The unforgettable sequel to Karleen Koen’s beloved debut, Through a Glass Darkly
A Book-of-the-Month Club main selection
A bride at ﬁfteen, widowed at the tender age of twenty, Barbara, Countess Devane, embarks for colonial Virginia ﬁnancially ruined by the death of her husband in scandalous circumstances. Dressed in mourning as is proper for a woman, she is patronizingly described as a “fragile black butterfly,” but the fragility is deceiving. She makes a place for herself in the new world, takes lovers and friends across political divides, and questions the established traditions of slavery. Facing enemies she never suspected, she must return to England and deal face to face with the problems created by her husband, who haunts her even in death. Back in London, she quickly ﬁnds herself pulled into Jacobite plotting, and the treachery of powerful men suddenly threatens her family, her friends—and a new love.
Now Face to Face sweeps readers from eighteenth-century America to London and brings both worlds to vivid life. It is a magniﬁcent evocation of an era, from the plantations of Virginia to Hanoverian England.
The long-awaited prequel to Koen’s beloved Through a Glass Darkly, Dark Angels is a feast of a novel that sparkles with all the passion, extravagance, danger, and scandal of seventeenth-century England.
Alice Verney is a young woman intent on achieving her dreams. Returning to England after a messy scandal forced her to flee to Louis XIV’s France, Alice is anxious to re-establish herself by regaining her former position as a maid of honor to Charles II’s queen and marrying the most celebrated duke of the Restoration.
But all is not as it seems in the rowdy, merry court of Charles II. Since the Restoration, old political alliances have frayed, and there are whispers that the king is moving to divorce his barren queen, who some wouldn’t mind seeing dead. Alice, loyal only to a select few, is devoted to the queen, and so sets out to discover who might be making sinister plans—and if her own father is one of them.
When a member of the royal family dies unexpectedly, the stakes are raised. As Alice steps up her efforts to find out who is—and isn’t—true to the queen, she learns of shocking betrayals throughout court, and meets a man who she may fall in love with—and who could spoil all of her plans. With the suspected arrival of a known poison-maker, the atmosphere in the court electrifies, and suddenly the safety of the king himself seems uncertain. Secret plots are at play, and war is on the horizon—but will it be with the Dutch or the French? And has King Charles himself betrayed his country for greed?
Unforgettable in its dramatic force, here is a novel of love and politics, of romance and betrayal, of power and succession—and of a resourceful young woman who risks everything for pride and status in an era in which women were afforded little of either.