Linda Martin is brought to Chateau de Valmy as governess for young Phillipe, whose parents have died and who is now being cared for by his chilly aunt and foreboding uncle. Why so much emphasis that she can't speak French? Was the shot in the woods really just an accident? And whats behind Raoul de Valmy's interest in Linda?
Mary Stewart elevated the romantic suspense genre to its peak, and there just hasn't been anything like her since. The brave and lovely heroines meet a handsome stranger, but danger lurks in the background. Nine Coaches Waiting is my favorite only because I read it first - in fact, I still have the paperback copy I bought back in 1973. I just pulled it out the other day and was again reminded how much I liked her books. A plus: they're all standalones, unlike today where everything is part of a series.
Stewart can evoke a sense of place like no other, her descriptions put you right there with the characters. It's set firmly in its time without feeling dated. She shows you the attraction building between the characters without need for lengthy sex scenes. And there's always a scene or two with a fantastic description of a good meal.
If you haven't read Mary Stewart before, this is a great book to start with.
This is my personal favorite of Mary Stewart's mystery/romances. It has echoes of Cinderella and is intelligently written. If you like your romance reading non-explicit and a little more deeply written, give Mary Stewart a try. I also recommend her "Madam Will You Talk".