Once, a long time ago, Coco Wild learned to never allow a man's kiss to move her, for that way led to downfall. A slender beauty with alluring eyes, she built impregnable defenses around her emotions. The men who came to adore her, fought to conquer her and learn her mysteries, made her the toast of London, but none were able to rouse her passions.
But that hard-taught lesson is about to unravel because of Sir James Stoker. Back in England with a treasure of gold from his adventures, newly knighted by Queen Victoria herself, and feted everywhere, the handsome explorer has the world at his feet. He's exactly the man Coco might have dreamed about when she was young: a tall, fair hero with a charming smile. Now he's turned his energy toward winning her, the most desirable and the least attainable woman he knows; and Coco's aft-aid James may just find his way past the thorns that have so long protected her from the world, and awaken her slumbering heart...with just one kiss.
Following his spectacular African expedition, Sir James Stoker has become the darling of high society. At last, this coachman's son achieves fame, fortune and the Order of the Bath from Queen Victoria. And he is about to throw it all away with his obsession for an infamous Parisian courtesan. At 37, Coco Wild is eight years his senior and jaded in matters of love. She is flattered by James's youthful charm and gallantry, and though tempted, she rejects him. After repeated chance encounters, James breaks through her defenses to become her lover. Now, their association threatens his reputation, his chances for a formal title, his friendship with his mentor (the father of Coco's child!) and even his life. From Victorian England to Italy and Monaco, this fair hero plots his seduction of a mysterious beauty amid threats of greed, betrayal, treachery and political machinations. Ivory (Beast) enchants her readers with intense sexual tension, understated but powerful symbolism, great plotting and sympathetic characters who buck tired types.