Their parents murdered by angry peasants, the Brusilov family flees Russia for the relative safety of Hong Kong and set themselves up as jade merchants. Eldest daughter Nadia finds herself very attracted to British agent Andrew Stanton who would like nothing better than to court her, but consorting with the *enemy* would very much put his career on the line and he’s already got one scandalous skeleton in his closet. Nadia’s twin brother Ivan develops a strong attraction to the daughter of their Chinese factor and does something Really Stupid that brings the wrath of the Chinese community onto the Brusilov family and Nadia is caught up in the worst of it. Can Andrew save his beloved Nadia or will he succumb to the *dark side* brought about by a very surprising return from the past?
I’ve read several books by Darrell (who also writes under the name Emma Drummond) and found them all to be good solid reads, and this one is no exception. Nadia and Mathew made for a good pairing, and they had some serious bumps along the road to happiness – including a terrifying kidnapping and typhoon. Can’t say much without spoiling, but there is a surprise return from the past and Andrew develops a very odd attraction to that person. I understood the attraction in reverse, but not Andrew’s and that took away somewhat from my enjoyment of the story, it just seemed forced. I did enjoy the turn of the century Hong Kong setting as well as the views of the divergent cultures and societal mores, but if you are new to this author I wouldn’t recommend this book to be your first. Fans only, although I am fast becoming one. 3.5/5 stars.