Sizzling Book Club Pick for May 2014: The Windflower by Sharon & Tom Curtis

Book The Windflower. A picture of a woman with dark hair with a flower in it about to kiss a topless scruffy wavy haired dude with massive nipples. It's really not a good cover.

Last year, when I announced that November 2013 would be the last book club selection, many of you were really bummed. The Sizzling Book Club discussions are a lot of fun, and I know some of y'all missed the monthly chat-room gathering of conversation and quizzes and mayhem.

I said during the last book club chat that I would be hosting a few in 2014- and May is our first!

I've picked a book that's coming back to the romance world, and I cannot wait to talk about it with you.

The Sizzling Book Club Pick for May 2014 is: The Windflower by Sharon and Tom Curtis — or Laura London depending on which copy you have.

Cover copy? Oh, heck yeah. Feast your curious eyes on this: 

Merry Wilding is a lady of breeding, of innocence, and of breathtaking beauty. With high hopes for a holiday in England, she sets sail from New York-but the tide of her life is destined to turn. Mistakenly swept aboard an infamous pirate ship, Merry finds herself at the mercy of a wicked crew . . . and one sinfully handsome pirate. Soon she's spending her days yearning for escape, and her nights learning the pleasures of captivity.

Devon Crandall believes Merry is in league with his greatest enemy. He's determined to slowly urge her secrets from her. But along the way, he discovers her beautifully unbreakable spirit . . . and a desire unlike any he's ever known. She is hiding something from him, and yet, each day that passes brings her deeper into his heart. When fierce arguments give way to fiercer passion, can a pirate learn to love a woman? Or will true love be lost at sea?

The earlier cover copy is even more flowery: 

Every lady of breeding knows. No one has a good time on a pirate ship. No one, that is, but the pirates. Yet there she was, Merry Wilding – kidnapped in error, taken from a ship bound from New York to England, spirited away in a barrel and swept aboard the infamous Black Joke….

There she was, trembling with pleasure in the arms of her achingly handsome, sensationally sensual, golden-haired captor – Devon.

From the storm-tossed Atlantic to the languid waters of the Gulf Stream, from a smuggler's den to a gilded mansion, Merry struggled to escape…to escape the prison of her own reckless passions, the bondage of sweet, bold desire.

You can almost smell the Old Skool. (Old Skool Romance should totally be a perfume, shouldn't it!?)

The Windflower was originally published in 1984, and it's being reissued thirty years later, this time in a print and digital edition. Yes! That's right! Legitimate digital editions of The Windflower are now available! People won't be pirating the pirates anymore, or hunting through used bookstores for copies.

As always with the book club selections, All Romance is offering a 50% ebook buck rebate for The Windflower from May 1-15, 2014. Use code SBTBARE at checkout.

The post-rebate price is pretty spiffy, too. Thank you to All Romance for setting up the rebate for this book!  

You can also find paper copies – new ones! – at most retailers, including Amazon, BN, and your local library (US).

The book club chat is in the works – and yes, I'm hoping to have the authors (both!) joining us for a Q&A after the discussion. Stay tuned for a chat announcement date!

The interesting – and challenging – thing about The Windflower is that it is a historical romance written in a very different style than historical romances being published today. It relies openly on established historical tropes of that time period – the menacing hero, the plucky innocent ingenue – and twists them in ways I found fascinating when I read it the first time, and when I re-read it years later.

But I know not everyone is a fan of the book, and so I want to make sure you know that if you didn't like it, or if you try it this month and really don't enjoy it, you are absolutely welcome to come to the chat and talk about what you didn't like. Squee is not mandatory in book club chats, and if you didn't enjoy it, I hope you'll come and discuss what didn't work for you.

And if you haven't tried it, and have only seen The Windflower on all the different lists that name it as one of the best romances ever, I hope you'll give it a try this month and come tell us what you thought.


General Bitching...

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    Bona says:

    I’ve already downloaded the book. I’m looking forward to reading it … and knowing your opinions about it afterwards.

  2. 2

    I was so excited when it downloaded a couple days ago. I apparently bought it awhile back and had, of course, forgotten.

    Yay for a new book club chat!

  3. 3
    Lynnd says:

    Just wanted to let the Canadian readership know that it’s geo-restricted so we can’t buy it at ARE and because agency pricing is still not dead in Canada (damn you Kobo and Canadian Competition Bureau for caving to them), coupons don’t work either.  Grrr.

  4. 4
    Jan says:

    I just got my paperback copy Monday in the mail!  It’s gorgeous.  Can’t wait for the book club event.  I’m sure the story will generate a ton of comments.  ; )

  5. 5

    I’m in! I love heading back to Old Skool once in a while, and it’s even more fun in a group.

    And yes, those of us in Canada get shafted on the deal, since we can’t buy from ARE *shakes fist*, but I splurged on the Amazon Kindle edition.

  6. 6

    Time to dust off my copy and give it a re-read. Thanks for the reminder of what a wonderful book it is.

  7. 7
    Karenmc says:

    I picked up a copy on the recommendation of a trusted friend, but didn’t know when I’d get around to reading it. Well, now I do. Looks like the dog will have to walk themselves this weekend.

  8. 8
    Jennifer says:

    My copy just came in the mail yesterday!  I’ve been hunting for this book forever so I am ecstatic that it was re-released.  Can’t wait to read it and join in the discussion.

  9. 9
    SB Sarah says:

    I’m so glad you’re all excited! I cannot wait for the chat. We’re going to have a great time!

  10. 10
    DarthClavie says:

    I always have such a hard time with Old Skol, but I’ll give it a shot.

  11. 11
    Anonymous says:

    Ok when you say old school (I hate the other spelling) do you mean he rapes her or what?

    No offense but I would prefer to know now rather than after reading the book!

  12. 12
    Heather S says:

    I totally got the paperback last week (let’s hear it for books showing up a week early!). The fun factor for reading this just went WAY up. :D

  13. 13
    Linda Olson says:

    Wow – thanks for reminding me how old I am ;-)  This was the first romance novel that I kept to re-read rather than relegating it to the grocery bag of paperbacks to be handed off to the next female relative in the queue (my aunt and grandmother also had a voracious appetite for romance novels, and even my great-grandmother developed a taste for Harlequins late in life—the only English-language stuff she ever read).  I probably still have my 1984 edition of The Windflower somewhere in a box of stuff never unpacked from two moves ago. I don’t think I need to re-read it, though, because I have a freakish memory for the things I experienced when I was young (before my brain got full). I can still remember bits of dialogue (”…you have to know Henry Cork…”). I look forward to the discussion!

  14. 14
    SB Sarah says:


    You’d have to know Henry Cork, indeed!

    I love that scene.

  15. 15
    Melanie says:

    I have missed the book club!  When I first started reading SBTB, I actually put together a list of books that people recommended here. “The Windflower” was on it, but I soon learned that it was almost impossible to find, so I haven’t read it.  So when the new edition appeared in my Amazon recommendations, I was very excited.  I’m looking forward to the chat.

  16. 16
    Genghis Mom says:

    Chiming in with Anonymous. Is she forced to endure pleasure? Is it rapey? Need to know for trigger warnings.

  17. 17
    Rebecca (another one) says:

    Anonymous & Gengis Mom,

    There is a review of it on the Dear Author website. Just search for Windflower.

    It says that the hero has to try really hard not to rape her cause he’s filled with lust.

  18. 18
    Linda Olson says:

    There is another review that is less snarky (though just as fun in a different way) and probably does a better job of answering that question here:

    Whether you would consider the book rapey depends upon what your particular triggers are. Certainly, rape culture is a big part of the plot, and there is a strong implication that it’s OK to rape a foreign spy in time of war, or the paid mistress of your personal enemy. There is a lot of leering, and a couple of secondary characters have back stories that include sexual abuse in childhood or adolescence.

  19. 19
    Laurie says:

    I’ve read this book a ton of times.  I wish Tom and Sharon would start writing again!

  20. 20
    CarrieS says:

    I just re-read Windflower (on a camping trip in yosemite – it was bliss!).  I keep thinking I should be offended and appalled by this book and I can’t pin down why OMG I LOVE IT SO MUCH!  The humor helps, of course.  How can I resist a book with lines like:

    “That’s not even the right finger”

    “Oh, excuse me Merry – I meant to say, ‘fish urine

    during dance instruction:

    “What would you do if I were a man and I put my hands here?”  “Retreat to the other side of the piano”, Merry said, promptly.

    Can’t wait for book club!  If you hate it – I totally understand.  If you love it, oh, come and sit by me!

  21. 21
    laj says:

    I’m in!
    I loved the last book chat. I just know I’m going to keel over after reading The Windflower, but I’m game!

  22. 22
    Genghis Mom says:

    Thanks, Linda and Rebecca!

  23. 23

    I pre-ordered this when the e-book edition first became available, and am about halfway through it right now. It’s a lot of fun; goofy, terribly flowery, and at times reads almost like a spoof of the genre.

    My overall impression of the Curtis writing team (I’ve read three of their novels so far) is that they generally do a better job writing the supporting characters than they do the protagonists, and The Windflower is no exception; while Merry and Devon comfortably fit most of the conventional romance stereotypes of the Eighties, it’s Morgan, Cat, Raven and Sails (and Dennis the pig) who really shine and make the story something special.

    Maybe the conventions of the genre required the authors to play it a bit safer with their hero and heroine and they were only allowed to go a little crazy with the supporting cast, I dunno. But I could happily read an entire novel about Cat, who is one of the most intriguing characters I’ve encountered in a romance in a long time.

  24. 24
    Nancy Collins says:

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I absolutely loved this book! I bought it at my local BN 6 days ago and devoured it in two days – then read it again leisurely to wallow in the deliciousness of the “Old Schoolness” about it. Merry actually doesn’t get raped in the book – she defends her virtue quite efficiently with an antique crossbow and is resourceful and engaging throughout the book. I agree with the last reviewer that said she could read an entire book about Cat – he was so well written! My heart was his from the moment Merry was dumped out of the apple barrel and Cat started taking care of her. This is a “five star”, “happy dance”, “box of Godiva chocolate with a glass of champagne” romance
    P.S. I also thank you for recommending the BBC DVD “North & South”. It was To-Die-For times infinity!

  25. 25
    Maryde says:

    Unfortunately we can’t purchase the ebook through All Romance. Publisher not allowed to sell in our territory (Australia)  But I already have the print book. Shame :(

Comments are closed.

↑ Back to Top