The Gift by Sandra Marton

A romance novella by Sandra Marton, set in the Wilde world – that world inhabited by the Wilde’s, the formidable ranch family of Texas, scion of a general of the US Army.  This is a bit of alright – you get the jet set background, the alpha male and the stars, the violins, the works.  Like all Sandra Marton’s work, it goes a little deeper than the fantasy romance type read.  It touches on the world of high-powered, arranged marriages, where emotions take a back seat and hard bargaining takes precedent.  The plot is classic Lancelot and Guinevere – Kazimir, a security professional, has, because of his connections with Sardovia, a Baltic kingdom, been given a special assignment to deliver – yes, deliver – the future wife of the head of the Sardovian throne safely to her waiting bridegroom.  At first the young lady gives Kaz heartburn and he’s not at all impressed – until he comes to realize that the young lady is a mere pawn in a political game with no say in the (entirely unsuitable) choice of her husband.  Kaz’s exasperation gives way to compassion and then to love.  But while he realizes he can never complete his assignment, to deliver this woman to a life of hell, he also realizes that as a man of his word, his reputation and professional credibility will be forever compromised.  So what is it going to be?  Will he choose to follow his heart?  Or can he dare to risk losing his professional credibility?

For admirers of Sandra Marton’s work, for lovers of romance fiction and for all those who love fairy tales in a modern setting.  An impressive read.