Ordered by the Prince Regent into the Caribbean, English sea captain and former privateer Jean Nicholas Powell has no time for women on board the Wind Raven, especially not Tara McConnell. The impudent American forced herself aboard, and so she’ll get more than she bargained for: Instead of a direct sail to Baltimore, she’ll join their quest to investigate a rampaging pirate, the infamous Roberto Cofresi. But the hoyden thinks she can crew with his men, and though he bans her from the rigging, Nick is captivated watching her lithe, luscious movements on deck. Facing high seas, storms, cutthroats and the endless unknown, he must protect his ship, his passenger, his crew. But on this voyage, with this woman, there is a greater danger: to his heart.
“A fine fix we’re in,” Tara said, looking first at the captain and then at the night sky. The stars began to show themselves in the darkening canvas above, giving her the sense she stood on a precipice at an auspicious moment in time. It had only been a short while ago she had gained the insight she had now about the two of them. She should have realized the truth long ago.
“What do you mean?” he asked, coming up behind her, so close she could feel the heat of his chest. His warmth had always drawn her, and it was pulling her to him now like a strong undertow.
“Each of us withheld from the other the one thing we wanted,” she remarked, staring into the night sky.
“And what would that be?” He put his hands on her arms, drawing her back against his chest. She shivered with his touch but allowed it, while fighting the urge to turn and fall into his arms.
“You wanted my body and, fool that I am, I wanted your heart.”
He spun her around so fast her vision blurred. “My heart? You wanted my heart?”
“Yes, but I cannot seem to touch it.” His eyes carried a look of astonishment. “Well, you can keep it,” she said emphatically. “I don’t want it anymore. And you shall never have me!”
He stared at her for only a moment. “Oh, yes, I will.” As if she had defied one of his many orders and he was having none of it, he brought his mouth down on hers in a kiss that was claiming. One of his hands closed on her nape and his other arm wrapped tightly around her waist, holding her to him, trapping her with his powerful strength.
Publisher and Release Date: Boroughs Publishing Group (March 10, 2014)
Time and Setting: 1817; London, at Sea, Bermuda, Baltimore
Genre: Historical Romance
Heat Level: 2.5
Reviewer Rating: 4 stars
Review by Natalie
Wind Raven is the third instalment in the Agents of the Crown Trilogy by Regan Walker but fear not! The book stands alone as its own enticing story and one does not need to be familiar with the other stories in the trilogy to enjoy this high seas adventure. The book opens at a tavern in the West Indies, July 1815. The wars between America and England have drawn to a conclusion but tensions are still high and a fight breaks out between an American and an Englishman. This sets the scene for the tensions that will come up again and again in the book, most importantly the prologue leaves us wondering, “What kind of women would crew with men?”
Fortunately, Ms Walker doesn’t leaving us wondering for long as we are immediately introduced to Tara, our headstrong heroine. Tara is accustomed to a life at sea with her loving father and brothers but has currently been suffering the life of the ton at the hands of her aunt in London. Tara receives notice that her father is ill and decides to immediately depart for home; her aunt finds her passage on the Wind Raven. Tara finally feels at home, back on the deck of a ship but realizes not all ships’ captains are as accepting of a female crew member as her father and brothers.
Captain Nick Powell isn’t excited to take on a female passenger to begin with, but once on the water the seemingly priggish passenger transforms into an experienced sea faring goddess. The tension between Tara and Nick is immediate and leaves the reader hoping that these two can see that their differences are really only skin deep and that they belong together. Wind Raven is a really fun read. It’s clear that Ms Walker has really done her research on life at sea. She doesn’t shy away from the rougher elements including the real danger that Tara is facing as a woman at sea at a time when such a thing was unheard of and regarded as a bad omen.
Tara is a great heroine for us modern gals. She doesn’t shy away from hard work and wants to be part of the crew. She is almost immediately lovable as a tomboy stuck playing a lady. You want her to win over the crew and prove that she can do everything they can do, and better. On the other hand Captain Powel is a little bit ‘Captain’ and a little bit ‘gentleman’, but mostly he is a man wise to the ways of the world, or at least the ways as he sees them. It is hard not to want him to allow the challenging Tara into his heart.
It takes a good deal of time for our lovebirds to realize that they belong in each others’ arms and even when they do, their own miscommunication and misunderstandings threaten to undo their ties. I enjoyed the exciting moments where all chaos had broken out on deck as well as the more intimate moments between Nick and Tara. This book is definitely worth reading and I am looking forward to getting to know the rest of the Powell family in the other books in the Agents of the Crown Trilogy as well as in the promised prequel.
About the Author
As a child Regan Walker loved to write stories, particularly about adventure-loving girls, but by the time she got to college more serious pursuits took priority. One of her professors thought her suited to the profession of law, and Regan realized it would be better to be a hammer than a nail. Years of serving clients in private practice and several stints in high levels of government gave her a love of international travel and a feel for the demands of the “Crown” on its subjects. Hence her romance novels often involve a demanding Prince Regent who thinks of his subjects as his private talent pool.
Racing With the Wind (Agents of the Crown #1)