Alison Quinn, Countess of Waxwold, is content with her bookish life—until she’s summoned to be a lady-in-waiting to the Queen of Tremontane’s mother for six months. Even the prospect of access to the Royal Library doesn’t seem enough to make up for her sacrifice, but Alison is prepared to do her service to the Crown. What she’s not prepared for is Prince Anthony North, Queen Zara’s playboy brother, who’s accustomed to getting what he wants—including the Countess of Waxwold.
When the fallout from an unfortunate public encounter throws the two of them together, Alison has no interest in becoming the Prince’s next conquest. But as the weeks pass, Alison discovers there’s more to Anthony than she—or he—realized, and their dislike becomes friendship, and then something more—until disaster drives Alison away, swearing never to return.
Then Alison is summoned by the Queen again, this time to serve as Royal Librarian. A threat to Tremontane’s government, with her treasured Library at stake, draws Alison into the conflict…and into contact with Anthony once more. Can they work together to save the Royal Library and Tremontane? And can she open her heart to love again?
McShane's first novel set in the country of Tremontane, which somewhat resembles Regency-era England, reveals one woman's struggles to balance forgiveness and self-respect. Alison Quinn, Countess of Waxwold, works with her father at his publishing company until she is summoned to be a lady-in-waiting to Queen Zara, the Dowager Consort, in the city of Aurilien. When the queen's brother, Anthony North, very publicly insults Alison and she rebukes him, they are forced to spend time with each other to keep up appearances. As Alison begins to see the sensitive man behind Anthony's carefree facade, she starts to fall in love with him and to trust in the validity of their relationship. But when disaster strikes, and she returns home only to be summoned back to the palace, Alison must decide whether she is willing and able to take a risk for the possibility of future happiness. Strong female characterizations underscore the appeal of this novel; Queen Zara is more than just a figurehead, and Alison staunchly refuses to settle for less than both love and a successful career. (BookLife)
Customer ReviewsSee All
Intriguing, captivating, interesting, worthwhile. Very good twist on a royal romance