Harlequin HQN, Aug 2008, $7.99
In 1820 adviser to Czar Alexander English Lord Edmond Summerville learns his twin brother Stefan, the Duke of Huntley, is in danger as someone wants him dead. Used to the lethal contest of Russian politics, Edmond leaves his mother’s homeland to go to England, the land of his father, to help his sibling. Edmond insists on being bait to draw out the killer by pretending he is the Duke.
Fearing her stepfather’s depraved assaults are getting worse, Brianna Quinn turns to her childhood friend, Stefan for safety; as a Duke he can keep her odious relative away from her. However, she realizes immediately that the duke who greets her is not Stefan, but his brother Edmond. They are attracted to one another so when the Czar needs him she accompanies him back to Russia. As they fall in love, someone threatens his beloved forcing Stefan to choose between his beloved and his beloved Russia.
This terrific historical romance is at its best when the hero is in Russia as the audience obtains a powerful taste of Czarist intrigue a century before the Revolution. The segment in England is well written also especially as the lead couple get reacquainted, but does not possesses the uniqueness of the Russian chapters. The story line is fast-paced and filled with action as heroic Stefan risks his life for his brother, the Czar and especially for Brianna. Rosemary Rogers provides an exciting early nineteenth century romantic intrigue thriller.