Sophia Middleton has been waiting twelve years for Ian Witherspoon to return and marry her. A child when they were betrothed, Sophie has become a beautiful young woman who has never been allowed to leave her country home or enter society. Preyed upon by her vicious father and older brother, Sophie has longed for the day Ian would rescue her and whisk her away.
Ian Witherspoon and Derek Knightly became best friends during the war, and returned as lovers. Wrapped up in one another Ian allows another two years to pass before the desire or a wife and children prompt him to recall his dull, little country fiancée.
When he finally sees Sophie again Ian is repentant and determined to make a marriage work between him, Sophie and Derek. Derek refuses to enter into a
marriage of three despite Ian's determination, unwilling to share his lover and afraid of losing him to the beautiful and vulnerable Sophie.
Sophie's vulnerability, however, hides a core of strength and the combination enthralls and seduces both men. An apt pupil, Sophie learns trust and passion from Ian, and tutors Derek in the ecstasy of surrender. Love will conquer their fears, but is it enough to defeat those who would tear them apart?
Samantha Kane was brought to my attention by her crazed, whoops! I mean loving fan Barbara of Happily Forever After. The girl has excellent taste and I couldn't pass up the opportunity to read a novel that is so beloved by such a wonderful friend. I didn't really know what to expect but I did know one thing: I was going to get plenty of hot sex to satisfy my inner and at times, insatiable hussy heart.
'At Love's Command' is a tale of three very tortured souls who find healing in the arms of each other. First there is Ian Witherspoon. As the second or third son of an Earl (I can't remember which), Ian went off to war on the continent as was quite the norm for his station. Word gets around the camps that Ian is invincible after having diving into battle time and again and coming out alive with barely a single wound. He becomes known as the Captain who can't die. Ian cares not for his fellow soldiers thoughts for he knows the he could very well die, luck is just on his side. Little does he know that his prowess has caught the attention of young lieutenant.
Lieutenant Derek Knightly has seen the worst of death. He's lost so many friends and is haunted to the point where sleep is no longer an option. Derek seeks out Ian in the hopes of befriending a soul that has the inability to die and the stories of Captain Ian Witherspoon is proof of his invincibility.
At first Ian doesn't know what to do with the young and beautiful lieutenant but the two eventually become fast and inseparable friends and it's no surprise when the two soldiers begin to share a lover, Dolores. No sooner does Ian start to have strange feelings for Derek. He's never lusted for a man in his life but when Derek and Ian are making love to Dolores, Ian can't help but feeling more aroused by his male friend. Derek shares these same pensive thoughts but when horror strikes and Dolores is killed, a separation of grief occurs between the two men before their yearnings can be explored. For months they hardly speak but the sexual tension is rampant. Both men desire the other but neither has the courage to act. Finally Derek takes the initiative and seduces Ian. *fans self* Arguably one of the best scenes in the book.
Now back from war, Derek and Ian are still devoted lovers. Ian's love for Derek has become so great that exile from his family for his lifestyle choice doesn't overly bother him. He has Derek and he'll never set him free no matter what the circumstance. But as a couple of years pass, Ian has come to the conclusion that both he and Derek aren't whole. Something vital is missing and it's not just the laugh of his lover but a deep seeded need within himself as well. He desires Derek and he wants him in his life forever, but Ian also desires children and not only for himself. He wants a wife for him and Derek. A woman who will become part of both their souls.
Sophie Middleton has led a horrible and tragic life consumed of fear and hate. The only light at the end of a dark and seemingly endless tunnel is a marriage betrothal signed when she was a young girl. Ian Witherspoon promised that when she was old enough he'd come for her and she would be his wife. Now, years later, he's finally summoned her for their wedding and Sophie couldn't be more scared in her life.
Derek is not happy with Ian's decision to marry and tries endlessly to dissuade him. The jealousy over having to share Ian with another is eating away at his heart but this is only masking the true dilemma. Derek is not nor has ever been free with his heart. After having been the witness of so many deaths, Ian is still the only being strong enough to withstand life. Of course this is only Derek's rational. While the nightmares continue to plague his nights, Derek fears that this new bride will only make his emotions more raw and his dreams more terrifying with the absence of his lover and friend. To Derek's horror, he's finding himself entranced by Sophie. He can't bear to fall in love for her defense against death has never been proven. He cannot have a repeat of Dolores's fate. He doesn't think he could survive that type of loss again.
Ian is immediately entranced by his new and beautiful bride. But there's something sad and desperate lurking beneath the liquid innocence of her eyes. Her secrets are soon revealed though. It becomes quickly obvious that her father has brow-beaten his daughter into strict submissiveness that has nearly destroyed her beautiful spirit. In addition, Ian soon discovers that Sophie has also been brutally raped repeatedly by her evil brother Harold who thankfully is touring the continent or he'd find himself the recipient of a bullet hole to the chest. With painstaking tenderness, Ian seduces Sophie and teaches her the exquisite pleasure that can be attained while making love. Soon Sophie opens to Ian her body and soul at his insatiable request.
But life is still incomplete. Derek has continued to maintain his distance but Sophie is slowly plowing through his thick walls of defence. Unknowingly, Sophie captures his heart to Derek's eternal chagrin. But before the words of love can be spoken, Sophie is taken from Derek and Ian's safe embrace. An evil plot of revenge has been revolving around the three's burgeoning relationship. Desperate to find their wife and destroy her enemies, Derek and Ian take off to save the woman they love. They can only hope that they are not too late.
'At Love's Command' was a wonderful read that definitely satisfied my inner hussy. Whereas I loved the highly intense and sexual qualities to Ian's and Derek's relationship, I didn't yearn for the scenes between Ian and Sophie. I truly found myself craving more page time with Derek. There is only one totally hot and intense love scene between Derek and Sophie alone that leaves you panting for more. In addition, I thought that Derek's charismatic and ultimately primitively sexual nature overpowered Ian to the point where I didn't even want or need him around.
While Sophie has led an extremely tortured life, she got on my nerves on numerous occasions. In her heart she trusts and loves Ian but she continually withholds herself from him. For instance, she's terrified to tell him that she can't dance. How strange. The man knows about the horrors of her past and unequivocally accepts her but she's scared to death over his opinion on her dancing abilities? It left me raw. Also, some of the language had me breaking from the fantasy and I couldn't help but giggle. 'At Love's Command' really required a suspension of reality for me to stay focused. Mainly this was during the dialogue scenes between the main and secondary characters. On the flip side I was totally engrossed during the sex scenes. LOL! Weird, I know but that's how it happened for me.
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And don't forget to check out Barbara's beautiful reviews of Samantha Kane's Brothers In Arms Series which includes 'At Love's Command'. Click HERE!