Belle is afraid to go home to England where her cousin George will force her to marry him. She exchanges identity with her friend and is on her way to Vienna to be a governess when the coach is attacked, and her companions killed. She is saved by Count Rupert's arrival, and taken by him to his castle where, he tells her, she can be a companion to his niece Gisela.
There are some odd people at the castle - the Count's mistress Anna who resents Belle's advent, and is dismissed; the dim-witted Johann who wants Gisela, and the dangerous Uncle Otto, who is anxious to gain control of Gisela's fortune. Outside are other men Belle needs to avoid. Then Gisela is sent away to meet a prospective husband, and Count Rupert persuades Belle to help him in Vienna, where he hopes to persuade the politicians to return the Tyrol to Austria.
Belle meets many people, especially Lord Castlereagh, and aids the Count to arrange secret meetings. Then she discovers that Gisela is staying at a convent outside Vienna, where she has become friendly with another girl whose brother is in Vienna. Soon Belle becomes worried as both George and Otto arrive, and to escape George Belle agrees to marry a minor English diplomat. The Count pursues them and takes Belle back to Vienna. Otta and Anna contrive to capture Belle, but Rupert rescues her. Then news of Napoleon's escape from Elba reaches Vienna.
About the Author
Most writers can't help themselves! It's a compulsion. Getting published, though, is something really special, and having been so fortunate myself I now try to help aspiring writers by handing on tips it took me years to work out. I've published over 60 titles, including four in the How To Books' Successful Writing Series, and Writing Historical Fiction for Studymates.
I have judged short story competitions, been a final judge for the Harry Bowling Prize and was an adviser to the 3rd edition of Twentieth Century Romance and Historical Writers 1994. If you want to find out more about your favourite authors, consult this book. I once wrote an article on writing romantic fiction for the BBC's web page, for Valentine's day.
I have given talks and workshops for the Arts Council and at most of the major Writing Conferences, and helped establish the Romantic Novelists' Association's annual conference. I was Chairman of the RNA 1991-3, ran their New Writers' Scheme and edited their newsletter. I am now a Vice-President.
As well as writing I have edited books for Transita, featuring women 'of a certain age', and for Choc Lit where gorgeous heros are the norm.
I was asked to write A Century of Achievement, a 290 page history of my old school, Queen Mary's High School, Walsall, and commissioned to write a book on Castles and Corvedale to accompany a new circular walk in the area.
Most of my Regencies written under the pseudonym Sally James are now published in ebook format as well as many others of my out of print novels which my husband is putting into ebook format. Our daughter Debbie is helping with designing the covers. For details of all my books and my many pseudonyms see my website.