04 December 2009

Review: Stephanie Laurens - The Untamed Bride

~Buy copy here~
Mass Market Paperback: 448 pages
Publisher: Avon (October 27, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0061795143
ISBN-13: 978-0061795145

Genre: Historical Romance
Main Characters: Colonel Derek Delborough and Deliah Duncannon
Book Origin: Katrina Alvarez, Sr. Manager, Marketing

Cover Summary:
He is a man who has faced peril without flinching, determined to fight for king and country.

She is a bold, beautiful woman with a scandalous past, destined to become an untamed bride.
Together they must vanquish the ruthless enemy, while confronting the dangers of the heart...

I’d like to introduce to you five battle-honed officers of the crown; Colonel Derek Delborough, also known as Del, Major Gareth Hamilton, Captain Rafe “Reckless” Carstairs, Major Logan Monteith and Captain James MacFarlane. One of them lays down his life in order to get crucial evidence in the groups hands regarding the devious Black Cobra, whose cruel acts causes victims all over India. In order to create the downfall of the Black Cobra a plan is set in motion and the remaining four men disperse in various directions while one has the original evidence to bring home to England.

Del is the first to arrive in England and the carefully plotted plan is crossed by one very head-strong Mss. Deliah Duncannon.

When I opened THE UNTAMED BRIDE I found a group of incredibly diverse and enigmatic males yet a frequent reader of this authors books would recognize the hallmark character traits of a Laurens hero immediately. In this forty plus counting prelude the back-story was given of how this group ended up in India and what the fiend Black Cobra was all about. While the men held my undivided attention I felt the back story lacked in detail, the atrocities of the Black Cobra is matter-of-factly told rather than showing me the devastating effect of his scheming, plundering, pillaging and murdering ways. It made the threat of him a distant one even though he murdered one of the group. Still, I was only at the beginning so I read on, curiosity highly piqued were this was all going.

After that prelude we go from colorful India to winter drab and cold England and I instantly picked up on the classic elements of a Laurens’ historical. The plan was formed by the rich and powerful of England, in this case the Cynsters and the men from the Bastion club and Del got flanked by them throughout his part of it. At one hand it is like coming back to a big, familiar family you got to know so well over the years and at the other hand there is an edge of disappointment that this isn’t something entirely new. Still I was turning the pages how this story would develop from the moment Del stepped on to England’s shore and met up with Tony Blake and Gervase Tregarth.

When Del enters an Inn for the night he is confronted with a message from his aunts demanding he escorts a lady home. This is where Deliah Duncannon comes in the picture. Both their strong-willed and take-charge personalities clash and delivers sharp tongued dialogues where I instantly knew they were equally matched. I loved it how Laurens triggered the need for me to look beyond the facade that was put in front of me by their attitudes. They used their attitudes as shields and with every chapter more of their inner emotions were revealed to me.

Del is a classic hero of the historical genre. He is a military man, has courage but isn’t rash, a man who accumulated wealth throughout his career, has an estate waiting for him at home and is on the top of his abilities. Not only is Del an easily likable hero who is virile and confident, he is also one of those natural leaders and his actions showcase it. How can I not love such a hero?

Now Deliah is one tough cookie and doesn’t crumble easily in stressful situations. At first I got her prim and proper attitude of hers, laced with - and let me quote the author here in her description – ‘a domineering, opiniated, wasp-tongued and willfully independent woman’. She was definitely a handful but then the reasons for these personality traits are revealed and I couldn’t help but utterly like her.

Del and Deliah together are sultry, sensual and set the pages ablaze at times. I couldn’t get enough of the romance developing between them albeit the fact that in the second half the feelings progressed a little too smoothly.

The suspense, if you can call it that, encompassed a few hightail chases through London, a nice threat from within friendly ranks and various attacks but dwindled in the presence of the rich and all powerful of the Bon Ton, namely the original six Cynsters and Bastion men. I’m not saying the Black Cobra doesn’t have a few tricks up his sleeves but it’s just with so many helping out that the feeling of obstacles to overcome was nipped in the bud quickly.

THE UNTAMED BRIDE is a historical romance where Stephanie Laurens showcases her hallmark storytelling, delivers a fine romance between two headstrong characters at a backdrop of nineteenth century England and a mediocre plot that gives room for some of Laurens most famous couples.


And the wild ride began.
Pagan in its power, it held her, compelled her. She danced beneath him, rode with him, throughthe flames, straight into the heart of the fire. And they burned. Hotter, more intense than anything she’d dreamed, a fiery need blossomed at her core, relentlessly, ruthlessly, he fed and stoked the blaze…

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  1. That cover alone is enough to make me want to read this. So pretty. Great review.

  2. Sounds like a solid historical read with all the things in it that are so typical for Laurens writing!

  3. I've been meaning to read one of her books for a few years now. This one sounds really interesting!

  4. Leontine I do think you'd make me change my current reading trend from UF and Erotica to historicals. You hold such powers of persuasion over me :)

  5. With many Cynster books and the entire Bastion Club series unread on the shelves I think I am skipping this one, despite your nice review. It just doesn't wow me enough to pull out the bankcard ;)

  6. I have been nervously waiting to hear about this book, since I was bitterly disappointed with Mastered by Love (aka Mastered by Boredom). I really miss the vitality of the old SL books. Sounds like this one is pretty good. So, I'll give it a go. Thanks for the review, Leontine!

  7. @Fiction Vixen - Yeah the cover is good...I miss my male smut but I like it nonetheless ;)

    @Marissa - Yeah, it is really a "typical" Stephanie Laurens novel. Next up for me is Gabriel though...A Secret Love from the Cynster series.

    @Ladytink_543 - Then THE UNTAMED BRIDE might be a nice way for you to start ;)

    @Smokinhotbooks - Well, know that you have the same hold over me...I'm more in a smut phase right now ;)

    @Pearl - Wise decision! You'll find in those books what I found in THE UNTAMED BRIDE ;D

    @Penelope - It is a nice story and hope you'll enjoy yourself reading it!

  8. I've never been able to get through a Stephanie Laurens book. I'm not sure why-the storyline always appeals to me (I own 5 of her books) but I get bored halfway through them.

    Happy St. Nicks Day!

  9. I so agree with KC, you are really bad for my credit card. Love the cover and the story sounds great too.


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