Orphaned and besieged, Princess Alesandra knew that only a hasty marriage to an Englishman could protect her from the turmoil in her own land. To the amusement of her makeshift guardian, Colin, younger brother of the Marquess of Cainewood, the bold, raven-haired beauty instantly captivated London society. But when Alesandra was nearly abducted by her unscrupulous countrymen, the fighting instincts that won Colin a knighthood for valor were rekindled. Deceiving himself that he wanted only to protect her, Colin swept her into a union meant to be a marriage in name alone...yet Alesandra's tender first kiss and hesitant caress ignited a wildfire in his soul. As the lovely princess dashed headlong into unforeseen dangers, Colin would follow, knowing he must claim her as his own forever. Now he would risk life itself before he would lose this sweet, tempestuous angel....
Princess Alesandra (of some unspecified country) has been happily tucked away in a convent, but in 1820 the wicked General Ivan indicates that he has designs on the princess: if he marries her, he can take over the kingdom. Alesandra's guardian, the Duke of Williamshire, brings her to England to assure her safety. Unfortunately, the duke and his wife become afflicted with a ``mysterious ailment''; the only solution is for the princess to live with Colin, the duke's eligible bachelor son, in his London townhouse. The duke and duchess think Colin should marry Alesandra. Colin, however, wants no part of marriage; and Alesandra, who alternates between moments of intelligence and sheer vacancy, will marry anyone who won't hand her over to that awful Ivan fellow. When Alesandra is almost abducted by men from her homeland, Colin's protective instincts shift into high gear. Can love be far behind? Also lurking in the background is a serial killer, who threatens Alesandra but serves no immediate purpose in furthering the silly plot. Garwood ( The Secret ) has done better work than this. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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July 01, 1993
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Excerpt from Castles by Julie Garwood
From Chapter Two London, England, 1820 They'd called him the Dolphin. He'd called her the Brat. Princess Alesandra didn't know why her guardian's son Colin had been given the nickname of a sea mammal, but she was well aware of the reason behind his nickname for her. She'd earned it. She really had been a brat when she was a little girl, and the only time Colin and his older brother Caine, had been in her company, she'd misbehaved shamefully. Granted, she had been very youngspoiled, too a natural circumstance given the fact that she was an only child and was constantly being doted upon by relatives and servants alike. But her parents had both been gifted with patient natures, and they ignored her obnoxious behavior until she finally outgrew the temper tantrums and learned a little restraint.Alesandra had been very young when her parents took her with them to England for a short visit. She had only a vague memory of the Duke and Duchess of Williamshire, didn't remember the daughters at all, and only had a hazy recollection of the two older sons. Caine and Colin. They were both giants in her mind, but then she had been very little and they had both been fully grown men. Her memory had probably exaggerated their size. She was certain she wouldn't be able to recognize either brother in a crowd today. She hoped Colin had forgotten her past behavior as well as the fact that he'd called her a brat. Getting along with Colin would make everything so much easier to endure. The two duties she was about to undertake were going to be difficult, and having a safe haven at the end of each day was really quite imperative.She had arrived in England on a dreary Monday morning and had immediately been taken to the Duke of Williamshire's country estate. Alesandra hadn't been feeling well, but believed her queasy stomach was due to anxiety. She was quick to recover, for she was welcomed into the family with sincerity and affection. Both the duke and duchess treated her as one of their own. Her awkwardness soon dissipated. She wasn't given special consideration, and was even allowed to speak her own mind every now and again. There was only one argument of substance between Alesandra and her guardian. He and his wife were going to escort her to London and open their town house for the season. Alesandra made over fifteen appointments, but just a few days before they were scheduled to leave for the city, both the duke and duchess became quite ill.Alesandra wanted to go alone. She insisted she didn't want to be a bother to anyone and suggested that she rent her own town house for the season. The duchess had palpitations over the mere thought, but Alesandra held her ground. She reminded her guardian she was an adult, after all, and she could certainly take care of herself. The duke wouldn't hear of such talk. The debate raged for days. In the end it was decided that Alesandra would take up residence with Caine and his wife, Jade, while she was in London.Unfortunately, just the day before she was supposed to arrive, both Caine and Jade came down with the same mysterious ailment currently afflicting the duke and duchess and their four daughters.The only choice left was Colin. If Alesandra hadn't already scheduled so many appointments with her father's associates, she would have stayed in the country until her guardian had recovered. She didn't want to inconvenience Colin, especially after hearing from his father about the terrible past two years he'd had. She imagined the last thing Colin needed now was chaos. Still the Duke of William shire had been most insistent that she avail herself of his hospitality, and it wouldn't have been polite for her to refuse her guardian's wishes. Besides, living with Colin for a few days might make the request she was going to have to make of him easier.She arrived on Colin's doorstep a little past the dinner hour. He had already go