I will not marry a man I do not love!" When Lady Verena's widowed father suddenly remarries, she finds that her stepmother is anxious to make a match of convenience for her new stepdaughter and produces a suitor whorepels her. Verena has always sworn that when she marries, it will be for love and for no other reason. Feeling that she has no choice but to run away, Verena makes a daring midnight escape from her home. With the help of the family groom she reaches the nearest port intending to flee to France, only to find that the tide is against her. A change of identity and a stroke of luck soon see Verena sailing away to a new life, where her culinary skills learnt at school come in surprisingly useful. But meeting the Marquis of Hilchester brings a new dilemma - as her feelings for him grow, how can she win the heart of the man she loves when she is not who she claims to be? And when a friend of her stepmother's enters the picture, events take a sinister turn. 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."