Review: The Windflower by Laura London (Sharon and Tom Curtis)

Publisher: Headline Eternal
How did you get the book: Purchased
Release date: Out now. (First published in 1984)


thewindflowerEvery lady of breeding knows. No one has a good time on a pirate ship. No one, that is, but the pirates. Yet there she was, Merry Wilding – kidnapped in error, taken from a ship bound from New York to England, spirited away in a barrel and swept aboard the infamous Black Joke….There she was, trembling with pleasure in the arms of her achingly handsome, sensationally sensual, golden-haired captor – Devon. From the storm-tossed Atlantic to the languid waters of the Gulf Stream, from a smuggler’s den to a gilded mansion, Merry struggled to escape…to escape the prison of her own reckless passions, the bondage of sweet, bold desire…

*Blurb taken from Goodreads*

So….my review today was supposed to be about dragons and princesses. Instead me maties, there be pirates about. Har har har.

I’ve read romances for years but I’m nowhere near as well reads as many others, so it came as a surprise to ignorant me that The Windflower was infamous within its sub-genre of historical romance. I found myself last night hankering after a historical romance and The Windflower delivered in its glory of oldskool featuring a feisty, virginal heroine.

Young, virginal Merry Wilding is innocent in every way possible–sheltered by the world around her by her spinster aunt, who brought her up since she was a little girl because dear daddy didn’t know how to raise a little girl. Merry is half British and half American, born and raised during the war between Britain and The United States of America. Merry dislikes Britains with their hateful war. Her brother, Carl, a well ranked officer in the USA army, visits and asks for her aid–in her capacity as an artist–in the war efforts by drawing people that are known traitors and enemies to the USA. Disguised as a pregnant woman, Merry along with her brother and two cousins, take a trip to a tawdry inn. With the person of interest sighted, the family are about to leave when danger literally enters. PIRATES.

Oh my goodness; I so wish I had read this book as a young teenager because I probably would have swooned over Cat. And he’s not even the hero of the damn book. BUT HE SHOULD HAVE BEEN.

Anyways–I’ll get to Cat later on–Merry is frightened when Rand Morgan and his merry band of pirates enter. All three of them are beautifully striking, but the person that captured her gaze was Devon, the golden-haired, good-looking devil pirate. Devon himself notices Merry’s beauty, despite her disguise, and in oldskool fashion, Rand casually tells Devon he can have her if he wants her. Devon kindly declines his offer. HOW VERY KIND OF DEVON.

It’s throughout the novel that Devon plays and manipulates Merry with her inexperienced body. But feisty and innocent Merry does not give in. NO. She fights Devon and his wicked, drug induced kisses. No, seriously. When Merry is captured and finds herself on board the Black Joke, Rand Morgan plies with her opium and chucks her inside Devon’s room.

But it’s not long before Merry soon captivates everyone on the ship, including sharp-tongued Cat who pretty much stole the book for me. It was weird that all these cutthroat pirates suddenly turned into softies in the presence of Merry. The prose is very rich and lyrical–and at times flowery–and I sometimes found my eyes glazing over. But I was soon immersed back inside the story, and there is some quick witted humour throughout the book, and that surprised me because I was not expecting it. Merry soon loses some of her innocence and while she finds herself helpless in her attraction to Devon, she never gives into him mentally. I was pretty surprised by how long she held out in her secret; she knew that being truthful wouldn’t make things any better, no matter Devon promising her such things. Oh Devon. A pirating rake of the highest order who was bewitched by the young beauty, Merry.

At times I wanted Cat and Merry to be together because whenever Cat appeared on the page, he was so…alive. Yes, that sounds horribly clichéd but I found him the most captivating compared to the rest of the characters on page. There was this subtle sexual overtone between Cat and Rand Morgan, though I don’t know if the authors made that intentional. I mean, there’s a scene where Cat is stark naked beneath a robe, brushing his long silken blonde hair in front of the Captain. When I realized that there was no sequel book to Cat, I kinda used my imagination that those two were getting together.

But Rand Morgan, half brother to Devon, is a pirate captain that instilled fear in everyone. I’m pretty sure he’s a rapist, and an asshole of the highest order also, considering the words he uttered to Merry. All of these horrible oldskool tropes and yet I still read this book to the end and enjoyed every page, including Merry who I found to be funny. Most of the setting takes place on the ship but there are scenes where they’re on land and there’s human eating crocodiles!

But yeah…Cat NEEDS to have his book. Please?

I give The Windflower a B.

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