The beautiful Ariana Dancer is orphaned and has led a cheerless life in London with her disagreeable Guardian, Uncle Konstantin Bardici. He has shown little interest in his niece and she has been left very much to her own devices.
One day Uncle Konstantin suggests that Ariana marry an Albanian Prince – one who is seeking an English wife and who claims to have fallen in love with her portrait – and it does not take much to persuade her to agree.
Even before she sets out for Albania, she begins to dream of romance and her lonely heart ensures that she quickly fancies herself in love with a man she has never seen.
She is sure in her heart that she will find everlasting happiness with Prince Stefan of Dukka in the depths of Albania.!
But the journey she must take to fulfil her dreams is longer and more treacherous than she could ever have imagined. When she and her hapless maid are kidnapped en route to Castle Dukka by brigands, the rosy future she dreamed of becomes bitterly compromised.
Soon life in the wild mountains begins to exert an unexpected pull, while the King of the Brigands turns out to possess an irresistible charm.
Ariana discovers that love can have a double meaning and that image is not all that it seems.
Forced to choose between honour and passion and faced with the responsibility of deciding life or death for the man she loves, she bravely makes the ultimate sacrifice.
Even then Ariana’s torment is not over –
Find out how Ariana unexpectedly finds all that she has been seeking, and more, in this exciting and unusual romantic tale by BARBARA CARTLAND