Moonflower’s Exotic Setting by Leigh Archer (@leigharcherbook) #romance

tourbutton_moonflowerI chose Moonflower’s setting for purely selfish reasons. It is the area of the Western Cape, almost at the southern-most tip of Africa, where I grew up. It is also one of the most beautiful places on earth in my totally unbiased opinion!

Labour’s End, the private game farm on which Sophie takes up a position as head conservationist, is set in one of the few remaining areas of renosterveld – one of the major plant communities and vegetation types in the Cape Floral Kingdom.

4Aug_Moonflower landscape

4Aug_Rondekuil accommodation

The word, Renosterveld, translated from Afrikaans, means “rhinoceros-field” which might have got its name because of the high number of rhinos seen by Afrikaner settlers at the time. Or, it could come from the Renosterbos – Rhinoceros Bush (Elytropappus rhinocerotis) – a common species of shrub found there. The dull grey colour of Renosterbos is similar to the colour of a rhino’s hide.

4Aug_Durbanville wine routeThe area has also produced award-winning wines for 300 years – Pinotage, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir vineyards, and, as if this weren’t enough to entice a visit to the area, there is a plethora of diverse wildlife, nature reserves and country hotels and estates.

It’s no wonder, in Moonflower, that Sophie is so excited to take up her new position in this most beautiful setting on an African farm which has caught the eye of British businessman, Reuben Manning.


Reuben felt the onset of arousal with a sense of disbelief; a delicious liquid warmth spreading along his thighs.

She’d done this to him. With nothing more than a few breathless words, she’d got him going again. What was it about her? He looked at her. Her cheeks were flushed and her eyes flashed with excitement as she turned to hand him the binoculars. Her fingers brushed his and heat raced along the veins of his arm.

He dutifully took the binoculars and peered ahead.

‘Just look at that,’ Sophie breathed again, putting her hand over his to direct the binoculars in the right direction. Her hand was warm, strong, sinewy, the skin soft. ‘Isn’t that just magnificent?’

Reuben took a deep breath. Oh, yes, it was magnificent. And so was the response she aroused in him.

He was relieved when they set off again, Sophie chatting away about the ideas she had for the farm, while he struggled to keep his mind on what she was saying. This from a man who in the world of high-finance had built a reputation for possessing considerable powers of concentration and a laser-sharp focus.

He was so intent on his internal struggle that he almost missed her directing him onto a small dirt path, just wide enough for the vehicle.

This is what I wanted to see this morning,’ she said, looking up from the map spread across her knees and gazing towards the mountain directly in front of them. The tremor of excitement in her voice was not lost on him.

He turned off the engine and followed her out of the vehicle.

She took no more than ten strides before she came to an abrupt halt and stood, head tilted back, facing a dizzying sweep of mountain and the massive shaft of sunlight that had burst between two peaks, sweeping dramatically into the valley.

‘Beautiful,’ she said. ‘Just beautiful.’

Reuben gazed at the sensuous curling of the corners of her mouth. She drew air deep into her lungs and he watched her chest expand, breasts straining against the fabric of her shirt. In the coolness beneath the mountain, he saw the impression of each erect nipple. His fingers tingled at the thought of her breasts nestled, warm and soft, against the palms of his hands; their rosy tips slipping beneath the pads of his thumbs, the feel of her against his tongue.

Oh, for the love of all that’s sane! Reuben thought, tearing his gaze from her. Pull yourself together, Manning. He curled his fingers into tight fists and tried to concentrate on the scenery in front of him.

‘You’re looking at a jewel of the continent, Reuben,’ she said. Again in that unconsciously seductive way of hers. This time, he didn’t turn to look at her. Even so, the way she’d said his name made his body tingle. Who would have thought African flora could be so damned arousing?



Conservationist, Sophie Kyle, takes up a position on a private game farm outside Cape Town in the hopes of paying off her student loans, adding a glowing reference to her resume and indulging her passion for wildlife conservation.

Reuben Manning is a British businessman who has bought a game farm in Africa which he intends to use as a venue to entertain friends and business associates.

With the suddenness and intensity of a bushfire, a powerful attraction ignites between the conservationist and the tycoon, but Sophie has only ever wanted to spend her days in the African bush while Reuben’s life is corporate London.

As the sensuous bond between the two grows, they must find common ground or they are doomed to spend the rest of their lives a continent apart.

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Leigh writes romance novels set in her native South Africa. She has always had a love affair with Africa’s wild open spaces, the intensity of its people and sunsets. Her love of storytelling began as a child when she spent every spare moment playing barefoot in golden grass, watching wild creatures, learning to track spoor and dreaming up heroes and heroines dynamic enough to stand out in all the beauty and drama of the African landscape.

Always in search of adventure, Leigh’s journey as a writer has taken her from journalism through communications, to working as a novelist.

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One Comment
  1. Leigh Archer

    Thanks so much for hosting me today, Celia. It’s been great sharing my neck of the woods with readers.

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