Thursday, July 3, 2014

Review - - The Windflower

The Windflower
By Laura London
Publisher: Forever
Release Date: April 29, 2014
(Reissue of book originally published in 1984)

If you’re anything like me, when one of your must-read authors says, “Go read this book,” you go read the book. For as long as I’ve known her, Teresa Medeiros has said The Windflower is one of her favorite historical romances of all time.   So what does a Medeiros fan-girl like me do if the book in question is not in print?


Alas, the brilliant people at Grand Central have recently (as in April, this year) reissued this sweeping, epic romance from the 80’s…. and all for our reading pleasure. 

Merry Wilding is innocent, talented, guileless and in search of adventure.  After all, she’s been sheltered, almost cloistered, by a prim English aunt in a small Virginia town all her life.   So when the opportunity to visit New York arrives, she snaps at it as quick as she can.  How else can a girl her age break free?   What Merry doesn’t know is that her aunt has plans to take her back to England.  For good.  But Merry doesn’t get that far as she’s kidnapped from her ship and taken aboard the infamous Black Jokea pirate ship.

Devon Crandall thinks Merry is in cahoots with his enemy, the same man who was to accompany her and her aunt to England.   And he can tell Merry has a secret or two, but who knew urging such secrets from her would be so pleasurable?  And who knew there lurked such a charming, unbreakable spirit inside such an innocent--an innocent who has slowly transformed the Black Joke’s hardened crew into her slobbering disciples.  An innocent who is insinuating herself within Devon’s jaded, cynical heart…

Devon only wishes his feelings about her were as innocent as she. 

A warning:  The Windflower is an 80’s romance.  What that means is: 1) there are adverbs.  Lots of them.  2) The point of view hops from one character to another, many times in one chapter.  3)  The book is nearly 600 pages long.   4) The heroine is young and beautiful and sometimes silly.  5) It took me nearly 30 pages to get into the book.

Anyone writing in the 2000’s wouldn’t dare attempt the above items as they’re against what I call “the romance rules.”  But let me state this as clearly as I can, dear readers:   I LOVED THIS BOOK, and if you must adhere yourself to any romance rule other than happily ever after, I posit you are not quite the romance fan you think yourself.  When I
called Windflower “sweeping,” I meant it.   SWEPT away!  Gone.   So gone I ignored my family for 2 1/2 days.  I also lost weight as I forgot a meal or two.  I MISS this kind of book.  I miss the investment required of the reader, the emotion such investment elicits, the grand setting and the fact I couldn’t predict in which 20 pages or so the sex scene would occur (unlike books written today.  You know where it is: right there between the middle to 3/4th mark).  What’s more the secondary characters are fabulous and the sexual tension between the hero and heroine—oh, gracious, such sexual tension—is drawn out for so long, my heart physically cramped.

Well, I got all I missed in the Windflower’s numerous pages.  It’s wonderful. Top pick. But by all means, please avoid this book if you are unwilling to let go of your “rules.”   And if that’s the case, if you must follow such sterile rules--if you can’t suspend belief and go with your heart more than your head--why are you reading romance in the first place?  (See what I did there?  I guilted you into reading this book.  You’ll thank me later ;-)  ). 

~J Perry Stone

J Perry Stone is an aspiring Historical Romance writer who is a giant proponent of books and of love... romance being the place where the two live happily ever after.  She lives in Charlotte, NC with her husband and two children. 


  1. Lovely review, J! I hear your voice clearly, and you make me want to pull my copy of The Windflower for a reread--or buy a digital copy. I do love seeing romance classics reissued. I'm so-o-o-o excited today about the news that Eileen Dreyer is reissuing her Kathleen Korbel books.

  2. I don't know how I missed this book first time around - I use to love the long, swept away books. I don't think I'd have a problem changing my mindset, after all I do that for paranormals all the time lol.

  3. Love this review, J! You know, The Windflower is one of those classic romances I never got around to reading. Must remedy that.

  4. Does anyone know what happened to the authors of this book? Their contemporaries are also well worth the reading ... And even their other historical are unusual . B