Ryan, 19, arrives alone in the New World looking for a fresh start. He blunders into the chaos of the 1838 Patriot War. Circumstances drive him into a web of piracy, secret societies and rebellion. He meets and falls for a smuggler's daughter, Kate. Tugged by the opposing currents of romance and war, Ryan struggles to reconcile his family history, his duty and his heart, while avoiding the noose. More
Counter Currents is the 2013 silver medal winner for Historical Literature Fiction – Modern (set 1500-1940 AD) awarded by Dan Poynter's Global Ebook Awards. This is the first in the Ryan's Journey series. (Note: This is an adult content version of the novel "Islands of Love and War." For the sequel, see Dark Southern Sun.))
Ryan, 19, arrives in colonial Canada at the outbreak of the 1838 Patriot War. Cast out, he becomes a smuggler amid the grandeur of the Thousand Islands. He falls for a smuggler's daughter, Kate. Ryan is coached by her older cousin Ada on how to capture Kate’s heart. Over time, Ada develops feelings for Ryan and he in turn grapples with his attraction to Ada. Chance and circumstance drive Ryan into a web of piracy, secret societies and rebellion. As Ryan struggles to reconcile his family history, his duty and his heart amidst the opposing currents of romance and war, he stands to either win the woman he loves, die on the noose, or toil a lifetime in a distant penal colony.
Counter Currents is a novel about smugglers, river pirates, rebels, love and battle. Spanning 1837 to 1845, most scenes are set against the beauty and grandeur of the Thousand Islands during the drama of the Patriot War.
Ryan canoes to Kingston just as the colonies rise up in rebellion. Ryan, the grandson of an Irish rebel, avoids involvement—at first.
In the spring, he goes to Clayton, New York, to trade furs. He meets the legendary Bill Johnston, Johnston’s family, and many fellow smugglers and rebels. (Johnston, a smuggler, river pirate, and War-of-1812 American privateer, was so feared that the British in the 19th-century Canadian colonies called out the army every time his name made the newspapers.)
Johnston schools Ryan in the smuggler's ways and coaxes him to join the Hunters Lodge, a militant secret society dedicated to the overthrow of the British in Canada.
Ryan’s first taste of armed conflict is a midnight raid on a private steamer, the Sir Robert Peel. Johnston, Ryan, and a dozen others attack the ship, remove the passengers and crew, and then loot and burn it.
Johnston spends the summer hiding from a massive US and British force sent to find him. Ryan continues smuggling, while Johnston's 18-year-old daughter, Kate, runs supplies to her fugitive father. Independent, fearless and beautiful, locals called Kate the Queen of the Thousand Islands.
That summer, Kate and Ryan fall in love. Ryan is coached by Kate’s older cousin Ada on how to best capture Kate’s heart. Over time, Ada develops feelings for Ryan. Ryan, in turn, struggles with his attraction to Ada.
Each step Ryan takes closer to a peaceful life as Kate’s husband is matched by deeper entanglement in a glorious but lost cause.