When, Louis Napoleon, the elected President of France, and the grandson of Napoleon Bonaparte, overthrew the democratically elected government in 1851, establishing a new French Republic, the courts of Europe became embroiled in a game of diplomatic thrust and counter thrust.Confirmed bachelor Captain Richard Pembleton of the Royal Engineers is invited by England's Foreign Minister Lord Palmerston to join the ranks of military intelligence. His first task is to escort a young Scotsman to Russia, however, things do not always go to plan.Natasha Bludova, the illegitimate daughter of Grand Duke Michael Pavlovich and Countess Bludova found the French aristocracy quite intolerable. "Oh, Mother, these Frenchmen are such ignorant pigs." she exclaimed, with a mixed expression of disappointment and frustration. She could never accept a Frenchman, though, she need not have feared the prospect. Her Uncle, Czar Nicholas 1 would never consent to her marrying a Frenchmen, Russia's mortal and historical enemy.