An incomparable beauty. A promise to a king. A portrait that can never be completed.
In the seventeenth-century court of King Charles II, Anne Hyde, the Duchess of York has commissioned a series of ten paintings of the most beautiful women in the entourage. She hopes her series will capture something much more than mere likenesses: they will capture beauty itself. But when the exquisite Emilia Lennox arrives at court, the duchess’s mission takes an unexpected turn.
Emilia is set on convincing the king to restore her husband’s estate, taken from him over his family’s treason. The king is willing to grant her request – but only if she becomes his mistress. To keep him at bay, Emilia adds a condition of her own: she will consent to the arrangement, but not until her portrait hangs among the duchess’s famed Windsor Beauties.
When Henry Greenhill – the ambitious principal assistant to court painter Peter Lely – is charged with painting Emilia’s portrait, he sees it as a chance to step out of his master’s shadow and make his name. But Henry’s sitter proves strangely evasive, and he will need more than creative talent to capture this incomparable beauty on canvas …
From the bestselling author of The Lace Weaver comes this seductive story of rivalry, artistic passion and a woman bold enough to wield her beauty as a weapon.
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Australia (April 3, 2024)
Length: 384 pages