Tuesday, January 12, 2016

What a Lady Most Desires by Lecia Cornwall

True desire always finds a way...

On the night before the final battle against Napoleon, Lady Delphine St. James finds herself dancing with the one man she has always wanted, Major Lord Stephen Ives. He makes it clear he has no time for a lady he sees as flirtatious and silly, but as the call to arms sounds, she bids him farewell with a kiss that stirs them both. When he returns gravely injured, she is intent on caring for him, even if his surly behavior tests her patience.

After the battle, Stephen is not only wounded and blind, but falsely accused of cowardice and theft. The only light in his dark world is Delphine, the one woman he never imagined he could desire. But she deserves more than he can give her.

As their feelings deepen and hidden enemies conspire to force them to part forever, can their love survive the cruelest test of all?

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Book 3
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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

As I stated in my review of How to Deceive a Duke, I was happy to have found these books at a library sale. I dove straight into What Lady Most Desires at 3am after finishing the first book. I hadn't realized this was book #3 in the series until I started my review. I will say, where book #1 ends, book #3 backtracks a few chapters and begins. They flow directly into one another without pause. So I had to research book #2 to find out if I'd missed anything, which was Julia's book (that explained why I was lost on Stephen's fixation on Julia – shrugs)

I enjoyed the friendship Delphine offered Meg in book one and was pleased that she was the heroine of this tale. I found her refreshing, patient, and kindhearted – a true heroine.

Stephen was most certainly a wounded alpha male. He had many of the traits I felt Nick was lacking. He was decisive, knew what he wanted and why he should/shouldn't have it. As an officer, he used logic and heart instead of just rushing into things without thought to consequences.

Nick did seem more grown up in this installment. But yet again, the author takes the hero's power away. Just as Nick's grandmother was the driver in his life, Stephen is the passenger while everyone attempts to clear his name as he heals. While I love a strong heroine in the spotlight, and Nick showed growth as he fought to save his friend (being a hero), I would have enjoyed seeing the Heroes do their heroic deeds during their stories. As I understand, while not the love interest/narrator in book #2, Stephen was its hero.

In a similar fashion to how book #1 ended, What a Lady Most Desires begins – thrust deep into The Battle of Waterloo and the tragic aftermath. I found this to be hard to read with the negative emotions it caused within me, but I felt it was written with compassion and accuracy to how a woman tending the wounded would feel.

However, I did suffer whiplash. With How to Deceive a Duke being very lighthearted and fast-paced, with its ending being depressive, all of What a Lady Most Desires was dark, slow-moving, and highly depressive. The overall feel was not enjoyable or pleasant.

The reader missed out on a budding romance between Stephen and Delphine with the dark subject of the storyline. There was little to offer comedic relief. The Battle of Waterloo, healing from wounds, then uncovering the source of the defamation of Stephen's character. None of that was pleasant. Pure frustration on the pages. With this being historical romance, the romance was underlying by comparison.

A notable side character was the fellow Stephen saved in battle. The odd friendship sprung between a blinded officer and a mute soldier, and the way their communication took place. Alan was a wonderful character who brought a bit of light into such a dark story – hope.

All-in-all, I did not enjoy this well-written story. If I hadn't soldiered through, I would have been able to put it down and feared not being able to pick it back up. While the story itself was compelling, there was nothing that gripped me because there was a disconnect between the characters as they fought to save Stephen. While Delphine was a true heroine, the reader had Nick and Meg back on the pages, and Stephen was an amazing character, there was no hook that had me quickly turning the pages.

Would I recommend this book/author/series: Yes. Lecia Cornwall has an easy-flowing voice and is a good storyteller.

Will I continue on with this series: I don't believe there is a book #4, but I won't be backtracking to read book #2, as things that I found difficult in this title were listed in reviews for its predecessor.

Genre: Historical Romance | Mystery | Battle of Waterloo | Disabilities |

Lecia Cornwall lives and writes in Calgary, Canada, in the beautiful foothills of the Canadian Rockies, with five cats, two teenagers, a crazy chocolate Lab, and one very patient husband.

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Erica reviewed her personal copy of What a Lady Most Desires (Temberlay #3) by Lecia Cornwall for this post.

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