January 25, 2014

Book Review ~ Close to the Wind by Zana Bell

Title: Close to the Wind
Author: Zana Bell
Release Date: October 15th 2013 (first published August 29th 2013)

Publisher: Choc Lit
Source: Received from Booksellers NZ for an honest review

What would you give to be free?

Georgiana da Silva is catapulted out of the Victorian drawing rooms and into a world of danger when she escapes her fiendish fiancé to engage in a mad dash across the world to save her brother before an unknown assassin can find him.

Meanwhile, Captain Harry Trent is setting sail for New Zealand. With a mission to complete and the law on his heels, he’s got enough trouble of his own without further complications.

Thrown together, unable to trust anyone, Georgiana and Harry are intent on fulfilling their missions despite the distractions of the other. But liberty comes at a price and the closer they get, the more they must question the true cost of being free.

Masquerades, deceptions and subterfuge – and that’s just on the heroine’s part.

My Thoughts

"It doesn't seem fair that New Zealand should have quite so many beautiful corners tucked away..." (Close to the Wind by Zana Bell)

I love a great historical romance, so when I was offered Close to the Wind for review I jumped at the chance; I can't say I've ever read a historical that is partially set in little old New Zealand!

The story starts off in 1860’s England with our heroine blissfully unaware of the turmoil and danger that is about to turn her already far from perfect world upside down.

In her haste to escape the grip of an overbearing aunt and a deceitful and dangerous fiancée, Georgiana disguises herself as ‘George’ and secures a position aboard a ship sailing to New Zealand in the hopes of finding and saving her sick brother. And so under the watchful, albeit blind-to-the-ruse eye of Captain Harry Trent, ‘George’, for the most part fits in to life at sea. But it’s not long before trouble finds our hapless heroes and things are again thrown awry.

Becoming ‘Georgiana’ again, our heroine tries to fend for herself and while thinking herself a master of disguise and cunning, takes on yet another persona in the hopes of throwing off the fiends on her trail.

Not knowing who to trust, yet falling victim at every turn, ‘Sarah’ finally makes her way to New Zealand to again find herself in the middle of another misunderstanding, another scuffle, and another change back to ‘Georgiana’ (are you keeping up, it’s confusing I know!) and finally sharing some tender moments with Harry. And then it’s all tied up into a tidy little bow with happily-ever-afters for everybody.

Close to the Wind
is well written as far as grammar and punctuation etc go, but I found it hard to get into because I felt I was being told what to see rather than sinking into the story and feeling the journey. I enjoy heroines with lots of spunk and quick wit, but I didn’t feel that from Georgiana, I found her to be rather dull; her loyalty to her brother proving to be her one redeeming quality. I also felt let down by the lack of New Zealand in the story. If you’re going to use the tag line “Love, Passion and Adventure in 1860s New Zealand” on the cover, then you might want to make more use of its beauty and its people because other than a few phrases mentioning the mountains, the lack of decent roads, and the lightweight wooden buildings, there really isn’t much more detail. There’s no mention of the Chinese population that worked the mines or the Maori (indigenous people of NZ) that would have also been living in and around the surrounding countryside in which Harry and Georgiana traveled.

Overall, for me the book was a slow paced, thinly veiled historical read with a touch of light romance.

A good read if you’re not going to get hung up on the lack of depth or details, but Close to the Wind was not the swashbuckling adventure I was hoping for.
3.5 Stars

1 comment:

  1. Good review for what is clearly a good book and I will zip off the Amazon straight away. Thanks.


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