Set in 1754, Highland Storms is the sequel to the award winning Trade Winds and is Christina Courtenay’s third novel. I was mesmerized by this book from the very beginning; just looking at the gorgeous cover suggests a beautiful but isolated and wild land.
The story follows handsome Brice Kinross as he travels from Sweden to his inherited estate, Rosyth, in the Scottish Highlands. Devastated by the betrayal of his brother Jamie and the loss of the woman he believes to be his true love, Brice yearns for a new life far away from Sweden. Arriving at Rosyth, he finds that all at the estate is not as it should be, suspecting that foul play may be involved he sets out to find the truth.
After the Jacobite Rebellion and consequent persecution of Highlanders who were thought to be sympathetic, strangers were treated cautiously and Brice, himself receiving a very cold reception, is not exempt from this. It is a difficult start for Brice and he realizes that eh must prove to the locals that he is a trustworthy person who will bring them no harm.
Brice is the ultimate heroic figure; he is brave and handsome, adventurous and clever. Hurt from a previous relationship, he does not want to get involved with another woman. However, on the first day at rosyth he meets Marsaili, the beautiful red headed housekeeper and the two are instantly drawn to one another. Although both try to deny it. The momentum between Brice and Marsaili is one of the central themes to the novel; it will leave you wondering whether or not they will get together.
A novel with a hero at the centre must also have a villain and in this case the villain is the nasty Mr Seton – factor and caretaker at Rosyth. Blinded by his obsession to gain back his own lands lost to the English, Seton will stop at nothing in his quest to raise funds.
This book is full of adventure and has so many nerve wracking twists and turns that I could not put it down. It is beautifully written and full of interesting historical facts and has such likeable characters, which are sometimes hard to come across in historical novels. I also loved the fact that Courtenay included the loyal dog Liath as Marsaili’s companion and guardian.
This is a superb novel with the type of rugged setting that needs a brave hero as the central character. I really enjoyed reading Highland Storms and will definitely be reading Courtenay’s two other novels. For lovers of Historical romance this is the book for you.