This is my tale and I will leave you to tell whether it be high romance or tragedy. Sixteen-year-old Frances Stuart arrives at the Restoration court to find her innocence and beauty are highly-prized commodities, envied by the women and desired by the men. Before long, King Charles II falls passionately in love with her and will stop at nothing to make her his mistress. But Frances is no conventional court beauty. She is determined to make her own choices in life, and to be with the man she loves. Can she overcome the dangerous pitfalls of the Kings obsession, the Queens jealousy, and the traps set for her by the Kings notorious mistresses, and make the life she wants for herself? Set against the drama of the Great Plague and the Fire of London, The Painted Lady brings to life the vibrant and decadent court of Charles II and in Frances Stuart discovers a passionate young woman prepared to fight for her own destiny. Praise for Maeve Harans The Lady and the Poet This is history as pure entertainment, an inventive and delicious feast of passion, wit and intrigue. The Times With its fascinating insight into Tudor life, this will absorb you to the end She The clothes, the jewels, the smell of the place are all evoked; and everyone from the Queen herself to the elusive, sexy figure of Donne come wonderfully to life A. N. Wilson, Readers Digest

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