Brother against brother… At the tender age of seventeen, the innocent Victoria Castledon is both vivacious and captivating. Although an orphan, Victoria is hardly short of admirers but she is too young to understand the power of her dark beauty. When aristocratic Charles Stanford, the future... show more
Brother against brother…
At the tender age of seventeen, the innocent Victoria Castledon is both vivacious and captivating.
Although an orphan, Victoria is hardly short of admirers but she is too young to understand the power of her dark beauty.
When aristocratic Charles Stanford, the future Lord Blythe, woos her in a straightforward and unexpectedly unromantic manner, she finds herself somewhat disappointed as her schoolgirl fantasies remain unfulfilled.
Yet Society — and her aunt Almeira, who is the closest Victoria has ever had to a mother — smiles upon the brilliant match. And Victoria, still very much a child wrapped in little-girl dreams, sees no real reason not to smile with them…
But Victoria’s dreams rapidly come crashing down when her lack of sophistication proves unequal to the demands her new husband has of her and she realizes the happy married life she thought would stretch on forever might never happen at all.
Underscoring her misery is the too-late discovery that it is not Charles, but his brother, the notorious Captain Hugo Esterly, that inflames her heart and has captured her soul.
As her marriage continues on its rocky path, Victoria finds herself turning to Hugo in her distress, unwittingly setting into motion an ugly feud between brothers that escapes the domestic sphere and extends to their professional lives with the Royal Hussars.
When the brothers’ regiment is dispatched to the battlefields of the Crimea, Victoria insists upon accompanying her husband — not for his sake, but for the chance to be near Hugo each and every day.
But in the end, it is not the ugliness of war, but the bitterness between her husband and the man she loves that ultimately threatens all their lives…