Wind Raven (Agents of the Crown, Book 3)

Written by Regan Walker
Review by Waheed Rabbani

In May 1817, aboard the Wind Raven – a British merchant schooner – a young woman in breeches and shirt is spotted high up on the main topsail rigging, moving swiftly to the footrope for the yard. Captain Powell and other crew are astonished to see their “passenger” rescue a sailor who is dangling there upside down. Actually the hoyden, Tara McConnell, is an American heiress returning to Baltimore following a London season; she is an experienced seafarer, having served aboard her brothers’ ships, and is equally comfortable dancing in ballrooms and on riggings. While Powell is enraged by Tara’s actions, and admonishes her, he is also enthralled by her beauty and doesn’t miss any opportunity to embrace her. Although Tara considers Englishmen to be “dandies,” she is infatuated by the handsome raven-haired and golden-eyed swashbuckling captain; she returns his kisses passionately.

The Raven is not only on an Atlantic crossing, but also on a special assignment from Prinny (the Prince Regent) to locate the hideout of the marauding Puerto Rican pirate Cofresí. Little did Tara realize that her love for Powell will drag her into this clandestine operation, and present her with choices that might not only steer her away from her destination, but also her destiny.

While this is the third book in the Agents of the Crown series, Regan Walker, an accomplished author, has skillfully woven in the background as needed to enable a standalone read. Although the series title might hint at this novel being an espionage tale, and while it does start off as one, the story soon diverts into an enchanting, sensual romance on the high seas. Readers will be engrossed up to the ending, which although not gargantuan, examines the fundamental question: will a lady marry a gentleman who lusts for her rather than loves her?