An electrifying tale of deadly and forbidden desire that sweeps from the exotic islands of a tropical paradise to the magnificent estates of Regency England. Cassandra Deville's carefree life on the islands of Hawaii is shattered by the sudden arrival of a savagely seductive stranger. She's the key to Jared Daremount's plan to avenge his father, actually only a pawn in his plans, but once she becomes his captive, Jared realizes she's a prize he can never surrender.
Cassie Deville rips off her own bodice at the start of this new romance by the author of Midnight Warrior. When Jared Danemount, Duke of Morland, meets the bare-breasted, sarong-swathed heroine on the beach in Regency-era Hawaii, he thinks she's just another Polynesian maiden. He doesn't know, as he tries to ride her wild stallion, Kapu, and gazes hungrily at her pectorals, that she is the daughter of his sworn enemy, Charles Deville, an artist who betrayed Jared's father during the Terror. Cassie offers herself as Jared's sexual hostage if he will take her, Kapu and Lani, Charles's Polynesian mistress, back to Europe with him so that she can try to save her father's life. Although, in a bit of role reversal, Cassie goes nightly to Jared's cabin aboard ship, she will not spend the night or give her heart. Johansen, who specializes in hot talk and steamy sexual politics, is less skilled once her lovers disembark. In unimposing Regency set pieces, Cassie makes friends with Jared's French ward, Josette; she shocks British high society with a low-cut red dress; she tries to save Jared's life as he stalks the cruel French villain. In a disjointed way, Johansen has provided sex talk for grown-ups and other scenes for adolescents. (May)