Signora Da Vinci

But no one knew the secrets of her own childhood, nor could ever have guessed the dangerous and heretical scheme she would devise to protect and watch over her remarkable son. An enchanting novel on the life and origins of leonardo da Vinci’s mother, as imagined by the author of the “absolutely superb” Diane Haeger, author of The Secret Bride Mademoiselle Boleyn.

A young woman named caterina was only fifteen years old in 1452 when she bore an illegitimate child in the tiny village of Vinci. His name was leonardo, and he was destined to change the world forever. Caterina suffered much cruelty as an unmarried mother and had no recourse when her boy was taken away from her.

. This captivating novel imagines the story of Caterina—the brilliant young woman, the adventurer, the alchemist—during the fascinating period of the Renaissance.

In the Name of the Family: A Novel

Sarah dunant again employs her remarkable gifts as a storyteller to bring to life the passionate men and women of the Borgia family, as well as the ever-compelling figure of Machiavelli, through whom the reader will experience one of the most fascinating—and doomed—dynasties of all time. With in the name of the family, she offers a thrilling exploration of the House of Borgia’s final years, in the company of a young diplomat named Niccolò Machiavelli.

Before the corleones, before the Lannisters, there were the Borgias. But while the pope rails against old age and his son’s increasingly erratic behavior, her new home, it is Lucrezia who must navigate the treacherous court of Urbino, and another challenging marriage to create her own place in history.

And then there is his son cesare borgia, ruthless, brilliant, and increasingly unstable; it is his relationship with Machiavelli that gives the Florentine diplomat a master class in the dark arts of power and politics. Combines flawless historical scholarship with beguiling storytelling. The guardian“renaissance-rich details fill out the humanity of the Borgias, rendering them into the kind of relatable figures whom we would hope to discover behind the cold brilliance of The Prince.

Npr “dunant has an enviable command of this complex political scene, with its shifting alliances and subtle betrayals. She has a special gift for attending to her female characters.

The Queen's Secret: A Novel Queens of England Book 7

The young princess lived a secluded life, awaiting her father’s sane moments and suffering through the mad ones, as her mother took up with her uncle and their futures became more and more uncertain. With joan of arc inciting the french to overthrow English rule, Katherine’s loyalty to her adopted homeland of England became a matter of intense suspicion.

Katherine’s fortunes appeared to be changing when, at nineteen, she was married to King Henry V of England. Within two years, she gave birth to an heir—but her happiness was fleeting. But no one, owen tudor—or that a generation later, could have anticipated that she would fall in love with and secretly marry one of her guardians, not even Katherine herself, their grandson would become the first king of the great Tudor dynasty.

Katherine of valois was born a princess, the daughter of King Charles VI of France. Soon after the birth of her son, she lost her husband to an illness. But by the time katherine was old enough to know him, her father had come to be called “Charles the Mad, ” given to unpredictable fits of insanity. Katherine had brought her dowry and borne her heir; what use was she to England? It was decreed that she would live out her remaining years alone, far from the seat of power.


The Shadow Queen: A Novel

From the author of the beloved Josephine B. This parallel is not lost on athénaïs, who fears political enemies are plotting her ruin as young courtesans angle to take the coveted spot in the king's bed. Indeed, claudette's "reputable" new position is marked by spying, illicit trysts and titanic power struggles.

As athénaïs, innocent love charms move into the realm of deadly Black Magic, becomes ever more desperate to hold onto the King's favor, and Claudette is forced to consider a move that will put her own life—and the family she loves so dearly—at risk. Set against the gilded opulence of a newly-constructed versailles and the War of Theaters, THE SHADOW QUEEN is a seductive, gripping novel about the lure of wealth, the illusion of power, and the increasingly uneasy relationship between two strong-willed women whose actions could shape the future of France.

. Working with playwrights corneille, but like all in the theatrical world at the time, Molière and Racine, Claudette’s life is culturally rich, she's socially scorned. A series of chance encounters gradually pull Claudette into the alluring orbit of Athénaïs de Montespan, mistress to Louis XIV and reigning "Shadow Queen.

Needing someone to safeguard her secrets, Athénaïs offers to hire Claudette as her personal attendant. Enticed by the promise of riches and respectability, Claudette leaves the world of the theater only to find that court is very much like a stage, with outward shows of loyalty masking more devious intentions.

Trilogy, comes a spellbinding novel inspired by the true story of a young woman who rises from poverty to become confidante to the most powerful, provocative and dangerous woman in the 17th century French court: the mistress of the charismatic Sun King.

The Tenth Gift: A Novel

An enthralling story of secrets and discovering love where you least expect it, in The Tenth Gift the art of embroidery uncannily links two fascinating women of different eras and their equally passionate love storiesIn an expensive London restaurant, Julia Lovat receives a gift that changes her life.

And in morocco—just as Cat did before her—she will lose her heart. Though they live almost 400 years apart, the stories of these two women converge in an extraordinary and haunting manner that begs the question, is history fated to repeat itself? "The Tenth Gift is wildly yet convincingly romantic—a rare combo…both a sensitive portrayal of Muslim culture and a delectable adventure of the heart.

Usa today. Captivated by this dramatic discovery, Julia sets off to North Africa to determine the authenticity of the book and to uncover more of Cat’s mesmerizing story. There, amid the sultry heat, and exotic ruins, the spice markets, in the company of a charismatic Moroccan guide, Julia will discover secrets long buried.

Yet in its margins are the faintest diary entries; they reveal that “Cat” and others were stolen from their Cornish church in 1625 by Muslim pirates and taken on a brutal voyage to Morocco to be auctioned off as slaves. At first glance it is a book of exquisite seventeenth-century embroidery patterns belonging to a woman named Catherine Ann Tregenna.


Holy Fools: A Novel

The abbey's new leader is the daughter of a corrupt noble family, and she arrives with a ghost from Juliette's past -- Guy LeMerle, a man she has every reason to fear and hate. This P. S. Juliette, a one-time actress and rope dancer, is forced to seek refuge among the sisters of the abbey of Sainte Marie-de-la-mer.

Reinventing herself as soeur Auguste, Juliette makes a new life for herself and her young daughter, Fleur. But when the kindly abbess dies, Juliette's comfortable existence begins to unravel. Edition features an extra 16 pages of insights into the book, recommended reading, including author interviews, and more.

. Joanne harris, deception and masquerade, bestselling author of Chocolat, presents her most accomplished novel yet -- an intoxicating concoction that blends theology and reason, with a dash of whimsical humor and a soupçon of sensuality. Britanny, 1610 .

Revenge of the Rose: A Novel

But that would entail outscheming clever Jouglet, ablest of schemers. Gossip, secrets, and lies are the fuel of daily life in Konrad's court. For if willem's star keeps rising, imogen will be betrothed to the knight by royal decree—and Willem's star will surely continue to rise, unless Marcus figures out a way to stop it.

But what, really, does Jouglet stand to gain. Or lose?transporting the reader to the brilliant, revenge of the Rose is a novel rich in irony and tongue-in-cheek wit, conniving heart of the largest empire of medieval Europe, and reveals all the grit and color, politics and passion, of court life in the Holy Roman Empire.

Welcome to a world of intrigue of the most intriguing kind, where emperors and popes desperately vie for power, even as their subjects and servants engage in behind-the-scenes machinations of their own. The holy roman Empire circa 1200 A. D. Impoverished young knight willem of Dole believed he would spend his life in rural Burgundy, struggling to provide for his widowed mother and younger sister, Lienor.

This unexpected elevation of the sibling "nobodies" delights jouglet, but threatens three powerful—and dangerous—men at the court: the Emperor's brother, who has in mind a different bride for Konrad; the Emperor's uncle, Count of Burgundy, Cardinal Paul, Alphonse, who would keep secret certain things that only Willem can reveal; and most especially the Emperor's own steward Marcus, who is hopelessly in love with Konrad's cousin Imogen.

. As konrad edges closer to proclaiming lienor his bride, those around Willem play a perilous game of cat-and-mouse as they attempt to secure their own fortunes, knowing that even the slightest move can shift the playing field entirely.

Glory and the Lightning: A Novel of Ancient Greece

She discovered at an early age how to use her powers of intellect as ingeniously as those of the flesh.    . Her wealthy father vowed to abandon any female child, so Aspasia was secreted away, educated independently of her family, and raised as a courtesan. Born in the greek city of Miletus, Aspasia was destined for a life of tragedy.

Ensconced in the persian harems of al taliph, she meets the man who will change her fate: Pericles, statesman, the formidable political leader, ruler of Athens, and Aspasia’s most cherished lover. She becomes his trusted confidante, war, his equal through scandal, and revolt. From the eruption of the peloponnesian War to violent political and family rivalries to a devastating plague, author Taylor Caldwell plunges the reader into the heart of ancient Athens.

New york times bestseller: a breathtaking saga of ancient Greece and one of history’s most influential political couples, Aspasia and Pericles. This ebook features an illustrated biography of Taylor Caldwell including rare images from the author’s estate. In bringing to life the tumultuous love affairs and gripping power struggles of one of history’s most complicated and fascinating women, Glory and the Lightning is thrilling proof that “Caldwell never falters when it comes to storytelling” Publishers Weekly.


The Perfect Royal Mistress: A Novel

But the street-smart Nell knows a woman doesn’t get ahead by selling her body. From the gritty streets of seventeenth-century london, to the glittering court of Charles II, The Perfect Royal Mistress is a love story for the ages, to the backstage glamour of its theaters, the rags-to-riches tale of a truly remarkable heroine.

Their attraction is as real as it is unlikely, and the scrappy orange girl with the pretty face and the quick wit soon finds herself plunged into the confusing and dangerous world of the court, where she learns there are few she can trust—and many whom she cannot turn her back on. Her skills and beauty quickly win the attention of all of London—eventually even catching the eye of King Charles II.

Born into poverty and raised in a brothel, nell Gwynne sells oranges in the pit at London’s King’s Theater, newly reopened after the plague and the Great Fire devastated the city. Soon, her quick sense of humor and natural charm get her noticed by those who have the means to make her life easier. Through talent, intelligence, charm, and sheer determination—as well as a keen understanding of how the world operates—Nell works her way out of the pit and onto the stage to become the leading comedic actress of the day.


Mademoiselle Boleyn

Mesmerized by the thrilling passion, and betrayal that unfolds, intrigue, Anne discovers the power of being a woman who catches the eye of a powerful king. And she is not to be disappointed, for her beautiful sister, Mary, has been handed a mission: to let herself be seduced by the King of France in order to uncover his secrets.

A riveting portrait of anne boleyn as a young girl, and her unconventional education in the court of the King of France…When her father is assigned the task of spying on the French Court, the charming and sweetly innocent Anne Boleyn is delighted by the thought of a new adventure. And, as she grows into a beautiful young woman, she undergoes her own sexual awakening, each daring exploit taking her one step closer to the life that is her destiny.


Song of the Exile Ballantine Reader's Circle

In this epic, author of the acclaimed shark dialogues, sweeping past springs to life, tragedy and triumph, draws upon the remarkable stories of her people to create a timeless, original novel in which Hawaii's fierce, passionate tale of love and survival, Kiana Davenport, survival and transcendence. From the turbulent years of world war ii through hawaii's complex journey to statehood, this mesmerizing story presents a cast of richly imagined characters who rise up magnificent and forceful, redeemed by the spiritual power and the awesome beauty of their islands.

In spellbinding, sensual prose, song of the exile follows the fortunes of the Meahuna family—and the odyssey of one resilient man searching for his soul mate after she is torn from his side by the forces of war.