Abducted by a warlord in 17th-century Japan - what happens when fear turns to love? England, 1611, and young Hannah Marston envies her brother's adventurous life. But when she stows away on a merchant ship, her powers of endurance are stretched to their limit. Then they reach Japan and all her suffering seems worthwhile - until she is abducted by Taro Kumashiro's warriors. In the far north of the country, warlord Kumashiro is intrigued to learn more about the girl who he has been warned about by a seer. There's a clash of cultures and wills, but they're also fighting an instant attraction to each other. With her brother desperate to find her and the jealous Lady Reiko equally desperate to kill her, Hannah faces the greatest adventure of her life. And Kumashiro has to choose between love and compromising his honour.
Hanna Marston was not as pretty as her older sister and therefore her family didn't care about her, and wanted her to marry some old guy with 5 kids. Something that Hannah did not want so what does she do, oh yes she hides on her brother's ship that is sailing for Japan. I did like that she had the guts to do that. But as always, come on, are men really that stupid that they do not see that she is a girl, she was like there for 2 years or something. This is a common trope in books so I am used to it, but still it just makes me think men are fools.
Anyway she hid and she even learnt Japanese from the cook. Smart girl! So ok the rest were fools, but she and the cook who was Japanese were smart, lol. Which brings us to Japan. This is where the story gets good, because it's a premise I really enjoy. She gets abducted by a handsome warlord because his seer has seen Hannah in his visions. Of course the rest finds foreigners ugly but Taro is smitten by Hannah and she is finds him attractive too. And yes I do like the whole abducting a bride thing. Because he is a perfect gentleman, he asks her to teach him English and he treats her with respect, and he wants her whatever anyone else says. A romance is blossoming.
To the rest of the cast then, there is the wicked Lady Reiko who wants Taro for herself and is prepared to do anything. There is Captain Rydon and her brother Jacob, but honestly they are so much in the background so who cares. This is Hannah's story and her struggle. But she never sees it as a struggle. She holds her head high, she has respect for all, and when Taro says she is beautiful she gains self-respect too.
The book has romance, drama (a book always need a bitchy woman), and culture clashes, I liked those of you can say it like that. The Japanese finds the foreigners ugly and weird because the English never bathe. It was interesting to see a romance set in this time.
The story was the best part of this book. She is the first English woman to ever set foot in Japan, and then a handsome warlord takes fancy to her. I do like doomed love. And it was an easy and fast book to read. Nice mix between historical fiction and historical romance.
Reason for reading:
Again the story
I love the swirly things.
Genre: Historical Fiction/romance
Publisher: Choc Lit, March 1st 2011