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The Curtain Rises

By Mary Burchell

London, 1960s

Nicola Denby’s life couldn’t be more perfect.

She has met the love of her life, an orchestra musician called Brian Coverdale, and is looking forward to their future.

But her world comes crashing down when she receives the news that Brian has suddenly died whilst on tour in Canada. And so the future that Nicola dreamed off, is suddenly gone forever.

Desperate to find a distraction from her grief, Nicola takes a job as personal secretary to celebrated opera diva, Gina Torelli.

Life with Torelli plunges Nicola into a new and glamorous world of music and theatre – a sparkling society that fascinates her.

Meeting new people and learning new things do, indeed, prove a welcome distraction, for a while at least…

Until she meets the man who is, according to some, responsible for Brian’s death. The talented and enigmatic conductor, Julian Evett.

Overwhelmed with emotion, Nicola is unsure of her feelings and tries to find out more about what exactly happened on that tour of Canada.

But Julian will tell her nothing and when the mysterious – and not altogether friendly – French-Canadian singer, Michele Laraut, appears on the scene the relationships and feelings involved seem to become even more complex.

Could it be that Brian, the love of her life, betrayed Nicola while he was away?

And why is Julian so very reluctant to discuss what happened on that tour?

As Torelli and Julian prepare for the operatic event that could define their careers, Nicola is supposed to be keeping everything together, but her feelings seem to be spinning out of control.

Will she find out the truth about her lost love, as well as the truth about Julian and Michele?

All will be revealed when The Curtain Rises…

Mary Burchell was the pen name of Ida Cook (1904-1986). With her eldest sister Mary Louise Cook, she attended the Duchess’ School in Alnwick. Together, the sisters helped 29 Jews to escape from the Nazis, funded mainly by Ida’s writing. In 1965, the Cook sisters were honored as Righteous Gentiles by the Yad Vashem Martyrs and Heroes Remembrance Authority in Israel. Mary Burchell published more than 125 romance novels in total and helped found the Romantic Novelists’ Association, standing as its president from 1966 until her death.

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