A Captive Freedom

Emma Drummond, Author St. Martin's Press $17.95 (376p) ISBN 978-0-312-00575-7
From the author of The Bridge of a Hundred Dragons comes another spirited historical romance. This one deftly covers the world of the theater and the world of war in its saga of two mismatched lovers: Leila Duncan, toast of the 1896 London stage, and Vivian Veasey-Hunter, officer and nobleman. Vivian, who, because of a technicality regarding his birth, is known as ""The Gentleman Bastard,'' is instantly smitten with the stunning and talented Leila, and the two make a conspicuous pair as they frequent London's night spots. Vivian offers marriage, but Leila adamantly refuses, not revealing that she is already secretly and unhappily married. Vivian, crushed, turns to Julia Marchbanks, a sensuous aristocrat who breaks her engagement to Vivian's brother Charles and quickly makes plans to advance Vivian onto a brilliant military career. Vivian leaves for South Africa and Leila returns to her brutish husband, but the two are destined to meet again as they both are trapped in the city of Kimberley while it is under siege during the Boer war. Byzantine family machinations keep the lovers apart, but Vivian and Leila emerge as heros of the siege. Too many complexities are solved by expedient deaths, yet the book is brisk, competent and often engrossing. (July 20)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
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