Monday, September 13, 2010

The Elusive Bride

The Elusive Bride by Stephanie Laurens 526

Emily Ensworth is in India visiting her uncle when her party is attacked by members of the Black Cobra cult and Captain MacFalene entrusts her with an important document which she must deliver to Major Gareth Hamilton, before he sacrifices his life to save hers. She gets back to base and passes the document on to Gareth and the next day he and his friends all leave on separate ships. That brief encounter was enough for Emily to suspect that Gareth may be "her one," the one she is destined to end up with, so she too leaves with her own entourage in the hopes of catching up with Gareth. When she does Gareth is forced to admit that Emily is far from the wilting English flower he has come to expect: she is independent, intelligent, and trustworthy. So he confides in her that MacFalene had passed onto him a document pertaining to the leader of the Black Cobra cult that needed to be shown to higher ups in the English government. He and his friends made copies of the document and, with one of those copies, he is trying to be a cover for the real document.

He and Emily decide that the safest course of action would obviously be for them to travel together and it is not long before they are attacked by the cultists. Pretty much every city and every sea they travel in they are being watched and attacked. And then they're attacked some more- but no worries, because none of their own friends die. And then they travel some more. On the journey Emily's belief that Gareth is "her one" is fortified so she sets out to convince Gareth of the same fact. Unfortunately traveling does not really provide many opportunities for conversation so their time together is mainly spent in the bedroom. But now the cultists have taken their destruction as a personal project and it seems like every random Indian cult member has decided to travel and kill them. The two, with their friends, must work diligently to elude being killed, so that Gareth and Emily can finally live happily ever after with each other.

I know I have complained about Lauren's books following a formula and I now know why she has done that; because straying from said formula produces disastrous results. Seriously this book was awful, perhaps one of the worst I have ever read. The Black Cobra cult completely took over the book, but if it was good I might have been able to overlook the lack of real romance, however it was definitely not goodl. I kept wanting her to explain what this damn cult was! Why were there apparently thousand's of people willing to travel thousands of miles and risk their lives? I wanted some back ground into how this cult came to be, what it's purpose was, what it was about, and why I should give a crap about our hero trying to exterminate it. And damn- they were certainly willing to kill because I felt like every time I turned a page Emily and Gareth were being attacked by another group of cultists. There were also a ton of holes in this plot that made it even more ridiculous.

I really did not feel as though I got to learn anything about Gareth and Emily, of the people they really are outside of escaping dangerous people and killing. Of course Gareth was a great fighter. I did like that Emily not only fought, but she did so intelligently and wasn't just throwing herself into the fray willy nilly. However, Emily keeps a journal and she either restates what we already read or she comes across as a teenager in love. Their romance was almost non-existant and I found it really just awful that the two agree that they want a marriage just like two other couples Lauren's had written about in previous books. Seriously- she has to resort to mentioning more developed books. And a surprise here- the sex was few and pretty terrible. A lot of the book took place while the party was traveling and I really wish their had been a map because I really did not know where some of the places were. Mention was made of other books in this series and from what I can glean they're about as awful as this one.

Rating: Non existent romance with basically non-existant characters with a terrible murder/ villain plot. Definitely one of the worst books I have ever read.

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