The Lady's Command
By Stephanie Laurens
Release Date: January 1, 2016
The Lady's Command is the first of four books in Stephanie Laurens' new series, The Adventurers Quartet. It's a bit out of the norm in that the reader does not accompany the hero and heroine on their journey to love. Instead, the book opens three weeks after Declan Frobisher and Lady Edwina Delbraith have wed. While Edwina and Declan are in love and happily living within the honeymoon glow, it quickly becomes apparent to the reader that they have different ideas of how their marriage will work. Declan expects Edwina to tend to home and hearth while he sails off on company business and the occasional secret mission his family is called upon to complete for the Crown. Edwina is determined to have a marriage of equals. She's in the dark as to what Declan will be doing when he announces he must sail to West Africa mere weeks into their marriage but there's one thing of which she is certain. She will not be left behind. But when she stows away on Declan's ship, leaving him no choice but to take her along on his secret mission, will it bind them closer together or will the danger to Edwina tear them apart forever?
The Lady's Command is a tale of two halves. I found the first part of the book, set amidst ton dinners and balls in London, to be repetitive and slow-moving. It's filled with a lot of descriptive prose and establishing the hero's and heroine's thoughts regarding marriage. It's a lot of "tell" and not much "show." The pace picks up when Declan and Edwina arrive in West Africa and I began to enjoy the book a lot more. There's a mystery to be solved and as we learn more about the people who have gone missing and who the villain might be we also begin to delve beneath the surface with our main characters. There's much more development of them individually and as a couple.
There's a lot of stage-setting in this book, as one might expect from the first in a four-book series with an over-arching mystery. While that slowed things down a bit, I still enjoyed the second half of the book and am invested in discovering who is behind the kidnappings and why they are taking place. I have to admit that while I liked Declan and Edwina and was happy for their happy ending, I found myself more intrigued by the mystery aspect of The Lady's Command than I was by the romance. Maybe I didn't feel as invested in their HEA because I missed out on the emotional intensity of their courtship. I am, however, invested in the mystery and will be picking up the second book in the quartet, The Buccaneer at Heart (April 26) to find out what happens next!
Do you like mystery mixed with your romance?
Do you enjoy a sea-faring romance?
Stephanie Laurens’ TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:
Monday, January 4th: Romancing the Book
Tuesday, January 5th: Bewitched Bookworms
Wednesday, January 6th: The Sassy Bookster
Thursday, January 7th: Thoughts from an Evil Overlord
Friday, January 8th: A Chick Who Reads