woensdag 6 oktober 2010

Barbara Cartland – An arrow of love

An arrow of love

Threatened with the choice of marriage to the odious Dan Thorpe or being whipped into submission by her new stepmother, Melissa is in despair. Thankfully she takes the role of lady’s maid to her friend Cheryl, who must pay a most reluctant visit to her guardian, Sergius, Duke of Aldwick, a hero of Waterloo.
The deception unmasked, Melissa is soon engaged in a succession of verbal duals with this cynical woman-hater – even after she saves his life! Faced with fresh dangers and the threat of scandal, Melissa knows that Sergius matters more to her than anything else in the world …

Melissa’s parents were very much in love, but they were poor. Now her mother is dead, and their awfully rich neighbour is visiting every day, tempting her weak father with her magnificent horses and everything she can buy him. So her father succumbs, and agrees to marry her. Melissa is horrified, how can he put that woman in her mothers place! And after the wedding, matters get worse. Her new stepmother wants her to marry a man she loathes, or she will be whipped into obedience. Her father broke all his promises to her, as he is now under his new wife’s tumb.

Luckily, her best friend Cheryl needs her help. Her parents died last week in a carriage accident, and her new guardian, the uncle who ignored her parents after their elopement, wants her to travel to his estate, with only a lady’s maid as her companion. So she agrees to accompany Cheryl, everything to get out of reach of her stepmother and her loathsome suitor.

Cheryl doesn’t want to go to the Duke, all she wants is to marry Charles, her sweetheart for the last two years. Since he has made a promotion in the army recently, they can finally marry. They have been in love for over 2 years, and her parents agreed of the match. And as Charles is being send to India, she wants to go with him, not wait for years and years until he returns, if ever.

But the Duke has other thoughts. Love is nonsense, and she is much to young to marry. When the time is ripe, he will find her a worthy husband and not a young fortune hunter! As Cheryl is over distressed with this news, it is up to Melissa to change the Duke’s mind, however much afraid of him she is. For her friend, she will do what she can.

After saving his life, the Duke grants Cheryl her wish, after he has met Charles. So they are married and of to India, but what about Melissa? Cheryl no longer needs her, and her suitor has come to fetch her. He has her fathers written permission to marry her …
Then the Duke asks her to marry him instead, can she do that? Of will she wait for love after all?

A nice little book, one I enjoyed very much. But you really have to read Barbara Cartland in moderation, as both the hero and the heroine are so much alike in character and appearance in every book …

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