Wild Wind - Patricia Ryan Young and innocent Alexandre de Perigueux falls in love with Nicolette de St. Clair but she breaks his heart by marrying his cousin, Milo, and he has vowed never to let his heart become trampled upon again. It's now nine years later and Alex has grown into a fearless Knight who is bound by honor, who is respected for keeping an oath and who refuses to settle down. It's all of these qualities that prompt his cousin Milo into making an unsavory offer to Alex.

Good old cousin Milo is about to lose his home because he has failed to impregnate Nicki, whose Uncle placed a clause in the will that her first son was to inherit the castle and if there was no child after ten years of marriage the castle would revert to the church. Milo is a drunken louse who is impotent. So he wants Alex to seduce, impregnate and then leave Nicolette forevermore so that he can claim the child as his own and happily drink the rest of his life away. Alex initially refuses but eventually gives in because he still cares for Nicki and when Milo tells him he will let another man, a man Alex knows is evil, drug her and "do the deed" he is left with no other choice.

I honestly wasn't sure how I was going to react to this book because of the adultery plot. Usually adultery in any way, shape or form leaves a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach and I end up detesting the couple. It takes a skilled author, one who knows her characters inside and out - and who has the talent to let her readers see into the souls of those characters - to make me love, respect and ache for two people caught in this kind of sticky, seemingly impossible situation. And Patricia Ryan is just that kind of author.

Alex and Nicki aren't vain, selfish people and they don't want to hurt anyone, they're soul mates who because of a set of misunderstandings and the inexperience and immaturity of youth were torn apart. Their rediscovery of love is beautifully portrayed and my eyes went bleary more than once. And it helped that Milo, pitiful excuse for a human being that he was, wasn't adverse to the union between Alex and his wife, especially when he realized he'd gotten in the way of their true love nine years earlier.

If you've read SECRET THUNDER and were dying for light-hearted, funny and carefree Alex's story you might be a little surprised to find that he's very serious throughout WW because of the circumstances he's thrown into the middle of but he's just as sexy.

This book isn't always pleasant but it paints a vivid picture of life in historical times, smelliness and all, and there is a villain who can only be described as disgusting! The conflict, although painful and heart-rending, makes for some super sensual tension and allows the love story to grow slowly. So if you've decided against reading this book because of the adultery theme I beg you to reconsider. This one is done with care and class and isn't filled with silly plot devices thrown in just to keep the couple apart.