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sandym-icon.jpgRising WindSandy M’s review of Rising Wind by Cindy Holby
Historical romance published 31 Jul 07 by Leisure


Leaving behind the Highlands for the New World at the tender age of ten, Connor Duncan quickly learned that only the fit and the fortunate survive. He was both, becoming a scout and an expert marksman, a man to be reckoned with. He knew his way through the backwoods as well as any Shawnee, but he was far less comfortable in the drawing rooms of Williamsburg. What was a rough-hewn frontiersman like he to do with a sheltered beauty like the governor’s niece? But there seemed to be no way to avoid the “Virgin Widow,” especially when she insisted on accompanying him a dangerous mission through the wilderness to Fort Savanna. Neihter capture, nor torture, nor the violet birth pangs of a young nation could keep them apart or stop the founding of a brand new dynasty of Duncans.

Read an excerpt.

This is my first time reading Cindy Holby and I thoroughly enjoyed the entire book. There are several books prior about the Duncan family, but this one can be read on its own with no problem. Of course, reading the series leading up this story would give you a feel for the richness of the author’s writing and some background on the family, but Rising Wind stands on its own merits if you want to dive right in.

I’m a sucker for a Highlander, even if he has been “civilized” in the New World. Their honor and their dignity still abound, and Connor Duncan is right up there with the best of them. He also has a sense of humor, which is something that wins me over every time. Of course, having a stubborn, strong, and beautiful woman in the picture makes the story doubly rewarding. Carrie is the perfect woman for Duncan and they click from the moment they meet. They have fun together, but they also meet danger head on and do what needs to be done to survive while keeping their moral compasses in balance.

The backdrop of early America is engrossing, and the descriptions of how Native Americans took their revenge on lying, invading interlopers is graphic and horrifying, but it is such an integral part of history and the storyline that the book would fall flat without it. Surviving the American frontier is something both Duncan and Carrie have in common throughout the book and gives them a basis, aside from love and attraction, on which to build a life together. But it is also interesting to see the differences in how the two come to have such strife in their lives. Duncan, being born literally on the battlefield at Culloden, has always had a hard life, while Carrie, being gently bred in England and in the New World to find a husband, has had an easy time of it and is stunned at the atrocities she sees. It is all woven together so wonderfully.

I have the previous books in this series in the old TBR pile, and reading this one is just the impetus I need to move them up to enjoy some great writing with well-developed characters in stories full of richness that engross and entice readers. Sounds like a plan for the New Year.

Grade: A