Christmas Awards 2011

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Lord Buckingham's Bride

Lord Buckingham’s Bride by Sandra Heath
Published by Robert Hale

The year is 1802 and an uneasy peace exists in Europe. Alison Clearwell’s absent father has despatched his daughter to visit relatives in Russia, prior to his return to England to set up a new home for them in London. Alison had wanted to stay with her best friend, Lady Pamela Linsey, rather than travel to distant Russia, but the arrangements were too well advanced for them to be cancelled now. The journey to Russia was ill-fated. The British merchant ship, on which Alison was travelling, caught fire whilst anchored in Stockholm harbour. The ship’s captain was able to arrange for Alison to complete the remainder of her journey aboard another vessel, but this meant spending one night ashore in Stockholm. Alison’s accommodation in a local hostelry was adequate enough, but there she caught the eye of the dashing Prince Nikolai Naryshky of the Czar’s Imperial Guards. Prince Nikolai was fascinated by the naïve English beauty and was determined to take advantage of her, but fortunately for Alison, his plans were thwarted by the handsome Lord Francis Buckingham, who not only happened to be travelling to Russia to purchase a colt from the Imperial stables, but was also the fiancé of Alison’s best friend, Lady Pamela. Lord Francis took Alison under his protection from the unwelcome advances of Prince Nikolai, but the Prince was a dangerous and suspicious man, who did not like to be defeated and so devised a plan to abduct Alison once on Russian soil and to foil Lord Francis’s attempts to buy a colt from Czar Alexander. But has the Prince underestimated not only Lord Francis, but also the very resourceful Alison? And is Lord Francis’s real mission to Russia to purchase a colt from the Czar, or something much more dangerous?

This is a gripping novel set against the background of opulent St Petersburg. The author’s descriptions of the city create wonderful pictures in the mind and it is impossible to put the book down, as Alison is put at risk of losing her reputation, her innocence and her heart.

I award this book four red roses. PS

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