Read with: Amazon Kindle
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Stokehursts, Book 2
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Hero: Prince Nikolas Angelovsky
Heroine: Emma Stokenhurst
Date of Publication: August 1, 1995
Started On: March 24, 2010
Finished On: March 25, 2010
Though I read this book sometime last year, this story failed to make that great an impression on me back then. But after reading Midnight Angel by Ms. Kleypas where the story of Emma and Nikolas begins, I had the urge to go back and re-read this romance to see what I would make of it now. I have always held the notion that two characters that have a prior history between them always make a better romance and this story too had a deeper impact on me upon re-reading the story with the knowledge of prior acquaintances between Emma and Nikolas in mind.
Nikolas, a prince from Russia has been exiled from his country for treason. Having made his home in London for the past seven years or so, Nikolas has been biding his time for Emma to grow into womanhood so that he can claim her as his wife. Though Nikolas doesn’t really believe in love he can’t resist the pull that has him waiting for Emma all this time.
The Stokenhurst family has never fully forgiven Nikolas for what he put Tasia (the heroine from Midnight Angel, distant cousin to Nikolas) through. Tolerated at best at Emma’s home, though Tasia seems to have forgotten and forgiven Nikolas, Emma has had only brief episodes of contact with Nikolas until he actively starts to seek her out. Unknown to Emma, Nikolas chases off Adam, the only man in the eyes of Emma who has wanted her, a woman well on her way to becoming a spinster by the look of how things were going. Though Luke, Emma’s father doesn’t agree to a match between Adam and Emma, and Luke doesn’t have anything to do with Adam’s abrupt departure from Emma’s life, Emma blames Luke which drives a wedge between father and daughter for the first time in their lives.
Reading about Adam’s engagement to another woman is the final straw for Emma and Nikolas swoops in during this vulnerable moment of her life to play the knight in shining armor and win her hand in marriage. Though Luke vehemently opposes the match, Emma’s resolve to marry Nikolas is strengthened by this fact.
Though Nikolas acknowledges the burning need he has for his wife, he refuses to let her into his life in any other way. Scared to the pits of other dangerous emotions Emma seem to evoke in him, Nikolas decides to drive Emma away by being his most cruel self and goes as far as to sleep with another woman just to drive the wedge between them deeper.
However, with a twist of fate, Nikolas travels back in time to find that he was once capable of loving someone and learns that with Emma he has found his love once again. However proving that he was a different and changed man proves to be rather difficult after everything he has put Emma through.
Thoroughly enjoyed this romance the second time round. If any of you are planning on reading this novel, I recommend that you start with the first book of the series before moving onto this one. Makes the story more meaningful.