Friday, October 15, 2010

The Reckless Bride-Stephanie Laurens

The Reckless Bride
Stephanie Laurens
Avon, Oct 26 2010, $7.99
ISBN: 9780061795190

In 1822 in India, Army Captain Rafe Carstairs resigns his commission and, like his three comrades, sets off for home to deliver, in his case, the original letter that will expose the Black Cobra cult leader’s identity to Lord Wolverstone. His only companion is Hassan the Pathan warrior. They travel inland to Rajputana and the Afghan Supremacy with no incidents.

At the same time in London Loretta Michelmarsh rejects her eighth suitor as she wants the man of her dreams. Her Great Aunt Esme arrives to inform the family Loretta is coming with her as her companion on a Grand Tour. Esme wants Loretta to behave wild like almost the entire rest of the family does.

Rafe and Hassan make it to Turkey and across the Black Sea with no cultists in sight. They reach Buda on the Danube when they see men accost women. They intercede; Esme directs Rafe and Hassan to escort them. Hassan says they have no choice but to accede as cultists are nearby so the two ladies and their two maids are safer with them. As they continue their journey by sea and land, they fall in love starting with a fishing contest even as cultists try to prevent their arrival.

The fourth and final Black Cobra tale (see The Brazen Bride, The Untamed Bride, and The Elusive Bride) contains two courageous fresh lead individuals and a strong support cast that includes a secondary romance. The threat to the traveling sextet comes from a great spin. However, as with the previous tales the cultists seem inept with one twisting exception and the heroes take too many unnecessary risks. Still this is a fun Regency romantic suspense that ties up the key threads.

Harriet Klausner

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