Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
In her first work of historical fiction, debut novelist, Marci Jefferson, tackles Frances Stuart, whose influence over England’s Charles II and rejection of three of the seventeenth century’s most illustrious kings became the talk of a nation. Jefferson instills a fierce spirit and spine in the beautiful Frances Stuart, proving she was much more than a royal mistress. What Philippa Gregory did for the Tudors, Jefferson will do for the Stuarts, with the elegant and addictive, Girl on the Golden Coin.
In 1660, the Restoration of 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.
My ReviewNo dear readers, do not try to adjust your screen – yes, you are really are seeing a review from me! It’s been longer than I care to admit since I’ve written my last review. But with having two babies in two years and my own growing business I’ve been a tad busy so I do hope you’ll forgive me!
What better way to end a reviewing drought than with Marci Jefferson’s spectacular debut, Girl on the Golden Coin! Set during two of the most intriguing courts in Europe’s history, that of Louis XIV of France, the “Sun King’ and Charles II of England, the “Merry Monarch”, readers are treated to a veritable tour-de-force of court machinations, where loyalties are tested (and often found wanting), and a girl’s innocence is barter for other’s political aspirations.
Frances is a strong protagonist to root for, I really felt for the awful position she was in. Tasked to seduce King Charles, convince him to leave his current mistress, Lady Castlemaine, and turn him to Catholicism. She must do so or her mother’s secret will be revealed and her family disgraced. But what she didn’t count on was falling in love with Charles, even as her conscience rails against it.
Atmospheric and historically delicious, Girl on the Golden Coin will appeal to veteran readers of historical fiction, as well as the casual reader. I am eager to see what is on the horizon next for Marci Jefferson, she is definitely an author to watch!
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book via the publisher in return for my honest review.
Praise for Girl on the Golden Coin“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…this is an exciting, solid debut.” —Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
“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–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: A Novel
Buy the BookAmazon US (eBook)
Amazon US (Hardcover)
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About the Author
Marci Jefferson grew up in an Air Force family and so lived numerous places, including North
Carolina, Georgia, and the Philippines. Her passion for history sparked while living in Yorktown, Virginia, where locals still share Revolutionary War tales. She lives in Indiana with her husband and children. This is her first novel.
Follow Marci's Tour1/29 – giveaway, Devourer of Books
1/31 – interview/giveaway, Literary, etc
2/1 – review, A Bookish Libraria
2/3 – review, The Bookish Owl
2/4 – review/giveaway, Writing the Renaissance
2/5 – interview, Writing the Renaissance
2/6 – interview, Between the Sheets/Heather Webb
2/7 – interview, Spann of Time
2/8 – review/giveaway, Passages to the Past
2/9 – review, Royal Reviews
2/10 – Picture This, SheReads
2/10 – review/giveaway, The Lit Bitch
2/11 – review, Reading the Past
2/11 – interview/on-sale announcement, Enchanted by Josephine
2/11 – Three Favorite Things, USA TODAY’S Happy Ever After
2/12 – review/giveaway, Enchanted by Josephine
2/12 – review, Muse/Erika Robuck
2/13 – review, Unabridged Chick
2/13 – interview/giveaway/excerpt, Harlequin Junkie
2/14 – interview, Unabridged Chick
2/15 – review, Historical Fiction Obsession
2/16 – review, Lesa’s Book Critiques
2/17 – review/interview, A Bookish Affair
2/18 – review, Let Them Read Books
2/19 – interview, Let Them Read Books
2/20 – review/giveaway, The Maiden’s Court
2/21 – review/giveaway, No More Grumpy Bookseller
GiveawayTo enter to win one copy of Girl on the Golden Coin please complete the form below. Giveaway is open to US residents only and ends on February 18th at 11:59pm EST. Winner will be notified via email. Good luck!
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