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Empress Josephine’s family has been called to Napoleon’s court for the terrible news that he intends to divorce his barren wife of thirteen years and take a younger bride, the Austrian Princess Marie-Louise.

For Josephine’s daughter, Hortense, this means she is free to leave her husband, Napoleon’s brother, having given the Bonapartes three heirs. As she looks for love, she must support her mother through the terrible grief of Napoleon’s betrayal.

For his new wife, it is a terrible duty she must take on in her father’s name. She has nothing in common with the strange, older man she has married and can find little in her life to enjoy. But an unlikely friendship with Hortense will bring her much comfort, especially as she must fight for her own happiness.

For Napoleon’s sister, Pauline Bonaparte, it is yet another woman stealing her brother’s attention and affection. Having spent years attempting to control his power and his influence, she must fight harder and dirtier if she is to win…


'A first-class novel, brilliantly written' Alison Weir.
Alison Weir
'It's the kind of historical fiction you just fall in love with' Book Girl.
Book Girl
'If there is a female historical figure whose story needs telling Michelle Moran is the woman to do it' Daily Express.
Daily Express