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The Elusive Bride (Black Cobra Quartet #2)

3.81  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,868 Ratings  ·  154 Reviews
A second battle-hardened, completely unstoppable, all-male hero, an ex-officer of the Crown, confronts the deadly enemy known only as the Black Cobra.

He's focused on his mission, then sees a lady he never dreamed he'd see again—with an assassin on her heels.

She secretly followed him, unaware her path is deadly—or that she'll join him to battle a treacherous foe.

Through eve
Paperback, 464 pages
Published January 26th 2010 by Avon (first published January 1st 2010)
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Community Reviews

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I want to state for the record: When I purchase a book from the grocery store, I don't expect Anna Karenina. I want a good story, some good dialogue, some smutty sex and writing that doesn't make me actively cringe. That is all.

That being said, I don't know how this book got published. Clearly Ms. Laurens's previous titles and selling power were enough to release this tripe into the universe. To call this book stupid would be an understatement. Editors were asleep at the wheel and deserve a pay
May 08, 2016 Janja rated it liked it
Stephanie laurens is one of my fav authors in history romance genere,but this book is not my cup of tea.
A villain and cult-leader named Black Cobra is terrorizing early 19th century India. Five English officers are appointed to finding out who the man is and bring his reign of terror to an end. It turns out he’s also English, a member of the East India Company, but the five have no way of proving it.

Months later, one of them is killed, providing irrefutable proof of the Englishman’s wrongdoing and the four remaining are tasked with getting the proof, a letter, back to homeland. Three copies are ma
BJ Rose
3rd September
Dear Diary,
Yesterday was the most frightening and the most wonderful day of my life! First we were pursued by Black Cobra cultists as Captain MacFarlane was escorting me to my uncle in Bombay. The captain sent me ahead with his men while he and his lieutenant stayed behind to delay the pursuers. His tactics worked, but the captain was murdered by the cultists. I kept my word and delivered his packet to Colonel Delborough and his men, and that’s when the wonderful thing happened. As
Aug 07, 2010 Michelle rated it it was ok
The second installment of the Black Cobra Quartet follows the journey of Major Gareth Hamilton (for the backstory, see the synopsis for Book 1) and his copy of the letter. After their brief meeting, both Major Hamilton and Emily Ensworth, niece of the Governor of Bombay, have an instant attraction. When Emily learns that Major Hamilton has left she does all in her power to discover his destination and beat him there. What she doesn’t know is that he is on a mission to destroy as many of the Blac ...more
Mar 18, 2010 Bree rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first novel in this series renewed my faith in Laurens as an author (the lengthy Cynster series and Bastion finale were beginning to make me doubt). This one was just as exciting as the first, with lots of action, adventure, mayhem and very interesting lead characters. The heroine is very analytical, so we get in her head alot. The hero does a lot of the usual Laurens dithering over whether he wants the heroine to know he loves her, and lots of alpha male posturing, but the adventure and esp ...more
Jan 12, 2015 Sarah rated it it was ok
Stephanie Laurens knows how to write a page-turner, so I usually manage to forgive cartoonish villains, overwrought heroines, and completely unhistorical action, but this one is just WAY over the top. I can put up- barely- with the evil Indian cult- but the near-instantaneous communications are just a step too far. The four agents manage to get word to and back from their boss in England in a matter of days or weeks, and the cult leader sends hordes of murderous cultists AHEAD of them to all the ...more
Sheila Melo
Jul 21, 2014 Sheila Melo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Adventure Story

THE ELUSIVE BRIDE is the second book in the Black Cobra Quartet. It is the story of four men who are traveling from India with proof of the identity of a murderous cult leader. THE ELUSIVE BRIDE is the story of Gareth Hamilton who ends up traveling with Emily Ensworth who is the niece of the Governor of Bombay. Readers of the quartet will recall that our was Emily that brought the evidence to the men. This book follows Gareth and Emily in their extensive travels back to England. T
aoi aka
Feb 06, 2014 aoi aka rated it liked it
Shelves: borrowed
Second in the series. At this point I couldn't wait to see how this pair met and eventually ended up together. It was the usual hormones and closeness and let's not forget the danger than drew them together.

In this story we read about the woman who was being escorted by the officer who was killed in the first book. She was the recipient of the proof the officers needed to incriminate the bad guy. Except that it was love at first sight with the man who would sweep her off her feet. And of course,
Apr 10, 2015 Greentea rated it really liked it
Do not attempt to skip the order of the series like I did. Nevertheless, it was freaking awesome.

This is my first time reading a Stephanie Laurens novel and it left me a good impression of her. It was a rightly paced book, different type of narration as what I used to, lots of action and the romance didn't disappoint. I couldn't really explain it but her writing style is very distinct comparing to the historical romance authors. I needed time to get used to it because it wasn't a hau
Dec 28, 2015 Sara rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Nobody ever.
I read this book for the Disney Prince Hopefuls challenge. Tarzan: Read a book that takes place in a jungle, a book with an orphan character or one who is ignorant of his past, a brave or honorable hero, or a hero who is an animal shifter of some sort.

I don't know if it's just me, but this series is just going from bad to worse. I literally gave up 100 pages from the end because nothing was happening and I hated these characters. The heroine was going on and on about what kind of marriage she wa
3.7 Stars. Public Library 8/15/14. There is plenty of action but Emily the h really isn't involved. She sits on the sidelines letting Gareth the H do as he pleases without her input. She's playing it off as it working into her grand scheme but I'm more the 100 pgs in and she doesn't do much other then write in her journal. It maybe smart of Emily to go with the flow since she would be little help in a tactical situation but it doesn't make for a very interesting h. Her contributions never get ve ...more
Barbara ★
Major Hamilton is one of a group of men working to decipher the identity of the Black Cobra, a nasty piece of work fighting against the English in Bombay. By the time they finally determine who the traitor is, Miss Emily Ensworth has become involved in the crisis. After a single encounter with Hamilton, Emily finds herself in love and follows him when he returns to England. Unfortunately, the Black Cobras follow also. The entire return trip is fraught with danger and romance since Hamilton is as ...more
Mar 18, 2010 Debbie rated it it was ok
This is the second book in the Cobra Quartet series and while I am a fan of Stephanie Laurens I found this book to be disappointing. In this story we follow Major Gareth Hamilton on his perilous journey back to England with the Black Cobra dogging his every step. Emily, the woman who first brought crucial evidence to Hamilton and his friends, decides after one meeting that Hamilton might just be “the one”. So she determines that she needs to spend more time with him and comes up with a scheme th ...more
Dec 25, 2010 Jessi rated it liked it
Five military officers have been charged with taking down the Black Cobra, a particularly vicious cult that has taken a stranglehold over most of India.
Emily Ensworth has also been drawn into the conflict. She was being escorted to her uncle's fort when the Black Cobra attacked and one of the military officers was forced to fend them off. He died in the attack but was able to pass on crucial evidence to Emily who took it back to his brothers-in-arms.
When she sees Major Gareth Hamilton, she is i
The Elusive Bride is the second in Laurens' The Black Cobra Quartet.. I've been looking forward to sinking my teeth into these as Laurens always delivers, plus this series had the added temptation of seeing Bastion club members and Cynsters again - one wonders how the pages can contain so much testosterone and not explode! ;-)

This had all the romance you would expect from a Laurens book, plus enough swashbuckling adventure for Boys Own! Our hero, Gareth must make his way from India back to Engla
Jun 07, 2010 Ines rated it liked it
This is the second book in the Black Cobra Quartet and another one of the original four soldiers/spies is on a quest home to bring the scroll which will bring down the Black Cobra cult in India (which is of course run by evil Englishmen). I actually do not remember whether in the first book we realize there is more than one person at the top of the cult (I read so much, I cannot keep it all in my head).

Anyway, this time we follow our brave English aristocrate (of the warrior type - that's what t
Feb 08, 2016 Liza rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 13, 2009 Kerry rated it liked it
This is definitely not one of Stephanie Laurens' best works. I'm a big fan of her other series, and the first in the Black Cobra Quartet was a really great start to this new series, but this one, Garreth and Emily's story, felt more like filler than a novel.

Emily was the girl, who in the first book brought the evidence of the Black Cobra's identity to our heroes. She sees Garreth and, when she learns he's left India, follows him to discover if he's "the one" for her. Garreth sees her life in dan
Mar 27, 2011 Jessica rated it really liked it
Once again, I am surprised. In a nice way, not a I-just-wasted-eight-dollars-and-I'll-never-get-those-hours-back way. This was quite good. I liked both main characters... one has to suspend historical knowledge and cultural mores to properly enjoy most, if not all, squishy history books. My one favorite thing: the bunnyness. If you have read my reviews before, you might know that "bunnyness" is my term for f@%&ing like bunnies. Laurens is one of the worst about having the characters bunny ev ...more
Apr 13, 2012 Frankiejohnny rated it liked it
This is the first book by SL that I didn’t really care for. It had great potential… I actually liked Emily and the Major. Unfortunately I found it rather tiresome by half way through. Not to mention a few pet peeves:
1. It is stated pretty early on that Emily has light brown hair. The girl on the cover is so blonde… there is no light brown about it. Not to mention that the characters in the book spend a good portion of the book in Arab costume, traveling in southern regions… why then is the cove
This novel initially seemed to be a strong over-arching plot about four men fighting to save their country from a foreign enemy, driven by their bond to one another and the death of a colleague, with the romance aspect woven into this. And for the first third I really enjoyed that premise, however, it didn't seem to last.
The romance aspect completely dominated after that and I eventually forgot about the whole mission with the letters. Emily was the favoured narrator, but on top of her chapters,
Kris - My Novelesque Life

"Gareth Hamilton is stunned when he recognizes Emily Ensworth on his ship. The veil she wears is not enough to disguise her from him - or from the man hired to kill her. Whisking Emily to safety, Gareth realizes that the Black Cobra is on to them. In order to protect her, Gareth must let Emily in on the dangerous plot she is now intimately involved in. Emily Ensworth is no wilting flower. She knew the packet the dying soldier thrust upon her held vital information, and she has every in
Khye Chwin
This certainly isn't one of the best works of Ms. Laurens. I placed very high expectations on her works, particularly after reading The Devil's Love.

The book is about Major Gareth Hamilton and his three other comrades racing back to England to deliver a letter written by the Black Cobra to the Duke of Wolverton, which was fortunately intercepted by Captain McFarlane. Ms Emily Ensworth first met Major Hamilton when she delivered the letter entrusted to her by the Captain to the Colonel. Since th
Jan 27, 2013 Stacy rated it liked it
I liked this one a little better than its predecessor; it didn't seem to get quite so bogged down, though again I ended up impatient for it to reach its conclusion. I find myself tempted to go back and actually attempt a calculation--Gareth is arriving just two days after Del, but it seems like the description of their travels spanned a much longer time period. I don't recall if the first book dated every chapter, but this one did.

Also, I hate to say it, but I think I may be developing a new pet
Kay Bolton
Sep 25, 2013 Kay Bolton rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Historical Romance Fans
Shelves: 4-star
Review taken from my Blog back in September 2010:

The first in the Black Cobra Quartet, and what a read .... I thoroughly enjoyed it ~other than the about the first chapter which was a bit diffcult going.

Emily Enworth Niece of the Governor of Bombay has to unexpectedly ride for her life when one of her military escorts it seems is carrying vital information about the Black Cobra and his cult. Capital Macfarlane elects to stand and fight it out with the cultists and Emily does her duty and get the
Mar 06, 2010 Ns rated it it was ok
The Elusive Bride feature an adventureous journey rife with action, danger, intrigue, and where hearts and emotions are concerned, the perils of love.

The mission to capture the Black Cobra and lure out as many cultists as possible to eliminate is commandeered by Gareth Hamilton. Unbeknownst to him is Emily Ensworth, niece of the Governor of Bombay who has followed him on the hunch that he is her "one" and whose goal is to affirm that hunch. Unbeknownst to her is the danger she has just involved
Jul 08, 2010 Jess rated it really liked it
I tend to take Laurens randomly because many of her heroines are rather copy/pasted from previous characters but I really liked Emily in this. She was strong, but not dominant (which doesn't ring true in such a large universe but small social circle), yet trustworthy. She had her faults but wasn't overrun with confidence, either. The diary bit kind of bothered me, but it was great inspiration for a quick piece of fiction I wrote. Well, the style anyway. The diary would have been best used as a f ...more
Apr 09, 2012 Dawn rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance
This was the Second Book in the Quartet by Laurens focusing on the four gentlemen who are ferrying damning evidence against the Black Cobra, though I read it first of the set.

I read this first knowing that the young lady was the one who brought the evidence to the original set of four. This book was light on the actual physical intimacy, which took place over a long journey. I enjoyed the suspense and tension being drawn out. Gareth & Miss Ensworth traveled from India to England while travel
Mar 30, 2014 Dyanna rated it really liked it
The second book in the series follow another of the 4 men who were given a mission to complete that was vital to the security of England, pitting his wits agains a cult that would stop at nothing to retrieve the message he carries. He takes a moment from his mission to help a lady with an assassin problem, she joins forces with him and together they face his cult her assassins and arrive safely in England.
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Stephanie Laurens was born in Sri Lanka, which was at the time the British colony of Ceylon. When she was 5, her family moved to Melbourne, Australia, where she was raised. After continuing through school and earning a Ph.D. in Biochemistry in Australia, Stephanie and her husband moved to Great Britain, taking one of the last true overland journeys from Katmandu to London.

Once in London, Stephanie
More about Stephanie Laurens...

Other Books in the Series

Black Cobra Quartet (4 books)
  • The Untamed Bride (Black Cobra Quartet #1)
  • The Brazen Bride (Black Cobra Quartet, #3)
  • The Reckless Bride (Black Cobra Quartet, #4)

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