Catherine C. Heywood
A timeless love story set amidst the glamour of the Belle Époque...
PLEASE NOTE: There are two editions of this story. Scroll down to find the right edition for you.
Paris, 1889: Amélie Audet toils in a laundry when, only steps away, investors promise the most glittering dance hall the city has ever seen. Determined to secure an audition, she stumbles into a meeting with the alluring owner of the Moulin Rouge and must face her scandalous past.
She would have Paris at her feet.
Jasper Degrailly is enchanted by a painting come to life. He sets out to seduce Amélie with his gilded world and the dark warrens of his mind. Yet he has his own sordid entanglements, and soon the gentleman and the singer must manage the greedy machinations of bohemian and high-society Paris.
He would have her at his.
Caught between competing artists, directors, and dance halls, Amélie struggles to earn the role that could make her a star, while Jasper strives to let go of his tortured past and hold on to his bright future. Eventually, their fates collide, and they find themselves torn between their desperate hearts and their irreconcilable lives.
Photo Credit: Jenny Loew
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May Leave Stars
"Wow! What a fantastic book. I would give it more than 5 stars if I could... I learned so much about Paris at the end of the 19th century... but still at the heart of it is a love story between these 2 characters, which binds the reader's emotions and carries you through everything."
"Heywood's Paris burns hotter and shines brighter — her prose clever and banter sharp — making the reader feel as though they are walking through the city’s streets. A story sure to capture your imagination and tug at your heart!"
Books, Tea, and Me
A vivid world… of the female and society’s judgements and expectations. Of power, control, passion, troubles, and hardships.
I loved Jasper and Amélie as a couple. Their chemistry was tangible… But it’s the backdrop and setting that makes the intense romance stand out.
Little But Fierce Book Diary
I absolutely love [Heywood’s] attention to detail and her historical research is so clear. She really makes the world of late-19th century Paris come to life.
READ AN EXCERPT
Charles stood as the dance ended, clapping and strolling toward the stage. “Very nice. Very nice, indeed. Only one last part. Paired dancing with a gentleman. After all, we plan to make our patrons feel special, and waltzing with one of our stars would make them feel very special.”
“I’ll do it,” Jasper said.
Charles looked back at him with a frown. He’d always done the paired dancing. “Are you sure? I’m more than happy—”
Amélie came toward him with rosy cheeks, her chest rising and falling as she caught her breath. She unbustled her skirt and stepped into him. Their arms high and boxed, he folded his hands around her and held her decorously as the pianist began Waldteufel’s “The Skater’s Waltz.” As the sprightly song played, he could see their reflection in all the mirrors, a proper and handsome couple smiling politely and gliding effortlessly around the dance floor. But inside, he simmered, and when he finally met her gaze, she smirked.
“How am I doing, Monsieur Degrailly?”
“I think you know very well how you’re doing, Mademoiselle Audet.” He gritted his teeth. Why, when he finally had her in his arms, was he getting even angrier?
“Is something the matter?”
She was too satisfied. Too calm. It made him incensed.
“No,” he replied tersely. All he could hear was that gorgeous voice scaling the walls of the place. All he could see were those rouged lips wrapped around those scandalous words. And… something else. Not to mention her skirt flung so high that with her sheer bloomers, one could almost see her sex.
“Are you certain?” she pressed.
“Because it looks as if you’re going to grind your teeth to dust.”
After glancing again at Charles, Jasper said, “I think you’ve had your fun leading me around by the nose. But as soon as this audition is over”—he whispered—“and it almost is, then it’s my turn.”
PLEASE NOTE: This title is available in TWO editions. The mainstream edition has allusions to explicit sexual content while the "Writer's Cut" edition contains graphic sexual content. If detailed descriptions of bondage, discipline, consensual power exchange, and sex offend you, please consider purchasing the mainstream edition of this story. Thank you.