Joan Wolf, author of regencies, historical romances, and historical mysteries, has imagined a small country of Jura in which to set this novel. Jura was occupied by French forces under Napoleon, but was declared an independent state in the Final Act of the Congress of Vienna. However, this state of independence is threatened. Jura controls a strategic port on the Adriatic, one which neighboring Austria would like to have the use of. Indeed, Austria would like Jura to become part of the Austrian Empire. The prince of Jura travels to England to conduct negotiations to give Great Britain use of the port, and to find a British bride from a noble family with strong ties to the government (no eligible royal British princesses being available at the moment) to bolster the treaty.
While this novel follows the conventions of historical romances, the political machinations stay sufficiently in the foreground to give a sense of the jockeying that went on amongst European nations during the 19th century. I found that this dimension enhanced my pleasure in the book, as it might for others who look for history in their historical romances.