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IN THE PERILOUS WORLD OF KINGS AND QUEENS, SHE MATCHED AMBITION WITH LOYALTY, RUTHLESS INTRIGUE WITH CONSUMING PASSION. . . . London, 1673. With her family ruined by war, penniless thirteen-year-old Sarah Jennings is overjoyed to be chosen as a maid of honor at the bawdy Restoration court of Charles II. She soon wins the trust of Lady Anne of York, a lonely princess who becomes one of her staunchest allies. And though Sarah's beauty stirs the desires of the jaded aristocrats, she wants to be more than a mistress. Only one man possesses ambition and passions that match her own: John Churchill, a dashing young military hero. He would ask for her hand - and win her heart for a lifetime. . . . Brimming with the intrigue and sensuality of one of history's most decadent courts, Duchess brings to vivid life the story of an unforgettable woman who determined her own destiny - outspoken, outrageous, but most of all true to herself.
London, 1660: Ready to throw off a generation of Puritan rule, all England rejoices when Charles Stuart returns to reclaim the throne. Among those welcoming him is young Barbara Villiers Palmer, a breathtaking Royalist beauty whose sensuality and clever wit instantly captivate the handsome, jaded king. Though each is promised to another, Barbara soon becomes Charles's mistress and closest friend, and the uncrowned queen of his bawdy Restoration court. Rewarded with titles, land, and jewels, she is the most envied and desired woman in England--and the most powerful. But the role of royal mistress is a precarious one, and Barbara's enemies and rivals are everywhere in the palace.
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