MASTERED BY LOVE by Stephanie Laurens

Read: Feb 19 - Feb 23
Format: Paperback, 434 pages
Source: Barnes & Noble - Owned
Subject: marriage, love
Setting: England, Northumbria
Category: Love is a Many Splendored Thing
Challenges: 101020, 75 Book, BOSC, TIOLI- FEBRUARY
Stars: 4

Dalziel was the head of the area of the War Office that managed the espionage operatives during the Napoleonic wars. Now the wars are over and Dalziel has watched each of his friends, one by one, find a bride and settle down to a normal life. But can he? He joined the service of his country in his youth and for that his father ceased all communication with him. Now when he no longer needs to work in the War Office, he resigns his commission and plans to head home to try to restore his relationship with his father, but he is too late. Just as he is packing to leave he receives notice that his father has died and his is now the new Duke of Wolverstone.

Royce Varisey arrives at his ancestral home and is met by Minerva Chesterton, the woman who served as his father's chatelaine and his mother's companion until her death. He remembers her only as a child but as the time passes and he begins t take up the reigns of control for his estates, he realizes that she is the woman that he needs to share his life, but she has other ideas.

This story is probably one of Stephanie Laurens' best because she takes a character that has been a mystery throughout the series (Bastion Club) and finally identifies who he is and why he is the way he is. Watching the interaction between the characters and reviving those from stories past, makes a rich and vibrant tale of love and romance mixed with intrigue. I'm not sure that it would be as enjoyable as a standalone novel, but having read all the others that preceded it, he was terrific!

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