Trade Winds by Christina Courtenay

Book reviews By Sep 01, 2010 7 Comments

I knew I had to read this book as soon as I saw its gorgeous cover. It promised the irresistible lure of adventure on the high seas and more than delivered on that.

Set in 1732, Trade Winds tells the story of roguish and handsome Killian Kinross who is forced to leave his native Scotland and forge a new career in Sweden. There he meets and is able to help out Jess van Sandt, the spirited step-daughter of his new employer, by entering into a marriage of convenience with her. Shortly afterwards, he sets sail for China on a voyage which could make both their fortunes.

I got thoroughly caught up in the stories of Killian and Jess and loved them both, reading the book in two sittings because I just couldn’t put it down for any length of time and leave them hanging. They are such fantastic main characters that you’re really rooting for them.

This book is one of contrasts – feuding and happy families, love and passion, greed and self-sacrifice, loyalty and betrayal, adventure and the daily slog of survival.

Peopled with a great cast of characters who bring alive the period this novel is set in, it also provides a fascinating look at a period in history and at trading centres – Gothenburg in Sweden and Canton in China – with which I was less familiar.

I loved it and devoured it (Perhaps unsurprisingly as it’s published by ChocLit!) and will definitely be keeping a weather eye out for more of Christina Courtenay’s books in future.

You can read extracts from Trade Winds and find out more about both the book and its author on the ChocLit website. Alternatively, Christina has her own Author Website and you can Follow Christina on Twitter. She is also one of the contributors to a fantastic blog called The Heroine Addicts.



  1. Thanks for introducing me to another ‘must read’ book – it sounds just ‘my kind of book’ too : )

    Hailing from a seaport (The Inimitable Liverpool , in The Peoples Republic of Merseyside – thanks for that ref., Alexei Sayle) I am very caught up in the whole Seafaring Thang , and the title ‘Trade Winds’ drew me in straight away.

    The fact that my Mother subjected me to hours of The Onedin Line as a child probably has something to do with this also : )

    I look forward to reading this ! Fab !

    1. kath says:

      If you grew up in a seaport, I think you’ll love reading about life in these two other very different ports. The bulk of the action takes place in the port towns, rather than at sea. You have to let me know what you think of it!

      I grew up watching the Onedin Line as well… and Smuggler… and reading Daphne du Maurier and Arthur Ransome and Robert Louis Stevenson.

  2. Marsha says:

    I love the cover, too – it’s so pretty. I will definitely be adding this to my must-read list!

  3. Wow, thank you so much for this wonderful review!! I can’t tell you how pleased I am that you liked my novel, you’ve definitely made my day!
    I too grew up watching The Onedin Line – maybe that influenced my subconscious? I guess there’s something special about those intrepid sailors who braved the oceans. Really don’t know how they did it.
    Thanks again!

    1. kath says:

      Thanks for visiting The Nut Press and leaving a comment, Christina!

      I wish you every success with Trade Winds. It’s a brilliant novel and I’m sure you’ll be reading many more great reviews from readers who enjoyed it just as much as I did.

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