by Susan Johnson

January 2004
ISBN: 1-57566-809-2
Reviewer Graphic Button Kensington Publishing
Trade Paperback

On the eve of her fatherís death and defeat at the hands of their enemies, Princess Tama of Otari must flee her home and find a way to escape Japan. Her hope is to get to France to find her brother, Prince Komei, return to Japan and avenge their fathersí death, obtain a pardon from the emperor and take their rightful place. But first she needs to find a ship to take her there. For this she will need to do business with the foreign barbarians. What she gets is American Captain Hugh Drummond, a business associate of her father and a formidable opponent.

Hugh was in Japan to buy silks. Waiting for his ship to be loaded, he decides to take advantage of local hospitality. He has been drunk for days and was waiting for the beautiful geisha that he had sent for to slake his other thirsts. He had no idea that he was about to come face to face with the daughter of an old associate, whose presence could jeopardize everything his has worked for, or she could gain him favor with the chief inspector.

From her home in Northern Japan to the glittering world of Paris, with the help of a celebrated geisha, and a member of the Yakuza, Tama and Hugh embark on a journey filled with passion, danger and discovery. What they discover is a love that will redefine everything they think they know about themselves and each other. I fell in love with Tama and Hugh. They are strong, passionate and honest. The sex between Hugh and Tama is explicit. You can see the development of a deep and intense emotional bond between them.

Ms. Johnson has always written heroines who are strong, independent and more then capable of holding their own with the heroes she pairs them with. I was doubly impressed with the fact that Princess Tama is trained in the way of Bushido, the art of the sword. While confidant in her abilities, she isnít so arrogant that she canít take advice or follow someone elseís lead. Hugh is wonderful, a strong, passionate man who is vulnerable, yet able to admit when he is wrong. I truly enjoyed this newest story by talented author Susan Johnson. Whether she is writing historical or contemporaries, Ms. Johnsonís stories are sure to deliver an engrossing story sure to keep you entertained.

Reviewed in December 2003 by Carolyn.

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