“An intriguing romp through Louis XV's France. Filled with lush backdrops, rich detail, and colorful characters, fans of historical fiction will enjoy this glimpse into the lost golden era of the French monarchy.” (Allison Pataki, author of The Accidental Empress) “Tantalizing descriptions and cliff-hangers will leave the reader rapidly turning the pages in anticipation…A wickedly delightful read.” (New York Daily News) Goodness, but sisters are a thing to fear. Court intriguers are beginning to sense that young King Louis XV, after seven years of marriage, is tiring of his Polish wife. The race is on to find a mistress for the royal bed as various factions put their best feet—and women—forward. The King’s scheming ministers push sweet, naïve Louise, the eldest of the aristocratic Nesle sisters, into the arms of the King. Over the following decade, she and three of her younger sisters—ambitious Pauline; complacent Diane, and cunning Marie Anne—will conspire, betray, suffer, and triumph in a desperate fight for both love and power as each becomes the king’s favorite for a time. In the tradition of The Other Boleyn Girl, The Sisters of Versailles is a clever, intelligent, and absorbing novel that historical fiction fans will devour. Based on meticulous research on a group of women never before written about in English, Sally Christie’s stunning debut is a complex exploration of power and sisterhood—of the admiration, competition, and even hatred that can coexist within a family when the stakes are high enough.
Court intriguers are beginning to sense that young King Louis XV, after seven years of marriage, is tiring of his Polish wife. The race is on to find a mistress for the royal bed. The King's scheming ministers push Louise, the eldest of the aristocratic Nesle sisters, into the arms of the King. Over the following decade, of the five Nesle sisters-- Louise, Pauline, Diane, Hortense, and Marie-Anne-- four will become mistresses to King Louis XV. All will conspire, betray, suffer, and triumph in a desperate fight for both love and power.
The Rivals of Versailles
Author: Sally Christie
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
And you thought sisters were a thing to fear. In this captivating follow-up to Sally Christie’s clever and absorbing debut, we meet none other than the Marquise de Pompadour, one of the greatest beauties of her generation and the first bourgeois mistress ever to grace the hallowed halls of Versailles. The year is 1745 and King Louis XV’s bed is once again empty. Enter Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson, a beautiful girl from the middle classes. As a child, a fortune teller had told young Jeanne’s destiny: she would become the lover of a king and the most powerful woman in the land. Eventually connections, luck, and a little scheming pave her way to Versailles and into the King’s arms. All too soon, conniving politicians and hopeful beauties seek to replace the bourgeois interloper with a more suitable mistress. As Jeanne, now the Marquise de Pompadour, takes on her many rivals—including a lustful lady-in-waiting, a precocious fourteen-year-old prostitute, and even a cousin of the notorious Nesle sisters—she helps the king give himself over to a life of luxury and depravity. Around them, war rages, discontent grows, and France inches ever closer to the Revolution. Told in Christie's celebrated witty and modern style, The Rivals of Versailles will delight and entrance fans as it brings to life the court of Louis XV in all its pride, pestilence, and glory.
A captivating Parisian novel of rich spectacle and royal scandal that spans 15 years in the fateful reign of Marie Antoinette, France's most legendary and notorious queen.
Author: Karleen Koen
Publisher: Sourcebooks, Inc.
"A grand yet intimate look at the Sun King, a tale rich with detail and action."—Library Journal (Starred Review, one of the best historical novels of the year) Before Versailles transports you to a world of secret passions and plots, a world of duplicity and malice...a world that created one of the best–known monarchs to grace the French throne. At the most decisive time in the young king's life, Louis XIV can taste the danger. His court teems with greed and corruption, the wrong woman draws him into a wrenching love affair, and a mysterious boy in an iron mask haunts the woods. The untried ruler is coming into his own in 1661, and Louis XIV must face what he is willing to sacrifice for honor and for love. Meticulously researched and gorgeously brought to life by New York Times bestselling author Karleen Koen, Before Versailles offers up a sumptuous, authentic exploration of a time that forged a man into a king. Praise for Before Versailles: "In this magnificently written and researched novel, Karleen Koen brings to vibrant life the early years and loves of the future Sun King."—Jean M. Auel, author of The Clan of the Cave Bear and the Land of Painted Caves "A baroque cornucopia spilling over with intrigue, passion, jealousy, ambition, and rich historical detail, Before Versailles offers a glittering glimpse of the crucial months that shaped Louis XIV into Europe's most powerful monarch."—Eleanor Herman, author of Sex with Kings
A novel for fans of Philippa Gregory and Michelle Moran, Confessions of Marie Antoinette blends rich historical detail with searing drama, bringing to life the first years of the French Revolution and the final days of the legendary French queen. Versailles, 1789. As the burgeoning rebellion reaches the palace gates, Marie Antoinette finds her privileged and peaceful life swiftly upended by violence. Once her loyal subjects, the people of France now seek to overthrow the crown, placing the heirs of the Bourbon dynasty in mortal peril. Displaced to the Tuileries Palace in Paris, the royal family is propelled into the heart of the Revolution. There, despite a few staunch allies, they are surrounded by cunning spies and vicious enemies. Yet despite the political and personal threats against her, Marie Antoinette remains, above all, a devoted wife and mother, standing steadfastly by her husband, Louis XVI, and protecting their young son and daughter. And though the queen secretly attempts to arrange her family’s rescue from the clutches of the rebels, she finds that they can neither outrun the dangers encircling them nor escape their shocking fate. Advance praise for Confessions of Marie Antoinette “Juliet Grey brings her trilogy on Marie Antoinette’s life to a triumphant finale, depicting with sensitivity and compelling vividness the collapse of a bygone glamorous world and the courageous transformation of its ill-fated queen.”—C. W. Gortner, author of The Queen’s Vow “A heartfelt journey with Marie Antoinette in her wrenching last days . . . We see the end looming that is still veiled from her eyes, and knowing her hopes are in vain makes it all the more poignant. Far from the ‘let them eat cake’ woman of legend, Juliet Grey’s Marie Antoinette reveals herself to be a person we can admire for her courage, her loyalty, and her love of her family and her adopted country, France.”—Margaret George Look for special features inside. Join the Random House Reader’s Circle for author chats and more.
Forced to marry an elderly baron instead of a man she loves, impoverished noblewoman Gabrielle de Montserrat is condemned to death at the height of the French Revolution and finds her life placed in the hands of her former lover.
This enthralling confection of a novel, the first in a new trilogy, follows the transformation of a coddled Austrian archduchess into the reckless, powerful, beautiful queen Marie Antoinette. Why must it be me? I wondered. When I am so clearly inadequate to my destiny? Raised alongside her numerous brothers and sisters by the formidable empress of Austria, ten-year-old Maria Antonia knew that her idyllic existence would one day be sacrificed to her mother’s political ambitions. What she never anticipated was that the day in question would come so soon. Before she can journey from sunlit picnics with her sisters in Vienna to the glitter, glamour, and gossip of Versailles, Antonia must change everything about herself in order to be accepted as dauphine of France and the wife of the awkward teenage boy who will one day be Louis XVI. Yet nothing can prepare her for the ingenuity and influence it will take to become queen. Filled with smart history, treacherous rivalries, lavish clothes, and sparkling jewels, Becoming Marie Antoinette will utterly captivate fiction and history lovers alike. Look for special features inside. Join the Circle for author chats and more. RandomHouseReadersCircle.com From the Trade Paperback edition.
Curse Not the King
Author: Evelyn Anthony
Publisher: Open Road Media
The tale of the treacherous battle for the throne between Catherine the Great and her son Paul, set against the backdrop of late-eighteenth-century Russia The year is 1773. Catherine the Great has been in power for a decade. Since the assassination of her husband, Peter III, in a coup d'état, she has been empress of all the Russias. She rules with enlightenment and grace, driven by ambition and her secret dream to free Russia’s millions of serfs. Tonight she is celebrating the wedding of her son Paul Petrovitch. He was nine—and the rightful heir to the throne—when Peter died and Catherine seized power. Her son has neither forgotten nor forgiven, and hatred for his mother—and his father’s murderer—festers in his heart. He doesn’t know that Catherine committed a terrible crime to safeguard his liberty and his life. She prays that marriage will be the solution to his violent rages and the dangerous enmity between them. Curse Not the King chronicles the struggle for dominance between mother and son. Notorious for her love affairs, Catherine ruled an empire shadowed by treachery, intrigue, and deadly betrayals. But she was never able to make peace with Paul, who would go on to become czar, finally attaining his long-awaited revenge, and whose own son Alexander would reign after him. Curse Not the King is the 2nd book in the Romanov Trilogy, but you may enjoy reading the series in any order.
Enchantress of Paris
Author: Marci Jefferson
The alignment of the stars at Marie Mancini's birth warned that although she would be gifted at divination, she was destined to disgrace her family. Nonetheless, Cardinal Mazarin brings his niece to the opulent French court, where the forbidden occult arts thrive in secret. In France, Marie discovers that her powerful uncle rules, using Marie's sister Olympia to hold the Sun King, Louis XIV, in thrall. Desperate to avoid her mother's dying wish that she spend her life in a convent, Marie burns her grimoire, trading Italian superstitions for polite sophistication. As her star rises, King Louis becomes enchanted by Marie's charm. Sensing a chance to grab even greater power, Cardinal Mazarin pits the sisters against each other, showering Marie with diamonds and silks in exchange for bending King Louis to his will. Disgusted by Mazarin's ruthlessness, Marie rebels. She sacrifices everything, but exposing Mazarin's darkest secret threatens to tear France apart. When even King Louis' love fails to protect Marie, she must summon her powers of divination. Fraught with conspiracy and passion, Enchantress of Paris is a captivating historical novel about a woman whose love was more powerful than magic.
Mistress of the Sun
Author: Sandra Gulland
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
The author of the internationally acclaimed Josephine Bonaparte trilogy returns with another irresistible historical novel, this one based on the life of Louise de la Vallière, who, against all odds, became one of the most mysterious consorts of France's Louis XIV, the charismatic Sun King. Set against the magnificent decadence of the seventeenth-century French court, Mistress of the Sun begins when an eccentric young Louise falls in love with a wild white stallion and uses ancient magic to tame him. This one desperate action of her youth shadows her throughout her life, changing it in ways she could never imagine. Unmarriageable, and too poor to join a convent, Louise enters the court of the Sun King, where the king is captivated by her. As their love unfolds, Louise bears Louis four children, is made a duchess, and reigns unrivaled as his official mistress until dangerous intrigue threatens her position at court and in Louis's heart. A riveting love story with a captivating mystery at its heart, Mistress of the Sun illuminates both the power of true and perfect love and the rash actions we take to capture and tame it.
The Romanov Trilogy
Author: Evelyn Anthony
Publisher: Open Road Media
Three novels by the prize-winning international-bestselling author in one volume —the complete saga of Catherine the Great’s passionate rise to power. The Romanov Trilogy brings three of Evelyn Anthony’s most successful works together in one collection following the dramatic life of Catherine the Great. Rebel Princess: Augusta Fredericka’s fantasy of reigning as Catherine the Great comes true after marrying Grand Duke Peter Romanov. But the repulsive—and sexually and emotionally impotent—heir to the Russian throne is not the man she expects. A succession of lovers may fulfill her, but they’ve also left her vulnerable to her seditious husband’s plot to have her arrested for treason. Curse Not the King: Since her husband’s assassination, Catherine has ruled for a decade. But her son—the rightful heir to the throne—has never forgiven her seizure of power, or forgotten his father’s murder. Little does he know the sacrifices she’s made—as mother and empress—to safeguard his liberty and life. Now, all Catherine can do is pray that her son’s blind rage won’t destroy them both. Far Flies the Eagle: Following victory in Europe, Gen. Napoleon Bonaparte is ready for his next conquest: Russia. What has he to fear from such a young czar? But Alexander, the grandson of Catherine the Great, should not be underestimated. A powerful adversary, he’s already murdered his own father to ascend to the throne. Vanquishing the French emperor will be a pleasure. Sweeping from Paris to the Kremlin to the battlefield, Anthony’s historically authentic trilogy offers a fascinating glimpse into the Romanov family and of the grand ambitions of one woman. “Miss Anthony knows how to highlight the . . . drama and intrigue that gradually change a trembling girl into a woman of brilliance and power” (The New York Times).
Madame de Pompadour
Author: Evelyne Lever
A portrait of the famous mistress of Louis XV traces the political and personal intricacies of her relationship with the king, her impact on period culture, and friendships with top artists, writers, and philosophers. Reprint. 20,000 first printing.
Author: Evelyn Anthony
Publisher: Open Road Media
An obscure Prussian princess is transformed into Catherine the Great, the longest-ruling female leader of Russia The Prussian-born daughter of a minor princeling, Augusta Fredericka dreams of being a queen. When, one snowy December night in 1743, she’s summoned to Russia to wed Grand Duke Peter Romanov, she believes all her fantasies are about to come true. But the heir to the Russian throne is not the man Augusta expects. Stunted and deformed, her husband-to-be is an impotent half-wit who plays with dolls, hates women, and can’t bear to be touched. Once they wed, obtaining an heir becomes the driving obsession of Peter’s aunt, the scheming, powerful Empress Elizabeth, who hires a handsome nobleman to seduce the virgin grand duchess. It works: Catherine bears a son, Paul, who is taken from her, leaving her isolated and vulnerable. Catherine finds fulfillment in a succession of lovers, but lives in constant fear for her life. Her most treacherous enemy is her own husband, who plots to have her arrested for treason. Set against the turbulent background of czarist Russia, Evelyn Anthony’s novel weaves a spellbinding tale of passion and ambition and one woman’s rise to power as empress of her adopted country. Rebel Princess is the 1st book in the Romanov Trilogy, but you may enjoy reading the series in any order.
Returned to favor by the restoration of the Stuart monarchy in 1660, Royalist exile Frances Stuart is rendered a political and sexual pawn torn between keeping her family's secrets and pleasing the kings she serves. A first novel. 25,000 first printing.