Against the Wind (Agents of the Crown #2) by Regan Walker

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Blurb:

A night in London’s most exclusive bordello. Agent of the Crown Sir Martin Powell would not normally indulge, but the end of his time spying against Napoleon deserves a victory celebration. Yet, such pleasure will not come cheap. The auburn-haired courtesan he calls “Kitten” is in truth Katherine, Lady Egerton, a dowager baroness and the daughter of an earl as elusive as she is alluring. She flees a fate worse than death. But Martin has known darkness, too, and he alone can touch her heart—as she has touched his. To the English Midlands they will steal, into the rising winds of revolution.

Publisher and Release Date: Boroughs Publishing Group March 2013
RHL Classifications:
Time and Setting: Regency England
Genre: Historical Romance
Heat Level: 2
Reviewer Rating: 4.5 stars

Review by Maggi

The book begins with the hero, Sir Martin Powell, suffering a terrible loss while in France working for the Crown as a spy. Returning to England years later, he is again drawn into service at the request of the Prince Regent. The Midlands is on the brink of a rebellion, and Martin is to move among the conspirators and report back. But before he departs London, he visits an exclusive bordello. And that night proves to have a profound effect on his life.

After her much older husband, Baron Egerton, dies not long after they marry, Lady Katherine “Kit” comes to take care of her unwell sister Anne, who is married to the violent Earl of Rutledge. Anne’s subsequent death places Kit at the mercy of Rutledge who wants her for himself and attempts to rape her. She fights him and, believing her actions have ruined her life, rushes to her former nanny, Abby, the only one who can help her. Abby is now the owner of Willow House, an exclusive brothel in London. Abby offers Kit accommodation so that she can rest and consider her options. With no money or family, Kit’s future is grim. When her bedchamber door opens, she is desperate as she greets the man who will be irrevocably bound up in her future.

Oh, God. What’s to become of me? If only someone would hold me and tell me it will be all right.
As if in answer, a deep voice came out of the darkness. “Come to me,” it said.

This is the first of Regan Walker’s books I have read and it didn’t matter that I hadn’t read the first in this series. The story grabbed my attention from the beginning, and did not disappoint throughout. I enjoyed Ms Walker’s deft weaving of the spy plot and romance and her knowledge of the historical events of the time.

Both hero and heroine come to this story with sad histories. Their gradual falling in love and coming to trust one another was subtly done. Kit is no push-over, she’s intelligent and past hurts are not easily forgotten and she fights her own desire while holding Martin at arm’s length. Neither does Martin marry Kit for love. He has been married before, and he still suffers the pain of loss. This arranged marriage is to benefit both parties, but they are passionately drawn to one another from the first.

It might have been even better to have Martin confide in Kit and then have her take a more active role in the spy plot. It would have brought them together throughout the detailed and well-written account of the uprising. I found myself reading quickly, keen to get back to Kit and discover what had happened to her. But the subplot was neatly done, as was the satisfactory ending.

I look forward to reading the other books in this series.

At time of this review, the book is available for $3.99 on Amazon Kindle

REVIEWER BIO : Maggi Andersen is an Australian author of Historical and contemporary romance. Her latest release is The Folly at Falconbridge Hall, a Victorian mystery romance.
http://www.maggiandersenauthor.com

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