In the long twilight if a galactic empire, the old king is dying. He has little choice but to name his callow young son as heir and his wanton daughter as regent. It seems the long decline is destined to continue.
But everything is changed by the appearance of a rival claimant: a long-lost princess, accompanied only by a loyal champion and a mysterious advisor. Will her arrival herald a bright new dawn for the empire? Or drive a once-proud civilisation to the brink of war . . . ?
British author Titchmarsh (Rosie) brings the art world alive in this engaging romantic drama. In 2007, James "Jamie" Ballantyne reconnects with childhood chum and flame, Artemis "Missy" King, who resurfaces in the showroom of Jamie's auction house in Bath to bid on a painting on behalf of her grandfather. The reunited couple discover that a set of paintings by Sir Alfred James Munnings, owned by Missy's grandfather (himself owner of an established fine art gallery), are fakes. Their investigation reveals a long thread of family secrets and the source of the feud between their two families, revelations that cause the couple to split up. Titchmarsh alternates between the present and the story of Jamie's grandfather, Harry Ballantyne, and Missy's grandmother, Eleanor King, who met as art students at Oxford. The effect is nostalgic and builds anticipation and curiosity in the history of the two families, including the story behind the lost love of their grandparents.