This is book 3 in Courtenay’s Kinross series. It’s 1759, and widower Jamie Kinross has swapped the cold of the pine forests of Sweden for the sweltering, bustling streets of India. Trying to escape his unhappy past, he starts a new life as a gem trader. But when his mentor’s family are kidnapped as part of a criminal plot, he vows to save them and embarks on a dangerous mission to the city of Surat, carrying the stolen talisman of an Indian Rajah.
There he encounters Zarmina Miller: widowed, rich and beautiful. But her infamous haughtiness towards her many suitors has earned her the nickname of The Ice Widow. While Jamie is immediately drawn to this stunning, unusual woman, he isn’t spared her scorn and it resurrects deep feelings within him about his late wife. But when it emerges that Zarmina’s stepson is involved in the plot, he begins to see another side to her. This intriguing woman has a past as dark as his own and has put up high defensive walls against any repetition of it.
This well-crafted historical romance has a likeable, believable hero who has seen his share of tragedy and a courageous heroine that the reader can relate to. Their love story is set against a lively plot with plenty of tension in the atmospheric settings of Surat, Nadhur and Madras. Add in a varied supporting cast of secondary characters and you have a satisfying romantic read.