We first became acquainted with Colin Lord in "My Lady Pirate - Heroes of the Sea" where he was wounded and nearly lost his leg serving under Admiral Graham Falconer. In my opinion, "Taken By Storm" has a more down-to-earth true romance story line than "My Lady Pirate." Further, Colin Lord is the offspring of the fabulous Christian Lord - Hero of "Master of my Dreams" and the feisty Deidre who was cousin to Brendan Merrick who was the Hero in "Captain of My Heart" - not that you want or need this information. But, it's kinda nice to know from whence Colin came because if you read Ms. Harmon's stories, you will have possibly read about other members of the Lord family.
At the beginning of this book, we find a very different persona that the Colin in "My Lady Pirate." Colin has isolated himself from his family and friends from his previous "world" - that of his naval career - due to some failures on his part in which he made decisions that caused him to receive a court-martial from the Navy. Since that time, he has become a practicing veterinarian and spends his life treating animals wherever and whenever he comes across them. His living conditions are not the best but he is a highly honorable man and obviously desires to stay to himself rather than attempt to socialize with those he feels he has failed including his father, Christian Lord, his mother, Deidre, his Admiral "Uncle Elliott" to say nothing of his former commanding office "Admiral Graham Falconer." In reading the book, one feels as though all those individuals would be glad to have Colin back in their lives, but for his own reasons, he has chosen to isolate himself - feeling unworthy due to his failures.
Lady Ariadne is on the run from her brother, after the death of her father, having stolen the family's prize thoroughbred racehorse - Shareb-er- rehh - which Ariadne always refers to in her mind as the "Fastest Horse in the World." Whether or not he is indeed the fastest horse in the world has yet to be determined but he is a very lovable, smart, unique piece of horseflesh. When Ariadne comes upon Colin treating and saving a mongrel dog's life by performing an unusual medical procedure, she decides she must have Colin attend her and Shareb on their trek to her fiance's home in order to save Shareb from being sold by her brother, Tristan, for his debts. Problem is, Tristan has posted a reward offering 10,000 pounds for Ariadne's and Shareb's "capture."
Ariadne offers Colin 4,000 pounds to accompany them to their destination, but once Colin finds out about the 10,000 pound reward being offered for Ariadne and Shareb, he demands 12,000 pounds for his part. Of course, the reader knows there is more to his request than meets the eye because he's not the type of person to normally seek out the high paying jobs for his services. Nonetheless, Ariadne very reluctantly agrees on paying the funds and they are soon on their journey to her fiance's house - whom she barely knows - so, of course the reader is very suspicious of this fiance and his character because there is very definitely a villain in this story.
Along the way, a tender, sweet romance begins to take place with Ariadne being the aggressor and Colin being the very reluctant gentleman. Knowing noting of Colin's past, she doesn't realize he is from the gentry, but she is highly attracted to him and thinks she needs to learn some things such as a proper kiss. Colin resists her appeal but eventually, he is headed for a downfall, of course. Along the way, they pick up a stray horse, Thunder and a stray dog to add to their little caravan which includes Colin's sweet little dog, Bow. Tristan continues his pursuit of Ariadne, not realizing she has taken up with Colin. We soon realize Tristan is more concerned about Ariadne's safety than he is about selling Shareb which causes the reader to wonder who the true villain of the story is. At long last we also get to see the results of a race with "The Fastest Horse in the World" and what a race it is.
This is my kind of romance story - one in which the romance builds over the course of the story - no huge misunderstandings. Romance, plain and simple with a feisty heroine and a strong Hero who knows what is important in life.