Stuart's series begins with Phillip Horatio Hazard as a rising naval officer in the British Navy, carries him through the Crimean War, then ships him off to the Far East, first to China, then to India.
Along the way, Hazard (or maybe it's Stuart), bit by bit, lose contact with the sea. The action in this book and the previous one in the series is basically all on land, as Hazard is assigned to assist with army maneuvers in India, putting down the sepoy rebellion. Boats are mentioned -- and actually used -- only in passing. Hazard brings with him a detail of his seamen, who acquit themselves honorably and well, but the general drift of this book is focused on land, not on the sea.
Further, one finds right much information on the historical events and context of this era, with little (apparently) latitude for the author to speculate (that's what fiction is all about, right?) on what Hazard's efforts might have been and how they might have turned out.
I found the terminal soap opera with respect to Andrea Cockayne a turn off, too. The whole series leads one to imagine that Hazard will never find his true love, no matter what happens. This book ends with that particular issue hanging, but history intimates that it will not turn out happily.
Stuart's writing is very good and the historical elements well drawn. Just don't fool yourself that you will be getting a rousing sea adventure in the same spirit as O'brian's Aubrey or Forrester's Hornblower.