Amidst the rising winds of revolution, Agent of the Crown Sir Martin Powell alone can protect—and win the heart of—the elusive Lady Egerton. 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.

Review

This is book two in the wonderful ‘Agents of the Crown’ series and this time we meet second son; Martin Powell. I always start one of Walker’s stories knowing that; yes, I am going to be in for another edge of your seat romp and as always, I wasn’t disappointed. Now I do love a series where you get drawn further and further into the world your reading with every book, you have well-loved character’s crossing over from one book to another and you start to get to know them as they though you are apart of their family and this is what Walker is brilliant at. She takes you on journey and introduces you to character’s that from the moment you meet them you are fixated on them, and you want to know what happens to them as you go through the series.

Martin has been an undercover spy for the crown stationed in France for years, and now the war is over he is finally coming back to English shores. With a new Knighthood to his name as a reward for all he has done and with a bit of persuasion from his closest friend Lord Ormand, Martin reluctantly celebrates by going to the most sought-after bordello in London, a place where only the most connected of the Ton is allowed to go – visitors need an invitation and recommendation from another member before they get through the door. This is where Martin finds himself and where he meets the most beautiful and mysterious courtesan Kit, Martin soon finds out that there has been a mistake and that his ‘Kitten’ isn’t a courtesan at all but dowager baroness; Lady Egerton who is actually taking refuge at the bordello which is run by Kit’s old nanny.

“What’s your name, beauty?”

Still in a daze, she responded. “Kit.”

“Well…mon Chaton, my Kitten, we will take this slow. It has been a long time for me. You need do nothing, just let me love you.”

He inclined his head, and his lips touched her ever so softly. His arms wrapped around her. The embrace promised every comfort Kit desired…

Kit having been through a terrible ordeal she fled to the one place where she knew she would be safe, she is scared but more than that, with what had happened she has lost her ability to trust. It’s rather lovely how as soon as she meets cool but charismatic Martin she knows instantly that; yes, this is a man I can trust. She is such a strong but fragile little creature, timid at times but she has a lot of coiled up raw emotion that when she reveals it is passionate.

After finding out about her and why she was there he needs to find her, after the cruel death of his first wife, Martin never thought he would feel anything like what he feels for Kit, he never though he would find happiness, but Kit sets his blood on fire. He is fascinated as well as frustrated by her and he needs to have her in his arms again, but that seems to be harder than he expected – even for an accomplished spy. Plus, there is the small matter that his superiors have one last mission for him, before his hangs up his spying shoes for good, but this one could very well be the deadliest one he has ever had and one that could very well lead to his death.

Martin is so different from his family, unlike his brother’s who I think process a lot of their grandfather; Jean Donet’s Gaelic confidence and charm, I think Martin is lot like his bold but much calmer and thoughtful mother; Claire. He has been through a lot during his service, but it’s not his job that has jaded him but what happened because of who and what he is, when his wife and unborn child were brutally murdered he mentally withdrew from the world but threw himself into his job. He became cold and un-feeling which is why he was such a good spy but that became an issue with being able to connect with people, it took a very special woman to be able to bring him out of his stupor and feel again.

He drew her against him and wrapped his arms around her. “Ah, mon chaton.” He whispered into her ear, “Come away with me, my love.” He nuzzled her neck, sending shivers down her spine. “I will show you white sand beaches and blue lagoons. We’ll make love in the warm tropical waters of another land….”

…Reaching up , she brushed aside the stray lock that had blown across his forehead and said, “I want those days with you, my love, my Knight – all of them…”

I really love this story, it’s all about second chances and moving on and learning how to love again, Kit and Martin are such a cute and hugely likable couple and their getting to know and trust each other is the leading story but I love the background storyline of the uprising in the north, about how ordinary working class people are suffering from what is going on in the country at the time Walker has portrayed all this angst perfectly. Another thing I really like about this is how easily Walker has entwined actual historic figures – such as the Duke of Devonshire – or Hart to his friends (whose family still own Chatsworth House in Derbyshire to this day) with her wonderfully crafted character’s and they seamlessly fit together. The story builds up fast and it all comes to a climatic and unexpected ending, that has you at the edge of your seat.

This is just fabulous, I really cannot say enough good things about Against the Wind as with all of Walker’s work it is flawless.

Against the Wind is book 2 in the Agents of the Crown series, which can be read as the series or very easily as a standalone and it can be purchased at Amazon UK / Amazon.com

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