Thursday, November 12, 2009


The Black Cobra Quartet - Book 1
By Stephanie Laurens
Publisher: Avon
Release Date: October 27, 2009

India 1822

Five army officers of the East India Company have undertaken a top-secret mission to end the heinous acts ordered by the evil Black Cobra. After one of them is killed while obtaining critical evidence of the villain's identity, the other four leave for England by separate, secret routes. Three carry copies of the evidence while one has the original. Their goal is to lure the Black Cobra back to his native England where they can bring him to justice and end his reign of terror forever. The first to arrive is Colonel Derek (Del) Delborough.

Del's task once he arrives in England is to safely deliver his packet of evidence to Royce Varisey, Duke of Wolverstone (Dalziel from the Bastion Club series), not to escort a woman he hasn't seen since childhood to her home. The last thing he needs is to be saddled with some simpering, English miss when so many lives depend upon his attention being focused on the deadly Black Cobra but his plan to shed himself of her as quickly as possible hits a snag when the woman in question saves his life, exposing herself to the Black Cobra's men and placing her own life in danger.

Since "the scandal" seven years earlier, Deliah (not Delilah) Duncannon has been living in exile with her uncle in the Caribbean. During that time she has remained an opinionated and independent thinker while suppressing her natural sensuality beneath a veneer of sensible practicality. Though firmly on the shelf, she longs for a family of her own but has been told her entire life that she does not fit the requirements of the type of woman English men marry. Not intimidated in the least by Colonel Delborough, she knows full well that he's keeping secrets about what he's really doing in England and Deliah has no intention of being left out of the action.

I really enjoyed the pairing of Del and Deliah. These are two mature people who match up well, becoming partners in every sense of the word, and I was in their corner cheering them on. I found Deliah's journey to self-worth and self-acceptance, thereby freeing her to accept Del's love, to be especially poignant. The story moves along at a good clip, keeping my interest engaged throughout, with plenty of action, lots of sensual heat and an evil villain who manages to stay one step ahead of the good guys. The participation of the Cynster men and their wives was a delightful surprise! I always enjoy visiting with old friends and they brought an added dimension to the story without overshadowing the hero and heroine. I hope we'll see more of them in the remaining three books.

The Untamed Bride is a terrific story, launching what looks to be an exciting new series from Stephanie Laurens. I'll be counting the days until the February 2010 release of The Elusive Bride, the second book in The Black Cobra Quartet.



  1. PJ~
    OH! I have this one!!!!! Its actually sitting right here next to me. I LOVE Stephanie's works! Especially the Bastion Club. I can't wait to start this book, and to get the others in the series!!!

    Ok, well off to bed so I can get up at 0'Dark 30.

    Night all and Happy Reading.

  2. Oh, the Word Verification that just came up was "FLZTM" the first thing I though about was The Little Mermaid (Disney Version) Wasn't that the name of one of the evil Octopus witch lady's eel's?
    just curious. Ok night all.

  3. I really enjoyed this book as well and like you, I'm counting down the days until The Elusive Bride comes out! I love the concept behind this series too. Very creative!

    Great review!

  4. I have this one too but have not gotten to it yet. I have The Elusive Bride on pre-order because if it is Stephanie Laurens I buy it.

  5. Great review PJ! This is another one that is my TBB list. Gotta find it!

  6. Morning All!

    Dorthy, I also loved the Bastion Club series, especially "The Edge of Desire." I was disappointed in Dalziel's book but Laurens has erased that disappointment with "The Untamed Bride." I enjoyed every word of this book...twice!

    Rowena, it is a creative concept, isn't it? I don't remember ever reading one similar to this.

    Dianna, I hope you enjoy the book as much as I did! Are you saving it to read the entire series back to back?

    Thanks, Buffie! Hope you find a copy. I think you'd enjoy this one.

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  8. Wow, another fantastic review! Okay, ladies, you are going to make my To Buy and TBR list larger and my pocketbook smaller with all of these reviews and insights! :)
    I cannot wait to pick up this book. It sounds like the hero and heroine are the kinds I like to read about and get to know.
    PJ, I like reading about previous characters in a series as well, but, as you stated, if they don't take over the h/h's storyline.
    (Just a note, in case you didn't pick up on it, I'm Luv2read from EJ/JQ and Deb from FBook.)

  9. I already sense the danger of the Black Cobra he REALLY a villian??? Or the hero of a future book :-)

  10. Great review, PJ! It really is a fabulous book! Can't wait to see where Stephanie takes the series.

    Joanie, interesting theory about the Black Cobra eventually being the hero. I don't know, he's pretty darn evil!

  11. Great review, PJ! I haven't read a Stephanie Laurens book in a while, but this one sounds really good. I might just have to break down and get it!

  12. My copy of this should be arriving any day, I ordered it last week, and I can't wait. I read the excerpt on her website and was hooked, this just seals it for me :) I was disappointed in her last book, but I think this one is going to be fabulous.

  13. PJ said...Dianna, I hope you enjoy the book as much as I did! Are you saving it to read the entire series back to back?

    No, I do that sometimes but in this case there were just too many new books that came out at once and I couldn't keep up..LOL At the moment SL is third in line to be read.

  14. Deb, didn't you know? It's our secret mission to make sure everybody's tbr stash is at least as big as ours! *vbg*

    Interesting theory, Joanie. I'll be curious to see what you think after reading the book.

    Hope you enjoy it, Andrea!

    JWZ, I was disappointed in the last one too. Hope you enjoy "The Untamed Bride" as much as I did. I read the entire book in one day. Loved it!

  15. Hey Peej, great review! I was asking myself where I should comment on this one first, here or at RBTB, and I decided for here (that's some verra unimportant info, I know, but still).

    I'm looking at The Untamed Bride right now and I was wondering when I'll finally have the time to read it. I've been so anxious to buy it and now that I've got it I have to do other (school-) stuff. Argh, that's so not nice!

    And I'm glad you liked it since I also knew that you (and many others) were disappointed in SL's last one and thought that maybe she isn't as good a writer as she used to be (or rather, doesn't write as good stories as she used to write). But I'm a BIG fan of adventure novel and this one sounds just like my thing!

  16. Ooooooh, and the Cynsters. *sigh* Yet another reason to make reading time as fast as possible!

  17. I am really looking forward to reading this book. Should probably buy it so I can, LOL.

  18. PJ Another fantastic review I have this book and can't wait to start reading it Stephanie Laurens is an auto buy author for me and I have all of her books love them

    Have Fun

  19. PJ, thanks for your insight. I couldn't have said it better. This is the best book SL has written. So action-packed I couldn't put it down. I too loved 'meeting' old friends, Tony, Gervase, and the Cynsters. And I have to wonder who the Black Cobra is. I have my thoughts aleady, just no specifics. Like everyone, I can hardly wait for the next installment. jld