This book didn’t play out exactly how I expected it to, but sometimes, that’s actually kind of cool. What’s also cool: a hero who is A) wonderfully tortured and B) blinded in battle. The result is a man of honor who is tested to his breaking point; one who falls in love with a woman he never would have given the time of day without his wounds. His friends turn their backs on him. His reputation is destroyed. He can’t even care for himself. But our heroine sees the worthwhile man at his core and she won’t give up until he sees it too.
Let me stop swooning for a moment and back up. Major Stephen St. Ives is everything Lady Delphine wants in a man. He is honorable; he has substance; and when he looks at her, she knows he sees more than her beauty and a sizeable dowry. She’s pined for him ever since she first caught his eye at a ball, only to lose it shortly later. She’s never understood why he seemed to lose interest, but since that night, every other man has been only a pale imitation. Unfortunately, Stephen does not share her regard. Oh, he remembers the night he met Delphine. He also remembers how quickly she turned her attention to flirt with other men.
But it’s been awhile since that first meeting. Now it’s another ball, only this time Stephen’s unit is about to be called to battle. Delphine doesn’t want to miss one more chance to be in his arms –and claims one last waltz before he is sent out. Neither has any idea that her impetuous kiss is the last he’ll have before an attack on the battlefield leaves him blind and fighting for his life.
Based on the blurb, I thought the prior meetings would be in a flashback or prologue, then jump ahead in time. Nope. The story moves straight through. We’re with Stephen as he sustains his injuries and we follow him through all the aftermath. I really liked seeing the complete evolution of his character. He has a lot to overcome and he changes a lot, while still managing to stay the same man at his core. I also found Delphine to be an interesting character. Her depth and fortitude were almost as surprising to me as they were for Stephen.
I enjoyed the chemistry between the characters and I thought it had just the right amount of physical intimacy. The villain is a little bit one-note and I felt like Stephen’s complete rejection from every single person in the world was a little extreme for a man of good character. But overall, I liked the book. Fans of wounded heroes definitely won’t want to miss it.
*ARC Provided by Avon
Click to purchase: Amazon
What a Lady Most Desires
by Lecia Cornwall
Release Date: August 26, 2014