A much-admired patron of the arts and something of a ‘ladies’ man, the Duke of Arkholme, a very rich and celebrated aristocrat, is as passionate about music as he is bored by the attentions of predatory Society ladies. He decides to launch at his own expense a competition to encourage talented new composers, but he finds that the entrants he has to listen to are insipid and uninspiring. So when he hears the sparkling brilliant music he has been searching for being played on his own piano in a room next to his bedroom in his own home in the middle of the night, he is bewitched. Even more so when the pianist proves to be a pale, elfin, auburn-haired beauty called Vanola. She forces the Duke at gunpoint to listen longer to her music and she relates the story of her Hungarian father and his failure to attract any interest in his superb and innovative compositions in England. He is also horrified to be told by Vanola that his employees are corrupt and taking bribes from entrants to his auditions, so that the real talent, such as her father’s, is excluded. Realising that she is half-starved and that her father is at death’s door, he is determined to make amends, despite her implacable contempt for him for employing crooked Managers. Soon the Duke realises that he has fallen in love – but too late. Vanola’s father is dead and in her grief and fury she has fled to who knows where and it seems that he has lost her and his one chance of happiness forever.
About the Author
Barbara Cartland was the world’s most prolific novelist who wrote an amazing 723 books in her lifetime, of which no less than 644 were romantic novels with worldwide sales of over 1 billion copies and her books were translated into 36 different languages. As well as romantic novels, she wrote historical biographies, 6 autobiographies, theatrical plays and books of advice on life, love, vitamins and cookery. She wrote her first book at the age of 21 and it was called Jigsaw. It became an immediate bestseller and sold 100,000 copies in hardback in England and all over Europe in translation. Between the ages of 77 and 97 she increased her output and wrote an incredible 400 romances as the demand for her romances was so strong all over the world. She wrote her last book at the age of 97 and it was entitled perhaps prophetically The Way to Heaven. Her books have always been immensely popular in the United States where in 1976 her current books were at numbers 1 & 2 in the B. Dalton bestsellers list, a feat never achieved before or since by any author. Barbara Cartland became a legend in her own lifetime and will be best remembered for her wonderful romantic novels so loved by her millions of readers throughout the world, who have always collected her books to read again and again, especially when they feel miserable or depressed. Her books will always be treasured for their moral message, her pure and innocent heroines, her handsome and dashing heroes, her blissful happy endings and above all for her belief that the power of love is more important than anything else in everyone’s life.