Author: Stephanie Laurens
Info: Mira, copyright 2015, 384 pages
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.
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.
Selecting this title to read was an experiment. I have fallen in complete book crush with Steve West, audiobook narrator (An Ember in the Ashes, A Torch Against the Night, Everland, Gemina, The Crown's Game). I'm not even going to get into my feelings when he's paired with Fiona Hardingham. Audiobook perfection. But I started to wonder if I was just loving these books because he was reading them or they were legit good books only made better by his involvement. So, I decided to pick up a book I would never pick up otherwise. A romance novel. (I have absolutely nothing against romance novel enthusiasts. To each their own. They are just not for me.)
The Lady's Command...we've got Declan, a captain, who marries Edwina, a lady. (Edwina :) The name just cracks me up.) It was an actual marriage of affection and not arrangement, and in the first few weeks of blessed wedded bliss, they realize just how much they enjoy each other's company (wink wink if you get my drift). Declan gets notice that he has to go do some dangerous captain-y business and prepares to leave his new wife who is having none of it. She married a captain and she wants adventure. So she sneaks on board his ship and the two sail off to West Africa and intrigue.
And here are my thoughts. I don't have a lot of thoughts. This wasn't a poorly written book, but it also wasn't very interesting. It reminded me a bit of Gail Carriger's "Parasol Protectorate" series set in the Regency era with strong-willed women who won't be left behind. But were Carriger's story was filled with humor (and paranormal creatures), Lauren's just felt a bit bland. There was little character development, and to be honest, slow plot development which left reading it just a bit sluggish. And the cover...I just can't with the cover.
So what did I learn - Steve West can't save everything for me, which actually makes me feel better because now I know just how spectacular An Ember in the Ashes and Gemina really are. Two of my FAVORITES from 2016 and maybe ever. It was a worthwhile experiment that also let me mark "A genre you don't normally read" off my 2017 reading challenge list (read along here).