Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Elusive Bride-Stephanie Laurens

The Elusive Bride
Stephanie Laurens
Avon, Jan 26 2010, $7.99
ISBN: 9780061795152

In 1822 Captain MacFarlane escorts the visiting niece of the Governor of Bombay Emily Ensworth as they flee the Black Cobra Cult. Realizing they cannot make it to safety, MacFarlane gives a letter to Emily asking her to deliver it to his superior Colonel Delborugh; he plans to wait for the cult in order for her to deliver letter though he knows he will be dead soon. She makes it and gives the letter to the Colonel and three other officers. She is immediately attracted to one of them Major Gareth Hamilton and wonders if he might be her “one”.

Emily learns the four men resigned their commission and vanished although she knows Gareth is heading home through Aden. Impetuously she tells her beloved Uncle she is returning home via the Pyramids and arranges a speedy voyage to Aden to be there before Gareth to learn if he is her one. In Aden, Gareth sees a cultist try to kill Emily, but he intervenes. He rents a house to keep their combined traveling teams of nine safe. Emily tells Gareth he has a copy or the original of the letter that must be important that he and his comrades had to resign. He mentions the four are racing to England separately to deliver it to the Duke of Wolvestone so that the Black Cobra Roderick Ferrer will be convicted of crimes and his high placed father will not be able to protect him. They travel together with cultists trying to kill them while falling in love, but Gareth feels Emily deserves better while she knows he is her one.

The story line is filled with constant exciting action as the tough yet seemingly inept Cult mount attack after attack. Fast-paced with an expected but terrific final twist and a strong support cast traveling with the courageous lead couple, fans will enjoy this engaging late Regency Era thriller with more to follow.

Harriet Klausner

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