The cover of Marci Jefferson’s debut novel, Girl On The Golden Coin, is gilted, elegant and gleaming, and most of all – perfectly suited to a novel about Frances Stuart, a 17th century belle of the French and English courts.
Frances survives the overthrow of the English crown only because she happens to be a Stuart – a royal family with tenacious ties to the monarchy. When the Restoration lands her family back in favor with the king, Frances discovers the power that her beauty has on others. When she rejects King Louis XIV’s offer to make her his Royal Mistress, she is exiled to England with the task of seducing his brother, King Charles II, and stop imminent war.
While at times Frances could be a little cloying, ultimately that fit her political maneuvering and the character becomes more and more admirable as the story goes on. Her strength, intelligence, and desire to keep what she felt was her "integrity" offered an interesting new facet to the Stuart saga.
This glittering novel is entertaining, historically accurate, and beautifully descriptive. The tale of Frances Stuart, a beautiful and headstrong woman whose portrait ultimately graced coins as “Britannia” is one that I couldn’t put down. Her characterizations of both kings were multi-faceted and offered a unique portrayal of their individual reigns. A recommended read.
The novel will be released on February 11, 2014. Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for the net galley. No compensation was received for this review.