(From the publisher):
Samuel Pink has a secret: he is Queen Victoria’s illegitimate son. Educated in an obscure Dorset rectory, he is sent at the age of twenty-one to Hong-Kong, a far-flung outpost of empire with a dubious reputation. An innocent, he hopes, against the odds, to achieve a brilliant career, but finds that life in the colony in the 1890s offers more distractions than expected—what with Mrs Darley’s sexual invitations, the enticements of religious fervour, the social pressures of the Club—and Lily.
Lily has been brought to Hong-Kong by her eccentric protector Mr Jackson. Her job is to partner him in the erotic Taoist exercises that make men immortal. But when Mr Jackson dies after all, Lily has to find another means of support.
Samuel and Lily’s entanglement is complicated by the fact that neither is quite sure who they are. Samuel’s dubious birth confuses him; Lily, although born in Suchow, is too English to be accepted by the Chinese. And somebody is watching Samuel on his mother’s behalf…
Original title: The Mountain of Immoderate Desires
Genre: Fiction→ Historical→ Asia→ China