In this story of love and adventure set during the Napoleonic Wars, Japonica Fortnom, the orphaned daughter of a wealthy merchant for the East India Company who has grown up in Persia, finds herself in Bagdad, serving as nurse to the dying Viscount Shrewsbury, chaperoned only by her Scottish maid, Aggie. As the Persians form a strategic alliance with the French, the lives of all British citizens in Bagdad are endangered. The viscount sends Japonica on an urgent mission to the only man who can help the three of them escape to a safer area of Persia, the mysterious "Hind Div" (Indian Devil). The Hind Div is every woman's dream lover-- darkly handsome, highly intelligent, and downright dangerous. He has been told that he will be assassinated that night, so when Japonica shows up in his lair in disguise with a note from the viscount, the Hind Div tosses the note aside and assumes she is the assassin sent to kill him. After drugging and seducing her, he agrees to her request for aid in escaping from Bagdad. A few weeks later, Japonica learns that the Hind Div is dead, and she reluctantly agrees to accept a marriage proposal from the dying viscount so that she can grant his last wish to settle the futures of the five young daughters that he has left behind in England. After burying her new husband, however, Japonica unexpectedly finds herself pregnant with the Hind Div's child. She gives birth to a son, Jamie, and, temporarily leaving him behind with her maid Aggie in Portugal, she travels to England for what she believes will be a short visit to arrange for the guardianship of her five new stepdaughters. Unfortunately, the stepdaughters turn out to be mean and hostile hellions, and two of them are older than Japonica herself. Moreover, soon after her arrival in London, she meets the new Viscount Shrewsbury-- her late husband's relative and heir, Devlyn Sinclair--who bears an astonishing resemblance to the Hind Div! For his part, Devlyn finds himself inexplicably attracted to the red-headed, freckle-faced Japonica, but he cannot act on his instincts. Severely tortured during military service for the British in Persia, he has lost his memory and one of his hands. He suffers alternating bouts of despair and rage as he tries to come to grips with the physical and mental handicaps that have reduced him to a caricature of his former self. It is left to Japonica to sort out all of these difficulties and to cope with the disorientation she feels as a stranger in a strange land. In so doing, she is called upon to respond with courage, tenderness and compassion to the disdain and rudeness exhibited toward her by British Society and to discover love where she least expected it. In many ways, this is a coming of age novel, but it is filled with all of the excitement and passion of a great romance. The book is beautifully written, with memorable characters, a fast-paced story line, exotic locales, and a hero to die for! If you are looking for a romantic story that you will not be able to put down, don't miss Laura Parker's newest effort, "Mischief."