Monday, September 10, 2012

Review - Racing With The Wind by Regan Walker

Title: Racing With The Wind
Author: Regan Walker
Publisher: Boroughs Publishing Group
Genre: Historical Romance
Publication Date: July 23, 2012
Length: 190 Pages

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The intrepid daughter of an earl leaves Regency London for the Parisian court of Louis XVIII, where she finds adventure, mystery, and above all, love.

THE NIGHTHAWK Hugh Redgrave, Marquess of Ormond, was warned. Prinny had dubbed Lady Mary Campbell “the Swan,” but no ordinary man could clip her wings. She was a bluestocking hellion, an ill-advised match by every account. Luckily, he sought no bride. His work lay on the continent, where he’d become legend by stealing war secrets from Boney. And yet, his memories of Lady Mary riding her stallion were a thorn in his mind. He was the son of a duke and in the service of the Prince Regent…and he would not be whole until he had won her hand.

THE SWAN It was unheard of for a Regency debutante to postpone her first season, yet Lady Mary had done just that. Far more interested in politics than a husband, she had no time for foolishness or frippery. Already she had assisted her statesman uncle in Paris, and she swore to return to the court of Louis XVIII no matter the danger. Like her black stallion, Midnight, she would always run free. Only the truest heart would race beside her.

My Review:

Racing With the Wind is the delightful debut release by Regan Walker, and the first book in her Agents of the Crown trilogy.  Set at the end of the Napoleonic Wars, this romance takes place during the changing political and social scenes in both England and France.  With charming characters, good dialogue and plenty of action, Ms. Walker grabbed my attention from the first scene and kept it to the last page.  

Hugh Redgrave, Marquess of Ormond, is a secret agent in the employ of George, the Prince of Wales and Prince Regent.  Known for his ability to steal French secrets, regardless of their location.  Home for a short period of time, his social position requires him to find a wife and begin a family; something he's not really interested in doing.  Forced into accepting invitations for balls during "The Season", Hugh finds himself intrigued by Lady Mary Campbell, one of the new debutantes.  Even her nickname "The Swan" intrigues him.  I liked how Ms. Walker developed Hugh's character, he's charming, smart and the kind of man a lot of women are attracted to.  He's also adventurous, sharp witted and able to take care of himself in a dangerous situation.  

Lady Mary Campbell is a woman before her time; she's educated, interested in politics and determined to help her uncle, a diplomat assigned to France.  Although she managed to postpone her "debut" for a year, Lady Mary finds herself forced to attend the parties and balls during "The Season".  Lady Mary hates the restrictions placed on women by society, instead of listening to dull conversations, and other peoples opinions of how she's been "over educated" and given too much freedom.   Fortunately for her, Lady Mary is able to escape to her country house and ride her horse, Midnight.  Even when she rides, Lady Mary is unconventional - she wears breeches and boots instead of a riding gown and sidesaddle.  I really liked how  Ms. Walker developed Mary's character; she's adventurous, highly intelligent and determined to live life on her own terms.  She's not afraid of being judged by society and wants to make a difference in the world she lives in.  

The scenes between Hugh and Mary are very well done, their dialogue is sharp and witty, and they have great chemistry.  While neither one is looking for a spouse, they are attracted to each other and can't seem to get the other person out of their mind.  As they continue to meet, both in England and France, their attraction grows.  While many men are turned off by Mary's outlandish ideas, Hugh finds himself being drawn to her more and more.

As the political intrigue around them grows, Hugh and Mary will have to work together for the crown.  Will they realize they are perfect for each other before it's too late?  You'll have to read Racing With The Wind to find out.  I can't wait to see where Ms. Walker takes us next in the next book in this series, Against The Wind set to release sometime in 2012. 

My Rating:  4 out of 5 Crowns 

FTC Disclosure:  I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by a 
blog touring company in exchange for an honest review.  

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