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Reviews of The Scarlet Kimono
 by Christina Courtenay

This is the third title I have read by Christina Courtenay and I have already come to realise that she is a talented author with a passion for the places that she writes about as well as creating believable characters. The Scarlet Kimono met my expectations of romance and adventure in a historical setting. This time the story is set in 17C Japan and her obvious fascination in Japan shows in the meticulous attention to detail. The culture differences between the UK and Japan are well described and I felt that I had learnt a little about Japanese history when I finished the book. In my opinion it is always a bonus to learn something as well enjoy a good romantic adventure.
Lindy Lou Mac’s Book Reviews
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Last year, Christina Courtenay’s debut novel for Choc Lit, Trade Winds, blew me away. The novel’s intoxicating blend of passion, adventure, lyricism and intrigue won plenty of critical and reader acclaim and was also shortlisted for the prestigious Historical Romance of the Year award. Having thoroughly enjoyed Ms. Courtenay’s debut, my expectations for her next novel were pretty high, but no sooner had I read the first chapter of The Scarlet Kimono that I found myself completely mesmerised.
...A fantastic tale of danger and desire that sparkles with wonderful characterisation, heartbreaking pathos and nail-biting drama, The Scarlet Kimono is another winner for Christina Courtenay!
Bookish jottings blogspot
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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! ...
...Christina Courtenay is a writer of historical romance with a bright future ahead of her. Her first novel, Trade Winds, was a best-seller that has won plaudits by readers and critics alike and, with The Scarlet Kimono, this outstanding storyteller continues to prove that she is a force to be reckoned with in the world of historical romantic fiction!
Julie, Single Titles
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noveliciousThis is Christina Courtenay’s second book with Choc Lit Publishers, her first, Trade Winds was short listed for the Romantic Novelists' Association's Pure Passion Historical Novel Award 2011.
Taro Kumashiro is a Japanese warrior lord. He is powerful, wealthy and used to getting what he wants, but he is also brave, decent and incredibly attractive. When Taro’s sensei warns him about a red-haired, pale-eyed woman, Taro isn’t too concerned and believes his loyal retainer is simply being over protective and worrying too much ....
....Christina Courtenay writes so beautifully that even though I’d never visited Japan, I felt like I knew it well. The chemistry between Taro and Hannah is powerful, but despite being such an impressive character, Taro still comes across as gentle, kind and, well, pretty damn great actually.
Debs Car, reviewer Novelicious
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Book Chick CityA very rich and detailed historical book that is both absorbing and fascinating. I love the fact that Christina Courtenay puts a lot of time and research into her books creating a vivid picture of 17th century Japan. Her characters are strong, and well rounded as likeable for the flaws as their perfection’s. A great read.
Laura, Reviewer for Book Chick City
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chocheart four12The minute I started reading The Scarlet Kimono I could never forget about it. I begrudgingly would have to put it down, real life getting in the way.  For the first third of the book the hero (Taro) and heroine (Hannah) don't meet. But you know they will, it is their fate. The sensei (Taro's seer) has seen it.  We see two lives unfolding, one in Japan and another in England (then at sea). We go from one culture to the other in the 17th Century - and for me it was believable.  I loved the development of Hannah's relationship with Hoji - the ship's 'Chinaman'. Hannah really was an endearing character. (I think maybe this was because for a modern day woman we have so many more choices and freedom - equality). She's intelligent, well mannered with her upbringing, yet not ignorant, which serves in her favour. But she's tough, stubborn and a fighter for what she wants/believes - otherwise she wouldn't be stowed away on a ship pretending to be a boy!  Through Taro's patience with his wife, and her intolerable sister, Lady Reiko, you learn he's a fair, patient man with very attractive qualities - Oh boy, did I LOVE Taro! He is a good man.  Towards the end, I felt there could have been some more emotion enforced - especially when Hannah's life is truly in danger - I would have liked to have sensed more fear, but it is a small nit in the grand scheme of things with this book. I just enjoyed it for easy reading, a conflicted romance, a loveable heroine and a fanciable and very attractive Japanese hero! (Why is fanciable not in the dictionary?)  Right, off to add Trade Winds on my to-read list!
The Wittering Woman Blogspot
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The author has lived in Japan, and this shows in a sensibility for and obvious love of the country and its culture. Taro and Hannah are both of their time as well as being a hero and heroine that a modern reader can relate to. At the beginning of the story, Hannah and Taro’s narrative are out of sequence to allow particular plot strands to be developed, so the reader needs to keep an eye on the chapter headings. Taro’s first appearance in Hannah’s narrative, as an imposing figure dressed in black silks, is very much that of the archetypal romance hero. The occasional “ows” and “humphs” jarred slightly. However, all in all, this was a very enjoyable read.
Mary Seeley
Extract from Historical Novels Review Magazine, May 2011.

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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.
Linda, Booksforlifeblogspot
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bookbag ...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.
Katie, The Bookbag
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ReviewedAtCTR02Hannah is one of those characters that you cannot tell if you really like or really hate. Seeing the world the way she did was incredibly frustrating for me in the beginning of this book. The way she feels about her family, her position in life, her rash decisions; I did not understand any of them. I felt a bit of this with Taro as well, it is a bit removed from his character. It was not until about 130 pages in, when these two encountered each other that I finally got hooked. Kidnapped by a powerful man, enmeshing yourself in a strange culture, I finally found the meat of the story that was hard to put down.
Susana, Reviewer Coffee Time Romance & More
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