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The Little Pretender by Barbara Cartland
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The Little Pretender (1950)

by Barbara Cartland

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THE DIVIDED HEART

1750, Scottish Highlands.

Four years after Bonnie Prince Charles had lost the battle of Culloden Moor, he and his friends are planning another Rising. The Duke of Arkrae, Chief of the Clan MacCraggan, is of great importance, owing to the strategic position of his territories. But where his sympathies lie is known neither to the Jacobites nor to the English.

Iona a lovely 17-year-old red-haired ward of a Jacobite exile in Paris, agrees to impersonate the Duke's half-sister, who was drowned as a child. Her mission: to learn whether the duke, head of the most powerful clan in Scotland, was loyal to the prince--or a traitor. In order to discover the truth, she arrived to Skaig Castle.

It was a scheme that called for wit and courage, and Iona complicated her task by falling hopelessly in love with the handsome duke at first sight! If he were a traitor, she must denounce him; and if he were not, she must disappear from his life as suddenly as she had entered it. For surely the Duke of Arkrae would not return the love of a nobody -- a pretender?
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In 1750 Scotland, just four years after Bonnie Prince Charlie's Rising of the Clans, it's hard to know who's loyal to the English and who is faithful to the Stuarts. And it's beautiful seventeen-year-old Iona's perilous mission to ascertain whether the Duke of Arkrae, head of Scotland's most powerful clan, is a traitor... or is he in cahoots with the English? The plan is for Iona to gain the trust of the Duke and his clan by claiming to be the sister he thought to have died as a child. As all around her doubt her claim and call her a 'pretender', Iona struggles to hold her nerve. Her native wit and steel nerves do not fail her, but almost instantly, on meeting the imperious Duke, it's her heart that lets her down. She's fallen deeply, hopelessly in love! Traitor or not, surely the Duke could never love the Little Pretender who was sent only to ensnare him?… (more)

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