|Paperback : 318 pages |
Genre: Historical Romantic Fiction
Publisher: Choc Lit Ltd 2011
Source: The Author in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.
First Sentence: Marsaili Buchanan was pulled back from the brink of sleep by the soft growling of her deerhound, Laith.
Review Quote: 'This sequel to Trade Winds is passionate and engaging, with some amazingly evocative descriptions of the rugged Highlands. A great read.' Star Magazine
Awards: Romantic Novelists Association 2012 - Best Historical Romantic Novel
My Opinion: I was disappointed when the book ended, I wanted more.
Although Highland Storms is in fact a sequel, it is not dependent on having read Trade Winds although, I really urge you to read it first if possible. Why? Well because the protagonist Brice Kinross, although just a baby in the previous novel, his background and birth in China to parents of Swedish and Scottish descent is an integral part of the story. It was to me anyway as I enjoy family sagas, in fact I would love to read more stories about the Kinross's as I was disappointed when the book ended. I have no idea though if Christina is considering another sequel. Do not let the fact that you have not read Trade Winds stop you from reading this though as it does stand perfectly well alone. Basing my expectations on the previous novel I was hoping for a good read with plenty of love and adventure that would take me away to times past for a few satisfying hours. It did not disappoint.
The hero Brice Kinross recently thwarted in love by his own brother and his childhood sweetheart decides that the time is right to take over his inheritance, the family estate Rosyth in Scotland. His father has been worried about the situation back at Rosyth for some time and warns his son that he may at first be unwlecome when he suddenly turns up to take over the estate. So first Brice needs to find out whom he can trust, bear in mind this is 1754 and since The Jacobite Rebellion the locals do not trust anyone, particularly strangers. His situation is not helped by the fact that Seton, the estate foreman, is a really nasty character and turns the locals against him, although it is thanks to him that the estate is in such disrepair and that they live in poverty. Brice as the laird feels responsible and soon sets about improving conditions for those dependent on him, he wants to see the estate thriving as it once did. Seton is evil and has no intention of letting Brice get in the way of his own plans for the estate. Unfortunately he is riled even more when he discovers that not only does Brice want his estate back but that Marsaili Buchanan, the young housekeeper appears to be becoming his ally.
Marsaili is a very independent young lady and works hard at being the housekeeper, as a beautiful young woman she also attracts unwelcome advances from men, especially the evil Seton. To ward off her unwelcome admirers she is guarded by her constant companion her dog Laith, who becomes very protective of his mistress if a man approaches her against her will.
The love between our two main protagonists builds slowly as both Marsaili and Brice have good reasons for not wanting to become romantically with anyone. They are inevitably attracted to each other but determined that what ever happens between them just to be 'friends'. Love of course tends to thwart all the best intentions but they have a lot of battles to face together first.
The novel certainly met my expectations with romance and adventure in a historical setting. If you enjoy historical romance then I recommend you give Christina Courtenay's novels a try.
To read more about this novel and what inspired it, please click here.
To read an extract, please click here.
Author Profile: Christina Courtenay
|Photo by Helen Bartlett|
Christina Courtenay lives in London and is married with two children. Although born in England, she is half Swedish and was brought up in Sweden. In her teens, the family moved to Japan and she had the opportunity to travel extensively in the Far East and other parts of the world.
Christina is a committee member of the Romantic Novelists' Association. She has won two of their prizes - The Elizabeth Goudge Trophy for a historical short story in 2001 and the Katie Fforde Bursary in 2006.
Her debut novel Trade Winds was short-listed for the Pure Passion Award for Best Historical Fiction 2011. Her second novel, The Scarlet Kimono, received the Best Historical Fiction prize for the Big Red Read 2011, and her third novel, Highland Storms, won the RoNA (Romantic Novelists Association Award) for Best Historical Romantic Novel 2012. As well as her novels, Christina has had four Regency novellas published, all available in Large Print and soon to be released for Kindle.
Her hobbies include genealogy, archaeology (the armchair variety), listening to loud rock music and collecting things.
Christina Courtenay’s Novels:
The Scarlet Kimono is already on my bookshelves courtesy of me winning a signed copy in a Prize Draw, but I wanted to track down and read her earlier novels first. I prefer to read an author’s work in order or writing/publication if possible. I am planning to read The Scarlet Kimono soon.
Biographical and other information including photos and videos are courtesy of the following websites and from the paperback itself.