When American journalist, Michael Sheridan, rescues a beautiful White Russian woman from a sleazy Shanghai nightclub, he cannot help falling in love with her. She has been hardened by her bad experiences, however, and returns his interest with coldness. Shocked to discover that she bears a resemblance to the Russian duchess, Anastasia Romanov, and unable to pay his debts, he lets her go to Germany with a Russian who says that he wants to help her. This is his big mistake.
This begins a chase through Berlin, London and Shanghai, as Michael and Anastasia attempt to avoid their underlying love for each other. Anastasia has to choose between her soul and her ambition and desire to discover whether she really is Anastasia Romanov.
This is an enjoyable and moving love story with more than enough realism to keep it from becoming sentimental. The beginning of the book which describes the captivity of the last Tsar and his family, their gruesome murders, and the fictional Anastasia's escape, is very harrowing and quite gruesome. As indeed it was.
It's also cleverly written because the narrators are Michael and Anastasia, so the reader understands both sides of the story. This is unusual and it works.
Colin Falconer also writes more modern novels as Mark D'Arbanville. I like both his historicals and his modern novels.