#Review King’s Knight (Medieval Warriors Series #4) by Regan Walker (@RegansReview) #MedievalWarriors #KingsKnight #Medieval #Romance
WINNER OF THE 2017 RONE AWARD (best medieval romance)!
HE SEIZED LIFE BY THE THROAT
Dubbed the Black Wolf for his raven hair, his fierceness in battle and his way with women, Sir Alexander of Talisand attacked life as he did the king’s enemies. But acclaim on the battlefield and his lusty escapades did not satisfy. King William Rufus would bind him to Normandy through marriage to one of its noblewomen, but the only woman Alexander wanted was a commoner he had saved from a terrible fate.
SHE KEPT MEN AT BAY WITH HER BOW
The shame of being the child of a Norman’s rape dogged Merewyn’s steps from her youth. Determined never to be a victim of a man’s lust like her mother, in Wales she donned the garb of an archer and developed extraordinary skill with a bow. Despite her fair beauty, men now keep their distance. No longer in need of protection from other men, can Merewyn protect herself from Alexander when he holds her heart yet can never be hers?
My goodness, me this is good! In fact the word ‘good’ is too mild of a term to describe just how unbelievably great this book is. No wonder that this was the winner of the 2017 RONE award, it is fantastic and exactly how a Medieval Romance should be written! I always know that whenever I pick up a Regan Walker book, I am going to instantly fall in love with it, but there is something rather special about King’s Knight, it is an intriguing, seductive, edge of your seat and exhilarating romance set in a time where chivalry and honour reigned. This is what I love about the medieval era to start with that it was a dark, perilous and dangerous as well as being a time where the world was full of chivalric, loyal, honour bound with absolute love – once found.
This is the last book in the brilliant Medieval Warriors series, and it feels like we have come full circle, the series started with Serena and Raynard; (otherwise known as the Red Wolf) Lord and Lady of Talisand and now we are back where we started but this time with their son; Alexander – who I have to say, I am in absolute love with!
As children Alexander; the little lord-ling of the mighty Red Wolf saves scared, vulnerable illegitimate Merewyn when she was about to be attacked by the boys from the village who just because she is the result of her poor mother being raped, Merewyn is now seen only as a but of a plaything, that is until the devil himself turns up by her side. Merewyn then went on to train as an archer in Wales and Alex went to train to be the Lord, Knight and warrior he was meant to be.
Years later, it is now 1091 and the fearsome Red Wolf’s cub is now a full-grown man, a brilliant Knight in his own regard, he is now back at home after spending years away fighting for King and country and training to be the deadly Knight he is now. He has a sinful reputation as a most sought after lover and ladies man, something which he Alex has thoroughly enjoyed that is until he comes face to face with the one woman who has been in the back of his mind since he rescued her years before. Merewyn is a tantalising, mysterious and utterly breathtaking woman, she is so different to his usual conquests a brilliant archer in her own right and a woman a lot like his own mother who would much rather wear men’s clothes and go out in the hunt then stay at home in pretty gowns sewing. To say Alex is instantly attracted to her is an understatement.
The chemistry sizzles between them, the air practically crackles with pent-up sexual tension and mutual lust, you just know that these two are just meant to be together. They are like two sides of the same coin, both different but together are one. Unfortunately all is not on our love birds side, as Alex is devastated to learn that the King has picked his bride for him, a woman who will bring together the two mighty houses, but this woman has got a deadly reputation not just because she has a habit of ridding herself of unwanted husbands – which did make me think of a black widow spider, but Alex’s intended also sees Merewyn as a threat. Add a war expected at any moment which very would mean Alex’s death, will our destined couple be torn apart in the most cruelest of ways, or will the Black Wolf and the Archer have their happy ever after?
My goodness, if there ever was a moment for a #DoubleSwoon, then now is the time. I didn’t think that my all time favourite Regan Walker character; Jean Donet could be pushed down to number two, but Alexander has done it. He is a passionate, fearsome, intelligent, strong, sexy, loyal and protective man who loves his family above all else. The way he looks up to his might father; Raynard, The Red Wolf is wonderful, to Alex his sire is the one man in the whole world who he admires and aspires to be. I love the scene when Alex and his father have a sword fight in the Talisand games, it’s wonderfully to see the Red Wolf and his ‘cub’ go head on head and how playful Raynard is with Alex, wonderful scene. It is that particular personality trait; the family orientated one that I loved about him. The way he treats his fellow knights no matter what their rank with respect and friendship is another trait that I love about him and the fact that yes he has a reputation for being a ladies man but the moment that he is reunited with beautiful Merewyn, he is a one woman man. She is everything to him, she brings light into his life.
She really is an amazing young lady, after her early ordeal when she was rescued by Alex she swore that no man would ever touch her, she would protect herself. Which is where the always brilliant Serena; lady of Talisand comes in, Serena was and still is the queen of the bow and arrow – I have always loved Serena she is a strong, resilient woman who is so caring and she shares those traits with the younger woman. Merewyn fights for her place and she has worked hard to over come her unfortunate start in life, she is bold, resilient, loyal, brave and deadly as well as being vulnerable, cynical and passionate. When she chooses to give her love and heart to someone they are extremely fortunate. She has always held a light for Alex but being lowly born and illegitimate she knows that the heir of Talisand is too far above her, but that doesn’t stop her heart beating out a rapid beat when ever she sees him. Or when they secretly kiss – oh, my those kisses are incredible; sweet, tender, sexy, passionate, loving.
I love how Ms Walker has answered all the questions that I had throughout this series, such as what would happen with the young orphan Jamie, is my favourite Welsh archer and the other Knights such as Sir Alain happy? All of their stories are revealed and the series – even though it is sad that there will be no more ‘Medieval Warriors’ – has finished in a good place leaving the reader very happy and satisfied.
This is a tantalising, action-packed, atmospheric, engaging, passionate, powerful, compelling – I am running out of complimentary descriptive words – brilliantly written, an emotional page-tuner that I can guarantee will have you hooked from that very first page. The story sweeps the reader along at a marvellous pace, you are taken on an spell-binding journey which is full of thrills, twists and turns and a gorgeous romance all entwined with meticulously researched and rich history. Ms Walker as ever has put her heart and soul and many, many hours of love into this, it’s so rich in detail that it’s as though you have been transported from your armchair to Medieval Yorkshire.
This book is really too good to be true, fantastic characters, mesmerizing plot a superb ending to what is an amazing series.
Kings Knight is available from Amazon, and I cannot recommend it enough!
When your destiny lies far from where you began …
The Norman Conqueror robbed Steinar of Talisand of his noble father and his lands, forcing him to flee to Scotland while still recovering from a devastating wound. At the royal court, Steinar becomes scribe to the unlettered King of Scots while secretly regaining his skill with a sword.
The first time Steinar glimpses the flame-haired maiden, Catrìona of the Vale of Leven, he is drawn to her spirited beauty. She does not fit among the ladies who serve the devout queen. Not pious, not obedient and not given to stitchery, the firebrand flies a falcon! Though Catrìona captures Steinar’s attention, he is only a scribe and she is promised to another.
Catrìona has come to Malcolm’s court wounded in spirit from the vicious attack on her home by Northmen who slayed her parents and her people. But that is not all she will suffer. The man she thought to wed will soon betray her.
When all is lost, what hope is there for love? Can a broken heart be mended? Can a damaged soul be healed?
Wow! This is breath-taking! I do love a Medieval romance and I always know that whenever I pick up a Regan Walker book, I am going to be in for something special. And this is no different! Rebel Warrior is book three in the delightful ‘Medieval Warriors Series’ and it is incredible. For those that have been reading this series they will recognize Steinar from The Red Wolf’s Prize as he is the brother of the beautiful Serena. As soon as I read that book, I was interested in reading his story, he sort of jumped out at me, and I can say that I am not disappointed. I am a huge medieval romance fan there is something dark and brutal, yet inexplicably romantic about this era. It was a dangerous time, yet their love seemed to transcend the danger they were in and Walker has perfected writing this emotion, especially with this one.
When out with her guard flying her beloved Hawk, Catriona of the Vale of Leven, returns homes only to find that her entire village is being ransacked and everyone were either brutally murdered or taken prisoner by North-men. She sees her mother and father slain right before her eyes and within minutes she is alone in the world all except for her brother, her guard and friend and her Hawk. She is sent to live at King Malcom’s court, she still has thoughts to marry the Irishman that her father arranged but again her heart is broken as her betrothed betrays her.
Catriona is a smart cookie, she is a non-nonsense, resilient and feisty young women who has been witness to something that no one should have seen; the brutal murder of not just her parents but her whole community, her way of life. That has made her strong, it has given her a sense of how brutal and harsh life can be. It has hardened her heart, that is until she meets a charming young lad with a certain twinkle in his eye.
Steinar has gone to Malcolm’s court to recover from being severely wounded, while there he has been brushing up his sword skills and he has been regaining his strength. He is full of anger that his beloved Talisand has been taken by a Norman and even more angry that his sister has married one, yet he knows that she is happy with her Wolf. It still doesn’t squash his well-hidden feelings on the matter, which is why he and he best friend the marvellously witty and equally charming Rhodari, Welsh archer – who in my book, is a real scene stealer, what a fun and sexy character! Steinar is happier with his own company, that is until he spies the most beautiful red-head he has ever seen, he is instantly taken with her. The one thing that really stood out for me about Steinar is how he wants a woman like his sister; Serena. He likes that fire and the fact that Catriona can think for herself, that to me is a vital part of his personality, he not only wants a woman to be able to think for herself, but not to be walked over, he also respect’s women for that trait too, which I found utterlyendearing.
I am so in love with Steinar! It is wonderful to see him get his own story, he was a compelling and fascinating man when we first met him, earlier in the series, but this just brings his absolute passionate, wild and romantic personality out for all to see. He is brave, heroic, stubborn, sensual and sexy and I particularly like his wit and his resilience. I love the friendly and almost brotherly relationship between him and the ever so charming Rhodari.
This book really pack’s a punch, as with all of Walker’s work it isn’t just about the romance that blossoms between the characters, there is an intriguing, thrilling and action-packed story that takes the reader on a real ‘blink and you will miss it’ adventure. The thing that I really picked up on from this the authors passion for the era, the history but more importantly the story. Walker’s love and attention to detail and the history shines through her words, and that passion really imprint’s itself on the reader, which makes reading this book an absolute joy.
I love this, it had me laughing, crying and gripped not wanting it to end. It is gritty and brutal, yet tender and loving and all the time enthralling.
Rebel Warrior is available now and can be purchased from Amazon.
Love in the time of revolution…
Zoe Ariane Donet was in love with love until she met the young commander of the royalist army fighting the revolutionaries tearing apart France. When the dashing young general is killed, she joins the royalist cause, rescuing emigres fleeing Robespierre’s Reign of Terror.
One man watches over her: Frederick West, the brother of an English earl, who has known Zo since she was a precocious ten-year-old child. At sixteen, she promised great beauty, the flower of French womanhood about to bloom. Now, as the Terror seizes France by the throat, Zoe has become a beautiful temptress Freddie vows to protect with his life.
But English spies don’t live long in Revolutionary France.
Firstly, let me just say that I am a huge fan of Regan Walker’s work and have been for a while now, I have been charmed by the most valiant warriors and been in awe over the feistiest heroines, I have been and continue to be enthralled by her magical stories. But, this could very well be the finest and the most breath-taking book that Ms. Walker has written, it is wonderous!
This is book three in The Donet Trilogy, and I do have to say that this has to be one of my favourite series’. Set in 1794, during the one of the bloodiest and most terrifying time of French history; Robespierre’s Reign of Terror and it is ten years on from where book one ‘Echo in the Wind’ left off. This time we are following the story of Jean Donet’s niece; Zoe and his wife Joanna’s brother Frederick (Freddie). I have learnt so much from this book, and anyone who has read my reviews before will know important it is to be educated as well as entertained, and Ms Walker done it again.
After the brutal death of Zoe’s beau and commander of the Royalist army in France, heart-broken Zoe wants to avenge his death by carrying on his fight. So, she joins the cause and with the help of her privateer uncle and some very trusted friends she begins rescuing those that are being persecuted or even worse those destined for the guillotine.
My goodness Zoe is one amazing young woman, you can see a lot of the stubborn, yet determined Donet gene’s going through her veins. This woman is a warrior, it’s as simple as that! I have always liked strong, independent female character’s and Zoe is by far the bravest, courageous and proudest heroine I have met. I am in awe of her, she is an incredible young woman. Zoe reminds me of the ladies from the resistance during WW2, selflessly risking so much for good. She is a vibrant, feisty and resilient young woman, who has shown she can do just the same as a man and help the cause. Can’t you tell how much, I admire this woman?
She has a huge patriotic and caring heart, she doesn’t at first see Freddie as anything other than just a friend. But then something happens very early on in the book and she suddenly see’s Freddie for the man he is. I love that moment, when her eyes are opened to him and she finally sees the handsome, cheeky man he is….Plus how can she not fall head over heels for that twinkly grin!
….Freddie raised Zoe’s hand to his lips and kissed her knuckles. His warm lips on her skin reminded Zoe of his kiss in the forest, that had caught her by surprise and forever changed the way she looked at him…
British spy, Freddie has vowed that he will protect her, he has loved her from a far for year. He has seen her grow from a tenacious ten-year-old to the proud beauty she is now, he would love nothing more than for her to look at him in the way she did her dead royalist. He vows to protect her as she follows her heart, he will put his very life on the line for her and at the same time he desperately wants her to feel the same. When he gets given his most deadly mission yet, one that could get land his head in a basket he is torn between his duty and his love for Zoe especially when they find themselves smack-bang in the middle of The Terror!
Freddie has stolen a piece of my heart away from his brother-in-law; Jean. He is so adorable, and that little nickname he has for Zoe….awww, he can melt a heart with that! He is such a soulful, charming and beautiful man. I also love how he is a little shy around Zoe which I found that to be a very refreshing trait. He is dutiful, he is proud of his work as a spy and all the good his job does. He knows that doing what he does that he may be caught and killed at any moment, but he is patriotic to the core. He is a proper hero; intelligently cunning, honourable and noble, plus highly protective about those he loves.
Freddie and Zoe are made for each other they are cut from the same cloth, I like how Walker has focused more on their personal feelings and developing their romance, which is built up around what is going on at the time. Their relationship goes from friendship to romance very subtly, yet that time is not drawn. I think it is very cleverly done and it does make their first kiss and the tender looks between them even more sensual and romantic.
…“Don’t apologise for that kiss, Frederick West. Besides,” she said, smiling up at him, “I love your kisses.” “The you shall have many more.” He took her waist in his hands and drew her close….
This is what I love about series’ is that we get to see how our favourite secondary characters are faring like Gabe; who when we met him was just a wee lad working as Jean’s cabin boy and now the cheeky chap is a leading member of his crew. I love getting to know characters like that and I still love how deeply in love Joanna and Jean are after all these years. In fact, I think they maybe even more in adorable than they were in ‘Echo in the Wind’ when we first met them. Jean is still as dashing and devilish as I remember – my goodness I do love this man! But he has got competition for my affections from Freddie and his twinkly charm.
Yet again, Ms Walker has pulled out another stunning story from her extraordinary imagination, this could very well be one of her best. A Fierce Wind is a thrilling, edge of your seat, page-turner which crackles with romance and danger. There are moments where I couldn’t turn the page fast enough, my heart was in my mouth. I needed to know what was to come next, if our couple would get their happily ever after, and if they would come out the other side of such danger. I was gripped!
The story effortlessly takes you on a mesmerizing and attention-grabbing journey, all the way towards a climatic end. As always with Ms Walker’s work this is beautifully written with vivid and engrossing historic details that are spot on as well as sensitive to the era. Plus, those of you who like the facts behind the story then the author’s note at the back is a definite must read.
I loved this and rather sad to see the end of the Donet Trilogy, I do hope that there will be more, though.
As Mary Poppins says; “Perfect in every way!”.
This was an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.
A Fierce Wind is to be released on 23rd August and can be pre-ordered at Amazon.
HE WOULD NOT BE DENIED HIS PRIZE
Sir Renaud de Pierrepont, the Norman knight known as the Red Wolf for the beast he slayed with his bare hands, hoped to gain lands with his sword. A year after the Conquest, King William rewards his favored knight with Talisand, the lands of an English thegn slain at Hastings, and orders him to wed Lady Serena, the heiress that goes with them.
SHE WOULD LOVE HIM AGAINST HER WILL
Serena wants nothing to do with the fierce warrior to whom she has been unwillingly given, the knight who may have killed her father. When she learns the Red Wolf is coming to claim her, she dyes her flaxen hair brown and flees, disguised as a servant, determined to one day regain her lands. But her escape goes awry and she is brought back to live among her people, though not unnoticed by the new Norman lord.
Deprived of his promised bride, the Red Wolf turns his attention to the comely servant girl hoping to woo her to his bed. But the wench resists, claiming she hates all Normans.
As the passion between them rises, Serena wonders, can she deny the Norman her body? Or her heart?
I have one word for this and that is simply; Wow!! Even though I have been reading this series out of order, I was bowled over by just how incredibly good this book is. This is how Medieval Romance is done, the story flows seamlessly and flawlessly while keeping the reader engaged and enchanted throughout. The Red Wolf’s Prize is one of those books that you will repeatedly pull of the shelf again and again, it is beautifully written by one of the best authors around today.
Set during 1068, just after Norman King William has conquered England, after all his loyal and un-relenting service towards William and throughout the conquest; faithful Knight Renaud de Pierrepont (or more commonly known as The Red Wolf) is given the northern strong hold of Talisand as a gift for all his hard work. Not only has King William given Ren the mighty estate but he has given him the Lady of Talisand as a bride. At first Ren isn’t too keen to take a Saxon bride who most likely will hate him, but he is ever dutiful and as he is looking forward to seeing his new home.
Lady Serena of Talisand wants nothing to do with The Red Wolf, she vows that she will never marry the Norman Knight and so she decides to leave her beloved childhood home. As much as it pains her to leave not just her home but the people of Talisand whom she’s looked after, but she is adamant that this is what she needs to do, so she flees dressed as a servant.
Once Ren arrives at Talisand and finds his bride gone, he is furious and sends out a search party. Unbeknown to him that amongst the women his Knights bring back is infact his bride; Serena in disguise as Sarah the servant girl. As Serena watches and gets to know the fearsome ‘Red Wolf’ she can’t help herself but to like him, and she is reluctantly impressed by how he charms her people, his natural magnetism draws her to him like a moth to a flame. Ren is as equally charmed by the servant girl ‘Sarah’ she entices him with a mere look with her violet eyes and he has this sneaking suspicion of her, he has the impression that there is more to this elegant servant then meets the eyes.
The chemistry between Ren and Serena is electric, their attraction for each other can barely be contained, it simmers and boils overs. Even though Serena plays hard to get and tries to keep her heart closed off to his sensual and exotic charms, which where Ren is concerned is an awful lot harder then she thinks. I have always been a fan of ‘Enemies to Lovers’ and this is perfect. It has all the element’s that you want from this trope.
Ren is such an incredible man he lives by a handful of rules that he expects his own Knights to abide by too – but seeing as these rules are don’t abuse the local’s especially the women and be respectful and so on, they aren’t too strenuous to adhere to. Ren is honourable and Knightly through and through, he is an intelligent, brave and seductive warrior who treats people with the utmost respect. He truly believes in treating everyone – especially women – with decency and respect and anyone who dishonours themselves best beware. That is just the Knightly side of him, but I really like the man behind the ‘Red Wolf’ mask – Ren the man is a seductive and supremely sexy man, I particularly like how he genuinely listens and takes his time to get to know the people of Talisand.
Serena is a good woman she cares deeply for her people especially of the women, she cares for bringing justice to those who have been wronged. She is a passionate, calm and very brave woman who isn’t averse to standing up to the mighty ‘Red Wolf’ especially when it’s on a topic that she believes in. Which is one of the reason’s why Ren is so transfixed by her, he likes her stubborn tenaciousness. Serena is a great character with so many good qualities, she is also an archer – by far one of the best even Ren and his loyal Knights are justifiably impressed with her skill.
Whenever I read a book by Regan Walker I am spell-bound with her stories, she grasped hold of your imagination and transports you to another time while taking you on a wondrous journey. You are educated as well as entertained with her masterful way with portraying exactly what was going on at the time with precise historic details that I love. The Red Wolf’s Prize is brilliant, I cannot say too many good things about this book and this series.
I don’t rate book’s in my reviews, but if I did this would be given easily ten stars, I love it!
The Red Wolf’s Prize can be purchased at Amazon.
Set in London in 1818, it’s the story of Rose Collingwood, daughter of a baron, who wanted to play Portia in The Merchant of Venice. To accept the part at the Theatre-Royal at Haymarket, the very proper young lady assumes the disguise of Miss Lily Underwood, the actress. Who knew all of London would soon be at her feet sending her love notes? One such Valentine goes awry only to be found by the dashing Irish barrister, Morgan O’Connell. Though he would have seduced the actress, Morgan must court the lady. Given three choices much like Portia’s suitors, can she resist the handsome Irish rogue? And who is it who is following her?
This is another cleverly written story from the talented Ms Walker, Set in London 1818, Lady Rose Collingwood, daughter of the famous Admiral Collingwood – who was a real figure in history – she wants excitement, she wants to do what she has always wanted to do, which is be on the stage in the theatre. Under the alias of Lily Underwood, Rose has got her wish to play the part of Portia in ‘The Merchant of Venice’. At night she is in her element, wooing the crowds with her skilful performance and during the day she is the sweet, obedient Baron’s daughter. Rose has the best of both worlds, as long as know one from either side of her life knows the truth. She is happy with her double life, she has no intention what so ever of doing the dutiful society lady thing of marrying and producing heirs. No, she wants to be free, to do as she pleases and that is what being an actress gives her.
It is while she is doing a particulay enthralling performance as Portia that she catches the eye of charming barrister in training; Morgan O’Connell, cousin to the famous Danial O’Connell. He is enchanted by her, he wants to know the real ‘Portia’ so when by chances comes across a secret valentine addressed to Lily Underwood, he can’t believe his luck especially when it leads him to the front door of the Dowager Countess of Claremont, who just by chance is in the mood for a bit of match making. She divulges a secret to him and gives him the perfect opportunity to meet and get to know the real woman who has captured his attention.
…he’d been the most handsome man in the room. Recalling that his family was rich in sheep, goats ad good will, and she added, “He has a wry sense of humour and that rare quality of being able to laugh at himself…”
I do love intermingling character’s that jump from one book to another, even when those books aren’t related, and Ms Walker has a real flare with having her characters intermingle and interact throughout her books. The best book jumping character I have ever encounted has to be the brilliant, Dowager Countess of Claremont. She is a hoot; such a wonderful character and I am so pleased that again this feisty lady has made an appearance.
I particularly like how different Morgan and Rose are, they are two individuals that you wouldn’t have initially put together, and yet they really work. Barrister in training; Morgan is dazzlingly charming, being an Irishman in London at a time of great political upheaval cannot have been easy, yet he proves himself and shows just what a smart genuine man he is. I really like how he can laugh at himself, he can take a joke. He is supremely confident, but not in an arrogant way and he is able to converse with all people and really stand his ground with topics that he is passionate about – and he is a very passionate man. Swoon worthy, would be accurate!
As Morgan and Rose’s budding romance begins to bloom, they are caught in a compromising position after an incident while out on a carriage ride. Add to that an attempted kidnapping, a zealous fan lurking in the shadows and a moment alone in an empty house and you get a thrilling and beautiful romance.
He broke the Kiss and looked into her eyes, “Say something, Rose.”
“That was not proper.” It was all she could think to say, though she experienced a pang of guilt at not discouraging his kiss before it took place.
He chuckled. “ You seemed to like it. Was it your first?”
She could feel herself blush and looked down as she whispered “Yes.”
His finger brought her chin up, “Good such a passionate English Rose. I think perhaps another is in order.”
As ever with Walkers work you are educated as well as entertained. As well as the sweet and loving romance between Rose and Morgan, there are snippets of what was happening in Ireland with the Protestant/Catholic and Political conflict. Walker has written the unrest and fragility of the time with the upmost care and sensitivity, it doesn’t over power what is a gorgeous love story. For me, I always like those snippets of fact from history incorporated into stories and this is wonderfully done.
The Shamrock and the Rose is such a lovely story, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I would have liked there to be more then there was, I found it a little short, but that’s to be expected from a novella. But, I would love to read more about Rose and Morgan. Over all a perfect love story for Valentines and St.Patricks Day.
The Shamrock and The Rose can be purchased from Amazon.
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.
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 are 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.
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 thing his enemy held most dear…her.
A BATTLE IS JOINED
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.