Ilyse Charpentier, a beautiful young chanteuse, is a diva of the 1894 Parisian cabaret scene by night and otherwise unwilling obsession of her patron, Count Sergei Rakmanovich.
Though it has always been her secret desire, Ilyse’s life as “La Petite Coquette” of the Paris stage has turned out to be anything but the glamorous existence she had dreamt of as a girl. But as a young woman, Ilyse’s parents are killed in a tragic ship accident, she becomes estranged from her beloved brother, Maurice, who blames her for allowing the Count to drive them apart, and she must abandon all attempts at finding love in order to save herself from incurring her patron’s jealous wrath.
Unhappy and alone, Ilyse forces herself to banish all thoughts of independence until the fateful night when Ian McCarthy waltzes into her life. Immediately taken with the bold, young, British expatriate, Ilyse experiences her first descent into love and contemplates risking everything to follow her heart.