LOVE AT SUNSET by Jane Sheridan


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Lady Clarissa Devereaux is the granddaughter of Damaris (1978) and the daughter of the late Amanda (My Lady Hoyden, 1981); so episodes from the past are occasionally teased into this celebrity-studded Edwardian tale of elegant romantic angst among England's upper set. Clarissa adores her stepfather, the Duke of Camberley, but she can't understand why the dear duke opposes her elopement with his son St. Cloud. . . until it's revealed to her that St. Cloud and Clarissa are really siblings! (Her supposed father, the Earl of Forsters, wasn't.) So, vowing to keep this a secret from St. C., Clarissa goes to live with that Victorian monument, old Lady Malfrey; and soon, on a visit to Berlin, she becomes engaged to Prince Karl von Rumarck, scion of a grim Junker country family. (The match is almost called off when the family discover that Clarissa's mother was divorced--till there's some royal intervention.) The marriage is miserable, however, and after four years Clarissa escapes to Berlin--where by chance she meets her ""father,"" the witty, generous, homosexual Earl, who's great fun: together the two explore the latest art, psychology, and politics in Munich. Then--on to Paris to visit Jenny Jerome and flirt with a balloonist. And, back in England, there's a busy social scene: staid Lady Malfrey begins to twinkle; King Edward VII holds most informal court; and Clarissa will meet ""the Corsair,"" Alex Booth, a rich American shipping magnate and railroad tsar. But, before Alex and Clarissa finally get together, Alex will visit Russia before the storm; Prince Karl will stormtroop in to reclaim Clarissa (""His scars, my dear, were positively livid,"" Forsters says), then dies in Germany; and Clarissa accompanies Mrs. Belmont to America. All in all: Clarissa is more decorous than Amanda, but the plumes, celebrities, one-liners, and groaning sideboards make this a festive addition to a pleasant series.

Pub Date: July 2nd, 1982
Publisher: St. Martin's