Eugenia Dovedale's father had been high steward to the marquis of Buckbury, and after her father's unexpected death Eugenia had to leave Paragon, the family's beautiful and much loved cottage on the estate. She and her mother now lived uncomfortably with her great-aunt Cloris in London, as they could not afford anywhere else.
Mrs Dovedale maintained strong hopes of her daughter making a good marriage and improving their position. She was thrilled when the marquis returned from France and began to show considerable interest in Eugenia. However Eugenia was determined to marry only for love and passion, and she dreamed of being swept off her feet. She resited the overtures of the marquis, and then a Russian painter called Gregor Brodosky came to paint her great-aunt, and Eugenia fell for his obvious charms and good looks.
Mrs Dovedale suffered a nasty coach accident, and the marquis invited her and Eugenia to stay at Buckbury Abbey to recover. The marquis' admiration of Eugenia intensified, and her mother more than ever pushed her towards the marquis, but Eugenia's heart longed for Gregor. Her life became more and more distraught and confusing, particulary when Gregor arrived at Buckbury to paint Eugenia'a portrait.
How she eventually found happiness at Paragon and realised her dreams after many twists and turns is told in this intriguing and spellbinding story. If you like Downton Abbey, you will love Barbara Cartland.
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