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Windswept (The Windswept Saga)

by Annabelle McCormack

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Ginger Whitman has been nursing in Palestine during the Great War. Taking care of wounded soldiers in the desert is a far cry from her usual life in London as Lady Virginia Whitman. However, nursing has become a passion for Ginger and her compassion leads her to trouble as Ginger hastily helps a wounded Turkish soldier hiding in camp. The soldier claims that he is a British ally with important information to pass on and entrusts Ginger with it. Ginger believes that calling her father, who works in the Foreign Office in Cairo will help, but her ex-fiancé Stephen shows up instead. Not long after, British intelligence officer, Major Noah Benson also comes in search of Ginger's patient. Not knowing who to trust, Ginger guards her secret as she is swept into the world of espionage and danger.

Windswept is a suspenseful historical romance mixed with thrilling spy espionage. From the moment Ginger entered the scene, I knew things would be exciting. Ginger's character is determined, intelligent and brave. Ginger's consciousness is constantly pulling her in the right direction. I was very focused on Ginger's decision making as everyone around her was being deceitful. secretive, manipulative and purposefully withholding information. Told from Ginger's point of view, I was also in the dark about which characters to trust and their motives with the information Ginger's soldier relayed to her. I absolutely have to mention the romance in the story. Noah is not an easy character to love and Ginger's actions with Noah are constantly back and forth depending on the knowledge she has. Everything about their relationship was steeped in suspense and I just wanted someone to tell the poor woman the truth earlier. However, Ginger can hold her own and despite a series of difficult decisions, she makes it out on the right side. The writing transported me to the desert environment where I could feel the sand surrounding me. I did not know a lot about the fighting on this front during World War I and the objectives of the operatives in the area. While Ginger was wrapped up in fictional assignments, the reality of the war surrounding her was very true. Windswept is a sweeping historical romance with plenty of action and adventure in the Middle Eastern Theatre of World War I.

This book was received for free in return for an honest review. ( )
  Mishker | Oct 18, 2021 |
I was instantly drawn into the pages of this book as soon as I started reading it. Back in time I went. It was as if I was Ginger; experiencing everything she did. Author, Annabelle did a wonderful job bringing this story and the characters to life. AS a historical fiction reader, I was very pleased with this book and will recommend it to others.

Ginger is a strong heroine. She may not have started out that way or planned it but along the way she really found her strength. Any situation she found herself in, she tackled it.

This story took me on an reading journey across the Arabian desert. This book has a little bit of everything for everyone...intrigue, romance, adventure, great storyline and engaging characters that will stick with you even after you finish the last page! ( )
  Cherylk | Oct 13, 2021 |
I absolutely love this book! I usually reserve 5 star ratings for classics like To Kill A Mockingbird but occasionally a recently published novel will check all the boxes for me. Windswept has done this and therefore has IMO earned 5 stars. From many of the reviews I’ve read I’m not alone.
The novel takes place in Egypt during WWI. Ginger is a young nurse attached to the British nurses corps. She is stationed at a forward hospital close to the front lines. The work is hard and the hours long but Ginger is strong, dedicated and loves her job. The storyline begins with her discovery of a severely wounded Turkish soldier. Policy dictates she report him immediately. The man begs her not to do so because he is in fact a spy for British intelligence and in possession of crucial information that if not gotten to the right person can devastate the British efforts and lead to many deaths. Furthermore his life is in danger from a traitor in British Intelligence and she must only trust the one person he wishes her to contact. Ginger puts everything on the line to help him. Ginger sends a telegram as instructed but two men show up. Steven a lifelong family friend who Ginger has turned down a marriage proposal from and a Major Noah Benson who treats Ginger with suspicions of his own. Who should she trust the information to and can the plot he alludes to be stopped?
For me accurate historical details supply plausibility to a story. Ms.McCormack has obviously done her research well. She uses the details to add depth to the settings within the book. They are not just window dressing they become integral parts of the storyline. I learned a lot about this area during. WWI that I had never known. When I can learn as I read for pleasure it’s an added bonus for me.
Windswept is not only enjoyable to read it is very well written. Characters,even secondary ones, are fully described lending an authenticity to the work. They act as one would expect for their times. Ginger, Though strong and opinionated will on occasion demure to the wishes of the men around her. She is a woman of 1917, not 2021. Dialogue is witty and believable keeping the prose entertaining. Pacing is even keeping the storyline moving forward. The plot has many twists and turns and some will come as complete surprises.
In addition to being historical fiction this book is also a great romance. Often the romance will take over a novel with everything else coming secondary. I could really enjoy this romance because it doesn’t do this. There is a perfect balance here. You will fall for the hero with this book. One caution for those who do not like love scenes that DON’T fade to black. There are several here. Personally I felt they were beautifully written and appropriate to the storyline, but you may find them too explicit.
The fact that this is a first novel is just unbelievable! This is the first book in what is described as a saga. I hope the author writes fast.

I received an ARC of this book from the publisher, Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA), and net galley. This fact in no way influenced my review. ( )
  catrn | Sep 28, 2021 |
I do enjoy reading historical fiction and have read a few WWI books, this one was so interesting, and takes place in Africa. This was an audio book, which I used while driving several hours away, and the hours flew, such a great book!
I loved all the research put into this fictional read, we are given a young woman who was gifted with a privileged life, but in the end was not afraid to get her hands dirty, and seems to fall in love with an unobtainable young man. Piqued my interest, and soon I was involved in this story, that has a bit of everything. There are spies, traitors, secret plots, and even family members that can’t be counted on. The year is 1917, the setting is Egypt, and British nurse Ginger Whitman has to decide whom she can trust!
I will be looking for more from this author, thank you!
I received this book through Net Galley and Independent Book Publishers Association, and was not required to give a positive review. ( )
  alekee | Sep 21, 2021 |
Nurse Ginger Whitman is a battlefield nurse working the front lines of Palestine during the Great War. Although she comes from privilege and her father wanted different for her, she has made it her life mission to help others, and this is where she has been placed. In the midst of desert, heat, gun fire and raids when she happens upon a very wounded soldier, someone she should be turning in to superiors, but something tells her he is not who he appears to be and she makes a split second decision to let her help of others take priority.

Ginger, already having herself in hot water for not always obeying orders, now has a man with a Turk uniform on, and he has just entrusted her with his possessions and given her information that is a top secret code that could get her killed and any others who are involved in helping this soldier. She send a message to her brother, he will know how to help her.

An unwanted character from her past shows up in place of her brother claiming he was sent to help, and a British Intelligence office also shows up asking her questions about what happened recently and trying to gain information from her. The two men point fingers, claiming the other is not trustworthy. Meanwhile Ginger is wrestling with what her gut is telling her in who to believe, and who not to believe. But with every decision she makes, she then feels she made the wrong one.

Not knowing who to believe and realizing her life is danger, as well as her families she gets herself in the middle of a battle of finding out the truth of who each man is, as well as putting the pieces together for the code that the turk soldier had entrusted her with. Will she be able to tell who has her best interest at heart, and who is in it for power and their own agenda? Thank you to HFVBT for the invite, and to the author for the free book. I really like reading about this part of the Great War. ( )
  Chelz286 | Sep 18, 2021 |
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