2014. A trade paperback copy in fine, as new condition.
It was already nightfall when the stable boys heard the horses approaching. Their hooves sounded thunderous like a distant drumbeat, long before the uninitiated would have known what it was. The riders were returning from the hunt, and minutes later the boys could hear the voices calling out, the laughter, the horses snorting as they brought in their riders. When they entered the courtyard of Schloss Altenberg and approached the stables, it was obvious they were in high spirits and it had been a good hunt. One of the earliest arrivals said the hounds had gotten the fox, which they'd expected, as the horses pranced around, still excited from the exhilarating day. Riders and mounts alike had enjoyed the cold October weather, and the men in 'pinks,' their scarlet riding jackets, with white jodhpurs and tall black boots, looked like a portrait as they dismounted and handed the reins of their horses to the stable boys, who helped several women dismount too. A number of them were riding sidesaddle, which looked very elegant, but was no mean feat on a hunt. The group that had gone out that day had been riding together for all the years they had known one another and were old enough to hunt. For all of them, horses were their passion, and riding their favorite sport. Alex von Hemmerle was known to be one of the finest riders in the county, and had been breeding extraordinary horses since he was barely more than a boy. Everything in his life was born of tradition, which was true for all of them. There were no newcomers or surprises here. The same families had inhabited the area for centuries, visiting each other, following long-established rituals and traditions, intermarrying, running their estates, and cherishing their land. Alex had grown up in Schloss Altenberg, as generations of his ancestors had, since the fourteenth century. He held a ball there at Christmas, as all his forebears had done. It was the most glamorous event in the county, and everyone looked forward to it every year. His daughter Marianne had been his hostess for the first time the year before, when she turned sixteen. Now seventeen, Marianne had the same striking ethereal beauty her mother had had, with finely chiseled features. She was tall like Alex, with almost translucent porcelain skin, her mother's nearly white blond hair, and her father's electric blue eyes. She was one of the most beautiful young women in the region and as famous a rider as he was. He had put her on horseback before she could walk, and she went on every hunt, so she had been furious not to go with him that day, but she had a bad cold and a fever, and he had insisted she stay home.
An unforgettable, evocative historical novel where love and fate collide.
Danielle Steel is one of the world's most popular and highly acclaimed authors, with over ninety international bestselling novels in print and more than 600 million copies of her novels sold. She is also the author of His Bright Light, the story of her son Nick Traina's life and death; A Gift of Hope, a memoir of her work with the homeless; and Pure Joy, about the dogs she and her family have loved. To discover more about Danielle Steel and her books visit her website at www.daniellesteel.com You can also connect with Danielle on Facebook at www.facebook.com/DanielleSteelOfficial or on Twitter: @daniellesteel