A Thousand Steps

A Thousand Steps
A Thousand Steps by T. Jefferson Parker

Saturday, September 5, 2015

To Tame the Wind by Regan Walker- Book Review + Guest Blog

A sea adventure like no other, a riveting romance!”
– NY Times Bestselling author Shirlee Busbee


All Claire Donet knew was the world inside the convent walls in Saint-Denis. She had no idea her beloved papa was a pirate. But when he seized Simon Powell's schooner, the English privateer decided to take the one thing his enemy held most dear... her.


The waters between France and England roil with the clashes of Claire's father and her captor as the last year of the American Revolution rages on the sea, spies lurk in Paris and Claire’s passion for the English captain rises.

This is the prequel to the Agents of the Crown trilogy but can be read as a stand alone.


The door of the carriage swung open, a gown was tossed into her lap and a broad shouldered man filled the opening.

Claire’s jaw went slack while her heart kicked into a gallop as if responding of its own accord to the first man to stir it from slumber.

Bonjour, Mademoiselle Donet,” he said in French. “Captain Simon Powell.” He bowed in grand gesture. “Your humble servant with something for you to wear.”

The golden one. It had been nearly two years since she had seen him, but she had never forgotten the night of the masquerade. She had never forgotten him. Though the linen shirt stretched tight across his broad chest and the leather breeches and boots he wore now were a far cry from the shimmering costume he’d worn then, his amber eyes were the same. Impossibly, he was even more handsome that in her faded memory. In the last two years, he had never been far from her thoughts, for the night she’d first seen him—and imagined a man’s pleasure—was the night Claire’s girlish dreams had ended forever.

And now he’d returned to France and abducted her.

He leaned into the carriage and untied her feet, then her wrists. The touch of his rough man’s hands on her skin sent odd chills rippling through her. She bit her lip, shamed by her body’s reaction to this stranger. Her living temptation turned away for a moment, then faced her, a cup in his outstretched hand. “’Tis only water,” he said when she was reluctant to take it.

Too grateful to complain, she hastily brought the fresh water to her dry lips and drank her fill.

“I’ll give you some time to dress,” he said not unkindly. His eyes shifted to her blanket-covered nightclothes. “I wouldn’t want my men to see you as you are.”

Claire felt her cheeks burn at the thought.

“The gown is modest enough to please even your nuns,” he said. “Call me if you need… ah, assistance. I will be just outside.”

She fumed at his insolence, at his actions that had placed her at his mercy. Though she knew he was English and a privateer, she had no idea why he had taken her, and she would wait no longer to learn the truth of it. “Why did you bring me here? Why did you take me from the convent?”

Leaning one arm against the frame of the carriage, he regarded her intently, his eyes like chips of amber.

“You have your father to thank for that, mademoiselle. As soon as he returns what is mine you will have your freedom.”

Claire blinked. “My father?” Her voice sounded to her like the pleading of a feeble schoolgirl. She would not be cowed! She lifted her chin, confident in his error. “What has he to do with this… this perfidy? Papa is a man of business and letters, a man of some wealth. He has no need to steal!”

His mouth twitched up in a grin, drawing Claire’s gaze to his sensual lips, reminding her of a night when she had seen him use those lips to good effect. She scowled, angry with the rogue and with herself for finding him so attractive.

He shut the door of the carriage and peered in through the open window. “Your father, mademoiselle, is a pirate.”


To Tame the Wind (Agents of the Crown, Prequel, and Donet duology, #1)To Tame the Wind by Regan Walker
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

To Tame the Wind by Regan Walker is a 2015 publication. I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

A High seas adventure with romance at the ship's helm!

It as been a very, very long time since I have read a romance set at sea and I must admit I have missed these highly entertaining tales of romantic adventure.

Claire Donet was once an adventurous, lively, mischievous, and spirited girl until a tragic event at her convent school doused the fire in her soul. Now Claire is much more serious, ridden by guilt, and determined to become a nun.

However, if her father has any say in the matter, he will see to it she marries the man he has chosen for her. But, before either step can be taken, Simon Powell thwarts them both by kidnapping the innocent Claire and declaring he will hold her captive until he gets back what is his.

Simon is a British Privateer whose schooner was taken by Claire's father, a notorious pirate. Having been sent away to convent school after her mother's death, Claire is totally oblivious about her father's life.

Soon she finds herself torn between her French heritage, her father, and Simon, “The Golden One” as the revolutionary war continues to rage. With each passing day she gains more and more respect for Simon and begins to fall in love with him, despite the circumstances.

Simon's one objective is to get back his schooner and once that goal is accomplished he will turn Claire back over to her father. But, he will do so reluctantly, for he will miss her terribly. However, his feelings for her are forbidden and Claire has already committed herself to the convent.

Are Claire and Simon really two ships that pass in the night? Star crossed lovers? Will Claire really join the convent or will she marry the man her father has picked for her? Or… will Simon refuse to let her go?

The revolutionary war presented from the British and France perspective was a unique spin, and looking at it from that angle gave me a new outlook and made for some titillating suspense.

I loved Simon! He is the perfect romantic hero, protecting Claire by honoring her with his respect, and being the perfect gentleman, most of the time. () He is fierce, but kind and loyal and knows his mind.

Claire is a lady, highly principled, sympathetic, but strong, and sensitive. She is a bit more conflicted, but her character develops very nicely as the story progresses, and I was proud to see some of her fire rekindled by Simon.

One thing I really appreciate about Regan Walker is her dedicated research and attention to detail. How I wish all historical romance authors took the time to do this! There is no substitute for authenticity when reading historical fiction, because the dress, the conduct, vernacular and dialogue is what sweeps me into the past, literally bringing the pages to life.

What fun it is to follow along on the high seas, with swashbuckling adventure, danger, epic romance, intrigue, action and suspense! I loved every minute of this fast paced novel. This story was full of surprises and the secondary characters were well drawn adding another layer of depth. This was a romantic, exciting and fun read!

As always Regan Walker has gone all out for her readers by putting together maps, a list of characters for reference, and she has put together a Pinterest board dedicated to this novel, which you simply must see to believe. ( https://www.pinterest.com/reganwalker...)


Sea shanties:

In my research for my most recent Georgian romance, To Tame the Wind, I discovered the amazing songs of the seamen who traveled and worked aboard those picturesque schooners of the period.

A sea shanty, chantey, or chanty is a type of work song that was once commonly sung to accompany labor onboard merchant sailing vessels. The term shanty most accurately refers to a specific style of work song we hear no more. The chants and songs made the work go easier and helped to pass the time.

"...the beau-ideal chanty-man has been relegated to the past. His death-knell was the shriek of the steam-whistle and the thump of the engines." -- St. James's Gazette of December 6th, 1884

Singing or chanting has accompanied labor on seagoing vessels among various cultural groups for hundreds of years. A reference to a sailor's hauling chant in The Complaynt of Scotland (1549) is one example. The earliest well recorded pieces of sea shanty music are a collection of songs composed by Queen Elizabeth I to celebrate the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588.

A famous one is What Shall We Do with a Drunken Sailor:


Because that shanty was after the year (1782) in which my story was set, I used another: Lowlands, Lowlands Low. The tune derives from the well-known Miller of Dee, which became widely known after its appearance in Bickerstaff's opera Love in a Village in 1762. It is typically regarded as a capstan or pumping shanty, though some collectors also give it for halyards. In my story, as the crew aboard the Fairwinds makes ready to sail to London, they sing it as they wind the rope around the capstan.



There are two main kinds of shanties. The first is the work shanties that are divided into short drag (short haul), long drag (halyard), windlass, and capstan songs. The second are the forecastle or fo'c'sle shanties. These are often ballads or tell of some historical event, and take their name from the part of the ship where the singing usually took place on the forecastle.

Some shanties came into being in 18th century from African slaves and are laments from being forced from their homeland, such as the Shallow Brown shanty.

The Greenland Whale Fishery gave rise to shanties, too. The one that bears the name of the fishery is very much older than it seems, for it was already in print as a broadside before 1725. The Dutch and English had opened up the Greenland grounds (where they fished for right whales) early in the 16th century so the song came into being some time between then and the opening years of the 18th. It remained a great favorite, being reprinted over and over again by broadside publishers, and many versions of it have been collected from country singers during the present century. It's one of the great sea songs.

Here it is:

The shanties of the seamen of long ago provide a rich heritage of folk songs and music that reflects not only their work but their culture and the stories they thought of at the time. And today you can still enjoy them with an eye on the distant past.



Buy link: http://www.amazon.com/Tame-Wind-Agents-Crown-Book-ebook/dp/B00VO4DZYE


#1 bestselling, multi-published author of Regency, Georgian and Medieval romance. She has twice been featured on USA TODAY's HEA blog and twice nominated for for the prestigious RONE award (her novel, The Red Wolf's Prize is a finalist for 2015). Regan Walker writes historically authentic novels with real history and real historic figures. She wants her readers to experience adventure as well as love.

You can see the trailers for her novels on her website. Regan loves to hear from her readers--you can also email her via her website.

Twitter: @RegansReview (https://twitter.com/RegansReview)


  1. Hi, Julie. Thanks for the great review. I'm so glad you liked To Tame the Wind! And I'm happy to be a guest bringing to your followers the songs the sailors of old sang.

  2. Just finished and loved this book!

  3. Just finished and loved this book!


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