**ARC REVIEW** ~ To Tame the Wind (Prequel to the Agents of the Crown Trilogy & book 1 of the Donet duology), by Regan Walker

Historical Romance

Blurb

To Tame the WindParis 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 one 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 the prequel to the Agents of the Crown trilogy but can be read as a stand alone.

My Review *****

Swashbuckling Captor-Captive Romance

This is another breathtaking read from Regan Walker. This author excels at transporting the reader into the life and times of her characters and in creating truly memorable heroes and heroines. To Tame the Wind, a prequel to her Agents of the Crown Trilogy and the first book in the Donet Duology, is set in England and France during the time of the American War of Independence, when France was a strong ally to the colonies in its struggles against England. Once again I felt that I had stepped back into history as I experienced what life was like on-board ship and on land in eighteenth century France and England. The machinations of war throw the hero and heroine together and also threaten to tear them apart.

Captor-captive romances are one of my favourite themes in romance. This read, where the devilishly handsome and swoon worthy Captain Powell seizes Claire, the convent raised daughter of a pirate, in a desperate attempt to recover his men and ship, is a super spin on the theme. When the couple meet it is not long before sparks fly and passion ignites, yet what future for a couple whose countries are sworn enemies?

Simon’s loyalties are truly torn in this novel between his growing attraction for his spirited captive and his commitment to free his men and reclaim his ship from his enemy, Claire’s father. He also has to grapple with the scheming of the powers that be who would use Claire as a pawn, regardless of her safety. I loved how protective he is of Claire and honourable he is towards her – but don’t get me wrong there are plenty of passionate scenes between the couple and sexual tension and emotions in particular are high! How will Simon be able to hand Claire, a woman whom he craves above all others, over to is enemy and to an uncertain future? How can he not when the lives of others hang in the balance?

Claire is a real firecracker of a heroine who upon meeting Simon begins to doubt where her future lies. Will she admit her love for Simon and if so how can she possibly avoid returning to her father and the land of her birth when so much rests on her safe return? Regan Walker’s characters and plot are as usual complex and I could not second guess if and how the couple would find their HEA.

While romance is well and truly at the centre of this read I loved how Regan Walker effortlessly and seamlessly immerses the reader in the real life historical events and personalities of the day. To Tame the Wind is once again a superb read for lovers of Historical Romance from this author.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

An ARC of this book was received from the author for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Buy Links

Amazon US  Amazon UK

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Regan Walker’s website

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Tsunami Blue (The Tsunami Blue Series) by Gayle Ann Williams

 Tsunami Blue

An Original Vision of the Future

Tsunami Blue, a post apocalyptic paranormal romance, is set in the year 2023, when most of the Earth, following a series of cataclysmic tsunamis, becomes covered by water with small isolated island communities. Modern technology and conveniences have all but disappeared under the waves, which continue to plague the world.

We meet Blue, the 24 year old heroine, who has lived alone on an island with her dog since her uncle was murdered by Runners, violent pirates who rule the waves. Blue is special – she ‘listens’ to the sea and can predict where and when the next big waves will hit. She transmits this information over the radio. Blue chooses to remain alone due to this ability, knowing how valuable she would be to the Runners if they captured her and her gift used by them to extort valuable goods and punish and terrorise communities.

Blue’s peaceful existence is shattered one day when a man washes up on the beach, half dead. Blue rescues him and saves his life, learning that his name is Gabriel Black. She is kidnapped by him the next day and forced to flee her island and her home, as it is overrun with Runners looking for her and trying to take her away from Gabriel. She is left wondering what Gabriel wants with her and what her fate will be. Suspicious that he too is a Runner, she tries to prevent the growth of their mutual attraction and resolves to escape him.

The story is narrated in the first person. This is effective in that whilst we are privy to Blue’s personal feelings and motivations we too are uncertain of Gabriel’s true intent and this both heightens and prolongs the suspense, which added to my enjoyment of the novel. In fact I could not put it down until I had finished it! I liked the author’s writing style, which was sharp and descriptive enough to paint a vivid picture of the post –apocalyptic world, without getting bogged down in detail. I imagined the world to have elements of ‘Mad Max’, ‘Waterworld’ and ‘Pirates of the Caribbean.’ The dialogue between all of the characters was witty and entertaining, particularly the repartee between Blue and Gabriel.

Blue is a strong heroine with an interesting past. She prefers her life of solitude as it gives her the freedom to broadcast what she knows about the next big wave in the hope of saving others. Life has taught her valuable survival and combat skills and she has plenty of chances to put these to use in the book – she does not just use her knives to filet fish! She is devoted to her dog Max and is loyal not only to Gabriel, even when she is suspicious of him, but can also be relied on by other characters, who the author introduces us to. She despises Runners and suspects that Gabriel, the man she is overwhelmingly attracted to, is one, thus creating a great deal of tension, not least sexual, throughout the book.

Gabriel, is all male and Blue is instantly attracted to him. I wondered what he wanted from Blue and whether he could be trusted not to hand her over to one of the groups of Runners who were pursuing her, particularly as he appears to be a Runner himself. He is clearly attracted to Blue and has a compassionate side, which he exhibits from the start, not just in relation to how he treats Blue, but others. He also has a wicked sense of humour and is a skilled fighter.

The other main characters include Trace and Indigo, the leaders of the two opposing factions of Runners who are eager to capture Blue and use her for their own nefarious ends. Both characters were twisted and evil and there are descriptions of many violent scenes within the book, in a society where only the strong survive and it does not pay to exhibit a weakness. The violence highlights how social order has collapsed since the apocalypse. The author did well to also imbue the sea with feelings, to the extent that it becomes a character in its own right, its actions adding to the twists and turns in the plot.

The romance between Blue and Gabriel was both sweet and hot, but not graphic and it provided an excellent counterpoint to the violence going on around them and the fear of where and when the next big wave would come. The paranormal elements of Blue’s communication with the sea were well done and there is a nice twist at the end, which I did not see coming.

I would recommend this book to lovers of post apocalyptic tales, particularly those who enjoy romance with the story. I believe that the style of the book and the witty dialogue, along with violence and ‘kick ass’ hero and heroine, would also appeal to lovers of urban fantasy. I was totally absorbed in the book and will be reading the next in the series.

Reviewed by Tina Williams