In 1819, Lady Vesta CressintonFont travels alone to the small Mediterranean island of Katona as bride by proxy to its hereditary Prince. As soon as she left her ship and set foot on to Katona, the blueeyed, exquisitely beautiful Vesta felt frightened and totally alone. It was certainly not the reception she had expected. Where, she wondered, were Prince Alexander's representatives? Surely His Royal Highness would not let his future bride arrive on Katona without a formal greeting. Really, it was quite unthinkable: traveling all the way from England to marry a man she had never met and then being rudely abandoned....
They tell me you have arrived alone. The words cut across Vesta's indignant reverie. Startled, she directed her gaze toward the man who spoke them. His stern, domineering manner, his penetrating glance quite alarmed her. And yet he was so darkly handsome....
I am Count Miklos Czako, the stranger continued harshly. I will take you to His Royal Highness. To her dismay the imperious Count Miklos tells Vesta that revolution has broken out and she must return to England. This Vesta refuses to do and commands the unwilling nobleman to take her to the Capital. After a hazardous journey and capture by brigands, Vesta arrives at the Royal Hunting Lodge only to face new dangers for the Count who aroused in her an ecstasy such as she had never imagined.
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- Sharon Schafer Bennett
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