Avon, May 2004, 5.99, 384 pp.
In 1824 Germany, Princess Sierra, Prince Alathom, and adopted American Indian Prince High Wolf plan to flee to Scotland. Sierra and High Wolf are in love and plan to marry while Alathom just wants his freedom from state responsibilities including marrying the princess. However, the escape fails with Sierra stopped by her father, who plans to see her politically married to Alathom of the neighboring dukedom. Father Junipero tells Sierra that High Wolf demanded gold to break the engagement while Alathom vanished. The ceremony was done by proxy as he fails to appear.
Ten years later, Sierra is in St. Louis seeking her husband Alathom who never came home. Though she hates him and High Wolf for their betrayal, she needs Alathom to come home to avert a war between their duchies. Sierra has done her best to rule over the two lands, but everyone blames her for her missing spouse. Governor Clark arranges for the best scout High Wolf to escort her Highness, but when he sees Sierra, he refuses as he feels she betrayed their vows of love. Sierra continues her quest without him, but he follows her for safety purposes.
This is an exciting historical romance that brings to life early Americana through the insightful look at the Indian tribes and the use of Governor Clark (Lewis and Clark fame). Each of the prime trio is unique with fully developed personalities. Though the mysticism is interesting it also enables too easy of a resolution than a decade of increasing discontent should allow. Still fans of early nineteenth century romances will appreciate this astute glimpse of a bygone era.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner