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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Review: Racing with the Wind by Regan Walker

Format: epub (provided by author)
Release Date: July 23, 2012
Purchase Links: Kindle l Nook l All Romance E-Books

The intrepid daughter of an earl leaves Regency London for the Parisian court of Louis XVIII, where she finds adventure, mystery, and above all, love.

Hugh Redgrave, marquess of Ormond, was warned. Prinny had dubbed Lady Mary Campbell “the Swan,” but no ordinary man could clip her wings. She was a bluestocking hellion, an ill-advised match by every account. Luckily, he sought no bride. His work lay on the continent, where he’d become legend by stealing war secrets from Boney. And yet, his memories of Lady Mary riding her stallion were a thorn in his mind. He was the son of a duke and in the service of the Prince Regent…and he would not be whole until he had won her hand.

It was unheard of for a Regency debutante to postpone her first season, yet Lady Mary had done just that. Far more interested in politics than a husband, she had no time for foolishness or frippery. Already she had assisted her statesman uncle in Paris, and she swore to return to the court of Louis XVIII no matter the danger. Like her black stallion, Midnight, she would always run free. Only the truest heart would race beside her.

I have a deep, abiding love for historical spy romance novels. Why? Because being a spy was way harder when there was no such thing as phone taping devices, or night vision goggles and it adds an element of suspense and excitement to the overall story. The only downside is that it becomes difficult to find books with this theme that don't all sound the same after awhile. Racing with the Wind by Regan Walker is thankfully, one of those novels that doesn't read like a rehashing of a bunch of historical spy romance novels.  It has it's own identity, one that I truly enjoyed.

How a woman behaves and thinks can seriously make or break a novel like Racing with the Wind. If an author is going to write a spy romance novel, especially a historical romance novel, then the heroine MUST be intelligent, courageous, and unique. Mary Campbell is the embodiment of those three. I loved her! In a time where independence and intelligence was unforgivable and unattractive in a woman, Mary is an unconventional delight. So many descriptions of Mary can be found throughout the entire book but my absolute favorite is said by Hugh himself early on in the book, he refers to her as a "bluestocking hellion." From that moment, I had high hopes that Mary would live up to that name and she certainly did! However, Mary isn't made of stone, she has a woman's heart after all, she wants a man who will love her for who she is and not try and tame her.

I'd like to think that if I lived in Regency England that I would have the courage to be just like Mary, down to the Friesian stallion (my favorite horse).

Hugh is definitely special in his own right. Sure he's got the typical good looks, height and commanding presence but it takes a special kind of man to capture and keep Mary's heart. He is not perfect, by all means he has his flaws but that's what makes him such a believable and suitable partner for Mary. He is a fair minded, intelligent man who quickly learns that force and intimidation do not work on Mary. He learns to appreciate and love Mary for who she is and not who he wants her to be. Oh to find a man like that for myself! Mary is one lucky woman.

The action, suspense and mystery doesn't kick in until late in the story but this just gives the budding attraction between Hugh and Mary to grow before it's put to the test. Once the spy games begin though, there's no stopping it. The pacing of the story in the second half is certainly faster than the first half but it doesn't lose the readers in the chaos of murderers, thieves and some seriously steamy, sexy moments with Hugh and Mary. Among all the action, Hugh and Mary's relationship deepens into a mutual respect, admiration and eventually, love that was both entertaining and heartwarming.

I have to applaud Regan Walker for the tremendous amount of research that obviously went into  Racing with the Wind. I'm by no means an expert on Regency England but  it was clear there was a fair amount of research that went into this  book. I even learned a few interesting facts myself and found a new  historical figure to Google and read about to my heart's content.

Overall, Racing with the Wind is a dazzling mix of passion, adventure, mystery and love. Once I started, I couldn't put it down. I can't wait to read the next book in the trilogy.


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  1. Thanks for the great review, Adria! And I'm looking forward to being a guest on your blog tomorrow.


    1. Thank you for the opportunity Regan!

  2. Great review, I love to read just about any type of book :) Saw your post on blogaholic and following you on GFC now. I look forward to your future posts :)


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