*ARC REVIEW* ~ Echo in the Wind (Donet Trilogy #2), by Regan Walker

#historical #romance #georgian

Blurb     

“Walker sweeps you away to a time and place you’ll NEVER want to leave!”  ~ NY Times Bestselling author Danelle Harmon 

England and France 1784

Cast out by his noble father for marrying the woman he loved, Jean Donet took to the sea, becoming a smuggler, delivering French brandy and tea to the south coast of England. When his young wife died, he nearly lost his sanity. In time, he became a pirate and then a privateer, vowing to never again risk his heart.

As Donet’s wealth grew, so grew his fame as a daring ship’s captain, the terror of the English Channel in the American War. When his father and older brother die in a carriage accident in France, Jean becomes the Comte de Saintonge, a title he never wanted.

Lady Joanna West cares little for London Society, which considers her its darling. Marriage in the ton is either dull or disastrous. She wants no part of it. To help the poor in Sussex, she joins in their smuggling. Now she is the master of the beach, risking her reputation and her life. One night off the coast of Bognor, Joanna encounters the menacing captain of a smuggling ship, never realizing he is the mysterious Comte de Saintonge.

Can Donet resist the English vixen who entices him as no other woman? Will Lady Joanna risk all for an uncertain chance at love in the arms of the dashing Jean Donet?

My Review ~ 5 stars

Adventure, Intrigue and Romance

Echo in the Wind, the second book in Regan Walker’s Donet Trilogy, is a beautifully crafted tale, containing adventure, intrigue and a romance between a young English aristocrat and a French noble, unexpectedly brought together by smuggling. The novel, which transports the reader from the south coast of England to London, the English Channel, the Channel Islands, and beyond to France, is a captivating and fast paced read, sure to be a hit with readers of historical romance. I am familiar with Regan Walker’s work and if you want an entertaining and heartfelt read that is strong on historical authenticity, you need look no further!

I loved the character of Lady Joanna West, an independent and  stubborn young lady who balks at the very idea of making a marriage with one of the nobles amongst the English ton. Her commitment to helping the poor on her estate is admirable, even if her methods – engaging in smuggling, are more than a little risky. Joanna’s clandestine activities with the smugglers catches the eye of Jean Donet, the former pirate and privateer who we met in the former book in the series To Tame the Wind (click on the title for the review). Although Jean is now the Comte de Saintonge, after his brother and father were killed in an accident, his real love is the sea and he enjoys the excitement and the challenge of championing free trade through his smuggling activities.

Their romance and the ensuing plot sweeps the reader away with its intensity. Donet falls hard for Joanna, the first woman he has had any feelings before since the death of his wife many years before. At first he struggles with his emotions, afraid to love again, lest he loses that which he holds most dear. Joanna in turn is drawn to the debonair Frenchman, so different to the men of the English aristocracy, yet is often confused by his actions and demeanour towards her.

Could she ever be anything more than a pleasant diversion as he remains devoted to the memory of his beloved first wife? There is also the age difference between the couple. Also how can they possibly have a future when he is firmly rooted in France and she in England?  Moreover will her smuggling activities lead to her downfall? The couple have an emotional journey to make and my heart ached for them. Circumstances draw the couple ever closer and they are put in a position where they are both fighting a losing battle to deny their feelings for one another. As the Revenue and Customs net closes in on Joanna’s illegal activities and danger waits in the wings for Jean in France, both must learn to take a chance on love before their future can be secured.

Regan Walker’s attention to historical detail and her inclusion of real historical figures in the narrative – in this novel we see Pitt, Wilberforce, Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette amongst others, adds considerable depth to her novels and puts her amongst the very best of authors within the genre. Although the romance between Joanna and Jean is very much central to the plot, here is also reference to the economic and social issues of the day both within England and France. I like that her characters do not exist in a vacuum and the wider issues and personalities of the day are explored as it makes for a far more satisfying read. The descriptions of life aboard ship and on the waves is also very realistic and it is clear that the author has carried out meticulous research.

Highly recommended to readers of historical romance.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

Please note, a copy of this book was given to me by the author for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Goodreads

Purchase Links

Amazon UK  Amazon US

Connect with the Author

http://www.reganwalkerauthor.com

http://www.facebook.com/regan.walker.104

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6450403.Regan_Walker

 

 

~*BLOG TOUR*~ When a Rogue Loves A Woman (Rogues of Redmere book 2), by Samantha Holt (includes EXCERPT & GIVEAWAY)

#regency #historical #romance

samholt1

When a Rogue Loves a Woman

Rogues of Redmere book 2

whenaroguelovesawomanmed

Notorious rogue, Lord Nathaniel Kingsley always tended to leap without thinking. Becoming a smuggler, adopting a sheep, getting engaged to Miss Patience Grey….

Patience has no need for a fiancé, or a husband. For once in her life, she wants to prove she’s just as good as a man and she does not need Nathaniel Kingsley getting in her way. With her brother injured, it is up to her to continue her family’s work…and that means tracking down a French spy and ensuring said spy will turn.

Unfortunately, no one believes she can do it alone. Which is where Nathaniel comes in.

Nate is happy to be of service. Why pass up the opportunity to repay an old friend, especially with a little intrigue along the way? Find the spy, play escort to Patience, return home to continue smuggling. Easy.

Or at least it would be if the stubborn Patience would let him do his job. The breeches-wearing woman is determined to do it all alone and, he has to admit, there’s something quite distracting about a woman in men’s clothes.

Can he keep his attention from her long enough to complete their mission and persuade Patience to let him do his job and protect her? A job he’s beginning to find he’s enjoying a lot more than he thought he would…

Available from Amazon and all other vendors for 99c for release week.

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2jQOfOJ

Other vendors: books2read.com/u/4N1lL6

Excerpt

“There would have been many a heartbroken lass had you really been engaged,” Drake said. His grin grew wicked. “I was looking forward to offering my comfort and condolences.”

Nate shook his head and ignored his friend’s jest. Instead he turned his attention to the ale in his hand. It would be his last for a while. He’d need a clear head for what was to come, especially if he was to keep that minx under control. If her own mother could not make her wear a dress, what chance did he have?

Either way, he was looking forward to the challenge. Smuggling was all well and good but they had only gone out once in the past month and all had been quiet. No excitement to be had. He was rather looking forward to the chance to indulge in some espionage and adventure.

Of course, Jacob Grey was aware of their illicit activities. Being a government agent had meant they had helped him before. He was one of the few residents of Penshallow who quite understood who was behind all the smuggling that took place in their small fishing village. Most thought Knight the face of it—the big, brooding, scarred hulk of a man opposite who spoke only when absolutely necessary.

At present, Knight’s attention was on something near the bar. Nate flicked a glance over but could see nothing of interest. Only the usual overly drunk patrons gathered while Louisa, the innkeeper, worked her hardest to keep up with demand.

Other patrons littered the room, gathered around small tables. Some had cards in their hands while all had drinks. The Ship Inn was not the most savory of places but it was out of the way and the food was good. Not to mention Louisa was uncannily good at ensuring the customs men never came near the place. She had saved their skin many times and they repaid her help generously, ensuring she had a good supply of excellent French wine.

“You were a damned fool, signing up for this,” Nate’s brother said, thrusting a finger at him.

“What was I to do? You were off enjoying yourself with Hannah. Far too much it seems.” His brother’s gaze darkened and Nate immediately ceased any idea of talking of Red’s fiancée. Hannah was currently installed in lodgings in the village while they awaited the license for their marriage and to finalize all the details. His brother was, unbelievably, utterly in the love with the woman. It was not such much the woman he had fallen for that surprised Nate but that his brother had the ability to fall so heavily for her. Red had always been too busy to think of love or even marriage.

Drake leaned in. The captain fixed Red with a slight smile on his lips. “Face it, Red. While you were distracted by petticoats, Nate held down the fort. I don’t blame him for offering to help, after all, are we not in this to help the crown?”

“Since when are you so noble?” Red demanded.

“Since I have a pocket full of coin,” Drake said smugly. “Things have been going uncommonly well of late. I don’t see why Nate cannot help Jacob Grey and be back in time for our next outing.”

“Uncommonly well?” Nate’s brother lifted a brow. “After Knight’s illness and the storm that near tore your ship in half, you were complaining of curses. Now you think things are going uncommonly well?”

Knight glowered. The giant of a man sat with his arms folded, a great scowl etched upon his face that in some lights looked as though it could be made of granite. Were it not for being friends with him, Nate would give him a wide berth. The man looked like trouble and, potentially, he was. No one really knew anything about him apart from the fact he was useful muscle and a damned hard worker. Though Nate suspected there was something more under that silent exterior. What that was, however, he was not sure.

“It was not an illness,” Knight protested.

Drake laughed. “You vomited on my boots, Knight. What would you call it?”

Knight fell back into silent mode and glowered some more.

About the Author

Samantha is a full-time author who lives in England with her twins girls and a dachshund called Duke. When not writing, she loves to explore stately homes and castles around the country.

Find Samantha on her website http://www.samanthaholtromance.com 

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