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A Dark Rose
on 10 November 2003
Ghislaine 'Gilly' de Lorgny, formerly a member of the French aristocracy, blames Englishman Nicholas Blackthorne - a man she had once idealised - for the demise of her family and her own harrowing ordeals. If he hadn't turned his back on her, things could all have been so very different.
England, 1803. Several years after their deaths, a twist of fate places Gilly in an ideal position from which to exact her revenge upon the hated Blackthorne. After all, a chef in his cousin Ellen's employ has plenty of opportunities available to exact a poisonous revenge.
Nicholas Blackthorne is on a one-way ticket to Hell. He can't forgive himself for a mistake he made at the age of 22. The consequences of turning his back on his French godfather's request for assistance for his family had proven fatal - for them. Now Nicholas can't forget the terrible fate which befell that family - and especially not that of a wide-eyed female on the verge of womanhood, who had tempted him almost beyond reason... Ghislaine... the girl-woman who had haunted his dreams and nightmares for years.
Even for Stuart, who consistently favours problematic content, this novel is quite dark. With action extending through England, Italy and France, being lightened only by the secondary romance between Nicholas's cousin and the man she has silently adored for years, A Rose At Midnight is not by any means a traditional romance: in particular, the experiences undergone by a heroine desperate to survive do not make for comfortable reading.