Countess Synnovea Zenkovna did not expect the journey from her homeland in Central Russia to Moscow to be uneventful, but neither was she expecting to be robbed and taken hostage by a band of Cossacks. Despite fighting for all she’s worth, she had given up hope of escaping when she is daringly rescued by an English soldier – Colonel Tyrone Rycroft. Tyrone had never thought to be enamored of another lady again after the painful outcome of his first marriage but when he saw Synnovea, he was immediately ensnared by her beauty. He was captivated enough to pursue Synnovea even though she offered little encouragement and her ward in fact forbade him to call upon Synnovea at her home.
Upon arriving in Moscow, Synnovea is commanded by the Tsar to be under the protection and authority of his cousin, Princess Anna. Anna and her lecherous husband, Alexsai, have virtually imprisoned Synnovea in their home where she is forced to live under their dictates, one of which is to have no contact with foreigners, such as Tyrone. However, Tyrone, not being one to be easily discouraged, takes his case straight to the Tsar in hopes that he will be granted permission to court Synnovea.
Synnovea tries to live peacefully with Anna and Alexsai, but soon grows tired of Alexsai’s wandering hands and Anna’s jealousy and hatred. When her wards arrange a marriage for her with a man who is old enough to be her grandfather, that is the last straw. Synnovea will do anything to escape the marriage and hopes that Tyrone will once again come to her rescue. Synnovea concocts a dangerous plan that could very well explode in her face and turn Tyrone against her forever.
Forever in Your Embrace is a re-released novel, which was originally published in 1992 and then again in 1999. The version I read was touted as “the author’s preferred edition” and was evidently less condensed than the first edition. But despite the added length of the novel, I found Tyrone’s character development to be a bit lacking - I almost felt as though I knew the villains better than him. Also, I wasn’t completely convinced as to why he was so upset with Synnovea’s actions as her deceit only gained him what he truly desired. However, his determination to “get even” by remaining out of her bed did create some steaming sexual tension, which is nothing to complain about!
The plot in Forever in Your Embrace is packed full of action, intrigue and passion with never a dull moment. I found it very hard to put down and despite the 582 pages, I managed to finish it in just 2 days. Ms. Woodiwiss’s style of writing can be very flowery and almost too descriptive at times, but it nonetheless adds to the historical feel and fans of her novels with most likely enjoy Forever in Your Embrace as much as her other best selling works