The Lady's Command

Stephanie Laurens
The Lady's Command
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Publisher
Harlequin
Release Date
December 2015
ISBN
9780778318613
Series
Book 1 of The Adventurers Quartet
Genre
Action/Adventure Romance, Historical Romance

SUMMARY
How does marriage work? If convention is set aside and is no longer there to guide...what then?
#1 New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Laurens brings you THE ADVENTURERS QUARTET, a riveting blend of Regency-era high seas adventure, a mystery shrouded in the heat of tropical jungles, and the passionate romances of four couples and their unexpected journeys into love.
The instant Captain Declan Frobisher laid eyes on Lady Edwina Delbraith, he knew she was the lady he wanted as his wife. The scion of a seafaring dynasty accustomed to success, he discovered that wooing Edwina was surprisingly straightforward—not least because she made it plain that she wanted him as much as he wanted her.
Declan's vision of marriage was of a gently-reared wife to grace his arm, to manage his household, and to bear his children. He assumed that household, children, and wife would remain safely in England while he continued his life as an explorer sailing the high seas.
Declan got his wish—up to a point. He and Edwina were wed. As for the rest—his vision of marriage…
Aunt of the young Duke of Ridgware and sister of the mysterious man known as Neville Roscoe, London's gambling king, even before the knot was tied Edwina shattered the illusion that her character is as delicate, ethereal, and fragile as her appearance suggests. Far from adhering to orthodox mores, she and her ducal family are even more unconventional than the Frobishers.
Beneath her fairy-princess exterior, Edwina possesses a spine of steel—one that might bend, but will never break. Born to the purple—born to rule—she's determined to rule her life. With Declan's ring on her finger, that means forging a marriage that meets her needs as well as his.
But bare weeks into their honeymoon, Declan is required to sail to West Africa. Edwina decides she must accompany him.
A secret mission with unknown villains flings unexpected dangers into their path as Declan and Edwina discover that meeting the challenge of making an uncon

Book Review by Delta (reviewer)
Dec 15, 2015   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
76 people found the following review helpful
While I personally didn't care for this book, I think fans of sweetly sensual historical romance will likely swoon over the larger than life feel of the writing.

The moment shipping magnate Declan Frobisher laid eyes on Lady Edwina Delbraith, he knew she would be his wife. He didn't know that this seemingly predictable and ordinary young woman was, inside, a gorgeous adventurer set on a goal. Edwina had her choice of suitors, but when Declan asked for her hand, she knew that not only could she love him, but she could have all sorts of adventures with him on the ocean.

When Declan is called to sail to South Africa on a mission for the crown, Edwina assumes she'll be sailing with him, but Declan puts his foot down. No way is his wife accompanying him on this...or any...mission! So Edwina does what any self respecting, bullheaded young wife would do: she sneaks aboard The Cormorant! Declan is livid when he finds her, but once he has a chance to settle down, he realizes that he's enormously glad she's there to accompany him. In fact, her particular skills might just come in quite handy.

THE LADY'S COMMAND is the first in The Adventurers Quartet series, and if I'm honest, it took some time for me to feel like I "got it." It was terribly confusing at the beginning and it took quite a while for me to feel invested in their story. Once the ball finally got rolling and their adventure began (about halfway through), I started to enjoy THE LADY'S COMMAND a bit more. The writing was very flowy and flowery and sweeping and grand, especially the sex scenes. It was a bit too showy for my tastes, but it was quite sensual nonetheless. The POV switched between the two constantly, which was frustrating as it was always flipping back and forth from one paragraph to the next, making me have to reread to figure out who was saying what. And the cheese factor had me rolling my eyes white a bit, like at this little nugget:

Together, they rode – flat out, hearts thundering as they raced for the cliff at the edge of their world.

And, together, soared.

I like a little sass and bite to my romance novels, not poetic and flowery prose, and THE LADY'S COMMAND was full of long-winded and dramatic storytelling. I thought that Declan and Edwina had the chemistry of siblings or lifelong friends, and honestly, the mutual respect thing didn't translate well for me. It felt like she steamrolled over him and he had no clue what to do with such an independent and insistent bride. It certainly was not the give and take partnership Edwina claimed to desire. Unfortunately, I felt like the adventure/mystery fell seriously flat as well despite the fact that Ms. Laurens spent an inordinate amount of words describing their predicament.

Bottom Line: This was just an okay read, nothing too exciting or adventurous or sexy, it was all pretty dry and dull despite the series name. I do however think rabid fans of historical romance will enjoy it.
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