She despises him on principle.
New York heiress Jeanne Delancy chooses the wrong time to escape her troubled past and begin anew in Paris. After her friend disappears amid the political upheaval of 1871, the idealistic artist vows to protect the abandoned child she’s come to love until her friend returns. When a handsome, charismatic, and suspiciously inquisitive count offers her an absurdly lucrative commission several months later, Jeanne can only assume he is the same loathsome “comte de Chaumenay” who seduced and deserted her friend long ago. As much as she’d like to refuse his offer, her conscience compels her to give the war hero the opportunity to prove he’s worthy of knowing his son, a test she knows he’ll fail. But the independent woman who thinks herself immune to temptation underestimates the gallant Frenchman in many ways.
He’ll stop at nothing to win her over.
Haunted by battle and the death of his brother, aristocratic cavalry officer Olivier Valencourt is elated to discover the existence of a child who could only be his brother’s illegitimate son. Unfortunately, he has no proof, and the beguiling American beauty caring for the boy in her Montmartre hovel offers only lies and evasions. While he admires her courage and probable good intentions, Olivier is not about to entrust his nephew’s welfare to a woman who frequents dance halls to earn a living. To gain custody, he plots to win her confidence and cooperation through patronage, patience, and his never-before-tested powers of persuasion. But it doesn’t take long for the bohemian’s unconventional wisdom and innocent sensuality to obliterate his self-control and avert his agenda entirely. While the strong-willed opposites struggle to reconcile their deepest longings, dangerous alliances and scandalous secrets threaten a tragic repetition of history.