Sean O'Neill was once everything to Eleanor de Warennebut since he disappeared from his ancestral home, there has been no word, and even Eleanor has abandoned hope, promising her hand to another. Then, just days before her wedding, Sean reappears but the boy who was once her protector is now a stranger, hardened by prison and on the run.
Weary and haunted, Sean is shocked to find that little Elle has become the beautiful, desirable Eleanor. Though he refuses to endanger her by pressing his claim, his resolve to stay away is sorely tested by the determination of a woman who will not be forsaken again. And when, in a moment's passion, Sean steals another man's bride, it is Eleanor who has the power to steal his heart
This third volume of Joyce's popular de Warenne dynasty (following The Masquerade) features impetuous and independent de Warenne daughter Eleanor, betrothed to a kind, decent and well-connected Englishman, Peter Sinclair. As might be expected, her heart belongs to another: her half-brother and best friend Sean O'Neill, who disappeared from their Irish estate four years earlier. Now, with her wedding just days away, Eleanor learns that Sean has been rotting in prison for two years, convicted on charges of treason-and that he's just escaped. Sean's plan is to sail for freedom in America, but he's compelled to return home first, ostensibly to offer his farewells to Eleanor. Things don't turn out quite so simple: though already in her wedding gown, Eleanor forgets her fianc and flees with Sean in front of 200 wedding guests. Pursued by the authorities, the family and the in-laws, the fugitive couple navigates a tense, twisting plot as well as the treacherous emotional territory between them. Sean, damaged from his years in isolation, is a strong and mysterious lead, and Eleanor is more than his match; Joyce's characters carry considerable emotional weight, which keeps this hefty entry absorbing, and her fast-paced story keeps the pages turning. (Oct.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.