Regan Walker

Review : Rebel Warrior (Medieval Warrior’s #3) by Regan Walker

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When your destiny lies far from where you began …

Scotland 1072

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?

My View

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.

Utterly fabulous!!

Rebel Warrior is available now and can be purchased from Amazon.

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Review – A Fierce Wind (The Donet Trilogy #3) by Regan Walker

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Love in the time of revolution…

France 1794

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.

My View

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.

Review – The Red Wolf’s Prize (Medieval Warriors #1) By Regan Walker

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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?

My View

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!

Highly recommended!

The Red Wolf’s Prize can be purchased at Amazon.

Review – The Shamrock and the Rose (Novella) by Regan Walker

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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.

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

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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.

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

Review – To Tame The Wind (Agents of the Crown Prequel & The Donet Trilogy #1) by Regan Walker

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Paris 1782…

AN INNOCENT IS TAKEN

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.
This is book is the bridge book that connects The Donet Trilogy with The Agents of the Crown Series and for those that haven’t read either this is the book to read, this is where we get to see where the Agents of the Crown story begins, and we get out first glimpse of captivating pirate Jean Donet. I really like how Walker has linked the two series with this one book it is so smart excellently done by one of the most accomplished and talented author’s around. As we have come to expect from Walker To Tame the Wind is luxuriously rich in detail and intrigue, with character’s who you are rooting for and who draw your attention from the moment you lay eye’s on them and as always I was hooked from start to finish.
When we first meet out couple Claire sneaks out of her the convent and into a ball where she meets the most beautiful man she has ever set eyes on – while up a tree of all places – she does fall head over heals for the handsome English Captain with the amber eyes, there and then, whereas he just sees her as a little girl who really should be tucked up in bed with her dolly. Simon goes back to his ship and his life as a privateer, where his life plod’s along nicely and Claire back to her convent home where after the death of her friend it is then she does some serious thinking about her future and makes the decision that she needs to be a nun because she is far too wild for her own good.
“I am not one of your crew to obey your every whim,” she raged. “I am a lady, and I will be treated as such, even by a common sailor like you!” “A lady?” Still steaming, he looked down at her bow-shaped lips, which in his anger tempted him beyond reason. If this was the only way he could dominate the girl he would see to it. He took her lips in a harsh, demanding kiss….
Years later, Privateer Captain and secret agent; Simon Powell has been at logger heads with the notorious pirate; Captain Jean Donet for years. There is a real battle of wills between Simon and Jean they are two giants of the channel both seething hatred at the other and then when Jean has the audacity to commandeer one of Simon’s ships and its crew to pass them on to the Americans – so they can be traded for American prisoners – Simon see’s red and vows that this time he will get his revenge on the Frenchman. When Simon learns that Jean Donet has a daughter hidden away in a convent, he see’s his chance to not only get his revenge on the pirate but also get his ship and men back. He decides to kidnap the daughter and hold her for ransom after all how much trouble can it be to steal away a little girl and hold her on the ship for a few days? As Simon waits for Jean Donet to make the next move in their deadly game, he and Claire are forced to spend a lot more time together – which is a like a storm in a tea cup in more ways than one. They both have volatile and explosive personalities and they are both hugely seductive, it isn’t a case of captive falling head over heals for her captor it is a very mutual thing they both feel very strong about the other the air crackles with pent up frustration and sexual tension when they are in the same room as one another – especially after one of their heated arguments, and I do like it when they are at logger heads especially with Claire as she has a heated fiery personality for a woman who insists she wants to be a nun she is has a temper and she isn’t afraid to show it.
Claire Donet has lived a good portion of her life behind the convent walls since her father left her there when she was a child claiming this would be the best place for her, so she can learn to be a proper lady until it is time for her to wed – what she doesn’t know is that her father isn’t just a member of the French aristocracy, but he is also a notorious pirate and the only reason he left her at the convent is to keep her safe. After the death of a good friend two years before, Claire has decided that she is too wild and that the best place for her is in the convent and she has decided to take orders. Her mind is made up when she finds out that her father has found her a husband, let us just say that Claire is not happy about that piece of news – but one night both hers and her father’s plans are ruined when she is kidnapped right from her bed in the middle of the night by a golden eyed scoundrel.
He looked every inch the fierce bird of prey he appeared that night in Saint-Denis… l’aigle royal, the golden eagle. She could not look away from his manly face and his powerful form. He was magnificent.
 Claire Donet is just as spirited as her pirate father, she is head strong and free willed plus incredibly stubborn and let me say that she has real fire and does not take to kindly to being carted off and used as a pawn in the brutal war between the handsome Englishman and her father. There is no crying and “why me’s” with this young woman, oh, no there is shouting and throwing things plus not to mention giving a certain Captain a good right hook in his handsome face. I really like Claire she acts like the tough cookie but under all that gaelic confidence is still the little girl wanting her father’s approval wanting someone to look after her.  
Simon is a brilliant Captain and a genuinely good man, he has some issues regarding his childhood and that has impacted on his life and the man he has become, it also instilled in him the need to treat his crew with the up most respect. As a Captain he is one hell of a good one, his crew respect him and to me that shows what a great leader he is. He is never happier than when he is on his ship; The Fairwinds, he knows the sea’s like he knows the back of his hand – I would even say he rivals Jean Donet on his skills at sea. I love it when Simon and Jean are battling on the channel it is like clash of the titans. They are both unbelievably enigmatic and captivating individuals who are thrown together not just by their bitter battle, but by Claire, she is stuck in the middle of the two men that mean the most to her in the whole world. On one hand she has her dutiful and protective father, who she has this beautiful bond with – Claire and Jean really do have a very loving father/daughter relationship. On the other hand, she has this new love, the charming Englishman – a man who sends her heart a flutter and who treats her with absolute respect. 
With sudden clarity, Claire understood it all. Her papa did have a ship. And this man, this English captain—her golden one—was her papa’s enemy, on the opposite side of America’s war. How could she find comfort in his arms if that were true?
I think Walker has captured Claire’s inner turmoil – about having the two men whom she loves dearly at war – beautifully. To Tame the Wind is another fabulously enchanting and mind turning story from Ms Walker, it flows seamlessly from one scene to the next and one that I whole heartedly recommend and as with all of books from Agent’s of the Crown and The Donet Trilogy. This can be read as a stand alone or part of both series’, To Tame the Wind does set the reader up nicely to jump from one series to the next as I see this as the bridge between the two it is the perfect place for those that haven’t read Ms Walker’s work yet, this is the place to start.
Highly enjoyable especially for those of us who like highly detailed historicals with a satisfying storyline and flawed but honest character’s.
To Tame the Wind can be purchased at Amazon

Chicks, Rogues and Scandals Best Books of The Year, 2017

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It’s that time of year again where I look back through the year and pick out my favourite books that I have featured on Chicks, Rogues and Scandals, it has been especially hard this time to pick my favourite’s as this year has been full of the most amazing books you can imagine. I have found new author’s that are now go to authors for their genre, new style books and series’ it has been an amazing year of reading. I have ditched my usual formula of best Hero/Heroine/Plot but I have still got a book of the Year – right at the bottom of the post. There are others books that I have loved this year, but if I kept adding books it would end up being my top 50 – I have already added more then I intended, as I only intended on doing my top ten, but there were some books that I couldn’t possibly leave off.  So, in no particular order here are my favourite Books of 2017 followed by my Book of the Year!

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14 Best Books of the Year; 2017

Echo in the Wind by Regan Walker

Echo in the Wind is a beautifully written story, its thrilling and exciting but yet the love story is so tender. Jeán Donèt really steals every scene he is featured in. He is a hero who can make any woman swoon with just a smouldering look, he is an enigmatic and suave individual who has a breath-taking Gaelic confidence and charisma. A heroine, who is not a wilting wallflower she is a vibrant and strong-willed, independent woman who has her own beliefs and views on the world and she isn’t afraid of voicing them. Together these two are a force to be reckoned with, but they compliment each other too. There isn’t anything about this that I don’t like!

The Viking Warriors Bride by Harper St George

This is so sexually charged, the chemistry between Vidar and Gwendolyn is red hot, any hotter and your eyes would smoke with just reading it, they are made of the same stuff. I love when they start getting to know each other, there is a real spark between them and the respect he shows her is sweet and uplifting. As always the writing is strong and articulated as we have come to expect from St. George. When I read an historical I like the historic detailing within the story and St George doesn’t disappoint, she has got it all spot on, everything is crystalized and explained to a high degree from the smells of our characters to the actual Viking marriage ceremony – which I found absolutely enchanting, the trading of the swords is a beautiful ritual.

Angel Comes to the Devils Keep by Regina Jeffers

This is highly enjoyable read, the romance between Angelica and Hunt simmers and sizzles nicely, Ms Jeffers has done a lovely job at building up their relationship from when Hunt gets injured right to the end, you never know in which direction their story is going to take as there is so much that stands in their way. Yet, that connection that they share, that Hunt has especially, is tender and loving and at times you are just as agonised as he is. I really like how Jeffers has mixes a romance novel with a murder, kidnapping an espionage thriller, I found it exciting, romantic and one that I highly recommend.

The Unexpected Countess by Laurie Benson

This is great read, there is the perfect amount of romance and adventure with a huge, fabulous twist that is so unexpected. The Unexpected Countess is a huge success, a thrilling jaunt with an original plot. It is just so good! Benson has really out done herself with Hart and Sarah she has done such a great job with them, especially Hart who is a seriously great man to get to know I like Benson’s work her fun and charming personality just oozes off the page. But what I particularly like about her writing is that you get a real feeling of a writer who loves what she does, she puts her heart and soul into her work, her warmth is so palpable, her work is comforting as well as thrilling which I find so rare.

The Lost Letter by Mimi Matthews

Now I loved this book, I do love my heroes to be trouble and vulnerable and wanting a strong women to help them back to happiness and this is just that, this is truly breath-taking and I loved every single moment of it, the plot is gorgeously written. The simplicity of the story is what gives it real back bone, there isn’t twists turns at every corner so you lose track of the initial story. The Lost Letter is a beautiful, romantic and emotionally shattering, as the writing is so well-defined that you feel every emotion and I just love it to bits. For me this is one of those books that you keep on the bookshelf for ever, you will read and re-read it and you will never tire of Sylvia and Sebastian’s love story.

Besieged and Betrothed by Jenni Fletcher

What a terrific read, I will apologise for the amount of gushing I will most likely be doing about this book, but I have so much to say about it. Jenni Fletcher has real out done herself with this, it is such a compelling and highly charged romance that grips you from that very first page where our bulking, tank of a hero spots the fiery haired, tomboy on the battlements. I was literally hooked, and I was eager to finish and yet when I did turn the last page it was a sobering moment as that was it, done. I could’ve read this again as soon as I had finished. It’s fun, witty and at times heart-breaking, and fabulously engrossing. I just love it.

The Lions Embrace by Marie Laval

The Lions Embrace follows on from Angel Heart in the last book we met Marie-Ange and Hugo Saintclair who are the parents of our hero in this one; Lucas Saintclair and oh, my word what a man! He is simply delectable! Lava’s talent at entwining history of area and the cultures and languages, with a thrilling game of cat and mouse plus the tantalizing love story is faultless. She sprinkles The Lions Embrace with her customary Gaelic charm and she enhances your reading with detailing the sights, aromas and culture of each area we visit during the book and it enhances the reading experience. You become transported to this hot, dusty and dangerous place and it is utterly exhilarating.

 The Knights Scarred Maiden by Nicole Locke

I love this, this is absolutely superb! It sticks with you and gets under your skin, but in a very good way you become absorbed in their dark and dangerous world. I have read Historical Romances​ that has stuck with me long after finishing the book, but this is right up there with some of the best books I have read. It’s beautiful, heart wrenching and you get tingles while reading it. I do genuinely love this book, the plot is fast, complex and thrilling. Rhain and Helissent take you on this sensual, nerve wrecking journey as they find their feet and try to survive and move on with their lives.

The Last Gamble by Anabelle Bryant

This is the third instalment of “The Bastards of London Series” and I do think this is the best one yet. I have been really looking forward to reading this one, after meeting the dark and shadowy Luke Reece in the previous book’s he intrigued me. I wanted to know his story, his past and what in the hell his happening with his lost son and Bryant doesn’t disappoint. This series caught my attention from day one and it’s gone from strength to strength, Bryant has yet again created an entertaining, thrilling and sensuously attractive story. The thing that does set this one apart from the others has to be Luke, we have had snippets of this shadowy man’s turmoil in the previous two books “The Den of Iniquity” and “Into The Hall of Vice” and to finally get to see his story unfold and see his Happy Ever After is very satisfying

No Rest for the Wicked by Cora Lee

No Rest For The Wicked is apart of the “Heart of a Hero” series and it is a series I am looking forward to reading more of. The chemistry between out estranged couple is heated, the tension just ripples as well as the distrust for each other. This is fast, fun and exciting a fabulous read. I do really like this, it is smart, sexy and so well written but the more than that it makes you think. It is really lovely watching as these two get to know each other all over again and as their defences lower and they get closer and closer. They are both very reluctant to reveal their hearts, so it’s quite sweet when they finally do.

lord Hunter’s Cinderella Heiress by Lara Temple

This is book one in this new series; The Wild Lords and Innocent Ladies Series by the highly talented Lara Temple, and one that I have been looking forward to reading. But nothing prepared me for the huge emotion that surges through you as you read it. I know that Temple has said that this series is her baby, this is a personal story for her and you can really understand as you are reading it just how much of herself she has put into this. I have always liked her work but this really resonates with me, this touched a cord with me more than any other book I have read before, you can feel Temple’s heart and soul running through this, it is very emotional and it packs a real punch and it stays with you long after the last page.

The Crown Spire by Catherine Curzon & Willow Winsham

On first meeting their highway men our ladies fall for their irresistable and roguish charm in a heartbeat, not unsurprising really! They are saved and taken to an inn where they meet the cheeky, charming Innkeeper Ed Hogan and the shy, gentlemanly Doctor James Dillingham. There is something irresistable and provoking about these two handsome Scotsmen, not to mention something very familiar, could it be that Alice and Beth may have met these two rogues before? I love this, the chemistry between both our couples is rich and sensual and very sexy, like all Historical Romance fan’s I do particularly like a good rogue and The Crown spire doesn’t disappoint, in fact we are spoilt as there are two highway men to get to know and adore. It’s going into the super market and getting a two for one deal. Curzon and Winsham have created two strong and charming heroes, that you are bound to fall for.

A Warriner to Rescue Her by Virginia Heath

Move over Heathcliffe there is a new gruff, monosyllabic, tormented hero in town in the form of Captain Jamie Warriner. Oh my word! I was warned I would love him and he has more than lived up to the hype, he really is something special. He is a proud man who after serving his country with courage facing down more horrors than any man should face he is back and he is in pain, not just physically but he is trying adjust to civilian life but like a lot of soldiers today poor Jamie is struggling. I was drawn to him the moment I met him in the previous book “A Warriner to Protect her” there is just something about this gruff but hugely sensitive man, that draws you in. Yes, he may be as stubborn as an OX – as well as built like one – but he has a good and kind heart, who needs a little love.
Proof of Virtue by Leila Snow

Ms Snow is was a new to me author and I can say this is simply stunning, there is pure and honest anguish which oozes of the page, It’s raw and immensely real to the era and really shows what life in the Victorian era was like for regular, working-class people. It’s so realistic, it’s like you are in the work house and mill alongside Emma, and you are experiencing her turmoil and suffering. It is gloriously detailed and graphic, some may think that for a historical romance it is too graphic of their suffering, but for me that is what makes an historical. This is how they should be, it has real meat on the bone. I can absolutely say for certain that Ms Snow is going to go very far in this genre, her way with language and fact is mesmerizing. If you’re like me and you like grittier, brutally honest and very real historical where the romance is hard fought for genuinely deserved, than this is the book for you.

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So Chicks, Rogues and Scandals all time Book of the Year, 2017 is…

The Captains Disgraced Lady by Catherine Tinley

Tinley has captured the mixed emotions of Waterloo war is mesmerizing. You feel the sadness and despondency of the men and the civilians. Those chapters that cover the battle are superb, the detailing of what was going on and how everyone was coping and the actual battle scenes where Harry is in hand to hand combat is brutal and engrossing. This is atmospheric and so beautifully written and from reading this, I do think Tinley has a gift for capturing those little nuances in human thought and feeling and placing on the page. I had been looking forward to this story and it was so much more than I expected, you’ve probably guessed by my gushing how much I love this book and that I cannot recommend this enough, this is a must read! If you like your charming yet fragile heroes, feisty independent heroines all brought together with a stonking good plot and tied off with some beautiful romantic scenes and moments then this is the book for you.

So there you have my favourite books of 2017, have you read any of them and if so what you think? I’d love to know what your favourite’s have been from the past year.