Paperback, 384 pages
Published September 30th 2010
by Choc Lit
My Rating: ❀❀❀.5
Genre: Historical Romance
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…
I'm not even sure how this book came to my attention. But I was immediately drawn in by the premise and I decided I needed something a little light after some heavier reads. This seemed to fit the bill. It's a wonderful book--the setting is unusual as mostly it takes place in Sweden or China, and the characters are interesting and the plot is engaging.
Both the plot and setting drew me in, and I enjoyed the intelligence and spirit of our heroine, Jess. She knew her stepfather was denying her not only her dowry, but the business her father had said was after his death. I admired that she was willing to ask questions and daring enough to sneak around. That she gets caught was probably a fortunate turn of events since her stepfather banishes her to the country yet again, and asks Killian, the hero, to escort her there.
Killian was a character I immediately liked. A gambler by profession, who will be day be a laird, it was immediate from the opening chapters that he was a honest man with a kind heart and a quick mind. He likes Jess from the moment he sets eyes on her, and when she asks him to marry her he know it's a way of offering her protection. I really liked that protecting her was his main reason for marrying. He wasn't interested in money, and wasn't focusing on bedding her. He liked the idea, but he simply liked Jess, and I liked that he was respectful of her opinions and interests.
The journey to China was very interesting, involving some plot twists I wasn't expecting, but which made for entertaining reading. It also brought Killian and Jess closer together as there was a misunderstanding between them on their wedding night. I think the only thing I'd say was really weak about this story was the hatred Killian's cousin bore him, and the way that played out. It wasn't as exciting as I thought it would be, and Killian's cousin seemed like a bumbling ass instead of a man hard enough to order Killian murdered. But if you are willing to overlook that, and the somewhat straightforward writing style, this does make for entertaining reading. An engaging read, with characters that are well developed and a unique setting, this proved to be a solid and enjoyable novel.