Diana moves from her idyllic little town where she lives with her adoptive father and sister to the London to study under Maestro Baroni, the greatest singing master of the age. Baroni has taken her on as a pupil because her voice has the capacity to be the best voice he's ever heard. On the train back to her hometown, she sits with a handsome stranger, to whom she is immediately drawn. When the train gets into an accident, the man saves her life. The two are thrown together again in London. The man, Max Errington, is a famous playwright who only writes plays for the great actress Adrienne de Grenier, whom Diana soon befriends. Despite being drawn together, Max continues to rebuff her, despite being obviously drawn to her. He warns her against himself, citing a shadow he must always walk with. Meanwhile, Diana begins her singing career, and becomes the toast of town.
Eventually Max cannot control his feelings for Diana, and asks her to marry him. However, he cautions her that he will never be able to reveal his secret. Is it right for a husband to keep secrets from his wife? Diana wavers, but ends up marrying him. They have a few months of pure happiness until the secret begins to tear them apart...
I'm not really sure when this book takes place. Maybe the early 1900s? It mentions being before the war, so that's at least 1913, and that Max's parents married in the '80s...although I don't know how old anyone except for Diana (18) is.
I really liked the first half of this book. The writing was really wonderful in parts, especially the descriptions of the characters. I really like the characters too. I really liked the hero. The heroine got a little annoying with her light switch emotions, because she flipped back and forth because of one comment, and I didn't like her jealousy of Adrienne. (Although I suppose it was the most natural conclusion she could come to.) I did like her personality though. I loved her relationship with her sister and Paps, and Max's secretary whose name I forget right now, was awesome too.
I sort of guessed Max's secret, but I didn't quite believe it, so I was still surprised when it was revealed.
Not sure how I felt about the end though. In the end she gives up her career for love despite the fact that it's a huge sacrifice and she knows she will probably regret it. A bit too much self-sacrifice.