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Publisher's Summary

A British nurse in WWI Egypt races to deliver explosive intelligence that could change the course of the war in this novel of suspense, adventure, and love.

May, 1917. Ginger Whitman left a life of wealth and privilege in England to train as a battlefield nurse and serve in the Great War. Working on the brutal frontlines in Palestine, she finds a wounded soldier hiding in her camp. The soldier claims to carry intelligence unmasking a secret plot against the British - and that traitors within British intelligence are searching for him. Desperate and dying, the soldier entrusts a coded message to her care.

Ginger is hurled into an unfamiliar world of intrigue and murder amidst the war-ravaged Arabian desert. She's determined to help her country but trusting the wrong person could cost her life. Then the arrival of mysterious and handsome British intelligence officer Major Noah Benson offers a chance of help. But Noah may be as dangerous as he is charming. As she’s swept away by stolen moments on the desert sands, Ginger realizes her heart may also be at risk.

Hunted by a shadowy enemy spy, Ginger must decide if she can trust Noah. But as she grapples with her decision, Ginger makes a shocking discovery: a sinister secret that threatens to shatter the world she thought she knew.

©2021 Annabelle McCormack (P)2021 Annabelle McCormack

What listeners say about Windswept

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Just can’t tolerate romantic historical novels but

This book is so well read and so well written it over came all my hesitations. I so hope she will continue her saga

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Hold onto your socks!

This book is going to blow you away!

Every scene is action packed. I could not stop listening to it. My male friend reluctantly read it with me, thinking it was going to be chick lit romance but even he couldn’t put it down. When is this going to be a movie?!!

For the narrator - I listen to a book a week for many, many years. Elizabeth Grace is hands-down one of the best. She excels at different character voices, doing side effects like laughing and sighing, and changing her inflections to speak with urgency or intimacy when needed.

I just wish I had more than two hands because this book and narration deserve more than two thumbs up!

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A Must Read!!!

I absolutely loved this book. It was so well written! It had action, suspense, and romance. I looked forward to enjoying more chapters. I intend to buy several copies for Christmas presents. You will enjoy this book too.

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Profile Image for Morgan Windle (Morgan & Many Books)
  • Morgan Windle (Morgan & Many Books)
  • 10-08-21

An triumphant debut, narrated to perfection!

This is the sort of book that is brilliant because it left me unsettled. I think on the surface that may seem a sort of Red Flag signaling, “stay away!!! but oddly, in this instance, it’s not. It isn’t something I can adequately describe, simply that Annabelle McCormack’s rather ambitious debut was a whirlwind. So much so that I had to listen to this book twice over and then sit down with my husband and talk about it. And look, while I love Historical Romance for its Guarenteed-HEA-or-Your-Money-Back sort of motto, I love Historical Fiction for its capacity to mess me around a little. And Windswept was a cocktail of divided loyalties, desperation, longing, and intrigue that messed me around soooooo gooooodd.

This is an adventure/epic historical fiction format with a romance b-plot and is a rather big book, so there is a lot to unpack.. Ergo, I shall do my analysis in chunks—what? Morgan is writing a structured review again? Yes. I know, I am shocked too.

Anyways.

First and foremost, I think this book is grounded by a very well researched foundation. I don’t mean it in the HR way (titles etc. blah blah) but that she clearly heavily researched this region during this period not in search of convenient anecdotes to sprinkle throughout but until she knew it well enough to build a plausible plot, save a scene here and there. Several times I turned to my husband and said, “is it just me or is this super solidly researched?” My husband, the WWI junky so obsessed it spawned my own obsession with this period said, “Uhhhhhhh, yeah. Yeah it is.” My husband is, and I say this with love, a Scourge. So that is PEAK praise. If this sort of thing matters to you, that is. But I guess if you read HF you probably care.

But I digress.

She plops readers practically mid-action into Egypt in 1917—a very intriguing period in WW1, geopolitics, and selfish me… Archaeology (the relevance of which to the former two were conveyed in lovely little details). The state of Ottoman/Ally relations was well described to establish a tense, fraught backdrop for what would be a tense and fraught adventure for our heroine Ginny/Giner Whitman.

But where the magic truly lies is, in my opinion, the prose itself. While MacCormack might be ‘debuting,’ when you investigate her some more and she has spent her adulthood studying/teaching writing. With her WW1 universe well established here, my-oh-my did she demonstrate her skill and experience.

I genuinely don’t think I’ve read something with such somehow so direct and solid but delicately constructed, since Bridget Collins’ The Binding. This book has nuance, and I am a sucker for that. The mystery and suspicion is this ever-present shadow hovering over and seeping into every inner thought and every conversation Ginger has from that first moment she comes to the aid of an enemy soldier. And because this is a single POV structure, everything is tainted by that suspicion, and no character is safe from that, not even Ginger. The fear of what was actually going on was wonderfully juxtaposed by moments of passion and brightness, as against all odds Ginger finds herself defying good sense, family expectation, and a fiancée… and falling in love with Noah Benson, our suspect/hero. There were even moments of welcome humor which came from the American operative Jack Darby (raised by an archaeologist, and will be getting his own books it’s seems and I’m 100% down) but these never felt free of the main mystery. I loved all of this intensely.

The place that I got stuck on was Ginger herself. She had Claire Beauchamp qualities that, inherently, grated. She was self-righteous, pigheaded, and at times atrociously entitled. But this was in contrast to what my husband aptly described as, “Ginger’s adherence to Truth, Honor, and Duty.” She was incredibly dedicated, and while she makes some questionable decisions I think she is inherently good and earnest which saved her for me. Also, she was self-aware. She knew when she was dead-weight on the investigation but didn’t know how to extricate herself, she knew when she was being selfish and recriminated herself. She was complicated, and real… so I think I liked her quite a lot in the end. But it was definitely a love-hate relationship.

Noah was superbly done, with his swoon-worthiness and infuriating goodness, which I thought worked really well considering the entire book we teeter on the edge of trusting him and totally NOT trusting him. I loved how I genuinely was suspicious of him almost until the end and that I HATED being suspicious of him. When guns were going off after a sandstorm—that was about when I accepted the truth. It was right when I felt like my heart was being slapped around (see updates) and oh my masochistic side loved that too.

Secondary and tertiary charters were great too, and I especially enjoyed that none of them were surplus to requirement. Everyone was deliberately placed, had a role. No one did anything or was present for convenience, and if that isn’t the sign of a stellar author I don’t know what is.


This is a book I’d recommend to someone on the scale of “I enjoy spy adventure historicals” to “Spy books are literally crack-cocaine to me.” It’s not a historical romance, so my HR loving GR friends, be warned: the is historical fiction. But yeah, basically…This was great. There were two or three critiques I had for Ginger that irked me enough to keep this out of perfection. However, I am aware that this isn’t the end of a Ginger’s arc so I am forgiving. But I loved the setting, the rigorous attention to detail, the writing, and I fully intend to read the next installment in Ginger’s (mis)adventures in espionage and love. Either way Annabelle McCormack is a writer to watch.

Thanks are extended to Annabelle McCormack, as a member of Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA), as well as NetGalley for this Audiobook ARC. While I did recived a copy of the audio, free, I ended but buying it on Audible anyways! Review is volutnarily given, and all opinions are my own.

Oh, PS: The narration by Elizabeth Grace was utterly sublime. I am picky for narrators, and she did it for me. I hope McCormack doesn't change narrator for the next book or Jack Darby's saga. Grace joins the ranks of favourites, and I am so pleased by this.