What if the key to your heart lies in your enemy's hands? In a world where no one can be trusted and secrets are currency, one woman stands without fear. Mallory Bright is the only daughter of London's master locksmith. For her there is no lock too elaborate, no secret too well kept. Sir Francis Walsingham, spymaster and protector of Queen Elizabeth - the last of the Tudor monarchs - and her realm, is quick to realise Mallory's talent and draws her into his world of intrigue, danger and deception.
It had been Mother's secret and mine, one passed down through the de Winter women for generations. I would ensure it was kept that way, until I was ready to pass it on.When Anneke Sheldrake is forced to find a way to support her family after her father is lost at sea, she turns to the business by which her mother’s family once prospered: brewing ale.Armed with her Dutch mother’s recipes and a belief that anything would be better than the life her vindictive cousin has offered her, she makes a deal with her father’s aristocratic employer: Anneke has six months to succeed or not only will she lose the house but her family as well.Through her enterprise and determination, she inadvertently earns herself a deadly enemy. Threatened and held in contempt by those she once called friends, Anneke nonetheless thrives. But on the tail of success, tragedy follows and those closest to her pay the greatest price for her daring.Ashamed, grieving, and bearing a terrible secret, Anneke flees to London, determined to forge her own destiny. Will she be able to escape her past, and those whose only desire is to see her fail?A compelling insight into the brewer’s craft, the strength of women, and the myriad forms love can take.
Talented candlemaker. Intoxicating courtesan. Lethal assassin. Must Tallow become what she has always denied ... or is it too late? Against a backdrop of bloodshed and turmoil, Tallow flees a city on the brink of war to enter the Limen, determined to find the Estrattore and meet her destiny. But she has already set in motion forces beyond her control, and from Serenissima to Farrowfare her enemies are moving to ensure her compliance - and ultimately, her destruction.
On the edge of a mystical border called the Limen, close to a beautiful canal-laced city, a humble candlemaker rescues a child, whom he raises as his apprentice. Years pass and the child's unusual talents are revealed, the gentle art of candlemaking slowly transforming into something far more sinister. Lingering in the shadows, enemies watch and wait - a vengeful aristocrat, an exotic queen and the lethal creatures known only as the Morte Whisperers.They hunger after the child's ancient magic.
Tallow is anything but a simple candlemaker and when she has everything taken away from her - friends, family, hope - her survival relies on the Maleovellis. Casting aside the safety of her disguise, she becomes cold-hearted Tarlo, female courtesan and the toast of those who, if they knew her secret, would destroy her.
But the intrigues of the Serenissian nobility are nothing against the larger forces moving within the world. And Tallow's enemies have a hidden asset: the one thing they know she cannot possibly resist.
"Engaging story...after you get past the "accent""