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Friday, October 1, 2010

Trade Winds by Christina Courtenay

Trade Winds by Christina Courtenay
Publisher: Choc Lit
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (383 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4 books
Reviewed by Camellia

Marriage of convenience or a love for life? It's 1732 in Gothenburg, Sweden, and strong-willed Jess van Sandt knows only too well that it s a man's world. She believes she's being swindled out of her inheritance by her stepfather and she's determined to stop it. When help appears in the unlikely form of handsome Scotsman Killian Kinross, himself disinherited by his grandfather, Jess finds herself both intrigued and infuriated by him. In an attempt to recover her fortune, she proposes a marriage of convenience. Then Killian is offered the chance of a lifetime with the Swedish East India Company's Expedition and he's determined that nothing will stand in his way, not even his new bride. He sets sail on a daring voyage to the Far East, believing he's put his feelings and past behind him. But the journey doesn't quite work out as he expects....

In the freezing cold of Sweden, on the high seas, and in far-away China, Killian and Jessamijn find adventure, love, and danger.

Killian Kinross, estranged from his grandfather, Lord Rosyth a Scottish highland laird, makes his way in the world primarily by gambling. When he wins a ship, life changes, then changes even more when he is accused of getting a young, innocent girl pregnant. Virtually exiled to Sweden, Killian meets Jessamijn, a young woman denied her inheritance by her controlling stepfather.

Killian and Jess rather slip into an untended love that takes root and grows true and strong as they plot to obtain her inheritance, escape a killer, and maneuver their way in the lucrative shipping and trade business.

The secondary characters play vital roles in the story. The tried-and-true Holm, Jess’s real father’s old friend and business associate and Adair, Killian’s ever-faithful streetwise companion are valuable, loyal friends. Killian's cousin Farquhar and Jessamijm’s stepfather Robert Fergusson are antagonists deluxe. They create some adrenaline-pumping moments in the story. Other minor characters weaving in and or of the protagonists’ lives help create a tapestry of a tale that is multicultural and diverse in settings and social mores.

Trade Winds takes the reader far and wide with adventures, dangers, and once-in-a-lifetime experiences for Killian and Jessamijn. Along the way, their love thrives without a lot of romance but with a lot of interesting living.