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The Scarlet Kimono [Paperback]

Christina Courtenay
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
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Book Description

1 Mar 2011
Abducted by a Samurai 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 honour ...

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The Scarlet Kimono + Highland Storms + Trade Winds
Price For All Three: 18.37

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  • Trade Winds 6.39

Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Choc Lit (1 Mar 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1906931291
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906931292
  • Product Dimensions: 2.8 x 12.8 x 19.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 46,514 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Christina Courtenay lives in Herefordshire and is married with two children. Although born in England, she is half Swedish and was brought up in Sweden. In her teens, the family moved to Japan and she had the opportunity to travel extensively in the Far East and other parts of the world.

Christina is a committee member of the Romantic Novelists' Association (currently their Chairman). She has won three of their prizes - the Elizabeth Goudge Trophy for a historical short story in 2001, the Katie Fforde Bursary in 2006 and the RoNA for Best Historical in 2012 (see below).

Her debut novel Trade Winds was short-listed for the Pure Passion Award for Best Historical Fiction 2011. Her second novel, The Scarlet Kimono, received the Best Historical Fiction prize for the Big Red Read 2011, and her third novel, Highland Storms, won the RoNA (Romantic Novelists Association Award) for Best Historical Romantic Novel 2012. The Silent Touch of Shadows (time slip) won the Festival of Romance award for Best Historical in 2013. The Gilded Fan is shortlisted for this year's RoNAs in the Historical category, while New England Rocks is shortlisted for the RoNAs in the YA category. As well as her novels, Christina has had four Regency novellas published, all available in Large Print, three of them released as ebooks.

Her hobbies include genealogy, archaeology (the armchair variety), listening to loud rock music and collecting things. She loves dogs, reading and chocolate.

Product Description


Winner of The Big Red Reads Best Historical Fiction Award 2011. Short-listed for the Festival of Romance Best Historical Read Award 2011. --Publisher

~~Courtenay has clearly done her homework on Japan in the early seventeenth century and this shines through in Taro's narrative at the start, and the narrative once Hannah reaches Japan and has to learn all about its culture, language and people. It's sure to whet your appetite for more novels set here. I only wish there had been a map of Japan included with the places Hannah and Taro inhabit and travel to marked, as this would give the reader a clearer sense of Japan's geography. The Scarlet Kimono is definitely a cut above your average romance novel: although it might be predictable and a bit far-fetched at times, it is completely absorbing from start to finish and I hope other readers will be swept along by its passionate characters and exciting story as much as I was. ~~ --The Bookbag

~~Set in 17th century Japan, Christina Courtenay's second historical romance for Choc Lit, The Scarlet Kimono, is a remarkable love story that is exciting, beguiling and as impossible to put down as it is hard to forget!~~ --Single Titles

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Scarlet Kimono - Christina Courtenay 24 Mar 2011
This is the second book I have read by Christina Courtenay, the first being her debut novel, Trade Winds.

I really enjoyed this book. Unfortunately, I read this book during a very busy time, so it was read in short bursts which hindered me, a little, with the reading of it. However, saying that, I did find myself making time to read this, as I was enjoying it so much; especially the latter half of the book.

The story is about a young girl, Hannah Marston, who lives in Plymouth, England, with her family. She is betrothed to a man whom she despises and feels like the runt of the litter. When things seem like they can't get any worse, she overhears her father speaking to her brother, about a voyage on one of his ships, to Japan. She decides to stow herself onboard to get away from everything.

But things do not go to plan when she realises she is onboard the wrong ship. Luckily, she is allowed to stay onboard and she becomes a worker, cooking for the crew. This is where she meets Hoji-san.

When they arrive in Japan, Hannah is kidnapped by Taro Kumashiro, a very powerful warlord, who has been warned of her arrival by Yanagihara, his Sensei. She was seen as being a threat.

As the story progresses, Hannah and Taro's relationship develops, and we see that maybe she is no longer seen as the prisoner she once was. With conflicts from Taro's sister in law, Lady Reiko, and a strong clash with culture and will, can these two ever be more than English prisoner and Japanese warlord?

A very well written book that has strong, believable characters who are easily identified with. Christina obviously has a love of Japan, and it shows well throughout the book. She describes the difference in cultures and countries very well, and makes the story jump off the page, bringing it to life.

Another great book by a talented author. I look forward to her next one.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An enlightening read 8 May 2011
I'm not one for historicals. Either I know enough about the period to get annoyed by inaccuracies, or I am simply not interested. However, this was not just an historical, but a travelogue on ancient Japan and I loved the details; the descriptions of the clothing and the food (made me hungry for sushi), the houses and the culture clash when East meets West for the first time ever, gave the book a rich feel. It took me a while to warm to Taro, I found him a bit chilly at first, but I soon warmed to him when he tried everything he could to make his wife love him. Hannah was feisty and stood up for herself, unlike a lot of historical heroines who wait to be saved by a man all the time (another reason I rarely read them).

This was a very different kind of read, and I finished the book knowing more about a subject than when I started - which is always a plus in my book. A great culture-clash romance.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read 27 Feb 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have just finished reading The Scarlet Kimono, I absolutely loved it.
you got a feeling of the size and diversity of Japan and the differences
in the landscape. I do not usually read historical romance, but enjoyed this so much, that
I also downloaded another 2 of Chritine Courtney's books.
This book one that could be read over a lazy weekend or on holiday.
I would also love to see a sequel to this story, as i would love to see how
Hannah fares
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A voyage of discovery 1 Mar 2011
By Lally
This totally involving and convincing story begins in the early 17th century when a Japanese warlord's seer warns him a red-headed, blue-eyed woman is a threat to him. She's also on her way to Japan.

Back in England, Hannah Marston is about to be forced into an arranged marriage with a disagreeable old widower, so she disguises herself as a boy and stows away on a ship bound for the Far East. On board, she is taught Japanese by the ship's cook, and when she arrives in the trading port of Hirado she is more than ready to be fascinated by this strange new land and its people.

She didn't envisage falling in love, but when warlord Taro Kumashiro's soldiers abduct her and take her to Taro's fortress in a wild part of the country, she is both terrified of and intrigued by him. She's determined not to show her fear, and although Taro senses this fear he is impressed by her courage. He's also impressed by her intelligence and her kindness towards his motherless little son. As they meet and talk in the evenings, they are drawn to each other and find themselves falling in love.

This novel offers so many romantic treats. Hannah is a lovely heroine who can't fail to enchant and engage the reader, who goes on an epic journey with the young English girl. Taro is gorgeous, a perfect romantic hero who is charismatic, powerful, handsome and clever, but also kind and generous. There are some wonderfully sensual and erotic moments in this story and, although Taro and Hannah are an unlikely couple, the reader can't help being touched by their devotion to each other, and wanting them to find happiness together.

The writing is excellent. It's fluent and highly readable without being over-descriptive.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Anglo-Japanese historical romance 2 Mar 2011
By Kathryn Eastman VINE VOICE
I absolutely loved this book. Having thoroughly enjoyed Christina's debut novel, Trade Winds, I was really looking forward to reading The Scarlet Kimono and, happily, it exceeded my expectations.

Christina is an incredibly versatile writer. She switches effortlessly from describing 17th Century life in a samurai daimyo or lord's castle in Northern Japan to English family life, and from the bustle of a busy port, be it Plymouth in England or Hirado in Japan, to covering life on board a merchant sailing vessel in between. Her attention to detail is incredible and, as a result, I felt as if I were right in the middle of the action, shadowing the characters, which is where I hope every book will take me.

As for the characters, Taro Kumashiro is an unusual romantic hero at first sight but he's also irresistible: a powerful Japanese warrior lord in command of thousands of men, who is honourable, fierce, brave and loyal, but also fair, deeply intelligent and attractive. His sensei or adviser, Yanagihara, is a wonderful creation, who imparts a sense of foreboding when he sees Hannah's approach in a vision but is also a calming centre for Taro and gave this reader a real insight into Japanese philosophy on life and fate.

As for the heroine, Hannah Marston is a young English girl, who has impulsively stowed aboard one of her father's ships rather than be forced into a loveless arranged marriage. She's headstrong and wilful but also intelligent, kind and compassionate. She has an openness and willingness to learn that will not only help her as she adjusts to life at sea but also prepare her to fully experience a new country, its people and culture in contrast to her fellow countrymen.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars This book is an enjoyable read and a good story. My only criticism (as...
This book is an enjoyable read and a good story. My only criticism (as a bloke) was that once the romance began, it took over and the story took second place and became a little... Read more
Published 8 days ago by m j bird
5.0 out of 5 stars an excellent read
Once again, a lovely story from Christina Courtenay. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is well written and researched and Hannah and Taro's relationship is beautifully described... Read more
Published 20 days ago by saavikam
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved all the local customs
This is not my usual type of book.But i was hooked from the begining to end. I loved all the local customs ,how the family's lived and loved. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Cornish Girl
5.0 out of 5 stars The Scarlet Kimono
A brilliant book you feel as though you are in this story! Well written.
Glad I found this Author I have read 2 others since reading this one!!
Published 2 months ago by sandra julie pearce
5.0 out of 5 stars Great service
A really interesting concept and detailed book with a lot of insight into the Japanese mind in 1600s A most enjoyable read for anyone who likes things Japanese
Published 2 months ago by Diva
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended
Excellent read.
Published 4 months ago by Mrs. S. Goodall
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down
I read this book in a day. I simply couldn't put it down!

Christina Courtenay has crafted a novel that not only fulfils all hopes of a good romantic read, but is also... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Rebekah Barnett
5.0 out of 5 stars The Scarlet Kimono
The Scarlet Kimono was a brilliant read and I always looked forward to returning to my Kindle and continuing the story. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Winner by Christina Courtney
Always a sense of tension, a real page turner. would recommend to everyone who likes a gripping tale. Never fails to deliver.
Published 8 months ago by Christina Crabtree
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic
really good read, got lost in the history and romance of it and i just hate it when i finish one of the author's books as i want the story to
continue but it does in the... Read more
Published 9 months ago by katriona macleod
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