Tuesday, June 10, 2014

THE WINDFLOWER by Laura London


Publisher:  Forever
Published:   April 29, 2014
ISBN:  978-1455573288
Genre:   Historical Romance    
Format:  Paperback
Obtained via:  Publisher
Reviewed by name and email address:  Gina Gina@loveromancesandmorereviews.com



Eighteen and innocent as the day is long Merry Wilding spends her days drawing—vegetables.  She longs for excitement, any excitement, but a girl of her rank and breeding is forbidden such adventures.  And, she owes a certain amount of allegiance to her Aunt April.  After all, when Merry’s mother died and her father was at a loss as to what to do with a young daughter, April was there to take her in and teach her her place in society. 

But Merry isn’t without some bit of adventure.  When her brother, Carl, asks for her help in America’s cause against the British during the War of 1812.  With her talent for drawing true to form Carl believes Merry can create drawings for handbills pointing out those who would cause America to lose its bid for freedom.  Excited about her chance to help Merry ventures to the Musket and Muskrat tavern.  All goes well for quite a bit of time until several pirates from the Black Joke arrive.  Posing as a pregnant woman Merry is able to escape along with her friend Sally on a womanly pretence.  But they are barely out of the tavern before another pirate happens upon her.

Devon Crandall has taken to the high seas with his brother, notorious pirate Rand Morgan.  And while he has taken his fair share of treasure and women, Devon has never met one quite like Merry.  So taken with the young woman he lets her go rather than ravish her. 

Once again safe at home Merry is unable to put her meeting with Devon completely from her mind.  Even when Aunt April takes her on a spontaneous visit to New York City.  While there her aunt’s friend, Michael Granville from England tells Merry that he is to escort her to England.  Merry is horrified – America is her home and she has no desire to be among those who would destroy her country.  Still, as a woman of her time she has little say in the matter and ends up on Michael’s ship headed for England.  But before they can fully set sail a prank goes awry and Merry finds herself not only abducted, but aboard the Black Joke as Devon’s prisoner. 

But is it Merry who is the prisoner?  Or has she well and truly captured the pirate’s heart?

It’s been a fairly long time since I’ve read a historical romance so when THE WINDFLOWER by the husband/wife writing team of Laura London arrived on my doorstep I couldn’t resist.  I’m so glad I picked it up.  The London writing couple offer a sweet romance in a wonderful story telling voice.  THE WINDFLOWER isn’t one of those fall in love and into bed in the first or second chapter books, but one that needs to be read over a few days – if not longer.  (Given my commute time I usually read 3-4 books a week).  Each chapter is full of rich dialogue and wonderfully told narrative.  Rooms, gardens, Rand’s ship—as with other scenery—are described in rich detail.  Readers have no doubt where they are and what the authors see yet at the same time, your own imagination is engaged.

THE WINDFLOWER harkens to when romance novels were based on romance and not how fast a couple has sex.  Devon and Merry are given the time to see what the other is truly about.  Devon’s inner battle of wanting Merry yet not taking her against her will is played out on the backdrop of the high seas and then as he fights to save her life on land.  When he asks for her hand it is not because it is the right thing to do but because he loves her more than life itself. 

While some readers might find Merry a bit slow and undefined, she is a woman of her time, not a modern heroine who can pretty much do as she pleases.  Merry lives in a world ruled by decorum and male decision makers.  That her Aunt April determined to take her first to New York and then Europe is telling on the courage of the woman who is older, yet by Merry’s own observation, not that old at all.  They are products of their time and accurately depicted as such.

The secondary characters, Cat, Rand, Raven and even Henry Cork stay with you long after the book is done.  I looked to see if perhaps their stories are also on the table for re-release (THE WINDFLOWER was previously released about 20 years ago), but it does not appear to be a series.  That said, as the “London” writers are still with us there is every chance they may decide it is time to give Cat and Rand their own happy endings.

If you are a fan of well done historical romance do put THE WINDLOWER on your TBR.  If you are a fan of romance, this is a wonderful one.  And if you are a fan of erotic romance, take a breath and settle into a romance for the sake of true love and romance.  THE WINDFLOWER is not one to miss.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

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