The Whitsunday Islands got a real plug during Oprah Winfrey's tour.

In the 90 days following, the tour got 12,414 news mentions.


Brief: The Lady Could Kill for Love
In a nutshell

In a hot land she despises, Lady Jessop (Rose) Chilcott desperately tries to clear her recently deceased husband's name before conceiving an heir by IVF to carry on his baronetcy. Boat surveyor, Ted Tarran, x-rays a suspicious stash hidden in Sir Jess's beloved yacht Passionflower. Was the baronet smuggling on his biannual trips Down Under to sail the Whitsunday Islands? Were his gambling debts in the UK the motive? Tarran must report his findings. But Rose insists a charterer was the smuggler and pummels — and loves — Tarran into helping her prove it.

The plot

London-based Lady Jessop Chilcott has every reason to dislike her retainer in far-off North Queensland, Ted Tarran. The recent death of her husband, Sir Jessop, has left young Rose broke — her Notting Hill home gone — the sale of Sir Jess's prized yacht Passionflower he kept in charter in the Whitsunday Islands her only hope.

But Tarran won't sign off on the survey report needed to make the sale because he claims an x-ray has found a suspicious cache hidden in the yacht.

Was Sir Jess a part-time smuggler on his biannual trips Down Under? Tarran demands she come to the Whitsundays to help him answer the question — or no survey, no sale.

Reluctantly Rose makes the long flight to a land she despises for its sun-culture. There's too much at stake. Not just the money. But also she is soon to be impregnated with Sir Jess's sperm. His baronetcy must pass to an heir. But not trashed by Tarran's findings.

She finds Tarran's informality infuriating. She is inured to his outdoorsy good looks, having been surrounded all her elite sporting life by handsome, if overly refined, male skaters, among whom she was known , none too originally, as the “Ice Maiden”.

Unaware of her athletic achievements, Tarran has to revise his first impressions of her as a hopeless, although beautiful, snob. The power in her superbly sculptured legs and the uncanny balance she has, particularly around boats, suggests this is no spoiled, self-indulgent member of the English upper class.

Against all her upbringing, Rose seduces Tarran into helping her prove Sir Jess wasn't a smuggler. It begins a thaw in her icy exterior that is accelerated by her immersion in a culture marked by warm breezes, scanty dressing, swaying palms, immodest “Lagoon girls” and tropic nights aboard Passionflower with Tarran in their quest to find the real smuggler.

The second in the Whitsunday Islands romantic suspense trilogy.

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