Can February get any worse for Lori Shepherd? While her husband enjoys the sunny warmth of Majorca, Lori finds herself snowbound with a pair of rambunctious boys who want nothing more than to get out of the house for a ride on their ponies, Thunder and Storm. With the riding school closed for repairs, Lori is desperately hoping for a break in the cold or an answer to her boys' restless spirits. Enter Bree Pym, the teenage niece of Lori's late favorite neighbors. Restless herself, Bree is in need of housing and eager to help Lori with the boys. Her solution, a trip to nearby Skeaping Manor, which houses a bizarre assortment of oddities, seems the perfect answer to Lori's problems. Little do the two women realize, however, that they've just set themselves up for a very strange encounter followed by a desperate search for a lost Russian prince, held captive for his fortune in one of the manor houses that dot the Cotswold countryside. Will Lori and Bree, set on the chase by an unusual little girl, really rescue a prince? It seems unlikely, but when friends from the past speak through books and stuffed bunnies know the cure for heartache, anything can happen!!
A sweet tale, just as one expects from Nancy Atherton. Lori is as headstrong as ever, but balanced by Bree's teenage enthusiasm and Aunt Dimity's calm wisdom, the three make an entertaining trio. The plot is, as usual, a bit unbelievable at first (a Russian prince? in a basement dungeon?), but when the conclusion comes, all becomes completely clear and realistic. With a bit of romance and a dash of humor, Atherton comes through once again with a charming read that is perfect for a blustery February day!