Review: At Love's Command

Review: At Love's Command by Samantha Kane

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.


Interested in 'At Love's Command'? Visit Samantha Kane for more Info!

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!


Mandi said...

"hussy heart" - I love it ;)

I am seriously going to buy this book just so I can read the the scene where Derek seduces Ian. Can I pretend Sophie is not in the book? ;)

I keep seeing this book pop-up...and it really does sound intriguing.

MsMoonlight said...

I loved this series, very hot and memorable characters.
Great review VFG!

VampFanGirl said...

HI Mandi!

LOL! Yup, I must please my hussy heart. :)

Don't be too quick to judge Sophie. You may like her. Actually I liked her, she just annoyed me on occastion. I wish the story had just been about her and Derek. *sigh* Derek is yuuuum-ee!

:) VFG

Thanks MsMoonlight! I remember all the wonderful reviews you did of the Brothers in Arms series too.

:) VFG

Erotic Horizon said...

You have finally finished it.. Loved the review..

You've even brought back how annoying Sophie was at time - I never particularly liked her, but she was part and partial of the mix so i accepted her..

DEREK is my man - too hot, too arrogant, too much of a pain in the ass - but i loved him.

Hope you have the other books on your radar - they are great - and you at least have the right attitude to enjoy them...


Blodeuedd said...

It sounds lovely, and sad.
But your note about the dance, yes after those horrors she is afraid to tell him that..doesn't make sense.
Still would love to read it :)

Charlotte Featherstone said...

Okay, when deadlines are over I'm getting this book, and it's all owing to these hussy raving reviews of Derek. I can insert myself and give Sophie the heave-ho!

VFG, great review and so well written!

Barbara said...

OMG SHAME ON ME!!! I've been dying for this review and I'm LATE?!

YAY!! DEREK! OMG, I'm so secretly in love with a fictional character. How pathetic am I? LOL!

VFG, you summed up EXACTLY how I felt. I loved Derek. I liked the scenes between Derek and Ian because I knew how much Derek loved him.

Ian--if it wasn't for the fact that Derek loved him so much, I could have done without him. But he made Derek happy, and I wanted Derek to be happy.

Sophie, I actually really liked her. Meek and mild, she was this mousy little thing who desperately needed love. Derek, I thought, was perfect for her.

He MADE her stand up and defend herself for once in her life. He made her feel her own self worth.

Unilke the "numb" girl at the begining of the novel who simply wanted to allow the floor to swollow her up, Derek made her good and mad.

He forced her to feel. Anger, love and desire. HE BROUGHT HER TO LIFE in my opinion. Their love scene was extremely passionate. How desperately he tried not to love her. It broke my heart because you just KNEW he wouldn't be able to fight it for long.

Yes, Ian did play a role in helping her, but I thought Derek would have managed well enough all on his own ;)

GREAT REVIEW!! I'm happy you loved Derek as much as I did.

VampFanGirl said...

Hi E.H.! LOL, yeah it took me a bit due to the insanity of my BDB week. :)

I really enjoyed ALC and I'm definitely interested in Samantha Kane's other novels. I was telling Barbara that I'd love to read Very's story. She's a pistol! And Wolf...sigh.

:) VFG

Hey Blodeuedd! I still recommend the novel because the story is lovely and the sex is uber hot. I hope you check it out.

:) VFG

LOL Charlotte! ALC is sure to satisfy your inner hussy! Some of the scenes seriously had me squirming. Derek is so worth it.

:) VFG

VampFanGirl said...

LMAO Barbara!!

Derek is some serious hunk of burnan' love. :) Strikingly beautiful, wonderfully tall, muscular to a fault, and so deliciously tortured. He had me captivated at every scene. I so wanted him to make love alone again with Sophie. *sigh*

Yeah, I liked Ian because Derek loved him but his character didn't shine at all next to the bright light of Derek. Not his fault really, his lover was just way more charismatic.

Oh me too, I loved how Derek teachs Sophie how to be human again. It's beautifully poignant. There were just a few things that irked me, like the dancing bit.

Thank you again for recommending the book to me. You such amazing taste!

(((hugs))) VFG

Barbara said...

LOL, well I must admit, that scene in Ian's study at the end with the three of them...Hot. It had me turning all shades of red in the face, lol.

You got Derek ripping clothes off and Ian growling. I mean really? What girl for ask for anything more? LMAO!

But, Derek...sigh...yeah, he was somethin' else. *day dreaming*

Lea said...

Wonderful review as always VFG!

I have this book along with the rest of the series in the stacks and on my e-reader. (The situation gets more frightening by the day with respect to the numbers of books I have to read. I now need a back hoe to find my way into said stacks... However, I digress.)

You have certainly piqued my interest with respect to "Derek", "Sophie", and "Ian", and maybe I'll get to this series before year's end.

By the way, that Meljean Brook book and her cover art female with the bazooka breasts and seriously scary knives? So distracting when reading a review... YIKES There is something seriously wrong with me...




VampFanGirl said...

Barbara! Sheesh, I just finished mopping up all the drool on the blog and now you've gone and made a mess with your daydreaming! LOL!

No but seriously, that scene was smokin' HOT! This is going to sound bad but I actually imagining them doing things a little differently... Alright, so I won't subject you to my gutter mind but let's just say that I had the choreography down!

:) VFG

VampFanGirl said...

Thanks Lea!

LOL! Oh I feel your pain on the TBR pile up. *sigh*

You'll love Derek. He's the best part of the novel, IMO.

Oh gosh I know! Those boobs are seriously insane. I think Meljean is going to recruit a lot of male fans with that one. LOL!

And don't worry, I'm standing next to you and staring my ass off as well. :)

(((hugs))) VFG

Cecile said...

Okay, I am coming in late again.. Sorry!
Wow. Okay with the comments left and I made my way through the drool.. I have my handy little notebook of books... this is going down there now... and on good reads, I am trying to update my wants.. I mean My list! LOL!! And if this book satistfied some of the hussy in you... then I know it will for me... but this would be my first m/m book.. kinda leary about that..
Great review Vamp... you really make me want to go get this book right now... and it is 11:42 at night!!!
Damn hussy in me!!!

Barbara said...

Girl, you crack me up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Cecile said...

Barbara, believe me, if I lived my a book store that was open 24/7 I would have been stalking the store like a mad werewolf wanting this book!!! Even though the m/m kinda has me going "ohhh I don't know"... But I figured if it satistfied the hussy in Vamp... then it sure can quench mine!!

VampFanGirl said...

No probs, Cecile. :) What's up girl?

So yeah, ALC will definitely get your hussy heart pounding.

Thanks for enjoying the review. Doesn't Barbara have excellent taste??

:) VFG

Cecile said...

Girl, you sure do know how to get the heart pumping...!! Between you and Barbara i have added to my several times over... Erotic Horizon is sending the book police out for me... I upgraded my goodreads last night/early this morning... and let's just say that I am glad there is no limited!!! So I have to be under the radar... ***cop in uniform at door... but his shirt is unbottoned and he is swinging the fuzzy handcuffs my way... maybe different police is looking for me lol***

Caffey said...

Now shuffling TBR again!! Isn't this book one in the seris?

VampFanGirl said...

Hey Caffey!

Yes, ALC is part of the Brothers in Arms series.

If you click on the Samantha Kane link at the bottom of the review, you can check out the other books.

:) VFG

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