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Editorial Reviews

The first book in Laurens's Black Cobra Quartet begins slowly, and Simon Prebble's leisurely delivery underscores the pacing. Derek "Del" Delborough, a recently retired colonel, travels home from India on an important secret mission. Upon arriving in Southampton, he finds that he's been charged with escorting Miss Deliah Duncannon, who has spent eight years in Jamaica, home to her family. As the story progresses, Prebble begins to build the pace, creating tension through the action and heightening anticipation in the scenes of passion between the two main characters. Fans of Laurens will recognize many familiar characters, including the Cynster cousins and members of the Bastion Club.

Publisher's Summary

New York Times best-selling author Stephanie Laurens presents a brash, bold new series.

They're battle-hardened, sinfully wealthy, completely unstoppable - and all male: Four officers of the Crown, fighting against a deadly foe known only as the Black Cobra. He is a man who has faced peril without flinching, determined to fight for king and country. She is a bold, beautiful woman with a scandalous past, destined to become an untamed bride.Together they must vanquish the ruthless enemy, while confronting the dangers of the heart.

©2009 Savdek Management Proprietory Ltd.; (P)2009 HarperCollins Publishers

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    143
  • 4 Stars
    111
  • 3 Stars
    52
  • 2 Stars
    20
  • 1 Stars
    11

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    113
  • 4 Stars
    44
  • 3 Stars
    28
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    6

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    97
  • 4 Stars
    53
  • 3 Stars
    33
  • 2 Stars
    7
  • 1 Stars
    7
Sort by:
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Don't waste your credits or your time.

I downloaded this book because I enjoyed listening to the Georgette Heyer novels and thought I'd try other romances--a genre I've always found hard to read. It was on the main page of Audible, and I thought I'd take a chance. I like Simon Prebble. I only wish I had that credit back. The prologue is mildly interesting, but it lacks credibility. It sets you up to believe the female love interest is a different, more interesting character, but she turns out to be an uninteresting, 2D, red-haired English girl left on the shelf too long. There is a certain amount of suspension of disbelief that goes along with this genre, but this book leaps over that line. The female love interest enters the story out of the blue with very flimsy reasoning as to why she is there. It doesn't make sense, and I can't go with it.

The vapid descriptions and MarySue like thoughts of the main characters resemble no human being I've ever encountered. I just don't don't believe it. The cliches make my skin crawl. I may have been able to go with the story if this were better written, but I can't. Sex scenes are awkward in the hands of the best writers but deadly in the hands of the less gifted, and this book is a great example of that.

Simon Prebble does an admirable job of trying to bring the text alive, but it was DOA. I can't take his reading of the poorly written sex scenes with so much gusto. It's as if I'm listening to a dramatization of a 13-year-olds idea of a historic romance. I've listened to Simon Prebble's other work and enjoyed it thoroughly. His performance is unintentionally comical because of the writing.

In a nutshell, the prologue makes a promise the rest of the story doesn't keep.

This is the first book from Audible I've not finished and don't intend to.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Karen
  • Apex, NC, USA
  • 12-18-09

Great New Series

Now I just need the next one!! Narrator did a great job not wrecking the story with his voice unlike some other narators. Listened to it on a 15 hr drive from NC to ME. Kept me going the whole time!!

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

A Good Story But ...


The suspense, adventure and intrigue were the best parts of this tale.

The romance & love scenes were a nice sideline but there was too much. A bit of a shame actually. I think the book would have been presented more accurately with a different title and cover picture.

Simon Prebble never fails to delight.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

just ok

I gave it three stars because I was at least able to finish it but I didn't care for the narrator or how the author dipected the love scenes, I rolled my eyes several times. I didn't connected with any of the characters

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jan
  • MKE
  • 09-23-16

Simon Prebble does wonders for this fantastic book

Rereading some favorites.
This is book 1 of a series relating to a group of former guardsmen who have been in India for the past 7 years. They were tasked with finding and eliminating a fiend who terrorizes to grow rich. Now, 4 of them head back to England at the instructions of the duke formerly known as Dalziel to be assisted by the men of the Bastion Club and the Bar Cynster.
The woman who becomes involved with this first courier is strong willed and capable, makes him crazy, but proves to be invaluable.
This book is great, but not true of all in this series.
Great performance, Simon Prebble!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

narrator is not my favorite

The story is typical Laurens. No surprises there. The narrator did get on my nerves, however. In addition to the authors tendency toward hyperbole, he made the love scenes even more over the top. I found myself fast forwarding a lot. One of the best elements was the ongoing interaction with the Black Cobra.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Lia
  • Sutton, Australia
  • 10-11-12

I Enjoyed This Book 3.5 stars

I was a bit reluctant to buy this book because of some of the reviews. To my surprise I really enjoyed the listen. It was not the same class as Lisa Kelypas but deffinately worth the credit. I am going to listen to the remaider of the series. Simon Prebble did a good job as the reader.

8 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Darlene
  • Newburgh, IN, United States
  • 03-16-12

Boring!!!!

Good story, just not enough action the first 3/4 of the book, all the action in the last, I MEAN last section. The writer narriates to much out, needs dialect between the lovers, need lots of witty, back and forth play, of words, happy and fighting, I could write better than this!!! Sorry I tell it as I hear it. Do not waist your money on any of this series.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Don't waste your money! Too much sex!

Did not enjoy this book. It seemed to me to be a very weak plot as excuse of far too many sexual encounters. Not much of a story.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • J. Geiser
  • Canton, OH United States
  • 06-12-10

annoying plot, ludicrous love scenes

I liked the general idea of the plot, and the relationship between the male and female leads was pleasant, although not convincingly genuine or passionate. However, the plot contains some truly frustrating contrived holes. The heroes seem inept, contrasted with the incredibly invincible bad guy "Black Cobra". The narrator was just okay. The writing goes overboard about the "glory" of love-making. I like a good love scene as well as the next reader, but these were silly.

4 of 7 people found this review helpful