Venetia was very lonely after the death of her
parents, so when her cousin Mary begged her to save her from a forced marriage,
Venetia was ready. Mary was in love with another man and expecting his child,
yet the queen wanted her to marry the Earl of Mountwood at a moment’s notice
and go with him to India. A reckless impulse made Venetia promise to take
Mary’s place at the altar; she would worry about the consequences later.
Lord Mountwood was handsome, but he was also haughty
and autocratic, demanding instant obedience from his servants—and from his
wife. When he discovered the trick Venetia had played on him he was furious.
She had only her quick wits to protect her from his wrath. On the journey to
India they quarreled and sparred, each getting the measure of the other, while
the growing attraction between them became impossible to ignore.
In India they traveled to the northwest frontier,
to a fort that was under constant attack by the Russians. And there, just as
she and her husband discovered their love, they were caught up in danger that
threatened to part them.
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