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The only daughter of a European banking dynasty, Raphaella had always been sheltered from the world. Married to a much older American, she was kept in the privacy of great luxury, tended to by servants, watched over by bodyguards. She was the beautiful dark-eyed woman the young lawyer from San Francisco, Alexander Hale, saw sitting alone one misty evening. Before he could approach her, she rushed away into the garden. She was the "perfect stranger" he couldn't forget. When they met again their lives would change forever. Raphaella de Mornay-Malle grew up in the sheltered world of the Mediterranean aristocracy under the careful tutelage of her stern father and her dutiful duennas. Married at age 18 to a much older American, John Henry Phillips, Raphaella fills her life with his wishes and desires. But when John is incapacitated by a series of strokes, she finds her world shrinking to the size of a sickbed.
Though Raphaella has an uncommonly strong sense of her duty in marriage, she can not ignore her attraction for Alexander Hale, a handsome acquaintance. As John's condition worsens and Alex grows insistent that she acknowledge what lies between them, Raphaella faces a classic duty-versus-love dilemma.
Though readers may see the plot twist coming a mile away, Danielle Steel's got her grasp on the pulse of romance fiction, and she's not going to let go without a fight. Groan and giggle, ignore the laundry and make excuses, but make no mistake--you'll enjoy getting swept away by this one.--Nancy R.E. O'Brien