Coral Sinclair is a beautiful but naive twenty-five-year-old photographer who has just lost her father. She’s leaving the life she’s known and traveling to Kenya to take ownership of her inheritance–the plantation that was her childhood home–Mpingo. On the voyage from England, Coral meets an enigmatic stranger to whom she has a mystifying attraction. She sees him again days later on the beach near Mpingo, but Coral’s childhood nanny tells her the man is not to be trusted. It is rumored that Rafe de Monfort, owner of a neighboring plantation and a nightclub, is a notorious womanizer having an affair with her stepmother, which may have contributed to her father’s death.
Character Guest Post
And yet, though I tried to keep away from my tempestuous, alluring neighbor, I couldn’t. She is everything I never knew I always wanted.
She is fiery – strong-willed, determined to be independent though she is a lone woman striking out on her own in 1970s Kenya, a country in the grips of much social change. How can one not admire a woman who will run a plantation herself? Who will try new experiences, even though they may frighten her? Who – and this is most important – will stand up to me, challenge me, make me want to be a better, more hopeful man?
Coral is also intelligent; a woman who spars on a level with me. An entrepreneur and self-made man myself, I admire her dedication to her career as a freelance photographer. I have watched her at work, and have been deeply moved by her focus and skill on the job. But even outside the job, Coral’s intelligence shines through.
I am a man of principle, and she is the perfect match in that sense: Coral has strong ideals, and will fight to uphold them. Take the treatment of the local wildlife, for example. When we came across a leopard caught in a cruel metal trap, she was just as appalled as I was at the poor animal’s distress, and angered by those who’d snared him there.
Then there is her passion. When I first met Coral, she was somewhat unworldly, and entirely out of touch with her sensuality. But how she opened up to my taking her from the girlhood to which she clung to womanhood! My little rosebud blossomed into a supremely sexy, attractive partner. Just thinking about her is enough to drive me insane…
Of course, I could tell you all about how physically beautiful Coral is as well – and she is: a little English flower, delicate and pure in the wilds of Africa – but it is the woman within whom I love and will always love. I consider myself a very fortunate man to have found such a woman. Our match is more than just man and woman committing to be together: it’s a symbol of hope, of the power of redemption, of the belief that any person with the courage to let go of the past and grab hold of the future can find blissful, enduring happiness with another. If I have a fire within me then it is Coral who keeps the embers burning… always.