Review: Warriors of the Wind by Anna Hackett

Title: Tempest (Warriors of the Wind #1)
Author: Anna Hackett
Format read: eARC
Formats available: ebook
Genre: fantasy romance
Series: Warriors of the Wind #1
Length: 108 pages
Publisher: Anna Hackett
Date Released: July 31 2017
Purchasing Info: Author’s Website, Goodreads, Amazon

One of five brothers granted the power of the wind, Lorenzo Venti is Keeper of the Winds. A loner at heart, he’s fine that his duty to keep the evil Tempest Winds trapped on their island prison, keeps him isolated and alone. After seeing his father murdered by the Winds, he’s made an oath to keep them locked away. Besides, he prefers his work with his horses to annoying people anyway. But his powerful foes are rising, and when one infuriating, tempting woman arrives on his island, she threatens everything…

Bright, vivacious horse trainer Riley Donovan is drawn to big, brooding loner Lorenzo, and she’s planning to chase down the stubborn man once and for all. She knows he has demons, and it makes her own powers stir–powers she vowed never to use again when her mother was killed. But as their scorching attraction explodes, they find themselves in the center of a dangerous tempest…and now the fates of both their world and their hearts hang in the balance.

 

Title: Storm & Seduction (Warriors of the Wind #2
Author: Anna Hackett
Format read: eARC
Formats available: ebook
Genre: fantasy romance
Series: Warriors of the Wind #2
Length: 186 pages
Publisher: Anna Hackett
Date Released: July 31st 2017
Purchasing Info: Author’s Website, Goodreads, Amazon

Storm: the last thing he expects on his hunt is an alluring assassin out to kill him.

Shipping magnate Dante Venti is also the Warrior of the South Wind. With the terrifying Tempest Winds loose, it is his duty to scour the streets of Rome on the hunt for one of the dangerous winds, who is infecting the city with the vice of pride. Dante feels pride dragging him down, and now that the Aurae are all dead, be must fight on alone…until he finds himself attacked by a deadly assassin who tries to slit his throat.

Samia Hassan is the brotherhood’s best assassin, or at least she was. Now she’s on a mission to prove herself and end her lethal target. But Dante Venti is not what she expected, and as she finds herself drawn to him, she senses something is not right with her mission. Dante is not the evil being she was told he was, and instead she sees a sexy, handsome man fighting to protect the world. As Dante and Samia circle each other, a storm is growing…and Samia may be the only thing that can help Dante survive it.

Seduction: trapped, naked, and chained with a beautiful woman who can never be his.

Antonio Venti, Warrior of the West Wind, wakes up in chains, the prisoner of the deadly nemesis he hunts. An evil Tempest Wind is spreading the vice of lust across the city of Florence, and he has vowed to break Antonio. With no Aurae mate to soothe the vices, Antonio feels his body heating with desire, and he fights his reaction with every fiber of his being. But all that changes when his cunning prey locks him up naked with his ultimate temptation–the one woman he craves above all else.

Sophia Crane has given up on rich, cheating men. She’s come to Italy to heal her broken heart, focus on her art restoration, and discover the truth about the legends of the Warriors of the Wind. But when she wakes up naked and locked in a room with her sexy boss–a man she’s been avoiding–she knows something is desperately wrong. As Sophia and Antonio fight their scorching desire, she learns the terrible truth about the Tempest Winds and Antonio’s struggle to fight back. Sophia watches him being dragged down by lust, and she realizes that she may either be Antonio’s salvation…or his greatest downfall.

My Review:

Way, way back in 2009, Anna Hackett began her Windkeepers series. As many of Anna’s books as I have read, I haven’t read those. It was one of those things I meant to go back to. Someday, when I got a round tuit. And some copious free time.

Now I don’t have to. She has revised, revamped and updated that series into Warriors of the Wind, and I was fortunate enough to receive the first two books of the updated series for review, which actually contain the first three tales of the Warriors of the Wind. Because these stories are relatively short, more like novelette length than even novella length, I decided to review those first two books together.

So, on to book 1, Tempest and book 2, Storm & Seduction.

The foundation of this series lies in the Roman, Greek (and other) pantheons, and in their personification of the winds. The Romans called them “Venti”, and that is the name of this family of Wind Keepers that has protected the Earth for ages.

The Brothers Venti are the good guys. Their nemeses, the Tempest Winds, are very definitely the villains of this piece. It is the duty of the Venti, handed down through the ages, to keep the Tempest Winds contained and prevent them from causing too much trouble. While the Venti brothers’ winds represent the cardinal points of the compass, North, South, East and West, they keep the Tempests from the Northeast, Northwest, Southeast and Southwest in check.

The Venti brothers also represent powers that are kept in check, while the Tempests represent powers that are let loose to run amuck. Anger kept in check can be good, anger let completely loose pits friend against friend and brother against brother, and leads fairly quickly to war. It’s the same with the other powers, those of Pride, Lust and Greed. Controlled is good, let off the leash is bad.

The series begins in Tempest, when those pesky Tempest Winds break loose from the island where they have been imprisoned. Running that prison is the duty of the fifth Venti brother, in this case Lorenzo. He is certain that he doesn’t need any help to do his duty and keep the Tempest Winds contained.

Of course he needs help, and that help comes in the form of horse-trainer Riley Donovan. She is exactly what he needs, both as a man and as the Keeper of the Winds. But in order for him to accept that help, he needs to get his head out of his rather gorgeous ass. And let Riley in.

The pattern for Storm & Seduction is similar to Tempest. Now that the Tempest Winds are on the loose, they are each gunning for the brother who is most susceptible to their evil wiles, of which they have many.

Each of the battles that the brothers face are slightly different, and the women they need to help them are very definitely cut from different cloths. Riley is a horse trainer, Sophia an art restorer, and Samia a trained assassin. But they each have powers of their own, powers that the Venti brothers desperately need for their battles. And for their hearts.

Escape Rating B: These are fun. Also very sexy. There is nothing tame about the winds or about anything in any of these relationships. But they are terrific little stories if you like your romance on the hot and steamy side.

Because these are short (I want to say sweet but really they’re short and naughty) that there is a clear pattern to the stories is just fine. It’s not something that would work as well in a longer novel, but for this length, the story needs to move at a very fast pace, and these do.

There’s also more than a hint of the “fated mate” trope, but again, that works to speed up the action and the story, and makes sense in context. “Fated mate” is always a bit contrived, but in this case the contrivance worked.

I liked the characters, especially the women. The men are rather similar to each other, but then, they are brothers. But the women are all different and they all stand up for themselves against some very powerful enemies. And even more powerful lovers.

A good reading time was definitely had by all. I’m looking forward to the updated versions of the rest of the series in Fury & Darkness.

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