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1946 – Alabama/Charleston
Harper Dupree has pinned all her hopes on a future in fashion design. But when it comes crashing down around her, she returns home to Fairhope, Alabama, and to Millie, the woman who first taught her how to sew. As Harper rethinks her own future, long-hidden secrets about Millie’s past are brought to light.
In 1946, Millie Middleton–the daughter of an Italian man and a Black woman–boarded a train and left Charleston to keep half of her heritage hidden. She carried with her two heirloom buttons and the dream of owning a dress store. She never expected to meet a charming train jumper who changed her life forever . . . and led her yet again to a heartbreaking choice about which heritage would define her future.
Now, together, Harper and Millie return to Charleston to find the man who may hold the answers they seek . . . and a chance at the dress shop they’ve both dreamed of. But it’s not until all appears lost that they see the unexpected ways to mend what frayed between the seams.
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1812 – England
In Regency England, news travels slowly. Especially in Yorkshire.
Overnight, Kathleen Harris, a foundling raised by a vicar and his wife, becomes the ward of the Earl of Wiltshire and is set on a direct path to a London season. Now miles from home, will her heart outgrow her small Yorkshire village and the love of her childhood friend?
Reuben Cooke, a quality weaver in a region where the woolen industry thrives, supports his widowed mother and hopes to marry soon. However, after the local vicar dies, his dreams of a quiet life with Kathleen at his side quickly unravel as they are ripped apart by societal conventions.
Can true love survive the distance when the road back to happily-ever-after is littered with secrets, a scandal, and a shocking revelation?
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1853 – Oregon
In 1853, Abigail Scott was a 19-year-old school teacher in Oregon Territory when she married Ben Duniway. Marriage meant giving up on teaching, but Abigail always believed she was meant to be more than a good wife and mother. When financial mistakes and an injury force Ben to stop working, Abigail becomes the primary breadwinner for her growing family. What she sees as a working woman appalls her, and she devotes her life to fighting for the rights of women, including their right to vote.
Following Abigail as she bears six children, runs a millinery and a private school, helps on the farm, writes novels, gives speeches, and eventually runs a newspaper supporting women’s suffrage, Something Worth Doing explores issues that will resonate strongly with modern women: the pull between career and family, finding one’s place in the public sphere, and dealing with frustrations and prejudices women encounter when they compete in male-dominated spaces. Based on a true story of a pioneer for women’s rights from award-winning author Jane Kirkpatrick will inspire you to believe that some things are worth doing–even when the cost is great.
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1917 – Oregon
In the summer of 1917, US troops join the allied forces in the Great War. Back in Sunset Cove, Oregon, other battles wage. Anna McDowell continues to fight old fashioned stereotypes as she runs a newspaper committed to truth. Despite opposition, she’s determined to expose ongoing rum-running and prohibition lawlessness.
Adding to Anna’s frustrations, her good friend Dr. Daniel seems to run hot and cold. He loves Oregon, and maybe Anna too, but he’s pulled by his East Coast family responsibilities. Even the lure of a new modern Sunset Cove hospital doesn’t seem enough to keep him in Sunset Cove.
Meanwhile, Anna’s strong-willed daughter Katy continues to develop her dress shop by inviting family friend Sarah Rose to help out. But the woman’s presence tests the small town’s tolerance. And Anna’s concern that her daughter is growing up too fast is confirmed when Katy’s romantic life takes an unexpected turn, which Anna fears is influenced by the pressure of a devastating war that is not only changing the entire world but Sunset Cove as well.
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1912 – New York
Annie Wood, the housemaid-turned-pattern designer in The Pattern Artist, jumps at the chance to design her own clothing line when a wealthy New York couple offers to finance her endeavor. Joining the project is Annie’s new husband, Sean Culver, her best friend at Butterick, Maude Nascato, and a mother figure, Edna Holmquist.
Annie and her colleagues give up their careers, risking everything to follow a shared passion: clothes that are both fashionable and functional for modern, busy women in 1912.
Personal and financial setbacks test old relationships and new romances while threatening to keep the business from ever selling a single dress. No one said it would be easy. But the promise of the American Dream holds a deep hope for those who work hard, trust God, and never give up.
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1793 – Pennsylvania
Lacemaker Vivienne Rivard never imagined her craft could threaten her life. Yet in revolutionary France, it is a death sentence when the nobility, and those associated with them, are forced to the guillotine. Vivienne flees to Philadelphia but finds the same dangers lurking in the French Quarter, as revolutionary sympathizers threaten the life of a young boy left in her care, who some suspect to be the Dauphin. Can the French settlement, Azilum, offer permanent refuge?
Militiaman Liam Delaney proudly served in the American Revolution, but now that the new government has imposed an oppressive tax that impacts his family, he barely recognizes the democracy he fought for. He wants only to cultivate the land of his hard-won farm near Azilum, but soon finds himself drawn into the escalating tension of the Whiskey Rebellion. When he meets a beautiful young Frenchwoman recently arrived from Paris, they will be drawn together in surprising ways to fight for the peace and safety for which they long.
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1775 – Virginia
When colonial Williamsburg explodes like a powder keg on the eve of the American Revolution, Lady Elisabeth “Liberty” Lawson is abandoned by her fiancé and suspected of being a spy for the hated British. No one comes to her aid save the Patriot Noble Rynallt, a man with formidable enemies of his own. Liberty is left with a terrible choice. Will the Virginia belle turned lacemaker side with the radical revolutionaries, or stay true to her English roots? And at what cost?
Historical romance favorite Laura Frantz is back with a suspenseful story of love, betrayal, and new beginnings. With her meticulous eye for detail and her knack for creating living, breathing characters, Frantz continues to enchant historical fiction readers who long to feel they are a part of the story.
A Lady in Disguise
1883 – England
After the mysterious death of her father, Miss Gillian Young takes a new job as the principal costume designer at the renowned Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. But while she remembers her father as a kind, well-respected man of the Police Force, clues she uncovers indicate he’d been living a double life: a haunting photograph of a young woman; train stubs for secret trips just before his death; and a receipt for a large sum of money. Are these items evidence of her father’s guilty secrets? His longtime police partner thinks so.
Then Gillian meets the dashing Viscount Thomas Lockwood. Their attraction is instant and inescapable. As their romantic involvement grows, Gillian begins to suspect even Lockwood’s motives. Does Lord Lockwood truly love her? Or is his interest a front for the desire to own her newly inherited property? And what should she make of her friend’s suggestion that Lockwood or men like him were involved in the murder of her father?
Soon Gillian is convinced that her father has left evidence somewhere that can prove his innocence and reveal the guilty party. But someone wants to stop her from discovering it. The closer she comes to uncovering it, the more menacing her opposition grows. With her life on the line, Gillian takes on an ingenious disguise and takes on the role of a lifetime to reveal the true killer—before it’s too late both for her and for those that she loves.
Shine Like the Dawn
1903 – England
In a quiet corner of northern Edwardian England, Margaret Lounsbury diligently works in her grandmother’s millinery shop, making hats and caring for her young sister. Several years earlier, a terrible event reshaped their family, shattering an idyllic life and their future prospects. Maggie is resilient and will do what she must to protect her sister Violet. Still, the loss of her parents weighs heavily on her heart because she wonders if what happened that day on the lake…might not have been an accident.
When wealthy inventor and industrialist William Harcourt dies, his son and Maggie’s estranged childhood friend, Nathaniel returns from his time in the Royal Navy and inherits his father’s vast estate, Morningside Manor. He also assumes partial control of his father’s engineering company and the duty of repaying an old debt to the Lounsbury family. But years of separation between Nate and Maggie have taken a toll and Maggie struggles to trust her old friend.
Can Maggie let go of the resentment that keeps her from forgiving Nate—and reconciling with God? Will the search for the truth about her parents’ death draw the two friends closer or leave them both with broken hearts?
The Pattern Artist
1911 – New York
Born into a life of hard work, English housemaid Annie Wood arrives in New York City in 1911 with her wealthy mistress. Wide-eyed with the possibilities America has to offer, Annie wonders if there’s more for her than a life of service. Annie chooses to risk everything, taps into courage she never knew she had, and goes off on her own, finding employment in the sewing department at Macy’s. While at Macy’s Annie catches the eye of a salesman at the Butterick Pattern Company. Through determination, hard work, and God’s leading, Annie discovers a hidden gift: she is a talented fashion designer—a pattern artist of the highest degree. As she runs from ghosts of the past and focuses on the future, Annie enters a creative world that takes her to the fashion houses of Paris and into a life of adventure, purpose, and love.
The Marriage Bargain
1881 – Texas
Lily Warren’s new hat shop is her ticket to self-reliance…until a fire threatens to destroy her dreams. And when Edward Stone—her landlord and the town blacksmith—bursts into her private rooms to rescue her, Lily’s reputation is tarnished. So Edward proposes a solution that could save her good name—even as it puts her independence at risk.
With an orphaned niece who needs a mother, Edward believes a marriage of convenience is the answer to his and Lily’s problems. But he didn’t plan on developing feelings for his new wife. And now he can’t quell his urge to protect impulsive, kindhearted Lily. Perhaps it’s time for the wary blacksmith to try forging something truly precious—a real family…
A Practical Partnership
1819 – England
John Reed has no intention of changing his carefree lifestyle—until his father’s death forces him to return home. Now he’s in charge of the family estate and preparing his reluctant sister for her London Season. And he’s convinced millinery shop owner Nan Siddons will make his perfect partner in this task.
Nan prides herself on her independence, but with a rival stealing her clients, she needs a new means of support. So when John hires her to see his sister through her debut, she accepts. She never expected their working relationship to become something more, yet soon Nan can’t imagine her life without John in it. The bachelor has captured her heart, but can she tame his?
My Heart Belongs in Fort Bliss, Texas: Priscilla’s Reveille
1874 – Texas
Journey to Fort Bliss, Texas, where a battle of emotions versus ideals is about to be waged. When a high-steppin’ eastern fashion artist, Priscilla Hutchens, swoops down on the fort to gain custody of her twin niece and nephew she is met with resistance by their uncle, post surgeon Major Elliot Ryder, who thinks he knows what is best for them. Who will win the battle? Or will a truce be called for the sake of love and family?
After a Fashion
1882 – New York
Miss Harriet Peabody dreams of the day she can open up a shop selling refashioned gowns to independent working women like herself. Unfortunately, when an errand for her millinery shop job goes sadly awry due to a difficult customer, she finds herself out of an income.
Mr. Oliver Addleshaw is on the verge of his biggest business deal yet when he learns his potential partner prefers to deal with men who are settled down and wed. When Oliver witnesses his ex not-quite-fiance cause the hapless Harriet to lose her job, he tries to make it up to her by enlisting her help in making a good impression on his business partner.
Harriet quickly finds her love of fashion can’t make her fashionable. She’ll never truly fit into Oliver’s world, but just as she’s ready to call off the fake relationship, fancy dinners, and elegant balls, a threat from her past forces both Oliver and Harriet to discover that love can come in the most surprising packages.
1890s – Virginia
Mary Varrs prefers botany to romance. She thinks studying the growth pattern of her tomato seedlings is more time-worthy than pursuing a mate. When she needs illustrations of her prized plants, Mary turns to Priscilla Dane Osbourne for help. Zenus Dane also seeks help from his Aunt Priscilla. In order to salvage his flooded textile mill, he wants to sell her hand drawn quilt patterns alongside his repurposed fabric scraps. No quilter had national name recognition like his aunt, but Priscilla is fiercely protective of her patterns. Convincing her would not be easy. It seems Priscilla is the answer to both their prayers. But Priscilla would rather weave a masterpiece marriage for her nephew than save his flooded business. Trouble is, her plans don’t include Mary, whose own growing attraction for the textiler could jeopardize Priscilla’s good will toward her. If faced with a decision between love and ambition, will Mary be able to choose?
Shades of Surrender
3rd century – Middle East
Before Dr. Lisbeth Hastings took her unexpected tumble into third-century Carthage and found herself amidst the persecuted church, future bishop Caecilianus, then a famous dyer of imperial purple, was visiting the tapestry shop in the low-rent district every Tuesday. It may have been a part of his duties as the deacon tasked to check upon the widows and their families, but deep down, he knew it was because of Ruth, the widow’s lovely daughter who was so very determined to get the family back on their feet of her own accord. Can Caecilianus break through Ruth’s single-minded focus to show her the freedom of surrender? Or will Ruth’s dogged self-sufficiency push away the man who loves her?
Suitor by Design
1924 – Michigan
Minnie Fox’s goal is to find a beau who can help support her ailing father and his struggling dress shop. As a working man, her friend Peter Simmons simply doesn’t fit the bill. Instead, Minnie’s got eyes for Peter’s childhood pal—a wealthy Chicagoan. So why can’t she stop thinking about Peter? Peter wishes Minnie would see him as more than a friend. As a hardworking mechanic, Peter knows he’ll never be able to dazzle Minnie with fancy suits and expensive cars. But maybe he can prove to her that what’s in a man’s heart is worth more than what’s in his wallet.
Threads of Joy
1892 – Tennessee
JOY WESTFALL, a divorced woman who runs a tailoring business out of her little home and has a 4-year-old daughter knows first hand the bitterness of rejection. Her talent with a needle supersedes her tainted reputation, however, and she has no trouble finding clients. What she lacks is true friendship. Living next door to a little clapboard church on the edge of town, even the folks of the church pay her little mind when they come and go on Sunday mornings–unless she happens to be outside tending her flowerbeds in which case they quickly turn their children’s heads away or shake their own at her in utter repulsion. Inside, their hymns of praise compete with the birds, but outside their hypocritical noses turn up at the sight of her.
Not until LUCAS JENNINGS, the new preacher, begins to befriend her and her innocent daughter does she grasp what pardon feels like. The trouble is his congregation begins to accuse him of having sinful thoughts, one woman in particular going so far as to campaign to have him removed from the pulpit. When tragedy strikes, Lucas’s messages of repentance resonate with his members, drawing an entire community together, changing the hardest hearts, and turning folks’ minds toward what really matters in life–love, faith, and forgiveness.
Groom by Design
1923 – Michigan
Dressmaker Ruth Fox gave up her dream of a husband and children long ago. Her family’s floundering dress shop, her ailing father and her two younger sisters require Ruth’s full attention. Though the handsome new stranger in town is intriguing, Ruth is certain he wouldn’t look twice at a plain spinster of twenty-six. Sam Rothenburg’s connection with the shy young woman next door is immediate, but he knows Ruth will be crushed when she discovers his real purpose in town. Sam is secretly working to open one of his father’s large department stores in Pearlman, Michigan, which will surely put Ruth out of business. How much is Sam willing to sacrifice to claim Ruth’s heart?
A Place in His Heart
1630 – England/New York/At Sea
Anglican Mary Langton longs to marry for love. Puritan Barnabas Horton is still in love with his deceased wife and needs only a mother for his two young sons. And yet these two very different people with very different expectations will take a leap of faith, wed, and then embark on a life-changing journey across the ocean to the Colonies. Along the way, each must learn to live in harmony, to wait on God, and to recognize true love where they least expect to find it.
The Hatmaker’s Heart
1922 – New York
For Nell Marchwold, bliss is seeing the transformation when someone gets a glimpse in the mirror while wearing one of her creations and feels beautiful. Nell has always strived to create hats that bring out a woman’s best qualities. She knows she’s fortunate to have landed a job as an apprentice designer at the prominent Oscar Fields Millinery in New York City. Yet when Nell’s fresh designs begin to catch on, her boss holds her back from the limelight, claiming the stutter she’s had since childhood reflects poorly on her and his salon. But it seems Nell’s gift won’t be hidden by Oscar’s efforts. Soon an up-and-coming fashion designer is seeking her out as a partner of his 1922 collection. The publicity leads to an opportunity for Nell to make hats in London for a royal wedding. There, she sees her childhood friend, Quentin, and an unexpected spark kindles between them. But thanks to her success, Oscar is determined to keep her. As her heart tugs in two directions, Nell must decide what she is willing to sacrifice for her dream, and what her dream truly is.
An Honest Heart: A Great Exhibition Novel
1851 – England
Set during the Industrial Revolution and the Great Exhibition of 1851, An Honest Heart is a “sitting-room romance” with the feel of a Regency-era novel but the fashions and technological advances of the mid-Victorian age. Featuring dual romance stories, the main plot involves seamstress Caddy Bainbridge and the choice she must make between two men: one from the aristocracy, the other from the working class. Award-nominated author Kaye Dacus pinpoints the theme of honesty—both men in this love triangle have deep secrets to hide, and Caddy’s choice will be based on which of them can be honest with her. Courtship . . . cunning . . . candor. Who possesses an honest heart?
The Invention of Sarah Cummings (Avenue of Dreams)
1890s – Illinois
Sarah Cummings has one goal in life–to break into Chicago’s high society. Desperate to stop serving dinner and to start eating at society tables, Sarah alters cast-off gowns from the wealthy Banning women to create lustrous, flattering dresses of her own. On a whim at a chance meeting, she presents herself as Serena Cuthbert, weaving a fictitious past to go with her fictitious name. But as she gets closer to Simon Tewell, the director of St. Andrew’s Orphanage, Sarah finds that she must choose between the life she has and the life she dreams of. Will she sacrifice love to continue her pretense? Or can Simon show her that sometimes you don’t have to pretend for dreams to come true?
Pattern for Romance: Quilts of Love Series
1769 – Massachusetts
Honour Metcalf’s quilting needlework is admired by a wealthy customer of the Boston Mantua-maker for whom she works. In need of increasing her earnings, she agrees to create an elaborate white work bridal quilt for the dowager’s niece. A beautiful design emerges as she carefully stitches the intricate patterns and she begins to dream of fashioning a wedding quilt of her own. When Honour is falsely accused of thievery and finds herself in a perilous position, merchant tailor Joshua Sutton comes to her aid. As he risks his relationships, reputation, and livelihood to prove her innocence, the two discover a grander plan.
Waiting for Spring: (Westward Winds)
1886 – Wyoming
After the loss of her husband and the birth of her baby, Charlotte has had a long, hard year. But when a notorious robber believes she knows the location of a long-lost treasure, she flees to Cheyenne and opens a dressmaker’s shop to lie low and make a living. When wealthy cattle baron and political hopeful Barrett Landry enters the shop to visit her best customer, Charlotte feels drawn to him.
If Barrett is to be a senator of the soon-to-be state of Wyoming, he must make a sensible match, and Miriam has all the right connections. Yet he can’t shake the feeling that Charlotte holds the key to his heart and his future.
Soon the past comes to call, and Barrett’s plans crumble around him. Will Charlotte and Barrett find the courage to look love in the face? Or will their fears blot out any chance for happiness?
When Love Comes My Way
1873 – Michigan
As Tess Wakefield wakes from a frightening wagon accident, she discovers she has lost her memories. In her recovery, she loses her heart as well to handsome lumberjack Jake Lannigan. It’s not a two-way street, though. Jake thinks he knows exactly who she is—the spoiled Wakefield Timber heir—but he believes the accident provides the means to show her that she has a responsibility to replant the trees and not to merely invest her inheritance opening another of her silly millinery shops.
Then he slowly he begins to fall in love with her. Jake wants to tell Tess the truth, but before he can her true identity is uncovered, and then both of them find the emotional stakes too high. Will God intervene and show this headstrong couple that only He in His wisdom could have paired them together?
Gold Rush Baby
1898 – Alaska
She didn’t come to Alaska for its gold. Viola Goddard is seeking something much more precious—a fresh start. Now, entrusted with the care of an abandoned baby girl, Viola is finding new purpose and joy. And when missionary Thomas Stone is injured while saving little Goldie, Viola insists on nursing him back to health. What she mustn’t do is confess her growing regard for his strength and gentle compassion. Her shameful secret could destroy his ministry. Unless this little gold rush town can give them both a chance to heal, to hope and to trust.
An Unlikely Suitor
1895 – Rhode Island
Lucy Scarpelli, an Italian dressmaker from New York, befriends socialite Rowena Langdon as she’s making her summer wardrobe. It’s an unlikely friendship, but one that Rowena encourages by inviting Lucy to the family mansion in Newport, Rhode Island. Grateful for Lucy’s skill in creating clothes that hide her physical injury, Rowena encourages Lucy to dream of a better future. One day Lucy encounters an intriguing man on the Cliff Walk, and love begins to blossom. Yet Lucy resists, for what man will accept her family responsibilities? Rowena also deals with love as she faces a worrisome arranged marriage to a wealthy heir. And Lucy’s teenage sister, Sofia, takes up with a man of dubious character. All three women struggle as their lives, and those of each unlikely suitor, become intertwined in a web of secrets and sacrifice. Will any of them find true happiness?
A Heart Most Worthy
1918 – Massachusetts
The elegance of Madame Forza’s gown shop is a far cry from the downtrodden North End of Boston. Yet each day Julietta, Annamaria, and Luciana enter the world of the upper class, working on finery for the elite in society. The three beauties each long to break free of their obligations and embrace the American dream–and their chance for love. But the ways of the heart are difficult to discern at times. Julietta is drawn to the swarthy, mysterious Angelo. Annamaria has a star-crossed encounter with the grocer’s son, a man from the entirely wrong family. And through no intent of her own, Luciana catches the eye of Billy Quinn, the son of Madame Forza’s most important client. Their destinies intertwined, each harboring a secret from their families and each other, will they be found worthy of the love they seek?
Lady in Waiting
1550s & Present Day – England & New York
Content in her comfortable marriage of twenty-two years, Jane Lindsay had never expected to watch her husband, rad, pack his belongings and walk out the door of their Manhattan home. But when it happens, she feels powerless to stop him and the course of events that follow Brad’s departure.
Jane finds an old ring in a box of relics from a British jumble sale and discovers a Latin inscription in the band along with just one recognizable word: Jane. Feeling an instant connection to the mysterious ring bearing her namesake, Jane begins a journey to learn more about the ring—and perhaps about herself.
In the sixteenth-century, Lucy Day becomes the dressmaker to Lady Jane Grey, an innocent young woman whose fate seems to be controlled by a dangerous political and religious climate, one threatening to deny her true love and pursuit of her own interests.
As the stories of both Janes dovetail through the journey of one ring, it becomes clear that each woman has far more infl uence over her life than she once imagined. It all comes down to the choices each makes despite the realities they face.
A Tailor-Made Bride
Sparks fly when a dressmaker who values beauty tangles with a livery owner who condemns vanity.
Cassidy (Big Sky Dreams, Book 1)
1880 – Montana
Cassidy Norton is a fine seamstress who makes her living sewing for others. Amid the bustle of a busy frontier town, her life is rich. What time her business doesn’t take, her friends and church family fill. But Cassidy hasn’t always lived in Token Creek, and few people know her full story. So she struggles with a nagging unsettledness in her heart.
Cassidy’s friend Meg is married to a rancher and has a baby, something Cassidy wants for herself. But that would mean revealing the details of her life. Will Cassidy find the strength to take that risk?
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1600s – France
A royal wedding masks the unfolding of Catherine de Medici’s murderous plot against the Huguenots. Will any of the Huguenot princes survive? Life and death rest with two people … Rachelle Dushane-Macquinet, couturiere from a celebrated silk-making family, has come back to the Louvre Palais to create the royal wedding gown. Recruited into the evil Queen Mother’s ring of women spies, she must use her wits to preserve her honor—and the lives of her fellow Huguenots. Marquis Fabien de Vendome has also returned from a buccaneering venture against Spain. The Queen Mother plans to implicate him in an assassination. But Fabien has designs of his own. A man and a woman caught up in history’s deadly swirl and love’s uncertainties seek to escape the venom of Madame le Serpent. Faith in Christ must uphold them, and all who stand alone, in a city gone diabolically mad.
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1600s – France
Pursuing the family name as the finest silk producer in Lyon, the young Huguenot Rachelle Dushane-Macquinet is thrilled to accompany her famous couturier Grandmere to Paris, there to create a silk trousseau for the Royal Princess Marguerite Valois. The Court is magnificent; its regent, Catherine de Medici, deceptively charming … and the circumstances, darker than Rachelle could possibly imagine. At a time in history when the tortures of the Bastille and the fiery stake are an almost casual consequence in France, a scourge of recrimination is moving fast and furious against the Huguenots—and as the Queen Mother’s political intrigues weave a web of deception around her, Rachelle finds herself in imminent danger. Hope rests in warning the handsome Marquis Fabien de Vendome of the wicked plot against his kin. But to do so, Rachelle must follow a perilous course.