The Book Gourmet

Book reviews à la bookworm...The good, the bad, and everything in between.



Professional Reader Reviews Published
The Untamed Bride  - Stephanie Laurens A villain and cult-leader named Black Cobra is terrorizing early 19th century India. Five English officers are appointed to finding out who the man is and bring his reign of terror to an end. It turns out he’s also English, a member of the East India Company, but the five have no way of proving it.Month later, one of them is killed, providing irrefutable proof of the Englishman’s wrongdoing and the four remaining are tasked with getting the proof, a letter, back to homeland. Three copies are made and the four embark on their long journeys home, each via different route…This is the story of their “commander” Colonel Derek “Del” Delborough. He takes the sea route to Southampton where he encounters an unpleasant surprise in the form of Miss Deliah Duncannon, who he’s charged with escorting home. He has all intentions of leaving her to her own devises when she saves his life, sees his attacker, and Del has no choice but take her with him…I have a few of Stephanie Laurens’ books in my library and I remember trying to read one back in the day, but didn’t get past the first few chapters. I thought maybe it was a fluke, so, since I love espionage story set in the regency/Victorian era (thank you, Celeste Bradley), I decided to buy this one and its sequel…Well, my inability to read that first book long ago wasn’t a fluke. I simply don’t like Ms. Laurens’ narrative style.The pacing was extremely slow, there was too much tell and not enough tell, I simply couldn’t relate to the characters, Del was too introverted for my taste, Deliah was an utter pain in the rear-end, I didn’t see the attraction between them, the bedroom scenes were cold, detached and clinical, and even the hope that the suspense would compensate for everything else, quickly dwindled. Ms. Laurens apparently realized she was writing a suspense historical only toward the end, and she tried to liven up the plot by inserting an action scene, but it was too late and frankly, the “action” was boring.This would’ve ended as an DNF if I didn’t have the second book in the series to read for the same challenge as this one…Yup, it will be a challenge. 1 ½ stars