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Theo's Ghost
by Regina Pounds   

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Historical Fiction

Publisher:  Infinity ISBN-10:  0741463822


Copyright:  January 2011 ISBN-13:  9780741463821

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Theo's Ghost at Infinity Publishing

In the idyllic Prussia of 1820, a Countess and an Englishman must uncover secrets from the past to win happiness. Mysteries and dangers lurk in this charming love story.

In 1820, Baron von Sydow, a Prussian Junker, entrusts his ward, Countess Theo, with the execution of his last will. “All’s well that ends well” is his motto. The terms of that will puzzle Theo. For six months, she must reside with a man, of whom she has never even heard, at the Baron’s manor. If she finds the stranger worthy, he will inherit the entire estate...if not, it will be hers.

Intrigued by such an opportunity, Jeremy Dalton, an English merchant’s son, accepts the invitation to stay in Prussia. The lovely Countess soon interests him more than the potential inheritance; however, the situation becomes complicated: Theo’s princely suitor arrives…there’s a rebellion in the schoolhouse…a poacher poses danger…and a ghost seems to cause mischief at the manor. Worst of all, the delectable Countess is stationed far above him.

Theo’s task is difficult. How can she fairly judge the Englishman when he engages her heart so easily? Her guardian expected her to right a wrong. Why?

Dalton and the Prince engage in rivalry, while Theo delves into the past. She confronts Dalton with all she learns, but for the final answers, he must look into his own heart.

All’s well that ends well, thanks to none other than Theo’s ghost…


Theo opened that pretty mouth now and attacked him directly. “So, tell us, Mr. Dalton, what are your intentions? Will you stay here and claim the inheritance?”

He almost gaped at her, but caught himself in time to keep his own mouth closed. Taking a long swig of his brandy, he considered her. She looked innocent enough, yet a certain gleam in her eyes warned him.

“As to all that, Miss von Mainau,” he replied at last, “I haven’t quite decided. My trips to the village and to several farms have yielded little information. No one was able to understand my questions, let alone to answer them.”

“Well,” she said briskly, her brow creased just a little, “for that you have me now, don’t you?”

“Quite so, Miss von Mainau.”

He glanced around and noted with satisfaction that Frau von Herbeck had tactfully drawn Tobias to the side and engaged him in conversation. Turning his sharp gaze back upon his inquisitive employee, he counter-attacked directly: “By the bye, Miss von Mainau, you haven’t stated your requirements yet. What sort of salary had you in mind? I wonder whether I can afford your services.”

Her rosy lips opened; her eyes widened.

“I beg your pardon. Was it indelicate of me to mention pecuniary matters?” He raised one brow and tried to look concerned. “You so obviously belong to the nobility of this country. What exactly does the ‘von’ mean? Without a title, doesn’t it indicate standing of a lower order? The lettered nobility?”

“You mean Briefadel, nobles elevated to their rank by letter patent, and not necessarily owners of land,” she corrected him automatically. “Though the matter of ranking is more complex than that.”

“Ah yes.” He studied her with interest. When she avoided looking at him, he struck. “Pray don’t feel poorly. I myself detest members of the upper crust. Now, I’d think a hundred English pounds per month would be adequate. What do you say? Your services are worth at least that much ... or would you consider the sum excessive?”

She actually squirmed in her seat. The fine, blonde lace at her bodice trembled. Her gown of celestial blue silk looked expensive. Suppressing a wicked grin, he said, “Have you any idea at all what a governess earns?”

Now her voice betrayed alarm: “What do you mean by that, sir?”

“I mean I want you to confess, Miss von Mainau. You are no ordinary governess. Nor did you offer your help to me on the spur of the moment.”

Horror written on her lovely face, she stared at him in silence. When he did not elaborate, she stammered, “What ... what are you implying?”

“Merely that the game is up. You and your young Count staged that encounter.”

“You knew?”

“Instantly.” He smiled, thinking her confusion adorable.

Miss von Mainau swallowed visibly and turned to Count Tobias. By pure chance, he had come closer just a moment earlier and heard the Englishman’s words; however, Tobias had no inspiration just at that moment.

“Well, come now, my dear Miss von Mainau.” Jeremy took pity on her. “I assure you I’m flattered. It’s obvious you are something of an expert in the field of languages, and whatever may have prompted you to approach me, it was a charming prank. Since I’m the one to profit—”

Before either Tobias or Theodora rallied enough to reply to this conclusion, a creak and a groan vibrated through the room. The chandelier, which hung suspended from the stuccoed ceiling, quivered, all its prisms chiming.

“What the devil was that?” Dalton exclaimed, quite forgetting the presence of ladies.

Inspiration struck; Tobias laughed. “Oh!” he cried. “That’s nothing. Just the Long Ludwig!”

“The long—?” Dalton frowned darkly, his blue eyes narrowed.

“The Long Ludwig,” explained Count Tobias, unable to keep the tone of superiority out of his voice. “The ghost, sir.”

And when Jeremy Dalton swung his incredulous gaze to Miss von Mainau, she nodded.

“The Long Ludwig, indeed,” she said gravely. Her eyes, though, sparkled with devilish merriment. “He is the ghost in residence here. He is rather militant and has been known to come to the aid of ladies.”

Professional Reviews
A Charming and Whimsical Novel
In 1819 Prussia, as he lies dying, Baron von Sydow obtains a vow from his beloved "sunshine" ward Countess Theodora Von Mainau. She will insure his will is fully followed to include Theo living with a stranger, Jeremy Dalton, for six months to determine if the Englishman deserves inheriting the Baron's estate. Bewildered by her Onkel Theodor's request, Theo starts to implement the stipulation by inviting Jeremy to Prussia. Seeing an opportunity to better himself plus intrigued by the weird will, Jeremy accepts the invitation to come to Prussia. However, when he arrives in Prussia the property no longer seems quite as interesting as does Theo. Although he knows she is clearly well above his social status, he must compete with a prince for her love, and is a foreigner to boot, Jeremy feels compelled to do so. With the help of a caring but mischievous ghost doubtfully in his corner, Jeremy might do the impossible and win the heart of Theo, whose deathbed vow requires her to stay neutral and judge him. THEO'S GHOST is a fantastic supernatural historical romance due to the authentic prime cast making nineteenth century Prussia seem alive. By placing her lead characters on the non-French part of the continent, Ms. Pounds provides her audience with a fresh perspective to the usual Regency era tale. Adding to the wide diversity in background between the lead protagonists and a huggable ghost to the mix will lead sub-genre fans to desire tons more books from a talented author, whose career motto should be all's well that begins well.

Harriet Klausner

One of my favorite stories!
"Theo's Ghost" by German author Regina Pounds is one of my favorite stories. A charming story that is both romantic and compelling at the same time.
A tale of romance set in 1820 about an English Merchant and a Prussian Countess.

A wonderful novel by a German author who now lives in the U.S.

A writer that I know we will be hearing a lot more from in the months and even years to come!

John Savoy
Filmmaker, CA

Theo's Ghost
Theodora Wittlach has been charged with a most unusual chore to execute her great-uncle's will and decide whether or not a stranger is worthy of inheriting his estate. Her task is made all the more difficult by her reaction to the strangers arrogance and good looks. Jeremy Dalton is an Englishman out of place in the world of aristocratic Prussia. He does not understand why the late baron named him as his heir, but is intrigued by both the will and the woman who holds the key to its mystery.

Embittered by his past experiences with the nobility, Jeremy has vowed never to love a lady like Theo. Only the unveiling of long-hidden secrets and some much needed soul-searching can break societys barriers and bring the two together.

Though a lush tapestry of words and wit, the story suffers slightly at the end, with the many subplots needing resolution for a happily-ever-after. Still, Ms. Pounds is an author to watch and THEOS GHOST is a must read for historical lovers.

Reviewed By: Gina Bernal
Romantic Times Book Review

Reader Reviews for "Theo's Ghost"

Reviewed by Regis Auffray
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