MASTERED BY LOVE STEPHANIE LAURENS EPUB

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Conquest (Mine to Take 2) - Jacquelyn lyatrusavquoper.cf Stephanie, Laurens - [ Bastion Club 8] - Mastered by Love (, HarperCollins, ). epub. Mastered By Love (Bastion Club #8) ". By: Stephanie Laurens. Bookshop, Epub Format, Epub Ebook Download, Epub To Mobi, Epub Format. 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 .


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Mastered By Love (Bastion Club series) by Stephanie Laurens. Read online, or download in secure EPUB format. Read "Mastered By Love" by Stephanie Laurens available from Rakuten Kobo. Sign up today and get $5 off your first download. The men of the Bastion Club. Mastered by Love. Home · Mastered by Love Author: Laurens Stephanie. 28 downloads Views Dark Elves - 02 - Mastered · Read more · Bound By Love.

According to their creed, loyalty to either country or sovereign was a commodity to be traded and bought, something both Crown and country had to place a suitable price upon before it was granted. More, to dukes and earls of his father's ilk, "country" had an ambiguous meaning; kings in their own domains, those domains were their primary concern while the realm possessed a more nebulous and distant existence, certainly a lesser claim on their honor.

While Royce would allow that swearing fealty to the present monarchy-mad King George and his dissolute son, the Prince Regent-wasn't an attractive proposition, he held no equivocation over swearing allegiance, and service, to his country-to England. As the only son of a powerful ducal family and thus barred by long custom from serving in the field, when, at the tender age of twenty-two, he'd been approached to create a network of English spies on foreign soil, he'd leapt at the chance.

Not only had it offered the prospect of contributing to Napoleon's defeat, but with his extensive personal and family contacts combined with his inherent ability to inspire and command, the position was tailor made; from the first it had fitted him like a glove.

But to his father the position had been a disgrace to the name and title, a blot on the family estucheon; his old-fashioned views had labelled spying as without question dishonorable, even if one were spying on active military enemies.

It was a view shared by many senior peers at the time. Bad enough, but when Royce had refused to decline the commission, his father had organized an ambush. A public one, in White's, at a time of the evening when the club was always crowded.

With his cronies at his back, his father had passed public judgment on Royce in strident and escoriating terms. As his peroration, his father had triumphantly declared that if Royce refused to bow to his edict and instead served in the capacity for which he'd been recruited, then it would be as if he, the ninth Duke, had no son.

Even in the white rage his father's attack had provoked, Royce had noted that "as if. The interdict would, however, banish him from all family lands. Facing his apoplectic sire over the crimson carpet of the exclusive club surrounded by an army of fascinated aristocracy, he'd waited, unresponsive, until his father had finished his well-rehearsed speech.

He'd waited until the expectant silence surrounding them had grown thick, then he'd uttered three words: As you wish. Then he'd turned and walked from the club, and from that day forth had ceased to be his father's son. From that day he'd been known as Dalziel, a name taken from an obscure branch of his mother's family tree, fitting enough given it was his maternal grandfather-by then dead-who had taught him the creed by which he'd chosen to live. While the Variseys were marcher lords, the Debraighs were no less powerful, but their lands lay in the heart of England and they'd served king and country-principally country-selflessly for centuries.

Debraighs had stood as both warriors and statesmen at the right hand of countless monarchs; duty to their people was bred deeply in them. While deploring the rift with his father, the Debraighs had approved Royce's stance, yet, sensitive even then to the dynamics of power, he'd discouraged their active support.

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His uncle, the Earl of Catersham, had written, asking if there was anything he could do. Royce had replied in the negative, as he had to his mother's similar query; his fight was with his father and should involve no one else.

That had been his decision, one he'd adhered to throughout the subsequent sixteen years; none of them had expected vanquishing Napoleon to take so long. But it had. Through those years he'd recruited the best of his generation of Guards, organized them into a network of secret operatives and successfully placed them throughout Napoleon's territories. Their success had become the stuff of legend; those who knew correctly credited his network with saving countless British lives, and contributing directly to Napoleon's downfall.

His success on that stage had been sweet. However, with Napoleon on his way to St. Helena, he'd disbanded his crew, releasing them to their civilian lives. And, as of Monday, he, too, had left his former life-Dalziel's life-behind. He hadn't, however, expected to assume any title beyond the courtesy one of Marquess of Winchelsea. Hadn't expected to immediately assume control of the dukedom and all it comprised. His on-going banishment--he'd never expected his father to back down any more than he himself had--had effectively estranged him from the dukedom's houses, lands and people, and most especially from the one place that meant most to him-Wolverstone itself.

The castle was far more than just a home; the stone walls and battlements held something-some magic-that resonated in his blood, in his heart, in his soul. His father had known that; it had been the same for him. Despite the passage of sixteen years, as the horses raced on Royce still felt the pull, the visceral tug that only grew stronger as he rattled through Sharperton, drawing ever closer to Wolverstone.

He felt faintly surprised that it should be so, that despite the years, the rift, his own less than susceptible temperament, he could still sense…home. That home still meant what it always had. That it still moved him to his soul. He hadn't expected that, any more than he'd expected to be returning like this-alone, in a tearing rush, without even his long-time groom, Henry, another Wolverstone outcast, for company through the empty miles.

On Monday, while tidying the last of Dalziel's files from his desk, he'd been planning his return to Wolverstone. He'd imagined driving up from London by easy stages, arriving at the castle fresh and rested-in suitable state to walk into his father's presence…and see what came next.

He'd imagined an apology from his father might, just might, have featured in that scene; he'd been curious to see, yet hadn't been holding his breath.

But now he'd never know. His father had died on Sunday. Leaving the rift between them-viscious and deep, naturally enough given they were both Variseys-unhealed. Unlaid to rest. He hadn't known whether to curse his father or fate for leaving him to cauterize the wound. Regardless, dealing with his past was no longer the most urgent matter on his plate. Picking up the reins of a far-flung and extensive dukedom after a sixteen-year absence was going to demand all his attention, command all of his abilities to the exclusion of all else.

He would succeed-there was neither question nor option in that regard-but how long it would take, and what it would cost him…how the devil he was to do it he didn't know.

It wasn't supposed to have been like this. His father had been hale and healthy enough for a man in his sixties. He hadn't been ailing; Royce trusted that if he had, someone would have broken his father's prohibition and sent him word.

Instead, he'd been blindsided. In his version of his return, his father and he would have made their peace, their truce, whatever arrangement they would have made, then he would have started refreshing his knowledge of the estate, filling in the gap between when he'd been twenty-one, and last at Wolverstone, to his present thirty-seven. Instead, his father was gone, leaving him to pick up the reins with a lag of sixteen years in knowledge hanging like a millstone around his neck. While he had absolute confidence--Varisey confidence--that he would fill his father's shoes more than adequately, he wasn't looking forward to assuming emergency command over unfamiliar troops in terrain that would have shifted in unforeseen ways over the past sixteen years.

His temper, like that of all Variseys, especially the males, was formidable, an emotion that carried the same cutting edge as their broadswords of long ago. He'd learned to control it rather better than his father, to keep it reined, another weapon to be used to conquer and overcome; not even those who knew him well could detect the difference between mild irritation and a killing rage.

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Not unless he wished them to know. Control of his emotions had long become second nature. Ever since he'd learned of his father's demise, his temper had been surging, restless, largely unreasoning, violently hungry for some release. Knowing the only release that would satisfy had, courtesy of fickle fate, been denied him forever. Not having any enemy to lash out at, to exact vengeance from, left him walking a tightrope, his impulses and instincts tightly leashed.

Stony-faced, he swept through Harbottle. A woman walking along the street glanced curiously at him.

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While he was clearly heading for Wolverstone, there being no other destination along this road to which a gentleman of his ilk might be going, he had numerous male cousins, and they all shared more than a passing resemblance; even if the woman had heard of his father's death, it was unlikely she would realize it was he. Since Sharperton the road had followed the banks of the Coquet; over the drumming of the horses' hooves, he'd heard the river burbling along its rocky bed.

Now the road curved north; a stone bridge spanned the river. The curricle rattled across; he drew a tight breath as he crossed into Wolverstone lands. Felt that indefinable connection grip and tighten. Straightening on the seat, stretching the long muscles in his back, he eased the horses' pace, and looked around. Drank in the familiar sights, each emblazoned in his memory. Most were as he'd expected-exactly as he recalled only sixteen years older. A ford lay ahead, spanning the River Alwin; he slowed the horses and let them pick their way across.

As the wheels drew free of the water, he flicked the reins and set the pair up the slight rise, the road curving again, this time to the west.

The curricle topped the rise, and he slowed the horses to a walk. The slate roofs of Alwinton lay directly ahead. Closer, on his left, between the road and the Coquet, sat the grey stone church with its vicarage and three cottages.

He barely spared a glance for the church, his gaze drawn past it, across the river to the massive grey stone edifice that rose in majestic splendor beyond. Wolverstone Castle. The heavily-fortified square Norman keep, added to and rebuilt by successive generations, remained the central and dominant feature, its crenellated battlements rising above the lower roofs of the early Tudor wings, both uniquely dog-legged, one running west, then north, the other east, then south.

The keep faced north, looking directly up a narrow valley through which Clennell Street, one of the border crossings, descended from the hills.

Neither raiders, nor traders, could cross the border by that route without passing under Wolverstone's ever-watchful eyes. From this distance, he could make out little beyond the main buildings. The castle stood on gently sloping land above the gorge the Coquet had carved west of Alwinton village.

The castle's park spread to east, south and west, the land continuing to rise, eventually becoming hills that sheltered the castle on the south and west. The Cheviots themselves protected the castle from the north winds; only from the east, the direction from which the road approached, was the castle vulnerable to even the elements.

This had always been his first sight of home. Despite all, he felt the connection lock, felt the rising tide of affinity surge. The reins tugged; he'd let the horses come to a halt. Flicking the ribbons, he set them trotting as he looked about even more keenly.

Fields, fences, crops and cottages appeared in reasonable order. He went through the village-not much more than a hamlet-at a steady clip. The villagers would recognize him; some might even hail him, but he wasn't yet ready to trade greetings, to accept condolences on his father's death--not yet.

Another stone bridge spanned the deep, narrow gorge through which the river gushed and tumbled. The gorge was the reason no army had even attempted to take Wolverstone; the sole approach was via the stone bridge-easily defended. Because of the hills on all other sides, it was impossible to position mangonels or any type of seige engine anywhere that wasn't well within a decent archer's range from the battlements. Royce swept over the bridge, the clatter of the horses' hooves drowned beneath the tumultous roar of the waters rushing, turbulent and wild, below.

Just like his temper. The closer he drew to the castle, to what awaited him there, the more powerful the surge of his emotions grew.

Miss Leonora Carling has beauty, spirit and passion; unfortunately, matrimony is the last thing on her mind To Leonora, Tristan's kisses are oh-so-tempting, but once bitten, forever shy, she has determinedly turned her back on marriage. But Tristan is a seasoned campaigner who will not accept defeat. And when a mysterious man attempts to scare Leonora and her family from their home, Tristan realizes he's been given the perfect excuse to offer his services--as protector, seducer and, ultimately, husband.

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 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. Austell leaps at the chance to help his ex-commander Dalziel by investigating rumors of spies operating via smuggling gangs near Charles's Cornwall home.

The first strange thing Charles discovers is Lady Penelope Selborne, neighbor and ex-lover, marching through his house after midnight. Years ago, Charles and Penny shared one fabulously passionate interlude, but ever since, she's managed to avoid him.

Now Charles uncovers a web of Selborne family secrets and a spy network others are also searching for--and trapped in the middle is Penny, the one lady he had never ceased wanting for his own. But twist follows twist and nothing is what it seemed--Charles has his hands full unraveling the truth about the spying, unmasking an assassin intent on killing all Selbornes, including Penny, while simultaneously convincing that independent lady that she and only she will do for him--and he for her.

Turning his back on the entire notion of marriage, he rides home to the estate he has not seen for years, determined to set in motion an alternative course of action. But then in the lane before his gate, Jack rescues a startlingly beautiful lady from a menacing, unmanageable horse.

However, while he begins by taking command, the lady continues by taking it back. Bad enough, but when Royce had refused to decline the commission, his father had organized an ambush.

A public one, in White's, at a time of the evening when the club was always crowded. With his cronies at his back, his father had passed public judgment on Royce in strident and escoriating terms. As his peroration, his father had triumphantly declared that if Royce refused to bow to his edict and instead served in the capacity for which he'd been recruited, then it would be as if he, the ninth Duke, had no son.

Even in the white rage his father's attack had provoked, Royce had noted that "as if. The interdict would, however, banish him from all family lands. Facing his apoplectic sire over the crimson carpet of the exclusive club surrounded by an army of fascinated aristocracy, he'd waited, unresponsive, until his father had finished his well-rehearsed speech.

He'd waited until the expectant silence surrounding them had grown thick, then he'd uttered three words: As you wish. Then he'd turned and walked from the club, and from that day forth had ceased to be his father's son. From that day he'd been known as Dalziel, a name taken from an obscure branch of his mother's family tree, fitting enough given it was his maternal grandfather-by then dead-who had taught him the creed by which he'd chosen to live.

While the Variseys were marcher lords, the Debraighs were no less powerful, but their lands lay in the heart of England and they'd served king and country-principally country-selflessly for centuries.

Debraighs had stood as both warriors and statesmen at the right hand of countless monarchs; duty to their people was bred deeply in them. While deploring the rift with his father, the Debraighs had approved Royce's stance, yet, sensitive even then to the dynamics of power, he'd discouraged their active support.

His uncle, the Earl of Catersham, had written, asking if there was anything he could do. Royce had replied in the negative, as he had to his mother's similar query; his fight was with his father and should involve no one else. That had been his decision, one he'd adhered to throughout the subsequent sixteen years; none of them had expected vanquishing Napoleon to take so long. But it had. Through those years he'd recruited the best of his generation of Guards, organized them into a network of secret operatives and successfully placed them throughout Napoleon's territories.

Their success had become the stuff of legend; those who knew correctly credited his network with saving countless British lives, and contributing directly to Napoleon's downfall. His success on that stage had been sweet. However, with Napoleon on his way to St. Helena, he'd disbanded his crew, releasing them to their civilian lives. And, as of Monday, he, too, had left his former life-Dalziel's life-behind.

He hadn't, however, expected to assume any title beyond the courtesy one of Marquess of Winchelsea. Hadn't expected to immediately assume control of the dukedom and all it comprised. His on-going banishment--he'd never expected his father to back down any more than he himself had--had effectively estranged him from the dukedom's houses, lands and people, and most especially from the one place that meant most to him-Wolverstone itself.

The castle was far more than just a home; the stone walls and battlements held something-some magic-that resonated in his blood, in his heart, in his soul. His father had known that; it had been the same for him. Despite the passage of sixteen years, as the horses raced on Royce still felt the pull, the visceral tug that only grew stronger as he rattled through Sharperton, drawing ever closer to Wolverstone. He felt faintly surprised that it should be so, that despite the years, the rift, his own less than susceptible temperament, he could still sense…home.

That home still meant what it always had. That it still moved him to his soul. He hadn't expected that, any more than he'd expected to be returning like this-alone, in a tearing rush, without even his long-time groom, Henry, another Wolverstone outcast, for company through the empty miles.

On Monday, while tidying the last of Dalziel's files from his desk, he'd been planning his return to Wolverstone. He'd imagined driving up from London by easy stages, arriving at the castle fresh and rested-in suitable state to walk into his father's presence…and see what came next.

He'd imagined an apology from his father might, just might, have featured in that scene; he'd been curious to see, yet hadn't been holding his breath. But now he'd never know. His father had died on Sunday. Leaving the rift between them-viscious and deep, naturally enough given they were both Variseys-unhealed. Unlaid to rest.

Mastered By Love by Stephanie Laurens

He hadn't known whether to curse his father or fate for leaving him to cauterize the wound. Regardless, dealing with his past was no longer the most urgent matter on his plate.

Picking up the reins of a far-flung and extensive dukedom after a sixteen-year absence was going to demand all his attention, command all of his abilities to the exclusion of all else. He would succeed-there was neither question nor option in that regard-but how long it would take, and what it would cost him…how the devil he was to do it he didn't know. It wasn't supposed to have been like this.

His father had been hale and healthy enough for a man in his sixties.

He hadn't been ailing; Royce trusted that if he had, someone would have broken his father's prohibition and sent him word. Instead, he'd been blindsided. In his version of his return, his father and he would have made their peace, their truce, whatever arrangement they would have made, then he would have started refreshing his knowledge of the estate, filling in the gap between when he'd been twenty-one, and last at Wolverstone, to his present thirty-seven.

Instead, his father was gone, leaving him to pick up the reins with a lag of sixteen years in knowledge hanging like a millstone around his neck. While he had absolute confidence--Varisey confidence--that he would fill his father's shoes more than adequately, he wasn't looking forward to assuming emergency command over unfamiliar troops in terrain that would have shifted in unforeseen ways over the past sixteen years.

His temper, like that of all Variseys, especially the males, was formidable, an emotion that carried the same cutting edge as their broadswords of long ago. He'd learned to control it rather better than his father, to keep it reined, another weapon to be used to conquer and overcome; not even those who knew him well could detect the difference between mild irritation and a killing rage.

Not unless he wished them to know. Control of his emotions had long become second nature. Ever since he'd learned of his father's demise, his temper had been surging, restless, largely unreasoning, violently hungry for some release. Knowing the only release that would satisfy had, courtesy of fickle fate, been denied him forever. Not having any enemy to lash out at, to exact vengeance from, left him walking a tightrope, his impulses and instincts tightly leashed. Stony-faced, he swept through Harbottle.

A woman walking along the street glanced curiously at him. While he was clearly heading for Wolverstone, there being no other destination along this road to which a gentleman of his ilk might be going, he had numerous male cousins, and they all shared more than a passing resemblance; even if the woman had heard of his father's death, it was unlikely she would realize it was he. Since Sharperton the road had followed the banks of the Coquet; over the drumming of the horses' hooves, he'd heard the river burbling along its rocky bed.

Now the road curved north; a stone bridge spanned the river. The curricle rattled across; he drew a tight breath as he crossed into Wolverstone lands. Felt that indefinable connection grip and tighten. Straightening on the seat, stretching the long muscles in his back, he eased the horses' pace, and looked around. Drank in the familiar sights, each emblazoned in his memory.

Most were as he'd expected-exactly as he recalled only sixteen years older. A ford lay ahead, spanning the River Alwin; he slowed the horses and let them pick their way across. As the wheels drew free of the water, he flicked the reins and set the pair up the slight rise, the road curving again, this time to the west. The curricle topped the rise, and he slowed the horses to a walk.

The slate roofs of Alwinton lay directly ahead. Closer, on his left, between the road and the Coquet, sat the grey stone church with its vicarage and three cottages. He barely spared a glance for the church, his gaze drawn past it, across the river to the massive grey stone edifice that rose in majestic splendor beyond.

Wolverstone Castle. The heavily-fortified square Norman keep, added to and rebuilt by successive generations, remained the central and dominant feature, its crenellated battlements rising above the lower roofs of the early Tudor wings, both uniquely dog-legged, one running west, then north, the other east, then south.

The keep faced north, looking directly up a narrow valley through which Clennell Street, one of the border crossings, descended from the hills. Neither raiders, nor traders, could cross the border by that route without passing under Wolverstone's ever-watchful eyes. From this distance, he could make out little beyond the main buildings. The castle stood on gently sloping land above the gorge the Coquet had carved west of Alwinton village.

The castle's park spread to east, south and west, the land continuing to rise, eventually becoming hills that sheltered the castle on the south and west. The Cheviots themselves protected the castle from the north winds; only from the east, the direction from which the road approached, was the castle vulnerable to even the elements. This had always been his first sight of home. Despite all, he felt the connection lock, felt the rising tide of affinity surge.

The reins tugged; he'd let the horses come to a halt. Flicking the ribbons, he set them trotting as he looked about even more keenly. Fields, fences, crops and cottages appeared in reasonable order. He went through the village-not much more than a hamlet-at a steady clip.

The villagers would recognize him; some might even hail him, but he wasn't yet ready to trade greetings, to accept condolences on his father's death--not yet.

Another stone bridge spanned the deep, narrow gorge through which the river gushed and tumbled. The gorge was the reason no army had even attempted to take Wolverstone; the sole approach was via the stone bridge-easily defended. Because of the hills on all other sides, it was impossible to position mangonels or any type of seige engine anywhere that wasn't well within a decent archer's range from the battlements.

Royce swept over the bridge, the clatter of the horses' hooves drowned beneath the tumultous roar of the waters rushing, turbulent and wild, below. Just like his temper. The closer he drew to the castle, to what awaited him there, the more powerful the surge of his emotions grew.

The more unsettling and distracting. The more hungry, vengeful and demanding. The huge wrought iron gates lay ahead, set wide as they always were; the depiction of a snarling wolf's head in the center of each matched the bronze statues atop the stone columns from which the gates hung.

With a flick of the reins, he sent the horses racing through. As if sensing the end of their journey, they leaned into the harness; trees flashed past, massive ancient oaks bordering the lawns that rolled away on either side.

He barely noticed, his attention-all his senses-locked on the building towering before him. It was as massive and as anchored in the soil as the oaks.He took the last stairs in a rush, stepped into the gallery, swung left toward the west tower--and collided with a woman. Secrets of a Perfect Night. Wiwit Whindari pinned post 8 Aug Their success had become the stuff of legend; those who knew correctly credited his network with saving countless British lives, and contributing directly to Napoleon's downfall.

What Price Love? Ancestral territory. Description Customer Reviews 1 eBook Details Click on the cover image above to read some pages of this book! The men of the Bastion Club proved their bravery secretly fighting for their country. The castle's park spread to east, south and west, the land continuing to rise, eventually becoming hills that sheltered the castle on the south and west.

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