I first discovered Western romances by reading those written by my favorite authors who wrote in other subgenres of historical romance. Since then, I have become a true fan of stories set in the Old West. If you're looking for a good one, check out my "Best List" on Historical Romance Review. See it HERE.
In my new Georgian romance, Echo in the Wind, the hero, Jean Donet, comte de Saintonge, gave up his privateering with the end of the American War, but he is not immune to a bit of smuggling to keep England in brandy and tea.
Jean Donet kept his warehouse, full of goods to be smuggled, on Guernsey, one of the Channel Islands, or as they were known in 1784, “the French Isles”.
Guernsey has a beautiful coastline with sandy beaches and flower-covered dunes, rock pools, coves and rustic harbors. Just the sort of place a former pirate might like. Take a look at the island and a snippet from my story HERE.
ON SALE for 99¢ for a limited time, both To Tame the Wind and Racing with the Wind!
To Tame the Wind is the prequel to the Agents of the Crown series and Racing with the Wind is book 1.
Since book 4, A Secret Scottish Christmas, will be released later this year, it's a great time to read the series!
Grab the deal on Amazon:
To Tame the Wind:
Amazon US, Amazon UK
Racing with the Wind:
Amazon US, Amazon UK
Praise for To Tame the Wind and Racing with the Wind:
“... a dazzling mix of passion, adventure, mystery and love.” — Breath of Life Reviews
“An adventurous, romantic and mysterious page turner from the gifted story teller Regan Walker.” — Tartan Book Reviews
"Masked balls, handsome sea captains, and a plot that will keep you hooked. What's not to love!? To Tame the Wind is romantic historical escapism at its finest - a historical romance fan's dream of a novel! 5/5 stars."
— Good Friends, Good Books
My new Georgian romance, Echo in the Wind, features a hero and heroine engaged in smuggling. The story includes a smuggling trial at the Old Bailey. To portray the trial accurately, I dove into the Old Bailey archives and found some trials I used as a model. See my post on the smuggling trials and the Old Bailey from my research and catch a few snippets from the book! Here.
Albert Bierstadt was among the most internationally honored American artists of the nineteenth century, best known for his huge, panoramic landscapes that depicted the unsettled American West of the 1800s. He brought the West to the people and, I daresay, we are still falling in love with the romantic images he portrays. See the post on his life and his art HERE:
As Geddes MacGregor once said, “No one in Scotland can escape from the past. It is everywhere, haunting like a ghost." Scotland’s past is the subject of the stories on my Best Scottish Historical Romances list, novels set in Scotland or with a Scottish hero or heroine. Most are set in that magical part of Scotland called the Highlands. All have been rated 4 or 5 stars. See the list HERE.
In the course of my research for my new Georgian romance, Echo in the Wind, I discovered much about smuggling in England in the 1780s. (The first scene in the story is set off the coast of Bognor, now Bognor Regis where the hero and heroine meet as smugglers for the first time, neither knowing the other’s true identity.)
By the end of the eighteenth century, smuggling on the south coast of England had escalated to alarming rates. From the prosecutions at the Old Bailey during the 1780s, most of which did not result in a conviction, it appears many communities were more frequently the smugglers’ willing accomplices than their terrorized victims.
On Historical Romance Review, I am frequently asked to name my favorite historical romances. That’s a long list, as you know from my “best lists.” (There are currently over 100 5-Star romances on my "Favorite Keepers" shelf on Goodreads.) But since you asked, I'm giving you my current Top 20 list. It’s no accident that almost all are deeper historicals that include real history. And because I love Scotland as a setting, many are set in that land of lochs and glens. See the list HERE.
When Jean Donet first appeared on the deck of his ship in To Tame the Wind, shouting orders to his men as guns blazed all around him, he quite stole my heart. I knew then he had to have his own story. And I knew it would take an unusual woman for Jean Donet to consider loving again. I believe I found her in Lady Joanna West. If you have been anxiously waiting for my new Georgian romance, Echo in the Wind, the adventure is about to begin.
Preorder it on Amazon and see it on Goodreads.
And read the excerpt:
Bognor, West Sussex, England, April 1784
Except for the small waves rushing to shore, hissing as they raced over the shingles, Bognor’s coast was eerily bereft of sound. Lady Joanna West hated the disquiet she always experienced before a smuggling run. Tonight, the blood throbbed in her veins with the anxious pounding of her heart, for this time, she would be dealing with a total stranger.
Would he be fair, this new partner in free trade? Or might he be a feared revenue agent in disguise, ready to cinch a hangman’s noose around her slender neck?
The answer lay just offshore, silhouetted against a cobalt blue sky streaked with gold from the setting sun: a black-sided ship, her sails lifted like a lady gathering up her skirts, poised to flee, waited for a signal.
Crouched behind a rock with her younger brother, Joanna hesitated, studying the ship. Eight gun ports marched across the side of the brig, making her wonder at the battles the captain anticipated that he should carry sixteen guns.
She and her men were unarmed. They would be helpless should he decide to cheat them, his barrels full of water instead of brandy, his tea no more than dried weeds.
It had been tried before.
“You are certain Zack speaks for this captain?” she asked Freddie whose dark auburn curls beneath his slouched hat made his boyish face appear younger than his seventeen years. But to one who knew him well, the set of his jaw hinted at the man he would one day become.
“I’ll fetch him,” Freddie said in a hushed tone, “and you can ask him yourself.” He disappeared into the shadows where her men waited beneath the trees.
Zack appeared, squatting beside her, a giant of a man with a scar on the left side of his face from the war. Like the mastiffs that guarded the grounds of her family’s estate, he was big and ugly, fierce with enemies, but gentle with those he was charged to protect.
“Young Frederick here says ye want to know about this ship, m’lady.” At her nod, Zack gazed toward the brig. “He used to come here regular with nary a con nor a cheat. He’s been gone awhile now. I heard he might have worked up some other business—royal business.” He rolled his massive shoulders in a shrug. “In my experience, a tiger don’t change his stripes. He’s a Frog, aye, but I trust the Frenchie’s one of us, a free trader still.”
She took in a deep breath of the salted air blowing onshore and let it out. “Good.” Zack’s assurance had been some comfort but not enough to end her concerns. What royal business? For tonight, she need not know. “Give the signal,” she directed her brother, “but I intend to see for myself if the cargo is what we ordered.”
Without seeking the position, Joanna had become the smugglers’ master of the beach, responsible for getting the cargo ashore and away to inland routes and London markets with no revenue man the wiser. She took seriously her role to assure the villagers got what they paid for. Their survival depended upon it.
Copyright © 2017 Regan Walker
Of all my "best lists", this is the longest. I think you'll understand when you see how many classics are on it, books you have long treasured. At least one of my Goodreads pals defines this subgenre as stories “containing an element of sexual peril.” Possibly that is so, as the ones on my list all have this. Let’s just say I know it when I see it.
These won’t appeal to all, but certainly they are all well done. All have been rated 4 or 5 stars by me. Some are keepers. If you like stories that feature an alpha male hero who begins demanding his way, but falls at the heroine’s feet in the end to beg forgiveness and confess his love, you’ll find them HERE.
This is my "author blog" that will feature personal updates, what I'm working on, News and other features related to my novels, even some posts from Regan's Romance Reviews.