Young, beautiful, and destitute, widowed Anna Traverne finds herself at the mercy of her brother-in-law Lord Ridley, who offers her and her little daughter a home for a price: Anna must become his mistress. Frightened, revolted, gently bred Anna can see no way out – until a handsome jewel thief breaks into Gordon Hall in search of a fabled set of emeralds. Surprised by Anna in the act of purloining the jewels, Julian Chase is captured and carted off to Newgate to hang for the theft. The emeralds remain missing; despite being tortured, Julian insists he has no idea where they are. By the time he manages to cheat the hangman, though, Julian has figured out what must have happened: the green-eyed angel whose screams led to his downfall had to have taken them. And he is right: finding herself in possession of the emeralds after Julian's capture, Anna seizes on the chance to escape from Lord Ridley and flees to the tea plantation in Ceylon that is her home. But once Julian knows the truth, he comes after her, traveling halfway across the world to reclaim what he feels is rightfully his – and to take a sensuous revenge on the larcenous young beauty whose fate he now holds in his hands.
New York Times, USA Today, and Publisher's Weekly bestseller Karen Robards is the six-time winner of Affaire de Coeur's Silver Pen Award for favorite romance author.
“Behold the wondrous star in the firmament of historical romance that is Karen Robards. With each new book her luster intensifies....” – Romantic Times
Karen Robards writes “spellbinding romance.” – Publisher's Weekly
“Incomparable.” – Affaire de Coeur
“Karen Robards penetrates the steamiest of women's fantasies.” – Chicago Sun-Times
“Karen Robards is one of the most popular voices in women's fiction.” – Newsweek
“Robards is one terrific storyteller.” – Chicago Tribune
About the Author:
Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve loved to write. My first book was a ten-page effort written at age five for my grandmother. Throughout grade school, high school and college I wrote for various school publications. When I was eighteen, my first professionally published piece—a humorous anecdote—appeared in Reader’s Digest. Still, it never occurred to me that I might become a professional writer. I aimed for a career as a lawyer and was actually in law school when I sold my first book. When that happened, the world lost a would-be lawyer and gained a writer. That book, which is still in print, is Island Flame, and it was published when I was twenty-four. Since then, I've written over forty books, which regularly appear on the New York Times, USA Today, and Publisher’s Weekly bestseller lists, among others. The mother of three sons, I read, I write, and I chauffeur children. That’s my life.
Although this romance makes a promising start by tossing its spirited heroine and roguish hero into an imaginative if improbable situation, it soon flounders in sentimentality (``Did he love her? Oh, she hoped so''). Anna Traverne, a young widow with a daughter, faces a terrible choice: become the mistress of her brother-in-law Graham, Lord Ridley, or be tossed out of the family home. But when Anna interrupts a robbery, she ends up with the Traverne emeralds, and no one but the foiled thief, Graham's dispossessed half-brother Julian Chase, knows it. Anna quietly turns the stones into cash and sails to Ceylon, where she buys back the tea plantation she lost at her husband's death. Eventually Julian arrives to demand the emeralds: they can prove that he, not Graham, is the true Lord Ridley. As Julian tries to solve the mystery of the jewels and his heritage, an unsettling threat develops from native worshipers of the goddess Kali who are murdering English residents. Robards's ( Morning Song ) superficial understanding of 19th-century Ceylon, as evidenced by her treatment of this sect, undermines her story.