by Stephanie Laurens
Mass Market Paperback: 496 pages
Publisher: Avon (August 29, 2006)
By Jessica Stewart, Courier Editor-in-Chief
“’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.’”
So begins To Distraction, Stephanie Laurens’s fifth novel in her Bastion Club series. It is one of the best examples of a perfect romance novel, at least in my opinion. It has plot, but separates itself from normal fiction by being equal parts plot and emotion. People do not generally read a romance novel for the plot, but a book based solely on lust, romance and emotion belongs in the Erotica sections of bookstores. To Distraction is balanced, with the plot and the emotions, romance, and, yes, lust, all intertwined. The fact that it is extremely well-written and clearly based on extensive research of the period (the early 1800s) only add to its greatness. Add characters that are believable and well-developed, including the villains and other minor characters, and you get the perfect romance novel.