In 1660, the Restoration of the Stuart Monarchy in England returns Frances Stuart and her family to favor. Frances discards threadbare gowns and goes to gilded Fontainebleau Palace, where she soon catches the Sun King's eye. But Frances is no ordinary court beauty - she has Stuart secrets to keep and her family to protect. King Louis XIV turns vengeful when she rejects his offer to become his Official Mistress. He sends her to England with orders to seduce King Charles II and help him form an alliance with England. The Queen Mother likewise orders Frances to become her son's mistress, in the interest of luring him away from the Protestant mistress he currently keeps.
Armed in pearls and silk, Frances maneuvers the political turbulence of Whitehall Palace, but still can't afford to stir a scandal, determined to keep her family from shame. Her tactic to inspire King Charles to greatness captivates him and the two embark on a tenuous relationship. Frances survives the Great Fire, the Great Plague, and the debauchery of the Restoration Court, yet loses her heart to the very king she must control. A startling discovery will leave her with no other choice but to break his heart, while the fate of England hangs in the balance.
In the tradition of Philippa Gregory, debut author Marci Jefferson brings to life a captivating woman whose beauty, compassion, and intellect impacted a king and a nation, in Girl on the Golden Coin.
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"Starred Review. 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." - Publishers Weekly
"...the book fails to create any sense of urgency, turmoil, or tumult that courtiers of the time faced - and that historical fiction fans demand in their novels. Jefferson's work is good, but don't be surprised if readers lose interest after a while." - Library Journal
"Jefferson fictionalizes the life of a little-known - yet exceedingly familiar - historical figure in her authentically detailed debut...This small leap from the Tudors is a must-read for Alison Weir and Philippa Gregory fans." - Booklist
"A novel as rich and golden as the coin she graced. Frances Stuart's face was truly her fortune and left its mark on history, a rare achievement." - Margaret George, New York Times bestselling author of Elizabeth I: The Novel
"A delicious story of court intrigues, affairs and vibrant personalities, Jefferson's novel is sure to please fans of historical fiction of all kinds." - Madeline Hunter, New York Times bestselling author of The Counterfeit Mistress
"As vibrant and delightful as the woman it's based on, Girl on the Golden Coin is a jewel of a novel!" - Michelle Moran, national bestselling author of The Second Empress
"Frances makes an appealing heroine, by turns wary and passionate, sophisticated and innocent, as she matures from destitute young pawn to the majestic duchess whose figure would grace Britain's coins for centuries." - Kate Quinn, national bestselling author of Mistress of Rome
"A realistic view of court intrigue, this story of merry-making and mischief and the ultimate test of honor will delight readers and keep them turning pages long into the night." - Heather Webb, author of Becoming Josephine
"Girl on the Golden Coin is a fantastic novel. I couldn't put it down. The plot is fast-paced and compelling, with intriguing characters, lush settings and captivating narrative voice." - Susan Spann, author of Claws of the Cat
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Marci Jefferson graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University's Medical College as a Registered Nurse. She is a member of the Historical Novel Society. Jefferson lives in Indiana with her husband and children. Girl on the Golden Coin is her first novel. Visit her at marcijefferson.com
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