Baker & Taylor When Henry VIII arranges a marriage between his sister and the aging French king, widowed painter Susanna Dallet joins the entourage of the princess-bride, unwittingly carrying a perilous secret that will embroil her in the dark intrigues of the French court. 35,000 first printing. $35,000 ad/promo. Tour.
Blackwell North Amer The book opens in Tudor England, where Henry VIII and his Machiavellian counselor Cardinal Wolsey are scheming to put an English heir on the French throne. They are arranging to marry Henry's pretty, frivolous younger sister, Mary, to the aging king of France, and they are succeeding thanks in no small measure to a breathtaking miniature of Mary that has been delivered secretly into the king's hands. Everyone wants to know the identity of the painter who created this small miracle, and speculation is rampant. Because women are not allowed in the painters' guild, no one suspects that the artist is a woman, Susanna Dallet, who has been bitterly disappointed by her cad of a husband, who left her widowed and penniless with only her nearly divine talent for portrait painting to sustain herself. Susanna catches the eye and not-quite-benign protection of the manipulative, scheming, brilliant Wolsey - who is utterly captivated by her wit, her independence, and her uncanny gift for capturing character with the delicate strokes of her tiny brush. Placed in the entourage of the princess-bride as she travels stormy seas to the royal wedding, Susanna unknowingly carries with her to France the key to a secret that will embroil her in the diabolical plots swirling through the French court. But high in the rigging of the princess's silk-bannered ship sits the angel of art, who not only snatches Susanna from danger but rewards her courage and feisty resourcefulness with the love of an intelligent - and devastatingly attractive - hero.
Baker & Taylor When Henry VIII arranges a marriage between his sister and the aging French king, widowed painter Susanna Dallet joins the entourage of the princess-bride, unwittingly carrying a perilous secret that will embroil her in the dark intrigues of the French court