Saigon was like a dangerous flower. Few men could resist its poisonous beauty.
Cezanne Laurent’s assignment to the French Embassy in Saigon is coming to a dangerous end. With her desire to leave South Vietnam, her intentions to do so have met unexpected obstacles. One man’s obsession with her threatens her ability to leave. Yet a chance meeting with another man stirs feelings of desire for him to further delay her departure.
Hayden Cross’ arrival in Saigon is driven by his need to find his missing brother, Harrison, an American correspondent. As a young blind man, his task could not be more complicated as he can only hear the dangers surrounding him.
Set against a backdrop of political turmoil plaguing the last days of South Vietnam’s emperor, Cezanne faces the growing dangers Saigon offers, leading to murder and possibly kidnapping. As the hours turn desperate, when her moment of escape arrives, Saigon’s deceptive beauty reminds her of how poisonous and unforgiving the city can be.
PUBLISHER NOTE: Historical Romance. M/F. 27,113 words. All characters depicted in this work of fiction are 18 years of age or older.
Their bodies shuddered together as they held each other close. The warm exhales of his heated breath cascaded down her throat. No man before Hayden had taken her this far beyond the threshold of her carnal rapture as he had. Her past lovers had only sought their own pleasure with little regard for her. This revelation confirmed why she had never felt as though in love with the men from her past. Have I only now found the man to fall in love with? she questioned herself. Yes.
Looking at his bandaged arm, she regretted that it had gotten wet. The doctor warned that it needed to stay dry. Cezanne found a towel and dried it as best she could. From the corner of her eye she noticed Hayden’s captivating grin. She moved around in the tub so that she could lean back against his chest, which allowed him to wrap his arms around her.
“What are you thinking?” she asked after a few minutes of silence passed between them.
“In twelve hours, I arrived in a dangerous city, was told by the American Embassy that no one there could help me find my brother, was shot at after eating dinner, had my hotel room ransacked, and met and later made love to a beautiful French woman,” Hayden responded. “I can’t wait to see what happens tomorrow.” She laughed at his last comment.
“You are an extraordinary man,” she complimented him.
“I don’t feel that way.”
“Oh, but you are,” Cezanne insisted. “Despite the heavy burden you carry to somehow find your brother, you can still make me laugh.”
“Sometimes laughter is the only thing that can keep you from crying.”
“True,” she agreed.
“So what do you think will happen tomorrow?” he asked.
“In the late morning I need to attend a memorial service for a member of the embassy staff who died today.”
“The man who was the director of French intelligence here in Saigon.”
“How did he die?”
“He was shot before the gunmen opened fire on us at the cafe.”
“I’m sorry. I guess you knew him well.”
“Thank you. Yes, I did.”
Cezanne turned her head to look at his face. It broke her heart to see him staring out at nothing. Maybe that is somewhat of a blessing, she said to herself. What I see each day is becoming too frightening for even me to witness.