As "Mrs. Paul" already stated many good things, I just want to add that the novel comes alive due to the many local color elements that Ms. Schwab weaves into her narrative. She thus blends an early 19th century British setting with a story line set in/around both Italiy and Frankfurt/Germany, which for me, being from that area, made for a delightful read. Apart from that, romance readers will love the story of lovers torn apart, nobility in distrss, misunderstandings, love turned hate, evil in-laws, and steamy love... This novel is quite a feat for an author writing in a language other than her native. Being a scholar of British Studies, she gets the tone and feel of romance in times of Jane Eyre and Emma Woodhouse just right!