Ride the Wind Home
Christina Kingston
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Ride the Wind Home

Christina Kingston
304 pages
March 2003
rated 4 of 5 possible stars

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Diana Huntley is a frightened sixteen-year-old bride when she bursts through the woods and stumbles upon the portly young man who is destined to become a hero, in her mind's eye. The kind-eyed, corpulent fellow comes to her aid when no one else will, and his kindness gives her the strength to endure five years of an abusive marriage.

Michael David Lawrence, Ninth Duke of Smythington, is rather rotund. That is, before he joins the military and meets with misfortune, sold as a slave in Arabia. Escaping nearly a year after his capture, the scarred, wiser and much thinner David returns to England, wishing only to spend some time exploring the peaceful landscape of his country in an effort to rid himself of his nightmares and horrid memories. But his plans for peace are interrupted when he once again meets the young woman whose courage and tear-filled eyes captured his heart five long years before.

Knowing that he loves her, but needing to know that she can love the man and not just his title, David pretends to be a common seaman as he helps Diane escape from a dreaded second, pre-arranged marriage to "an odious brute."

On a two hundred-mile journey to the estate where her Godmother is staying, Diana accepts the aid of the sailor who steps in not once, but twice, in an effort to keep her out of harm's way. Without intending to, Diane begins to rely on the confident, handsome, and rather short David, the seaman who has become her self-appointed protector. She is blithely unaware of either his true identity or his lofty station in life, and is slightly troubled by her attraction to him.

Their trek brings the two to rely on each other, engendering trust in one another as they avoid trouble and pursuers every step of the way toward her destination. While Diana has vowed to never marry again, she finds herself nearly overcome with a growing attachment to this handsome young sailor. But can she share her heart? Can she let go of her long-ago hero to embrace the love and devotion offered by David? Davidís life is endangered before she comes to grips with her past, her present, and her dreams for a future.

Christina Kingston has penned a somewhat predictable yet thoroughly enjoyable tale with Ride the Wind Home. Her characters, engaging and refreshingly human in their faults, encourage the reader to root for both of them. While the plot is somewhat contrived, it still makes for an intriguing read, as a means to develop the endearing relationship between Diana and David.

© 2003 by Denise M. Clark for Curled Up With a Good Book

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