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James Rushton dominated both his thriving wine business and large family with all the style of an old autocrat.It was part of his plans that Jane, his only daughter - already thirty-one and likely to become a spinster if she wasn't careful - should marry her cousin William, not a love-match exactly, but highly convenient for the family. But Jane, slight, plain, quiet, wanted more than William's obedient acquiescence, for she had loved her careless handsome cousin for a long time.On the point of settling for the little she could have, she discovered a shameless betrayal.Humiliated, not really wanted at home, she took the most daring decision of her life - to go and live and work in Italy. It was to be the beginning of a long, passionate, and overwhelming involvement with the Buonaventura family, aristocratic, and torn apart by the strife of Mussolini's new Italy.To Jane, Ottavio Buonaventura and his family were a fascinating challenge.And the impoverished aristocrats at Castagnolo were to discover that the quiet Englishwoman was to revolutionise their lives.