Lavish and Luxurious Versailles
King Louis XIV’s burgeoning palace is the place to be—and be seen. And the last place on earth Madeleine wants to be.
She’s trapped there as a pampered prisoner. If she stays in France, she’ll be forced to deny her faith. By escaping the King’s long arm, she may find freedom—but it will cost her everything she holds dear.
Madeleine will need courage, hope, and total faith in God to outmaneuver the Sun King and reach her true destiny—and love—in another country.
Alexandre Dumas - The Three Musketeers
The Three Musketeers (French: Les Trois Mousquetaires) is a novel by Alexandre Dumas, père, first serialized in March–July 1844. Set in the 17th century, it recounts the adventures of a young man named d'Artagnan after he leaves home to become a guard of the musketeers. D'Artagnan is not one of the musketeers of the title; those are his friends Athos, Porthos, and Aramis, inseparable friends who live by the motto "all for one, one for all" ("tous pour un, un pour tous"). The story of d'Artagnan is continued in Twenty Years After and The Vicomte of Bragelonne: Ten Years Later. Those three novels by Dumas are together known as the d'Artagnan Romances.
Sebastian Faulks - The Girl at the Lion d'Or
On a rainy night in the 1930s, Anne Louvet appears at the run-down Hotel du Lion d'Or in the village of Janvilliers. She is seeking a job and a new life, one far removed from the awful injustices of her past. As Anne embarks on a torrential love affair with a married veteran of the Great War, The Girl at the Lion d'Or fashions an unbreakable spell of narrative and atmosphere that evokes French masters from Flaubert to Renoir.
Sandra Gulland - Mistress of the Sun
The author of the internationally acclaimed Josephine B. trilogy presents a new, irresistible historical novel, based on the life of Louise de la Vallière, who, against all odds, became the most beloved consort of France's Louis XIV, the charismatic Sun King. Set against the magnificent decadence of the seventeenth-century French court, Mistress of the Sun begins when the eccentric young Louise falls in love with a wild white stallion and uses ancient dark magic to tame him. This one desperate action of her youth shadows her throughout her life, changing it in ways she could never imagine. Unmarriageable, and too poor to join a convent, Louise enters the court of the Sun King as a maid of honor, where the King is captivated by her athleticism and her striking grace. As their love unfolds, Louise bears Louis four children, is made a duchess, and reigns unrivaled as his official mistress until dangerous intrigue threatens her position at court, her place in Louis's heart, and even her life. Louise must decide where she can best find the peace and fulfillment her souls has longed for, and which she has traveled so far to find. A riveting love story with a captivating mystery at its heart, Mistress of the Sun resurrects a fascinating female figure from the shadows of history and illuminates both the power of true and perfect love and the rash actions we take to capture and tame it.
Jonathan Grimwood - The Last Banquet
Jean-Marie Charles d'Aumout is many things. Orphan, soldier, diplomat, spy, lover. And chef. This is his story. We meet Jean-Marie d'Aumout as a penniless orphan eating beetles by the side of a road. His fate is changed after an unlikely encounter finds him patronage and he is sent to military academy. Despite his lowly roots, and thanks to wit and courage in great measure, he grows up to become a diplomat and spy. Passion, political intrigue and international adventure abound in Jean-Marie's life, yet his drive stems from a single obsession: the pursuit of the perfect taste. Three-Snake Bouillabaisse, Pickled Wolf's Heart and Flamingo Tongue are just some of the delicacies he devours on his journey toward the ultimate feast. Rising through the ranks of eighteenth-century French society, he feasts with lords, ladies and eventually kings, at the Palace of Versailles itself. But beyond the palace walls, revolution is in the air and the country is clamouring with hunger of a different kind.
Susan Lewis - A French Affair
When Natalie Moore is killed in a freak accident in France, her mother - the very poised and elegant Jessica - knows instinctively there is more to it. However, Natalie's father - the glamorous, high-flying Charlie - is so paralyzed by the horror of losing his daughter that he refuses even to discuss his wife's suspicions. In the end, when their marriage is rocked by yet another terrible shock, Jessica decides to go back to France alone in search of some answers. When she gets to the idyllic vineyard in the heart of Burgundy, she soon finds a great deal more than she was expecting in a love that is totally forbidden and a truth that will almost certainly devastate her life. Set during one long hot summer in a sleepy world of wine, food, and romance, A French Affair is a deeply sensual and passionate story of love, resistance, loyalty, and betrayal.
Edward Rutherfurd - Paris
From the grand master of the historical novel comes a dazzling epic portrait of Paris that leaps through centuries as it weaves the tales of families whose fates are forever entwined with the City of Light. As he did so brilliantly in London: The Novel and New York: The Novel, Edward Rutherfurd brings to life the most magical city in the world: Paris. This breathtaking multigenerational saga takes readers on a journey through thousands of years of glorious Parisian history.
Patrick Süskind - Perfume
An acclaimed bestseller and international sensation, Patrick Suskind's classic novel provokes a terrifying examination of what happens when one man's indulgence in his greatest passion-his sense of smell-leads to murder. In the slums of eighteenth-century France, the infant Jean-Baptiste Grenouille is born with one sublime gift-an absolute sense of smell. As a boy, he lives to decipher the odors of Paris, and apprentices himself to a prominent perfumer who teaches him the ancient art of mixing precious oils and herbs. But Grenouille's genius is such that he is not satisfied to stop there, and he becomes obsessed with capturing the smells of objects such as brass doorknobs and frest-cut wood. Then one day he catches a hint of a scent that will drive him on an ever-more-terrifying quest to create the "ultimate perfume"-the scent of a beautiful young virgin. Told with dazzling narrative brillance, Perfume is a hauntingly powerful tale of murder and sensual depravity.
Lucinda Riley - The Light Behind the Window
The present Emilie de la Martiniéres has always fought against her aristocratic background, but after the death of her glamorous, distant mother, she finds herself alone in the world and sole inheritor of her grand childhood home in the south of France. An old notebook of poems leads her in search of the mysterious and beautiful Sophia, whose tragic love affair changed the course of her family history. As Emilie unravels the story, she too embarks on her own journey of discovery, realising that the château may provide clues to her own difficult past and finally unlock the future. The past London 1943. A young office clerk, Constance Carruthers, is drafted into the SOE, arriving in occupied Paris during the climax of the conflict. Separated from her contact in her very first hours in France, she stumbles into the heart of a wealthy family who are caught up in a deadly game of secrets and lies. Forced to surrender her identity and all ties to her homeland and her beloved husband, Constance finds herself drawn into a complex web of deception, the repercussions of which will affect generations to come. From the author of the international bestseller, Hothouse Flower, Lucinda Riley’s new novel is a breathtaking and intense story of love, war and, above all, forgiveness.
Bernard Minier - The Frozen Dead
In an isolated, snow-bound valley, a series of strange murders occurs... The first victim is a horse: its headless body hangs suspended from the edge of a frozen cliff. On the same day as the gruesome discovery, a young psychiatrist starts her first job at a secure asylum for the criminally insane, just a few miles away. Commandant Servaz, a Toulouse city cop, can't believe he has been called out over the death of an animal. But there is something disturbing about this crime that he cannot ignore. Then DNA from one of the most notorious inmates of the asylum is found on the corpse... and a few days later the first murder takes place. In this snowbound valley, deep in the Pyrenees, a dark story of madness and revenge is unfolding. It will take all of Servaz's skill to solve it.
Nicolas Barreau - One Evening in Paris
Alain Bonnard, the owner of a small art cinema in Paris, is a dyed-in-the-wool nostalgic. In his Cinéma Paradis there are no buckets of popcorn, no XXL coca-colas, no Hollywood blockbusters. Not a good business plan if you want to survive, but Alain holds firm to his principles of quality. He wants to show films that create dreams, and he likes most of the people that come to his cinema. Particularly the enchanting, shy woman in the red coat who turns up every Wednesday in row 17. What could her story be? One evening, Alain plucks up courage and invites the unknown beauty to dinner. The most tender of love stories is just getting under way when something incredible happens: The Cinéma Paradis is going to be the location of Allan Woods' new film Tender Memories of Paris. Solène Avril, the famous American director's favourite actress, has known the cinema since childhood and has got it into her head that she wants the film to be shot there. Alain is totally overwhelmed when he meets her in person. Suddenly, the little cinema and its owner are the focus of public attention, and the red-plush seats are sold out every evening. But the mystery woman Alain has just fallen in love with seems suddenly to have vanished. Is this just coincidence? Alain sets off in search of her and becomes part of a story more delightful than anything the cinema has to offer.
Pierre Pevel - The Cardinal's Blades
Welcome to seventeenth-century Paris, where intrigue, duels, and spies are rife and Cardinal Richelieu’s men may be prevailed upon to risk life and limb in the name of France at a moment’s notice. And with war on the horizon, the defense of the nation has never been more pressing. Danger is rising from the south—an insidious plot that could end with a huge dragon-shaped shadow falling over France, a shadow cast by dragons quite unlike the pet dragonets that roam the cities like stray cats, or the tame wyverns men ride like horses, high over the Parisian rooftops. These dragons and their descendants are ancient, terrible, and powerful ... and their plans contain little room for the lives or freedom of men. Cardinal Richelieu has nowhere else to turn; Captain La Fargue and his elite group of men, the Cardinal’s Blades, must turn the tide. They must hold the deadly Black Claw cult at bay, root out traitors to the crown, rescue prisoners, and fulfill their mission for the Cardinal, for their country, but above all for themselves. It’s death or victory. And the victory has never been less certain.
Philippa Gregory - Earthly Joys
Tremendous historical novel of the early 1600s, as seen through the eyes of John Tradescant, gardener to the great men of the age. A traveller in a time of discovery, the greatest gardening pioneer of his day, yet a man of humble birth: John Tradescant's story is a mirror to the extraordinary age in which he lives. As gardener and confidante to Sir Robert Cecil, Tradescant is well placed to observe the social and political changes that are about to sweep through the kingdom. While his master conjures intrigues at Court, Tradescant designs for him the magnificent garden at Hatfield, scouring the known world for ever more wonderful plants: new varieties of fruit and flower, the first horse chestnuts to be cultivated in England, even larches from Russia. Moving to the household of the flamboyant Duke of Buckingham, Tradescant witnesses at first hand the growing division between Parliament and the people; and the most loyal of servants must find a way to become an independent squire.
Michael Ondaatje - Divisadero (angol)
From the celebrated author of The English Patient and In the Skin of a Lion comes a remarkable new novel of intersecting lives that ranges across continents and time. In the 1970s in Northern California, near Gold Rush country, a father and his teenage daughters, Anna and Claire, work their farm with the help of Coop, an enigmatic young man who makes his home with them. Theirs is a makeshift family, until it is riven by an incident of violence - of both hand and heart - that sets fire to the rest of their lives. Divisadero takes us from the city of San Francisco to the raucous backrooms of Nevada's casinos and eventually to the landscape of south-central France. It is here, outside a small rural village, that Anna becomes immersed in the life and the world of a writer from an earlier time - Lucien Segura. His compelling story, which has its beginnings at the turn of the century, circles around "the raw truth" of Anna's own life, the one she's left behind but can never truly leave. And as the narrative moves back and froth in time and place, we discover each of the characters managing to find some foothold in a present rough-hewn from the past. Breathtakingly evoked and with unforgettable characters, Divisadero is a multilayered novel about passion, loss, and the unshakable past, about the often discordant demands of family, love, and memory. It is Michael Ondaatje's most intimate and beautiful novel to date.
Golden Keyes Parsons - Where Hearts Are Free
Bridget is in love with one man...and promised to another. Amid the liberty and promise of the New World, Bridget Barrington and Philippe Clavell fall in love. But nothing about their love seems possible. To pay for the Clavell family's passage from France, Philippe, a former member of French royalty, worked as an indentured slave to the Barringtons. Bridget is the heiress of the prominent plantation. When Bridget's parents discover the budding Romance between their daughter and their servant, they quickly orchestrate her engagement to an older, more advantageous match. But Edward Moorehead has a secret. And he's anything but a good match for Bridget. Separated from her true love and in danger from her betrothed, Bridget must rely on God to deliver her from darkness into light.
Juliet Grey - Confessions of Marie Antoinette
Confessions of Marie Antoinette, the riveting and sweeping final novel in Juliet Grey’s trilogy on the life of the legendary French queen, blends rich historical detail with searing drama, bringing to life the early years of the French Revolution and the doomed royal family’s final days. Versailles, 1789. As the burgeoning rebellion reaches the palace gates, Marie Antoinette finds her privileged and peaceful life swiftly upended by violence. Once her loyal subjects, the people of France now seek to overthrow the crown, placing the heirs of the Bourbon dynasty in mortal peril. Displaced to the Tuileries Palace in Paris, the royal family is propelled into the heart of the Revolution. There, despite a few staunch allies, they are surrounded by cunning spies and vicious enemies. Yet despite the political and personal threats against her, Marie Antoinette remains above all a devoted wife and mother, standing steadfastly by her husband, Louis XVI, and protecting their young son and daughter. And though the queen and her family try to flee, and she secretly attempts to arrange their rescue from the clutches of the Revolution, they cannot outrun the dangers encircling them, or escape their shocking fate.
Judith McNaught - Whitney, My Love
One of today's best-loved authors, Judith McNaught launched her stellar career with this dazzling bestseller. Now in a special edition that features a brand-new, enhanced ending and endows familiar characters with new depth, Whitney, My Love lives on as "the ultimate love story, one you can dream about forever" (Romantic Times). Under the dark, languorous eyes of Clayton Westmoreland, the Duke of Claymore, Whitney Stone grew from a saucy hoyden into a ravishingly sensual woman. Fresh from her triumphs in Paris society, she returned to England to win the heart of Paul, her childhood love...only to be bargained away by her bankrupt father to the handsome, arrogant Duke. Outraged, she defies her new lord. But even as his smoldering passion seduces her into a gathering storm of desire, Whitney cannot -- will not -- relinquish her dream of perfect love. Rich with emotion, brimming with laughter and tears, Whitney, My Love confirms once more why "Judith McNaught is truly one of the spellbinding storytellers of our times" (Affaire de Coeur).
Gustave Flaubert - Madame Bovary (angol)
Emma Bovary is beautiful and bored, trapped in her marriage to a mediocre doctor and stifled by the banality of provincial life. An ardent reader of sentimental novels, she longs for passion and seeks escape in fantasies of high romance, in voracious spending and, eventually, in adultery. But even her affairs bring her disappointment and the consequences are devastating. Flaubert's erotically charged and psychologically acute portrayal of Emma Bovary caused a moral outcry on its publication in 1857. It was deemed so lifelike that many women claimed they were the model for his heroine; but Flaubert insisted: 'Madame Bovary, c'est moi'.
Jeanette Winterson - Sexing the Cherry
In a fantastic world that is and is not seventeenth-century England, a baby is found floating in the Thames. The child is rescued by the Dog Woman, a murderous gentle giant who names her newfound trophy Jordan and takes him out for walks on a leash. When he grows up, Jordan, like Gulliver, travels the world, but finds that the strangest wonders are spun out of his own head. The strangest wonder of all is Time. Does it exist? What is its nature? Why does every journey conceal another journey within its lines? What is the relationship between seventeenth-century Jordan and twentieth-century Nicholas Jordan, a naval cadet in a warship? And who are the Twelve Dancing Princesses? With a story full of shimmering epiphanies, Jeanette Winterson again demonstrates the keenness of her craft and the singularity of her vision.
Joanne Harris - Peaches for Monsieur le Curé
It isn't often you receive a letter from the dead. When Vianne Rocher receives a letter from beyond the grave, she has no choice but to follow the wind that blows her back to Lansquenet, the village in which eight years ago, she opened up a chocolate shop. But returning to her old home, Vianne is completely unprepared for what she is to find there. Women veiled in black, the scent of spices and peppermint tea - and there, on the bank of the river Tannes, facing the church, a minaret.
Stephanie Perkins - Isla and the Happily Ever After
Falling in love in the world’s most romantic city is easy for hopeless dreamer Isla and introspective artist Josh. But as they begin their senior year at the School of America in Paris, Isla and Josh are quickly forced to deal with the heartbreaking reality that happily-ever-afters aren’t always forever. Their romantic journey is skillfully intertwined with those of beloved couples Anna and Étienne and Lola and Cricket, whose paths are destined to collide in a sweeping finale certain to please fans old and new.