I AM AN ICEBERG. My true self slipped beneath a facade of stern, Eastern politeness and green tea. I was two worlds born, tulip and kimono.
An orphaned Dutch girl, a warlord about to lose his lands and a bold adventurer are brought together in the twilight era of the samurai.
If you loved Shogun and adored Memoirs of a Geisha, thrill to the pathos of Puccini’s Madame Butterfly, and can’t pass up a showing of Last Samurai, you’re in for a treat.
THE SECRET LIFE OF CONCUBINES has it all. More love and intrigue than you can handle.
And it all starts when Saskia sails into the wild country of snow and pine on a ghost ship.
Taken captive by a warlord, her dream of freedom is farther out of reach. She’s now Miyako whether she understands or not.
Turning fifteen brings its own surprises and terrors.
Tonight is the night. She’s about to become the mistress of the man who’s held her captive for six years. The man she loathes like no other.
She has no idea what to do next. Luckily, Dutch mettle comes in handy when he forces her to become his concubine of the first order.
But things get weird when Miyako’s star rises fast, and she wonders if Matsumae has a double reason for elevating her as she falls hard under his spell.
No woman should love a warlord. Her rivals would agree.
“Miyako, a man is a samurai first. The blade is his lover. No woman can turn him. Not even you. Matsumae was never yours for the taking…the fact that he favored you at all is an extraordinary miracle.”
No concubine should look at another man, unless she wants to be hung high from the turret at dawn.
One magical winter, Adam, a bold adventurer arrives on a Russian ship offering Miyako more than a warlord’s empty promises.
“It’s you, isn’t it?” He called as I retreated.
I turned and flashed the lantern.
He took a few steps. “You’ve grown up and very well, I might add. It’s been a while, hasn’t it?”
“Hai. It’s been a while.”
“I never knew what your name is. Your real name?”
“That person doesn’t exist,” I answered breathlessly.
“Please, for me?”
“Saskia deVisser.” It didn’t even sound real to my own ears.
“Saskia.” He rolled my name over his tongue. “Miyako suits you more.”
The trouble is Matsumae will never suffer dishonor of his concubine in the arms of another.
“When I make you Greater Flower, you forget you still at my disposal.”
A surprise interrogation from the shogun may force more than forbidden love to go public.
With so many swords, I feared that the courtyard would soon be awash in blood. How I hated this place. Matsumae brandished his katana for everyone to see. I knew a samurai never unsheathed his sword unless he meant to use the blade. Adam crossed himself, in the strange Russian fashion.
“I won’t forget you, ever,” I whispered.
“I’ll smile, but they won’t know that I’m here with her.” He brushed my cheek and my heart expanded. “That my whole soul is still here in this place with the one who holds my heart in her hand. That my nights are not my own. They are hers. These nights in her land will be the last thing sailing through my mind at my last breath.”