**ARC REVIEW** ~ Hunt for the Enemy, by Rob Sinclair (The Enemy Series #3)

International Suspense Thriller

Hunt for the Enemy by Rob Sinclair is a terrific read for lovers of suspense thrillers. It sucked me right into the deadly world of international espionage, where life is  bloody and brutal and knowing who your enemies are is often the biggest challenge of all……

Hunt

Book Blurb

The breathtaking and action-packed finale to the bestselling Enemy series. The Hunt is on. They’ve erased his past. Wiped out his very existence. But Carl Logan isn’t finished yet. On the run in a harsh Russian winter, Logan – once an invaluable asset but now branded a traitor – has been framed for murder. His own firm, the secretive Joint Intelligence Agency, have labeled him a rogue operative after two decades of loyal service. The agency is hunting him down… and they’re not the only ones. But there’s much more at stake than just Logan’s life. One by one, agents and informants from all sides, all allegiances, are dying. And Carl Logan is the only man who can put a stop to it, once and for all.

My Review

A Terrific High -Octane Read – Gritty and Realistic

Five stars *****

I was completely blown away by Rob Sinclair’s Hunt for the Enemy, a fast-paced, high-octane thriller, in which Carl Logan, the hero of the author’s Enemy series, is on the run and fighting for his life. The plot effortlessly weaves together Logan’s past with contemporary events in the shady and dangerous world of international espionage. The read takes us from London to the heart of Moscow, to the Scottish Highlands, the frozen and desolate Kazakhstan, the heat of Morocco and Venezuela and the bustle of China.

We learn much about Logan’s brutal and bloody life in the JIA and how, over the years, his character has developed: his desire to be more than a deadly assassin putting him at odds with his colleagues and the hits he is ordered to make making him deadly enemies he is unaware of. In this novel Logan is reunited with a former lover, a woman who is also on the run. She betrayed him in the past and it remains to be seen whether she will do so again.

Like the hero Logan, I was kept guessing throughout about who was friend or foe and whom he could trust. There is certainly no honour amongst spies in the world depicted in this read! The hero not only has to escape his known enemies but also risks betrayal after betrayal from fellow agents and has to keep his wits about him to survive. The plot is expertly executed, suspenseful with many twists and turns and I was on tender hooks as the body count rises and the net closes in against Logan as we approach the finale.

A fantastic read for lovers of international spy thrillers.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

Please note, a copy of this novel was provided by the author for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Purchase Links

Amazon US  Amazon UK

Connect with the Author

http://www.robsinclairauthor.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Rob-Sinclair-746087495413628/

https://twitter.com/RSinclairAuthor

 

**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

Connect with the Author

Regan Walker’s website

Facebook

Wind Raven, #3 in The Agents of the Crown Trilogy, by Regan Walker

ReganWalker_WindRaven800Swashbuckling Adventure and Romance on the High Seas

Having read the first two novels in Regan Walker’s Agents of the Crown Trilogy, Racing with the Wind and Against the Wind (scroll down for links to my reviews), I was thrilled to once again have the chance to read and review this author’s work. Wind Raven, the third book in the series, is a fast-paced, swashbuckling romance. Although set in the Regency period, most of the action takes place on board ship and in the Caribbean, far away from the ballrooms and house parties held by the English aristocracy. Scroll on down for the book blurb and my review and links to enable you to connect with Regan Walker, an author who is going from strength to strength with her historical romances.

Book Blurb

Ordered by the Prince Regent into the Caribbean, English sea captain and former privateer Jean Nicholas Powell has no time for women onboard the Wind Raven, especially not Tara McConnell. The impudent American forced herself aboard, and so she’ll get more than she bargained for: Instead of a direct sail to Baltimore, she’ll join their quest to investigate a rampaging pirate, the infamous Roberto Cofresi. But the hoyden thinks she can crew with his men, and though he bans her from the rigging, Nick is captivated watching her lithe, luscious movements on deck. Facing high seas, storms, cutthroats and the endless unknown, he must protect his ship, his passenger, his crew. But on this voyage, with this woman, there is a greater danger: to his heart.

My Review

Wind Raven is a super read from start to finish, combining rip-roaring adventure and romance, with an elements of danger and suspense. The pairing of the English Captain Nick, on a secret mission for the Regent, and the unorthodox and headstrong American Tara McConnell, provides the perfect ingredients for a memorable romp on the high seas.

The swoon worthy Captain Nick, the Raven to his crew, is dedicated to life at sea. Although women certainly have their uses to him, as he is no monk, he will give his heart to no woman, due to deceit in the past. He dislikes females on board ship even as passengers and he is wary of American women in particular. However, social obligation gives him no option but to agree to accept Tara as his passenger, despite his mission for the Regent.

Tara is feisty heroine, more at home on board ship than in the ballroom, due to working alongside her father and brothers on their clippers for much of her life. She has not forgiven the English for the loss of one of her brothers at sea during a battle in the recent hostilities between her homeland and England. She refuses to stay in her cabin whilst aboard ship and wants to play an active role alongside the crew of the Wind Raven, a crew who soon adopt her as one of their own.

I adored the many scenes between Nick and Tara as she tries to carve out a role for herself aboard ship as he tries to control her and persuade her otherwise. I also loved how Nick is beguiled by her mixture of innocence, passion and unconventionality that completely foxes him and compels him to re-examine his long-held convictions and open his heart to love. It is clear early on that not only sparks will fly but also that passion will ignite between this couple, who are so well matched, if only they could see it. Although Nick is a gentleman and initially resolves not to act on his attraction to Tara, as the weeks pass and life aboard ship throws them in close proximity together, the inevitable happens. Yet as they get ever closer to Tara’s home in Baltimore what future is there for this couple who are often at loggerheads, despite their attraction, and whose lives seem so far apart? In addition, will they survive the danger that the Regent’s mission has put them in as the pirate Corfesi is a worthy adversary and no fool.

Regan Walker’s writing is not only sublime, but her characters are complex and believable and the research that she has carried out into life aboard ship and into the social life and politics of the era adds depth and interest to the narrative. I once again enjoyed how the author included real historical figures in the story, which is one of her trademarks. Wind Raven is a real page turner and a super addition to the first two books in The Agents of the Crown Trilogy. I recommend it to readers of historical romances who like strong and unconventional heroes and heroines in a plot full of adventure and intrigue.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

This book was given to me by the author for the purpose of an honest and fair review.

Purchase Links

Amazon US     Amazon UK

RacingWithTheWind_800px-001

ReganWalker_AgainstTheWind_logo-001Click here for my reviews of Racing with the and and Against the Wind, the first two books in the trilogy.

 

 

Connect with the Author

Regan Walker’s website

Facebook

Publisher Boroughs Publishing Group

A Heartless Design, #1 in the Secrets of the Zodiac series, by Elizabeth Cole

PrintFast Paced and Oh So Sexy Regency Romantic Suspense!

A Heartless Design, by Elizabeth Cole, is an absolute delight. It contains a Regency style James Bond  and an unconventional lady of independent means in a raunchy and rambunctious read. It absolutely sizzles with passion and desire and houses secrets that threaten the very security of the country, peppered with danger and deceit. It is guaranteed to entertain and get your heart beating ever faster as the tale develops and reaches its conclusion.

In A Heartless Design Cordelia Bering, a singular young woman who does not always abide by society’s norms, lives in London with her widowed aunt Leona, her parents having died. Cordelia uses practical scientific knowledge, gained from working with her late father, to secure a lucracive income to support her household. To continue her work in this field, Cordelia has many secrets, including one that could endanger her life. Secrets that she is compelled to hide from all, including any prospective suitor, let alone a husband. Cordelia is dubbed ‘heartless’ as she shuns the many marriage offers she continues to have on account of her engaging character and beauty.

Whilst attending a ball with her aunt, Cordelia encounters a mystery man to whom she has not been introduced. Sebastien Thorne, now the Duke of Thornewell, is one of the Crown’s elite secret agents belonging to a group known as the Zodiac. He has been summoned to the ball by his handler to retrieve instructions as to his next mission -preventing a certain piece of technical information leaving Britain and falling into enemy hands, which could give them a significant advantage. Sebastien can afford for nothing to get in his way, not even a woman as beguiling and challenging as Cordelia. However, as Sebastien pursues his leads, it becomes evident that Cordelia is involved and hiding something and he is compelled to employ whatever means necessary to persuade her to reveal her secrets to fulfil his mission and secure the safety of the nation.  However, he did not gamble on his growing feelings for the lady……

Cordelia is a woman in a man’s world, who has to rely on subterfuge and her intelligence to pursue her dream of pursuing the scientific inquiries she loves and  I was quickly drawn to her as a heroine. She is unaware of Sebastien’s work for the Crown and is therefore suspicious of him, although grateful when he proves himself useful to her safety on a number of occasions. Sebastien, for his part, does not conform to society and battles with the conflicting priorities of his title and work as a secret agent. He immediately senses Cordelia’s vulnerability, at the same time being drawn to her unconventional demeanour and kindred spirit. It is clear that they are attracted to each other and have a lot in common – but can a relationship succeed when Cordelia has vowed never to marry and there is so much deceit between them, not to mention those who are out to prise Cordelia’s secrets from her by fair means or foul? The couple must learn to trust one another and  reveal all to one another before it is too late. There is plenty of sexual tension between the main couple and a number of sensual lovemaking scenes which I enjoyed. Both the plot and dialogue were well crafted, believable and full of suspense.

The secondary characters were also a delight to get to know, those making up Cordelia’s household and other members of the Zodiac in particular. I hope to find out more about them in future novels in the series by the author, which I sincerely hope that she plans to write. The bad guys in the story were menacing without being over the top and added sufficient suspense and tension to the plot without detracting from the romance.

I recommend this novel to readers of historical romance, particularly Regency romance, who like suspense with their read and who enjoy unconventional heroines. All in all a rollicking Regency read, which I heartily recommend!

Reviewed by Tina Williams

I received this book for free from Story Cartel in exchange for my unbiased review.

 http://skysparkbooks.com/aheartlessdesign/

https://www.facebook.com/ElizabethColeWrites

http://storycartel.com/

Racing with the Wind and Against the Wind, by Regan Walker, Agents of the Crown Trilogy, # 1and # 2

 Passionate and Intriguing Regency Romances

In Regan Walker’s Agents of the Crown series we  experience the ballrooms and great houses of Regency England and the danger and excitement of a post Napoleonic Paris, during the restoration of the Bourbon monarchy. We also bear witness to the introduction of repressive laws in England, as the government believe that  revolution will spread amongst a populace who are unhappy with poor harvests and the loss of their livelihood.  Against this backdrop Regan Walker brings us tales of passion , danger and intrigue, involving agents working for the Prince Regent and the women who fall for them. I was lucky enough to be given the first two books in the trilogy, by the author, for an honest and fair review.

RacingWithTheWind_800px-001Racing with the Wind, (Agents of the Crown Trilogy # 1), by Regan Walker (scroll down for the review of Against the Wind)

The Hellion and the Spy

Racing with the Wind is the first book in Regan Walker’s Agents of the Crown Trilogy. It is a passionate romance between an unconventional debutante, Mary Campbell and the dashing Hugh Redgrave, the Marquess of Ormand. It is set in 1816, in the turbulent aftermath of the defeat and imprisonment of Napoleon and the restoration of the Bourbon monarchy.

Hugh is an agent for the British crown and as the legendary spy, the Nighthawk, obtained intelligence, securing Napoleon’s defeat. He is in retreat from this role and is working closely with Lord Baynes, a top diplomat, and fellow agents to ensure that peace and prosperity are restored to France under King Louis. As heir to a dukedom, Hugh is under pressure to marry, a pressure he has no wish to succumb to, preferring freedom and adventure.

On to this stage steps Mary Campbell, a young debutante. Mary shuns convention being regarded as a hellion. She is educated, schooled in European affairs and politics and an excellent horsewoman. She has been indulged by her uncle, Lord Baynes and her mother, widowed since the untimely death of the Earl. She craves adventure more that the ballroom and wishes to avoid marriage, which she feels will curtail her freedom and prevent her from riding her stallion Midnight, clad in men’s breeches.

Once Mary and Hugh meet, there is an undeniable attraction. However, Hugh resolves to keep his distance, being wary of her wilful nature and favouring discrete affairs with older, more experienced women. Similarly Mary decides to avoid Hugh, viewing him as an arrogant rake. Yet circumstances throw them together in London and later Paris, as Mary persuades her uncle, Lord Baynes, that she will be a useful pair of eyes and ears for him whilst he carries out his diplomatic work. Mary has no idea that Hugh and the Nighthawk, whom she admires, are one and the same and she is unaware of Hugh’s activities as a spy for the Prince Regent.

Once in France, the tension in the plot increases dramatically and passion ignites. A double agent is on the loose and Mary endangers herself as she uncovers suspicious activities. Hugh is sworn to protect her and the exciting and suspenseful plot, in which Mary could pay the ultimate price, involves Bonapartists, royalists, English agents and the Prussians.

Hugh is a great hero, handsome and honourable, willing to go to great lengths to protect Mary, even from his own desire, which he reigns in on numerous occasions. He finds it hard to admit his love, being scarred by an event in his past, which has lead him to take great risks as an agent for the crown. He is extremely jealous of Mary’s admirers and I found his reactions amusing and endearing. Despite his initial resolve he is drawn to Mary, admiring her beauty, intelligence and bravery. He soon realises that she is his perfect match.

Mary cannot prevent her attraction to Hugh, even though initially she regards him as a dissolute rake. She soon realises that there is more to him than meets the eye and falls under his spell. However, she does not want to be just a pleasant liaison and she will be no man’s mistress. The romance is sweet. When lovemaking scenes do occur, it is Hugh’s sense of honour that prevails. However, Hugh fires Mary’s blood and when presented with the opportunity to get to know Hugh more intimately, Mary eventually decides to seize it, in some memorable scenes!

This book is different to many Regency romances I have read, the foray onto France adding a definite frisson of danger, romance and excitement. The author has clearly done a lot of research into the politics, fashions and places where she sets her scenes. I enjoyed the secondary characters, which included some historical figures. We are also introduced to Martin Powell, Hugh’s fellow agent, the lead in book 2 in the series, Against the Wind.

I recommend this book to all lovers of historical romance, particularly those who like an unconventional heroine and a strong and honourable hero, whose passion ignites in a tale full of intrigue an adventure.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

This book was given to me by the author for the purpose of an honest and fair review.

Regan Walker’s website

Publisher Boroughs Publishing Group

Digital edition created by Maureen Cutajar www.gopublished.com

ReganWalker_AgainstTheWind_logo-001Against the Wind (Agents of the Crown Trilogy # 2), by Regan Walker

Lusty and Loving Intrigue 

Against the Wind, the second book in Regan Walker’s Agents of the Crown Trilogy, is a passionate love story, in the best tradition of Regency romances! Set in 1817, Martin Powell returns to England after years spying in France, to complete one last mission. On his return, he visits a high class brothel, where he falls under the spell of a courtesan, whom he calls ‘Kitten’. After a passionate night of lovemaking, he finds that Kit has vanished. Kit is no courtesan, but Lady Egerton, who is fleeing a crime scene where she believes that she has killed her evil brother-in-law. Martin resolves to find her and make her his.

Kit sought refuge at Willow House, an establishment ran by her former governess, after experiencing some terrible events. Her beloved sister Anne was not even in the grave before her brother-in-law forced himself on her and she was compelled to retaliate. Ashamed at what took place at Willow House, between her and the mysterious gentleman, she flees, taking employment launching two girls on their first season. However, Martin finds Kit, rescuing her from the violent Earl Rutledge, who is seeking revenge. Attracted to Kit and wishing to protect her Martin offers marriage, although he fears that his clandestine activities could endanger her.

The England that Martin has returned to has changed. The  introduction of machinery threatens workers’ livelihoods and poor harvests and an economic recession have led to  discontent, riots and marches.  The couple travel to the Midlands, where Martin goes undercover, posing as a Frenchman with reformist tendencies. His task is to infiltrate the rebels to ascertain the extent their activities are stirred up by agents provocateurs, employed by those in government who wish to justify further repressive legislation. However, as Kit innocently strolls through the countryside with her sketch book, is she safe from the lust of a vengeful man or the powder keg of social unrest which could explode any moment?  Also can she trust her  husband who will not divulge his secrets and the reason for his absences?

I adored Martin, who has been knighted for his services to the crown. He is brave, intelligent and resourceful and devoted to Kit. I also liked the fact that he is a very passionate individual, who cannot keep his hands off his new wife. He is however, tortured by tragic events in his past,  prompting him to keep the truth about his true activities a secret from Kit , creating danger and tension in the plot and their relationship.

Kit is the type of heroine I love to root for. She has experienced much sadness and on the death of her father, she and her sister were both left destitute due to his gambling debts.  Kit was married off to a much older man, who died soon after their marriage, leaving her no option but to live with her sister and her husband, the sadistic Earl Rutledge, who  lusts after her. She is tired of being controlled by others, as she is a strong and independent individual by nature, who also empathises with the plight of others. However, she cannot resist losing her heart to Martin! Indeed, I loved the tender yet passionate lovemaking between the couple. The scene where they come together for the first time is very sensual and the author maintains this level of intensity in their relationship, with numerous romantic encounters. The love story is artfully balanced with the danger and intrigue in the plot.

The detail within the narrative shows that once again Regan Walker has carried out a great deal of research in crafting this novel. The author’s descriptions of the living and working conditions of the inhabitants of rural Derbyshire, where much of the plot takes place, are credible, and her characters well drawn. I enjoyed meeting the real historical figures who were included in the tale and also reacquainting myself with Hugh and Mary, the couple from the first book Racing with the Wind. We are also introduced to Nick, Martin’s older brother, the hero of Wind Raven, the final book in the trilogy, whose book I am eagerly awaiting.

In reading this novel, I feel that I not only enjoyed a great romantic read but also learned much about the social and economic conditions and the political machinations of the time. I recommend it to those who enjoy historical romance with  elements of intrigue and suspense.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

This book was given to me by the author for the purpose of an honest and fair review.

Regan Walker’s website

Publisher Boroughs Publishing Group

Digital edition created by Maureen Cutajar www.gopublished.com