From "New York Times" bestselling author Dodd comes the first book in her new Lost Princesses series. Forced to flee the chaos in her land, Princess Clarice discovers love in the arms of a dark, tormented British earl--and danger in his glamorous world.
Propelled by the winning assurance, sensuality and humor that have pushed Dodd's paperback romances (Once Upon a Pillow, etc.) onto bestseller lists, this hardcover debut launches a trilogy centered on the Lost Princesses, three young women who fled their revolution-swept small country in the late 1700s and who must dodge the assassins set on their trail. Middle sister Clarice hides in plain sight, traveling from town to town, proclaiming herself a princess fallen on hard times and selling face creams made from royal recipes to village women. Honey-haired and stunning, Clarice has little trouble making sales but more difficulty fending off men. When Robert MacKenzie, Earl of Hepburn, invites her to stay at his manor, Clarice senses a seductive danger in accepting his offer, but she does so anyway. Clarice soon realizes her instincts were correct. Even as Robert ensnares her with kisses, he lures her into playing a part in an elaborate scheme of vengeance. Torn between her passion for Robert and her duty to remain a princess, Clarice must decide if her loyalty belongs to her heart or to her country. Engaging and witty, Dodd's voice shines through on every page, infusing Clarice and Robert with a genuine warmth and appeal in both the ballroom and the bedroom. Agent, Mel Berger. (July) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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April 26, 2005
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Excerpt from Some Enchanted Evening by Christina Dodd
Never call attention to yourself. A princess's reason for existence is to fulfill her duty as a representative of the royal family. Nothing more.
--THE DOWAGER QUEEN OF BEAUMONTAGNE
The valley was his, the village was his, yet the woman rode into the town square of Freya Crags as if she owned it.
Robert MacKenzie, earl of Hepburn, frowned at the stranger who cantered over the stone bridge and into the bustling crowd. It was market day, and booths of brown canvas were set up along the perimeter of the town square. The place rang with the sound of a hundred voices calling out their wares, but the stranger dominated the crowd, towering above them on a fractious two-year-old colt. The chestnut stepped high, as if proud to carry her, and the quality of the horse alone would have turned heads.
The lady in the saddle attracted even more attention -- first fleeting looks, then open stares.
Robert glanced around at the small circle of old men gathered in the sunshine in front of the alehouse. Their wrinkled mouths sagged open as they gawked, the table and checkerboard before them forgotten. Around them the sounds of shoppers and merchants haggling turned into a buzz of speculation as every eye turned to view the stranger.
Her riding costume swathed her from neck to toe with black wool, preserving the illusion of propriety yet outlining every curve of her trim figure. Her black hat was tall, with a broad brim, and black veiling floated behind. The red trim on her sleeves matched the red scarf at her neck, and those small bits of vivid color shocked and pleasured the eye. Her bosom was generous, her waist narrow, her black boots shiny, and her face...
Good God, her face.
Robert couldn't look away. If she'd been born in the Renaissance, painters would have flocked to her door, begging that she pose for them. They would have painted her as an angel, for her wavy, golden hair glowed with a light of its own, giving her a nimbus like a halo. Copper glints in the curls seemed to possess a power to warm the hands, and Robert's fingers itched to sink into the waves and discover the heat and the texture. Her softly rounded cheeks and large amber eyes under darkened brows made a man think of heaven, yet the stubborn set of her chin saved her face from a cloying sweetness. Her nose was slight, her chin too broad to be truly attractive, but her lips were wide, lush, and red. Too red. She rouged them, he was sure of it. She looked like an Englishwoman of good quality -- except, of course, no woman of good quality ever rouged her lips, and certainly never traveled alone.