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Saturday, June 7, 2014

Book Review and Giveaway: The Windflower by Laura London

I didn’t warm to this story although there was some wonderful descriptive phrasing that I really liked.
The Windflower
by Laura London

  • Mass Market Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Forever; Reissue edition (April 29, 2014)
  • ISBN-13: 978-1455573288
Genre: Historical Romance, Pirates
My Rating: 3.5 of 5.0 (Please note Amazon ratings show others have enjoyed this more than I did.)

Book Description
Publication Date: April 29, 2014
The classic tale of passion on the high seas, available in print for the first time in 20 years . . .

Merry Wilding is a lady of breeding, of innocence, and of breathtaking beauty. With high hopes for a holiday in England, she sets sail from New York-but the tide of her life is destined to turn. Mistakenly swept aboard an infamous pirate ship, Merry finds herself at the mercy of a wicked crew . . . and one sinfully handsome pirate. Soon she's spending her days yearning for escape, and her nights learning the pleasures of captivity.

Devon Crandall believes Merry is in league with his greatest enemy. He's determined to slowly urge her secrets from her. But along the way, he discovers her beautifully unbreakable spirit . . . and a desire unlike any he's ever known. She is hiding something from him, and yet, each day that passes brings her deeper into his heart. When fierce arguments give way to fiercer passion, can a pirate learn to love a woman? Or will true love be lost at sea?

Merry is a seventeen year old, naive girl with not much to offer but beauty and artist talent. She has been raised in Virginia by her maiden Aunt who longs to return to England where the family had wealth and friends. Merry's older brother pulls her into a spy adventure in order to have her capture the images of some enemies of the American cause. The night they disguise themselves and go to a tavern they run into pirates including the infamous Rand Morgan, an exotic, long-haired boy (Cat) and a devastatingly handsome companion (Devon).

Merry runs into trouble when she slips out back and Devon drags her into a wagon. She is scared to death but the roguish pirate is actually trying to protect her from the other rough men. He suspects she was up to no good as she was dressed as a pregnant peasant - until she lost her stuffing - and she has too much beauty to hide even with that inappropriate disguise.

A month later Merry finds herself heading from New York to England with her Aunt under the escort of Sir Michael Granville. A bad practical joke puts Merry out of her cabin and into Granville’s until hers can be cleared. When pirates sneak aboard to take letters from Granville’s cabin they find a pretty girl there, and take her too delivering her to Rand Morgan’s pirate ship.

Devon is enchanted by the young beauty, but he is coldly angry thinking that Merry is a ‘night bird’ of his hated enemy, Granville. He remembers her from the tavern and tries to bully her to reveal who she is and what secrets she hides. Merry can’t tell the truth as she doesn’t want to expose her brother and cousin as spies. She insists that she is married to the puppeteer from the tavern and was innocently in Granville’s cabin.

Merry is already terrified of the pirates, and her fear increases as Devon and Rand intimidate her and threaten to sell her on a far off island. Rand’s young friend, Cat, becomes her protector. Later other members of the crew become enchanted with her too, although none will challenge Rand’s authority except perhaps the young boy, Raven, who is infatuated enough to help her try to escape.

It is a fine line of fantasy to make pirates be ‘nice’ people and I did enjoy the book more as I got to know the pirate characters and saw their human sides. Unfortunately I had a hard time getting into this story because I didn’t care for the primary characters. Merry was just too young and too weak a character for me to like. Devon was initially too cold and bullying.

I did enjoy some wonderful phrasing and there were some twists nearer that end that made it more interesting. The book took five weeks to read which is really long for me.  In the end I enjoyed the romance but it still didn’t make me warm up too much. Maybe I am not into pirate or kidnap (Stockholm syndrome) stories.  I am sure others who enjoy rich romance might like this more than I did.

This book contained some phrasing that I really enjoyed:
Like a decked sturgeon flipping uselessly from side to side, Merry turned from anger, to fear, to despair, and back again to anger. Page 133.
The night song of the forest was a symphony in crescendo. She could hear the ruin of each withered leaf crushed under her feet, the clatter of displaced gravel, the sharp sigh of the fabric of her gown as it rubbed into her thighs. Noises, sights, and smells were a battering intrusion upon her raw nerves. Page 372.
I received this book from Forever/Grand Central for an honest review.

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  1. Didn't know the author name is a pen name for a husband and wife writing team

  2. Married forty years and having the patience to write together...all I can say is WOW!!!

  3. Together they have played 18 years of annual performances at the largest Irish music festival in the world.


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