`There is something charmingly old-fashioned about this account of intrigue and romance in Restoration London...This is an undemanding and highly enjoyable account of the court beauty who was allegedly the model for Britannia on the coinage, and who eventually, one is glad to learn, got her man.'
--Literary Review, Joanna Hines
'Maeve Haran presents a vivid picture of life at the royal court - a mixture of courtesy and coarseness, laxity and loyalty - which makes an easy read.' --Leicester Mercury
'It's evocative, colourful and exciting, but while there are lots of heaving bodices, it's a tad restrained on the ripping front.' --Daily Mail, Wendy Holden
'Haran has created a pacy tale of court intrigue , daring and romance set against a time of war, plague and the Great Fire of London....Overall, an entertaining read that should amuse history buffs almost ( but not quite) as much as die-hard romantics.' --Sussex Life, Anne Hill
This is my tale and I will leave you to tell whether it be high romance or tragedy. Sixteen-year-old Frances Stuart arrives at the Restoration court to find her innocence and beauty are highly-prized commodities, envied by the women and desired by the men. Before long, King Charles II falls passionately in love with her and will stop at nothing to make her his mistress. But Frances is no conventional court beauty. She is determined to make her own choices in life, and to be with the man she loves. Can she overcome the dangerous pitfalls of the Kings obsession, the Queens jealousy, and the traps set for her by the Kings notorious mistresses, and make the life she wants for herself? Set against the drama of the Great Plague and the Fire of London, The Painted Lady brings to life the vibrant and decadent court of Charles II and in Frances Stuart discovers a passionate young woman prepared to fight for her own destiny. Praise for Maeve Harans The Lady and the Poet This is history as pure entertainment, an inventive and delicious feast of passion, wit and intrigue. The Times With its fascinating insight into Tudor life, this will absorb you to the end She The clothes, the jewels, the smell of the place are all evoked; and everyone from the Queen herself to the elusive, sexy figure of Donne come wonderfully to life A. N. Wilson, Readers Digest