One evening Rowena and nurse Alice take the ferry to Chinese Kowloon to have a drink at a bar they heard rumours of. In the bar they meet the owner, an Irishman who is stationed as a sergeant major in Hongkong and owns the bar together with his best friend and commanding officer major Harry. Connor is a gregarious man who plays the fiddle and sings but refuses to serve drinks to unaccompanied women.
A guest invites them to share a drink with him. He is Kim Pheloung, a rich businessman with Chinese and maybe other genes. Rowena thinks he is the most beautiful man she had ever seen.
In the days that follow she goes out with both of the men. Connor she likes a lot but Kim she is very attracted to.
Then disaster strikes and the Japanese attack Hong Kong and the world changes in a hell full of horror.
I really liked the novel. It can be very bloody and cruel without going into extreme detail. We witness the horrors of war and internment by the Japanese and also the time shortly after the war when victims try to pick up their lives again.
Although not "romantic" I did admire the way the writer dealt with a "fiftyshadesofgrey"-element. Because in real life most people will hate to be forced unlike all those romance novel girls. Because in books that is never depicted so grimly I think it added to the value of the story even if you keep hoping someone is the romantic hero.
What I think is a glitch is the attitude of her brother towards people of mix race because his own grandmother was Indian.
I would advice the publishers to change their blurb on Amazon as it is full of spoilers! I had not read that and that makes the shock factor of the story more intense.