Disclosure: I received a free copy of The Gilded Fan by Christina Courtenay via GoodReads First Reads, courtesy of ChocLit Limited.
The heroine of The Gilded Fan, Midori, is an appealing character: bold but modest, proud but dutiful. She is both admirable and sympathetic. Unlike so many ladies in romantic historical fiction, she is a true lady, and it is understandable why the hero, Captain Nico, finds her so attractive.
Courtenay fills her entire narrative with cultural and historical detail that makes the dual settings of the shogun's Japan and Puritan England jump off the page in vivid color. The themes of honor, faith, and the importance of family are intertwined with an entrancing tale of romance and adventure, which is populated with unique and colorful characters. Despite the quirky improbability of the connections in Nico's and Midori's family past, their story as a whole rings true, and the ending leaves the reader wanting to read more about their life together.