The juxtaposition of the description of these two places really highlights what's at the heart of Christina Courtenay's Monsoon Mists. I have to say, I loved this book from beginning to end. If you've read any of my recent reviews, you'll know that a lot of what I've been reading has been American fiction from the 19th and 20th Centuries, so this was a perfect refresher. Although I've not read the first two books in the trilogy (I do intend to now however!) I found it incredibly easy to step right in and pick up the storyline. So, if you've not read Trade Winds or Highland Storms, don't worry.
I have to say, I'm not the greatest fan of crime novels. Saying that I do love a bit of Castle, so who knows, maybe crime novels are for me? I initially expected Monsoon Mists to be a pretty standard romance novel, but the incredible skill with which Courtenay writes allowed her to interweave the crime and romance plot threads successfully, to make something that really stuck out to me. I would even go so far as to say that this is the most well written modern novel I've read in months.
So, to give y'all a little taster into the novel, I'm going to give some brief plot details, but (I promise) no spoilers. The novel is centred around our ruggedly handsome protagonist Jamie. With a dark, mysterious past behind him, Jamie seeks to escape Sweden and all it holds for him to venture forth in a new life in India. He becomes a gem stone cutter, a skill which proves both useful and harmful in the novel. Once in India, trouble strikes, and Jamie is forced to undertake a hazardous mission, which will change his life forever - and not only because he meets Zarmina, the beautiful Ice Widow, along the way.
One reason why I was really struck by this novel was the way in which Courtenay tackled her romantic and sexual scenes. After the birth of Fifty Shades of Grey, many modern writers have taken to dealing with any kind of slightly intimate scene in a graphic and often obscene manner. Courtenay however seemed to get the balance write, creating sensuous and yet touching moments between the lovers in the novel.
Have you read Monsoon Mists? What did you think?