What a Lady Most Desires (Temberlay #3)
Author: Lecia Cornwall
Release Date: 26 August 2014
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?
I truly and thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was a bit different with a romance that moves at a slower pace and has many obstacles to overcome.
Delphine has loved Stephen Ives from afar since she first met him, but he certainly does not return the sentiment and his dismissive attitude towards her just makes her yearn to be a better person, worthy of his admiration. Poor Delphine, she has a role to play for her parents but it's not really who she is. She's wary of the romantic overtures of her admirers and just wants to be wanted for herself, rather than her connections and wealth. I did really like Delphine, she's surprisingly strong-willed and steadfast.
Stephen's world is turned upside down when he is wounded in battle and accused of being a traitorous thief, despite his previously unblemished reputation and successful career as a diplomat. Stephen can be very stubborn and too quick to judge, as is the case with Delphine. But despite his faults he's very sweet and honourable.
I think one of the things I really enjoyed about this is the development in Delphine's feelings for Stephen. Though Delphine has been infatuated with Stephen for years she doesn't really know him, but she grows closer to him as she helps to nurse him back to health and those feelings become much more real and deeper. Stephen's feelings towards Delphine also develop through the story although initially he is dismissive of Delphine as a shallow, flirtatious girl not really worthy of his time. He soon realises his mistake!
I loved the relationship between Delphine and Stephen, and watching it develop. From their first impetuous and passionate kiss on the eve of battle, you know there is a connection between them that sends sparks flying. As Stephen recovers and works to clear his name, he and Delphine begin a friendship that grows into a steady and absolute love.
This is a lovely and touching romance that gains in momentum as you read on. I loved the ending and I'm looking forward to reading the previous books in the series.
*I received a review copy from the publisher, via Edelweiss, for my honest opinion. Thank you!