The Lady's Command - Stephanie Laurens
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 unconventional marriage work requires something they both possess—bold and adventurous hearts.
So, obviously from the title and the cover you can tell this will fall under the historical romance category. Now, I'm admittedly not the biggest historical romance fan, but on occasion I've picked one up and I'm always pleasantly surprised, and this one was pretty solid.
Some of the best things about this book include the writing style and of course, the leading woman, Lady Edwina Delbraith. The writing style of this books feels more like an authentic historical romance- does that make sense? Most of the historical romances I've read sound like modern day conversations and that's not really what it would have been like in the early 1900's and even older. Stephanie Laurens knows what she's doing and she has a command on the voice of these characters and it really sets her books ahead of so many others. My other favorite is definitely this lead. When you think of women and these earlier time periods, they are expected to be the modest, quiet, demure companion for their rugged, authoritative, charming husbands. I think our lead male, Declan Frobisher, really thought Edwina would be that but oh- is he completely wrong. Edwina has her own agenda, it's clear she's very intelligent, can read people better than anyone, and knows how to get her way subtly. Declan knows he has his hands full when she demands that she accompany him on a secret mission. It turns out to be an asset to have Edwina along, but it's very unconventional, to say the least.
The only drawbacks to this book is that the mystery element isn't really very strong. If you are buying this book hoping for mystery- keep shopping. But if you are a fan of historical romance and you want something that feels like it was written during this time period, this is a book you should have in your collection, hands down. My other drawback is I was hoping for more passion. Now, I know that in the 1800's modesty is a thing but I was hoping for a little extra oomph. The lack of it doesn't make this a book I would pass up because I did like the story and I wanted to see what would happen with Edwina and Declan on their epic journey on the high seas. It was a cozy read next to my fireplace over the weekend, for sure.
You can get your own copy of The Lady's Command on Amazon. In the meantime, you can follow Stephanie Laurens on her website as well as on her Facebook page.