The Lady’s Command is a high seas romance featuring a solid, well-established couple who work together to solve a mystery thousands of miles away from their home in England, along the coast of Western Africa. This is Volume 1 in The Adventures Quartet by Stephanie Laurens.
[Some Spoilers; For Mature Audiences]
Rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
I’ve read very few historical romances that were steeped in mystery. I know—it seems like I’d have found a lot by now. That being said. I don’t want to give away the meat of the story, so I’m going to try and tease a little bit when it comes to the adventure of Declan Frobisher and Lady Edwina Delbraith that takes place in The Lady’s Command. This is Volume 1 in Stephanie Laurens new series The Adventure Quartet.
When we meet our leads, Declan and Lady Edwina, the daughter of a Duke, have been married for three weeks, and it’s safe to say they’ve been courting for almost a year prior to their wedding. Their relationship is very solid and each of them adores the other.
Edwina is used to working her way through society by showing a different to face to the people who she meets at balls and visits. Declan is so impressed with how her family seems to wear veils in public that hide their true nature, and his father told him that the way Edwina’s family navigates the ton is something that he and his family lack and need very much.
Declan observes Edwina as she gets people of all stations in the ton to accept their marriage, and he’s amazed. Behind the scenes, though, Edwina is trying to figure out how to do the same with her husband.
She wants a true partnership with Declan that will include sailing with him on his ship The Cormorant. In much the same way she plays society, Edwina plays Declan, too.
However, after he gets called away on some urgent business in West Africa and denies Edwina the chance to accompany him, she has to take matters into her own hands. They’ll never have a true marriage if he up and leaves her for months at a time.
Edwina’s only option is to stow away on his ship and hope he doesn’t send her packing if he finds her before they get out of the English Channel.
Of course, Declan finds her, but instead of trying to send her back, he decided that he’d like to keep her with him. He missed Edwina and he truly loves her company. It’s at this point in the story that Edwina finds out Declan’s true mission.
In Freetown, several men have seemingly vanished into thin air, and Declan has been charged with going and finding out what happened to them then returning immediately before he, too, vanishes.
During their conversations, Edwina makes him see that the same finesse she used to work high society in London will come in good use here, too. Together, they can solve this mystery of the missing men…and also strengthen their marriage.
He waited while she knotted the shawl, then held out a hand. “Are you game, Mrs. Frobisher?”
She slipped her fingers into his and beamed. “If you’re involved, dear husband, always.”
I liked The Lady’s Command. It started out a bit slow, but became very interesting once they arrived in Africa and began investigating the men who where missing. Declan is a strong lead and Edwina is a good heroine. There were several times, thought, that I wished Edwina didn’t think she was the one to make all the decisions in the relationship. She took on the point-of-view early on that Declan was someone to train and ran with that on multiple occasions.
The descriptions of Africa and Freetown are wonderful, and you feel like you’re right there. The same can be said for the sailing. There are a lot of terms that we might not be completely familiar with, but the author does her best to explain them without making things to explanatory.
That being said, there are a couple of things I wish I could have seen differently from this book would have been a little more relaxed language. Even outside the dialogue it sometimes felt so grandiose. We also have a very large cast of characters so at times it’s hard to keep everyone straight. At the front of a book is a character listing, but that got a little tedious to flip to it for reference although I was glad to have it.
The Lady’s Command is definitely worth a look for fans of historical romance. Since the love story is already established it’s mostly outside events that cause our characters trouble, but they’re in West Africa, searching for missing men. Things are bound to happen…
Head over HERE to read an interview with Stephanie Laurens as well as two excerpts from The Lady’s Command!