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Wednesday, May 6, 2015

ARC Review: To Tame the Wind by Regan Walker

Regan Walker is one of the few authors who can balance historical accuracy with entertaining fiction. I don't read romances that are more history lesson than romance and as cautious as I was when Ms. Walker's first book came out, I couldn't resist taking a peek and I haven't looked back since! Now she's written a prequel to her Agents of the Crown trilogy and I couldn't be happier.

Format: .mobi (provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review)
Publisher: CreateSpace
Release Date: May 9, 2015


All Claire Donet knew was the world inside the convent walls in Saint-Denis. She had no idea her beloved papa was a pirate. But when he seized Simon Powell's schooner, the English privateer decided to take the one thing his enemy held most dear... her.


The waters between France and England roil with the clashes of Claire's father and her captor as the last year of the American Revolution rages on the sea, spies lurk in Paris and Claire’s passion for the English captain rises.

Guilt lead Claire Donet to spend most of her life in a convent when what she truly wanted was to live her life on her terms. Her quiet life is suddenly turned upside down when she finds out that her father is a pirate and English privateer Simon Powell abducts her. Simon wants to use her as leverage against her pirate father in order to get his ship and crew back. What he didn’t count on was his attraction to Claire and the dangers of having her near with the American Revolution raging on and a confrontation with her father inevitable.

To Tame the Wind doesn’t particularly feel like a prequel, rather like a standalone novel that has some slight connections to the series. There’s a taste of what’s to come in the Agents of the Crown trilogy but the attention is firmly on Simon and Claire’s adventure and romance.

Claire started off the story being very na├»ve and sheltered, just like a young lady in her situation might have been in the 1700s and while she had moments of childish behavior, she was an intelligent, brave and kind character that I grew to like. My favorite thing about her was how stubborn and rebellious she could be when she had her mind set on something. She didn’t shrink away from the real issues she was faced with. She wasn’t boring that’s for sure.

Simon was just as interesting. An English privateer in the time of the American Revolution, he had some interesting views on the entire war that told me a lot about him as a character. He had two sides of himself, the man who could pass as a civilized member of society and the captain who could plan and execute the abduction of a sheltered lady and be ruthless with his enemies. He wasn’t motivated by greed but by a duty to do the right thing. He didn’t always make the right choices but he was man enough to see his errors and fix them the best that he could.

In typical Regan Walker fashion, To Tame the Wind visits a historical event from a different angle. Walker gives just enough attention to details to set up her scenes without overwhelming or boring her audience. There’s enough historical fact in this story and her others to give readers a solid glimpse into what was going on at that time. Again though, Ms. Walker does it in a way that doesn’t make her books sound more like historical fiction than historical romance. The events of the times sometimes take precedence over the romance between Simon and Claire but that’s to be expected when these two characters are smack in the middle of a war on the seas.

Like with Ms. Walker’s other books, I enjoyed the brief history lesson in To Tame the Wind almost as much as I enjoyed Simon and Claire’s journey from captor and prisoner to reluctant friends to lovers. I became invested in this time period and in these characters from start to finish.

Once again Regan Walker has delivered a well thought out, well executed romance. As a prequel to the Agents of the Crown trilogy, To Tame the Wind filled in some minor gaps and answered some of my questions regarding characters from the trilogy. The biggest one being: How and where did it all begin? Ms. Walker has a talent for taking events in history and creating a beautiful love story without completely alienating the historical aspect of the story.

Final Verdict: Beautiful imagery and characters that are engaging and entertaining. What more could I ask for?

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