A Victorian-era cabaret dancer inherits part of a well-regarded London repertory theater, but the viscount whose family owns the other half of the business is her estranged former lover.
When the American performer Lola Valentine inherits her mentor’s share of the Imperial Theater, she travels across the ocean prepared to do battle. The other half of the Imperial is owned by the Earl Conyers, but the Earl’s business affairs are managed by his son, Denys, Lord Somerton, Lola’s former lover. Lola refuses his offer to buy her out of the Imperial. She’s hoping this inheritance will give her the chance she’s been waiting for to stop doing sexy music hall performances and begin a career as a serious actress. Meanwhile, Denys is now a sober businessman. He’s very different from the wild youth who once hung around Lola’s dressing rooms in London and Paris, when “Lola had visited upon Denys a sort of insanity—a passion beyond all reason.” His family, especially, is glad that Denys is taking his responsibilities as the heir to an earldom seriously and courting an eligible young lady. But Lola’s arrival turns Denys’ life upside down again. After their initial battles, Denys and Lola achieve a tentative peace and begin to look to the future of the Imperial Theater. But their ongoing attraction makes it hard to keep their conversations strictly about business. The fourth installment in Guhrke's An American Heiress in London series (Catch a Falling Heiress, 2015, etc.) has a strong plot that centers on more than just romance. The characters' back stories are gradually revealed as the novel progresses, drawing the reader along. Lola and Denys have hurt each other terribly, and their reconciliation has all the fireworks a reader could wish for.
A spellbinding, sizzling romance.