Susannah Leyton has grown up behind the counter of her father's apothecary shop in bustling Fleet Street. A skilled student, her father has granted her the freedom to pursue her considerable talents. But Susannah is dealt a shocking blow when her widowed father marries again, and her stepmother seems determined to remove her from the apothecary shop. A proposal of marriage from the charming Henry Savage seems to offer Susannah an escape. But as the plague sweeps through London, tragedy strikes, and dark secrets from her husband's past begin to unfold.
"Keeping my attention"
1666. Newly married to a wealthy spice merchant, Kate Finche believes all her dreams of a happy family life are just around the corner until the Great Fire rages through London. She watches in horror as their livelihood goes up in flames, filling the air with the heady scents of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. As the city is devastated, Kate's husband, Robert is forced to seek employment to ensure their survival, but when he is found drowned, Kate refuses to believe that he has taken his own life.
It's 1813. Venetia Lovell lives by the sea in Kent with her pretty, frivolous mother and idle younger brother. Venetia's father, Theo, is an interior decorator to the rich and frequently travels away from home, leaving his sensible and artistic daughter to look after the family. Venetia designs paper hangings, and she and her father often daydream about having an imaginary shop where they would display the highest quality furniture, fabrics and art to his clients.
"British Recency romance mystery"
1688: Beth Ambrose has led a sheltered life within Merryfields, her family home on the outskirts of London; a place where her parents provide a sanctuary for melancholic souls. A passionate and gifted artist, Beth shares a close bond with Johannes the painter, who nurtures her talents and takes her on as his apprentice. But as political tensions begin to rise in the capital, Noah Leyton arrives at her family home in the middle of the night with a proposition that turns Beth's world upside down.
"Just as enchanting if not more!"
After her French father and English mother are brutally murdered, bluestocking Madeleine Moreau impulsively travels to France to find the family she didn't know existed. Madeleine is in favour of the people's revolution, but her views are shaken after she arrives in Paris and witnesses Louis XVI's death by guillotine. When France declares war on England, Madeleine is trapped, but enigmatic Comte Etienne d'Aubery comes to the rescue when he offers her shelter in his home, Chateau Mirabelle.
Italy in 1819. Emilia Barton and her mother, Sarah, live a nomadic existence, travelling from town to town as itinerant dressmakers to escape their past. When they settle in the idyllic coastal town of Pesaro, Emilia desperately hopes that this time they have found a permanent home. But when Sarah is brutally attacked by an unknown assailant, a deathbed confession turns Emilia's world upside down. Seeking refuge as a dressmaker in the eccentric household of Princess Caroline of Brunswick, Emilia experiences her first taste of love with the charming Alessandro.