Welcome to my stop for What a Lady Most Desires by Lecia Cornwall. This is a stop for Tasty Book Tours, so be sure to check out the other tour stops, and don’t forget to enter the tour-wide giveaway where you could win Print Copy of THE SECRET LIFE OF LADY JULIA by Lecia Cornwall.
The second title I have read by Lecia Cornwall, her facility for description and scene setting are spectacular, giving the reader clear visual input that aids in the enjoyment. Set before the Battle of Waterloo, we are mostly focused on the life and happenings with Stephen, a former diplomat and now a Major in the army. Stephen is honorable, sweet and solid, but with a tendency to use appearance and first impressions to size up people he meets: a hang-over from his diplomatic years.
Stephen and Delphine meet and share a dance, he is rather non-plussed, she has decided that this particular man has no designs on her title or finances, and is the sort of man she wishes to marry. When he is suddenly called away to join his regiment before the battle, they share a kiss which seals Delphine’s determination to have him.
Delphine was single-minded and rather heedless to that which was around her in her determination to win Stephen: knowing little to nothing of him or his history, and not particularly showing any interest, her own refusal to be ‘used’ by a man, as had happened in the past seemed to fuel her recklessness. BUT, my opinions about her changed drastically when Stephen returned, blinded and facing a court martial for cowardice and theft. Delphine had built such a fairy story around Stephen, it was refreshing to see her push him to fight and refute allegations, encouraging him to move forward.
Stephen did show some tremendous growth, if not a significant effort to fighting for his own life and to clear his name. His steadfast friend Nick offered him a place to convalesce away from the prison, Alan was a soldier serving under Stephen who personally witnessed Stephen’s decidedly brave acts, but as a mute, he also needs to learn to cope with the changes in his life. Alan’s loyalty and determination to be of use, serving as Stephen’s valet, was more a testament to Stephen than any other relationship in the story, even though there were several clever devices that Cornwell employed to display character growth. While Nick is busily gathering information to aid in Stephen’s defense, Stephen himself is learning to find what is truly important: his loss of site has forced him to ‘see’ situations in new ways, and his impression of Delphine is slowly changing, as he realizes that he does care for her, even loves her.
Cornwall manages to take a story that does not force the romance forward but allows the characters to grow in their knowledge and esteem until there are no other options but reaching for that happy ending. With the tension surrounding Stephen’s court martial, the lovely inclusion of Alan and the scene descriptions and settings, the story moves forward beautifully, feeling very real and possible.
Title: What a Lady Most Desires
Author: Lecia Cornwall
Genre: Historical Romance
Published by: Avon, Romance
Source: Publisher Via Edelweiss
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Downpour ♦ IndieBound ♦Audible
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?
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher Via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.