|Chateau de Malmaison|
Andre du Pont, Josephine's head horticulturist, began breeding new roses for the Empress. His 1813 catalogue of roses at Malmaison listed nearly 200 different varieties, including many new introductions.
The fact that France was at war with England did not stop her from looking at the enemy’s roses. At the height of the war in the early 1800's, Napoleon sent money to England to pay for his wife's rose plant bills. And the British Admiralty allowed ships to pass through its naval blockade to deliver those roses to Malmaison. War could wait while the rose deliveries continued. She even obtained a passport of a London nurseryman to travel back and forth with her new plants.
Hugh Redgrave, Marquess of Ormond, hides his true identity as the legendary Nighthawk—the thief of Napoleon's most valued secrets—behind his life as a horseman and a rake. Returning to England after years in France, he knows he must choose a wife from among the ingénues who appear each year at the ton, but he hopes to avoid what will be an arranged marriage for as long as he can.
When Lady Mary Campbell rides across his path on a magnificent black stallion, he is enthralled. Independent, intelligent and rebellious, Lady Mary is bored by the prospect of her first Season. A bluestocking hoyden, she craves adventure and loves the world of her statesman uncle, who is often called upon by the Crown for difficult tasks. When her uncle leaves for Paris, she goes with him. But, once there, who should appear in King Louis’ court but the mysterious Lord Ormond?
Lady Mary fears her growing fascination with the rake and resents his interference with her plan to uncover the truth behind a treacherous plot to take down the newly restored Bourbon king.