Recently Choc Lit very kindly asked me if I would like Christina Courtenay to visit my blog as part of her virtual book tour for her new novel Highland Storms – as Trade Winds was a prequel to this, I thought it would be good to read it first. I should point out that up until this point I had never even contemplated reading a historical novel before – just didn’t think it was my ‘thing’. However, I have the Choc Lit team, Christina Courtenay and Downton Abbey to thank for changing my mind about all things period/historical – I may well have just discovered something else that is my ‘thing’!
Trade Winds is set in 1732 where the delectable Scotsman Killian Kinross is disinherited and sent to Sweden by his rather harsh grandfather Lord Rosyth. This banishment is much to the delight of his awful cousin Farquhar who Killian hasn’t heard the last of.
Killian’s path is destined to cross with Jess van Sandt, a headstrong and determined young lady who has been exiled by her step-father for some 12 months and only just allowed to return home. Jess is certain that her step-father’s business dealings and his reasons for dismissing any suitor for her, have been underhand and with the unlikely help of Killian she sets out to try to prove her suspicions right.
As the story moves on at a good pace, it is not without luck that Killian has loyal Adair, a cheeky lad with a great accent, to look out for him as Killian’s past refuses to let him be.
Although Trade Winds is a story telling of the partnership between Killian and Jess it is also the story of a daring expedition across continents taken by the Swedish East India Company and for that part, based on true facts. I found Killian and Jess’ story both as individuals and as a couple compelling and the expedition backdrop just as enthralling.
I very much enjoyed Trade Winds and look forward to reading Highland Storms.
Highland Storms is Christina’s third Choc Lit novel. Her debut, Trade Winds and prequel to Highland Storms, was short listed for the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Pure Passion Award of Best Historical Fiction 2011. Her novel The Scarlet Kimono won the Best Historical category in this year’s Big Red Read awards.
Christina Courtenay is on Twitter and Facebook