Cassandra Blanchard has it all, looks, breeding, education, successful career, beautiful home, magical powers and the hottest English teacher on the East Coast. Her life cannot be any more perfect than the night her love proposes to her under a full moon, a bonfire, and the entire small town of wonderful neighbors and friends cheering the happy couple on when she accepts Ethan McBride's offer of marriage.
After a blissful evening together, she awakens to find her very perturbed mother reminding her of one small problem--she has forgotten she is already engaged to another, an old family friend who journeys to the States to claim his wayward betrothed.
Which one will Cassandra choose--the golden prince or the darkly handsome knight who casts his charismatic spell?
"Maman, what are you doing here?" She embraced her striking mother, pulling back to kiss her cheeks. Studying the woman's lustrous white hair, light blue eyes, aquiline features, she found a look of worry about her. Other than that, Bettina Blanchard was the picture of health for a woman of one hundred and ten years who did not look a day over sixty. "Is Papa all right? Bertrand?"
Bettina returned the embrace of her only daughter, continued to prepare their breakfast. She replied in a warm soprano, Provencal accent tinting her words. "Oui, darling, your father and brother are well."
The two women, out of long ago established habit, set the breakfast table together, catching up on family events as they placed croissants, butter, homemade jam and coffee on the table followed by cups, saucers and spoons. Cassandra opened the backdoor and the kitchen window to allow the amazing autumn wind to flow around them. Her mother sat in one of the pillowed wrought iron chairs nestled around a small vintage circular pine table and glanced about the room.
"You have exquisite taste, darling. Your home is perfect and the roses, magnifique."
"My mother taught me well." She smiled and waited patiently for the woman to discuss the real reason for her visit. Cassandra deduced her mother was upset. When she was in such a state, she did not like to talk about distasteful things while eating as she believed it upset the digestion.
When the croissants were gone and the women were on their second cup of coffee, Bettina turned to her daughter and hesitated.
"Maman, please tell me what is bothering you."
She sighed. "I am here about your engagement."
Cassandra's face lit into bright cheer as she extended her marriage hand to her mother. "Isn't it beautiful?"
Bettina took her daughter's hand and raised stylish glasses carried on a gold chain to her eyes. She studied the ring, agreed on its beauty. She mumbled again in French and put her daughter's hand down, patting it. "You cannot marry him."
"I'm sorry, Maman, what do you mean?" Floored by her mother's statement, Cassandra did not move. She did not understand and a knife of pain stabbed her heart. Her mother was going to help her plan, she had been sure of it. They would travel the world to find the most unique items for her trousseau, wedding, and honeymoon. It never occurred to her that her mother would not approve of her marriage. Bettina loved Ethan as if he were her own.
"You cannot marry Mr. McBride."
Cassandra shook her head in devastation, not believing what she heard. "I don't understand. You love him as much as I do."
"Of course I do and if there is any way around this, I will gladly give my consent."
Even more confused than ever, Cassandra checked the tears threatening to spill and shook her head, dumbfounded at the comment. "Then what is the problem?"
She took her daughter's face in her elegant hands and stated, "You cannot marry Mr. McBride because you have apparently forgotten you are bound to another."