This is a VERY intensely romantic story. You feel the love of the H and h before they even know that they are in love. Honestly, I was all set to buy the book (I've just finished reading my library copy) when the ending let it down. It's worth reading though.
Kinsale makes a sincere attempt to rise above the standard historical romance by introducing an element of oriental mystery. Sadly, the attempt flounders in its own pretension, and the work is most enjoyable where it is most conventional.
Kinsale alternates here between two related stories. One, set in Hawaii, follows young Samuel Gerard, whose childhood has been a nightmare of abuse. Given a home by the benevolent Lady Ashland, he soon becomes the protege of enigmatic Japanese butler Dojun, who coaches Sam in a Japanese system of fighting and self-discipline.
In the second story, set in 1880s London, the impoverished but resolutely respectable Leda Etoile learns that Samuel, now full-grown and dazzlingly handsome, is behind a baffling series of events marring Queen Victoria's jubilee festivities.
Fate brings them together, love binds them.