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Publisher's Summary

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. And when Merryfields becomes refuge to a mysterious new guest, whose connections provide an opportunity for Beth to fulfill her artistic ambitions, it soon becomes clear that it comes at a price....

©2012 Charlotte Betts (P)2013 Soundings Ltd

Critic Reviews

"A feast for the senses. With the sensual language of Patrick Suskind's Perfume and the historical flavour of Philippa Gregory, this is a lush, immersive read" (Holiday Magazine on The Apothecary's Daughter)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Ugh...so much whining & incest...

I absolutely loved book one, which focused on Susannah & William during the time of the plague, and was hoping for this book to be a continuation of that same storyline. Instead, I found the characters to be too plentiful (sure, there is immense detail about WHO is in the house now to wink at you about the past novel, but never goes into enough details about each of them to make it worthwhile), and so absolutely whiny and annoying. Cecily, Beth, Anne and Johannes were unbearable in some chapters; we get it, life is difficult, but so is listening to the constant and predictable complaining.

Even though I was able to push through the above, what I got caught up on is that Beth’s love interest is her FIRST cousin. FIRST - she could have married Kit for the same result. I get that it’s set in the 1680s when this was acceptable, but it was so hard for me to get past this point when there were so many other characters (too many) to play the part.

I also got frustrated with the author’s use of terms that were way out of period in the dialogue (like when Arabella uses the term “rabble rousers” to describe the opposition causing chaos in England...and that term wasn’t even documented until the 1800s). If you’re going to write historical fiction, to the point of being accurate enough to include incest amongst the main characters, at least do your research on the terms and language being used in the book.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Just as enchanting if not more!

If you loved the apothecarys daughter this is a must! Following the life of Susana and Beth

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • R. J. Gladden
  • 02-11-18

Easy listen

I had to spend quite a few days in hospital recently and spent some of the time listening to this book. It is not the best book of Charlotte Betts that I have read, nevertheless, it was an easy listen and well researched. I'm sure that a small extra push would make Betts' historical novels come to life. However, it's not quite there yet but it's entertaining and easy to digest.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-10-16

Happy hours of listening.

an interesting,enjoyable story.great narration. I have listened to The Apothecarys daughter both works provided happy hours.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Mrs. K. I. Richards
  • 01-11-16

became good over 3/4 of the way through book.

Any additional comments?

this was a book I wasn't in a hurry to get back to. it got bogged down in the romance between beth and noah whether each loved the other. it was repetitive.
the historical parts were really good.
as with the previous books after the end of the story there was the information about who was real and who was fiction. what happened to the monarchy which was interesting.
anne dover performed the book well bringing the characters to life.

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  • Martine
  • 02-13-15

Captivating story

Excellent narrator bringing the story to life. I really enjoyed listening to this book based partially on true historical events. I recommend it highly.