The Untamed Bride - Black Cobra Quartet Author:Stephanie Laurens Four officers of the Crown, aided by Bastion Club members and Cynster alike, fight to bring down a dangerous enemy- and to win the loves of their lives. In this first book we meet Colonel Derek Delborough who is not far from danger when his ship docks in Southampton. When Deliah Duncannon appears she is an unwelcome intrusion, but before he can ... more »get rid of her she narrowly saves his life. Now a target of the enemies to this stubborn but exceedingly enticing Colonel, the two race against time to reach the safety of the Cynster country house.« less
After reading the prologue on Stephanie Laurens' website months ago that sets up the scene for the entire series of four books, I was sooooooo anticipating this first book to come out. Adventure in a foreign land, a secret murdering cult terrorizing the countryside, a calculated strategy developed by spymaster Dalziel himself (from the Bastion Club series) to capture the leader of the cult and the sworn pledge of four studly officers to seek 'justice' (heh-heh) for the murderers who killed one of their own. Sadly, that prologue was the best thing about it.
I love Stephanie Laurens and have read all of her books. They are well-written and easy to zip through. However, this turned out to be just average. The incriminating evidence, a letter naming names and signed & sealed by one of the cult's leaders by accident (uh, riiiiiight) is intercepted. The four heroes copy the letter and each takes a different route, one carrying the original and the other three decoys (thus four stories how each man gets back to England). Del the hero in this book gets wrangled into escorting Deliah the heroine to her home near his country estate. Unbelievably, one of the first things he does is divulge all the details of his so-called 'secret' mission to this woman he barely knows. Again, tell me what is the number 1 rule for a successful spy? (slap-to-forehead). The not-so-secret-now mission is to draw the cultists to them so they and the heroes from the Cynsters and Bastion Club series can trap and eliminate as many of the cultists as they can so the other officers enroute (and their evidence) will have a greater chance of making it back safely. This book is mostly a series of outings and minor tussles with local thug hirelings who are quite easily picked off. Deliah's suggestions are better than those of the experienced military officers and spies (mm-hmm).
Some other readers were tired of seeing the Cynster and Bastion men and wives appear again but I liked it since I was reluctant to see them go when the other series ended. They were like family to me by then. Maybe SL threw them in to entice readers who loved the other series.
Despite the disappointment with this first book of the quartet, call me an optimist but I will read the rest of the series hoping they will get better. Verdict: you could probably skip this one.
Cali (Cali) - reviewed The Untamed Bride (Black Cobra Quartet) on
Helpful Score: 6
This was just an OK read for me. Del & Deliah come off at best as secondary characters and the appearances by previous characters who had their own story I enjoyed merely are background filler in this book.
I will finish the series, but as much as I LOVE the Cynster's and Bastian's, (and now the Black Cobra Quartet) I am more than ready to put this huge family [and friends] to bed.
Look at it this way: you're eating something you absolutely love! Yet, the more you eat the less it tastes wonderful and the worse you start to feel. A lot of people have mentioned Ms. Laurens using a "template," "carbon copy," and "pattern." I think it's obvious this pattern has been well used and enough!
This book was so slow in getting started, it finally picked up on page 257! This could have been a great book but she was so wordy and repeated the same things over and over I think just to fill the page. After awhile I was just like enough sex-get to the storyline! The characters lacked developement and substance, you didn't know them any better at the end of the book as you did at the beginning. Was very disappointed since the storyline sounds like a great read. I hope this series gets better but reading a insert for the next book makes it sound just like this one only with different characters. Big bummer.
It was ok. Certainly not the best Ms. Laurens has put out, but far from the worst I've read. Fun to revisit characters from past books.
I read once where Ms. Laurens spoke about writing historicals and how the most important thing was for the book to be "real". She dropped the ball on this one. Lots of "unreal-ness" to it. A spy divulging his mission in its entirety to the first pretty skirt to walk by? Not real. A military man with decades of experience in espionage behind him flounders around with stupid ideas while the heroine comes up with better ones.
It won't stop me from reading the rest of them, but I'm no longer "itching" to read them.
butrflyonaroz reviewed The Untamed Bride (Black Cobra Quartet) on
Helpful Score: 1
I'm a long-time Stephanie Laurens fan, but the last few books were disappointing - seemingly written by someone else. This book wasn't as good as her older ones, but was much better than what she's been producing of late. It was easy to put down, but worth the read. I'm looking forward to The Elusive Bride.