by Stephanie Laurens

September 2006
ISBN: 0-06-083910-4
Reviewer Graphic Button Avon Books
Mass Market Paperback

With his unexpected title and estates, Jocelyn Deverell, knows more than the other Bastion Club members, how fate can change your destiny. He was a superlative spy for the Crown, infiltrating the French countryside, and remaining behind enemy lines for nearly a decade. Upon his return home, he discovered that he had become a titled gentleman, Viscount Paignton, and assumed the mantle of his responsibilities.

With the help of his favorite, albeit unconventional, Aunt Audrey, Deverell has descended on the ton, with matrimony in mind. But matchmaking mamas should beware – he will only be snared on his own terms, and to a woman who stands apart from the crowd.

Miss Phoebe Malleson is rather firmly on the shelf. At the advanced age of twenty-five, this independently wealthy young woman yields to no one’s whim. She has a rather jaded view of matrimony, and is determined to keep her freedom. With the shadows that haunt her past, and her present “occupation” Phoebe is convinced that no man will be interested in being her life partner. She has no interest in being someone’s chattel.

In celebration of Stephanie Laurens’ 20th book with Avon, To Distraction is the perfect gift. Ms. Laurens proves once again why her books are best-sellers and her fans are legion. The wits are rapier sharp in this novel, and surprises await the reader. Deverell is an Alpha among Alpha-heroes with bravery and steadfast determination. Phoebe is the heroine we all wish we could be – with beauty, an abundance of brains, and a drive to improve lives. The sparks are immediate and never die down as they battle injustice, avoid danger and fall headfirst into love. Bravo!

Reviewed in August 2006 by Paula.

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