Girl on the Golden Coin

Marci Jefferson, Author
Marci Jefferson. Minotaur/Dunne, $25.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-250-03722-0
Reviewed on: 01/13/2014
Release date: 02/11/2014
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-1-250-06094-5
Open Ebook - 336 pages - 978-1-250-03721-3
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Jefferson's intoxicating first novel superbly draws readers into the mischief and maneuverings, loyalties and treacheries, and lust and hostility of powerful 17th century kings and scheming court sycophants. Frances Stuart, a young distant cousin of King Charles II, and other historical figures reveal the essence of Restoration England in this captivating story. After the execution of Charles I and a controversial stint with Oliver Cromwell, the Stuart dynasty is restored to power in England 1660 with Charles II on the throne. Jefferson's story begins as Frances rejects French King Louis XIV's offer to make her his mistress. A vengeful Louis threatens to expose Stuart family secrets unless Frances returns to England to seduce King Charles, a political tactic intended to help establish a French-Anglo alliance. Jefferson aptly recounts the passionate affair and resulting potential "political calamity," the queen's infertility, the mistresses and illegitimate children, and the turmoil of London's devastating plague, the great fire and the Dutch war. Although the passage of years are somewhat rushed at the end, this is an exciting, solid debut. (Feb.)
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