England, 1666: the year when people who take prophecy seriously believe that the world is going to end.
For Chloe Herveaux, marriage to wild, unpredictable Alexander Deveril offers escape from a home she hates. For Alex, waking up with an epic hangover, the discovery that he has acquired a bride is an unwelcome shock. But while the marriage remains in name only, other forces are gathering.
England is at war with the Dutch and Prince Rupert suspects that sabotage is at work within the fleet. Instructed to find and stop the traitor, Alex enters a dark labyrinth of intrigue where no life is safe and nothing is what it seems.
Chloe, meanwhile, navigates the shark-infested waters of Charles 11's licentious Court and plots a course of her own aimed at financial independence. But as the diverse facets of Mr Deveril's personality are gradually revealed to her, their mock-marriage becomes fraught with difficulties - the greatest of which is Mr Deveril himself.
Absorbed in his search for a traitor, Alex spares little thought for his bride. But when the flames of the Great Fire sweep over London, Alex and Chloe face their ultimate test. Their world is at risk ... their choices may save it.
Read alsoThe Black Madonna
By July 1639, England has become a simmering cauldron of discontent. Less concerned by this than by his ailing finances, King Charles seeks ways of filling his empty treasury. Enter Luciano Falcieri del Santi - master-goldsmith and money-lender; a man known to London as The Italian ... and possessed of a hidden agenda.From his seat in the House of…