The Governor General of India, Marquess of Hastings, orders five soldiers (Colonel Derek “Del” Delborough, Major Gareth Hamilton, Captain Rafe Carstairs, Major Logan Monteith, and Captain James MacFarlane) in the East India Company to discover and dispatch the leader of a rebel cult, the Black Cobra. After nearly exhausting their search for proof of the identity of the Black Cobra, Captain MacFarlane discovers, almost by chance, the needed proof while escorting the Governor of Bombay’s niece. While on their way, the cultists attack and Captain MacFarlane sacrifices himself in order to make sure the proof (a letter) gets to the right hands. He enlists the aid of the Governor’s niece who brings the proof to the remaining four officers. They then make copies of the letter and each set off on different paths to return to England with the proof of the Black Cobra’s identity.
Colonel Delborough is the first to leave with his copy of the letter. His route takes him directly to London. Once he arrives at the predisposed inn, he discovers that he has been saddled with escorting Deliah Duncannon to their hometown. While Del is trying to get out of his escort duty, the Black Cobra’s assassin strikes, but Deliah warns him in time. Since she has seen, and been seen in return by the assassin, Del decides to take Deliah with him. Del is surprised to discover that Deliah is quite the ally in his goal in catching the eye of the Black Cobra’s men. Not only are these two a good team in the field, but in the bedroom as well.
Since this is the first book in the series, there is some backstory to get through. Once the main character begins his journey, we are treated to a cookie-cutter plot, especially if you have read other novels by Laurens. The main characters are somewhat interesting and fleshed out, but at times become predictable. If you have read any of the Cynster or Bastian Club novels, then be prepared for the onslaught of visiting characters. Overall, a decent read with some action (both in and out of the bedroom) and some tender moments.
Score: 3.5 out of 5