration. The narrator himself has a nice voice...but the characters...UGH. Minerva (the heroine) is AWFUL. He makes her sound (very hard to explain) whiny, stupid, choppy, etc. It sounds like they are trying to portray her as one of the characters they want you to dislike. Even the hero sounds stupid at times. I love ALL of the Bastion novels and love love love Simon Prebble. I took a chance and bought this novel based on the reviews but I do not forsee "getting used to" Minervas voice. I can normally envision the heroine immediatly as such when Rosalyn Landor or Simon Prebble are the narrators....this one, i want to throw her out the window into the lake praying she shuts up. What a waste of money :-( And this novel above all else should be awesome as it is the finale to the Bastion novels....but I cannot listen anymore. Trust me, SAVE your MONEY and hope they record it later with a better narration. If you do not believe me go ahead and buy it and you get your first taste of Minerva at 25 minutes and you will agree...

What could Stephanie Laurens have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

I dont know because I cannot finish it because of narrator.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Steven Crossley?

Simon Prebble or Rosalyn Landor or Susan Erickson (just about anyone)

What character would you cut from Mastered by Love?

did not get that far

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Eddy
  • NEWPORT NEWS, VA, United States
  • 05-21-12

annoying narrator

What made the experience of listening to Mastered by Love the most enjoyable?

I LOVE STEPHIE'S stories, but this narrator has got to go!!

Who was your favorite character and why?

Dalziel, because I waited thru 8 books to learn about him. He is the ultimate mystery man.

Would you be willing to try another one of Steven Crossley’s performances?

I love all of Stephanie's stories, especially the Bastion club series, and I probably will purchase the rest, (I already own 3 of them) but I do not look forward to another recitation by Mr. Crossley. I much prefer Jill Tanner or Simon Prebbles.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, but I couldn't tolerate the narrator's voice.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Great Ending To A Wonderful Series

Where does Mastered by Love rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Pretty high up there because I've read the entire series and was waiting to listen to the very last one.

What other book might you compare Mastered by Love to and why?

I'd have to compare it to other books written by Laurens. I enjoyed all of her books, some more than others, but, throughout all the other books was the question..

What about Steven Crossley’s performance did you like?

Now, this was a disappointment, especially after enjoying Simon Prebble. I tried so hard to keep an open mind but his rendition of Minerva just didn't fit the character I envisioned. Also, the male characters, especially Devil Cynster, didn't sound strong enough.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Well, I've read the book several times but I still got emotional at the ending, knowing that all the Bastion Club members have had their stories told.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Judy
  • Auckland, New Zealand
  • 12-28-12

Passable

Would you try another book from Stephanie Laurens and/or Steven Crossley?

Maybe. This is the first time I have tried a book from both Stephanie Laurens and Steven Crossley. If you enjoy a lot of sex scene this will be good for you, otherwise I suggest you should look for another book.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

No big surprises.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Steven Crossley?

Holter Graham or Rosalyn Landor.

Was Mastered by Love worth the listening time?

No. I found it extremely painful to finish listening to Steven Crossley narrating the book.<br/>He was fine with certain male characters, but for the main character Steven Crossley made him sound like a dead bore and not powerful enough. The worse thing is him narrating the main female character's voice. She came out sounding whinny and annoying.<br/><br/>So, the story it self is passable and perhaps easier to read. Paired with Steven Crossley's voice, I have to say I did not enjoy the characters very much.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Horrible narrator!!!!

What did you like best about Mastered by Love? What did you like least?

The story was great!! Finally Royce's story. The narration was just horrible!! I will never listen to another book narrated by Steven Crossley!

What three words best describe Steven Crossley’s performance?

Down right horrible!!

Any additional comments?

Jill Tanner and Simon Prebble are great narrators.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Lisa
  • Chardon, OH, United States
  • 05-25-12

another keeper

I LOVE this series. As usual, Stephanie Laurens captures the many facets of life and the period beautifully. The strong lead characters only add to the the richness of the story. She has a dry sense of humor at times and a tender heart at just the right time, without being overly so.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Horrible Narration!!! Don't waste your money.

What didn’t you like about Steven Crossley’s performance?

His character voices were awful. Not at all what I pictured when I read the book. It was a huge disservice to Stephanie Laurens work.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jan
  • United States
  • 03-25-15

The enigmatic spymaster meets his match

We've all been impressed and possibly intimidated by this man who led the Bastion Club members through the last 15 years of the Napoleonic wars. Here his character and personality are illuminated, as is that of the woman who has been too aware of him since she was a child. Insightful, wry, and with the obligatory erotica well done. A must read in the Bastion Club collection.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Liesl
  • Pretoria, South Africa
  • 08-30-14

Slightly disappointing

The narrator made the 37yr old Duke sound like a 70-yr old which really spoilt the book for me. The story itself was ok - I do enjoy Stephanie Laurens' books in general.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Daphne Boddy
  • 11-09-17

Ruined by narration

A very good story, with lots of tension and a satisfying culmination of the search for a traitor which has run through the series.
However, cook
Lately ruined for me by the narrator - he really cannot do women. If the heroine and other female characters spoke in the manner given them by the narrator I would have thought the hero would have been more likely to have arranged their deaths rather than the traitor’s. Such a shame and made the book really difficult to engage with at times

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  • Thor
  • 04-22-17

Mastered by Love/Coerced to Participate?

I was looking forward to the final book and read it, even though I had be disappointed by others. This series is the other side of Mary Balogh's style of writing. The sex overtook the story and it was a pity. One of the main cries through out was "It wasn't meant to be like that" and I throughly agree. It had huge potential, but got bogged down with rather forcefully, aggressive sex. Seduction is one thing, but sexual harassment leaves one feeling very uncomfortable. This series ran out of steam, instead the books were bulked out with more and more erotic, aggressive, masterful and soon on sex.

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  • E. M. Dugdale
  • 09-16-13

Great story, voices wrong

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

I love Stephanie Laurens books - super sexy - so happy to listen to it.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The story of the hero and heroine and the development of their relationship very strong.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

When telling the story the narrator was good but the voices of Royce and Minerva were painfully wrong. It just doesn't do them justice. Far too fruity.

If this book were a film would you go see it?

Yes

Any additional comments?

It is a shame that voices were so off.