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May 23, 2014

GIRL ON THE GOLDEN COIN by Marci Jefferson

"A Jewel of a Novel!"
-Michelle Moran

Borders Clip Art Image                      GIRL ON THE GOLDEN COIN
A Novel Of Francis Stuart
Marci Jefferson
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Jacket Design:  Kerri Resnick

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
  •  (February 11, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1250037220
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250037220
Borders Clip Art Image                                    OVERVIEW
(from Amazon)
In 1660, the Restoration of Stuart Monarchy in England returns Frances Stuart and her family to favor. Frances discards threadbare gowns and goes to gilded Fontainebleau Palace, where she soon catches the Sun King’s eye. But Frances is no ordinary court beauty—she has Stuart secrets to keep and her family to protect. King Louis XIV turns vengeful when she rejects his offer to become his Official Mistress. He sends her to England with orders to seduce King Charles II and help him form an alliance with England. The Queen Mother likewise orders Frances to become her son's mistress, in the interest of luring him away from the Protestant mistress he currently keeps.

Armed in pearls and silk, Frances maneuvers the political turbulence of Whitehall Palace, but still can’t afford to stir a scandal, determined to keep her family from shame. Her tactic to inspire King Charles to greatness captivates him and the two embark on a tenuous relationship. Frances survives the Great Fire, the Great Plague, and the debauchery of the Restoration Court, yet loses her heart to the very king she must control. A startling discovery will leave her with no other choice but to break his heart, while the fate of England hangs in the balance.

In the tradition of Philippa Gregory, debut author Marci Jefferson brings to life a captivating woman whose beauty, compassion, and intellect impacted a king and a nation, in Girl on the Golden Coin.
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Marcie Jefferson grew up in an Air Force family and has lived in numerous places, including North Carolina, Georgia, and the Philippines.  Her passion for history was sparked while living in Yorktown, Virginia, where locals still share Revolutionary War tales.  Jefferson graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University's Medical College as a Registered Nurse.  She lives in Indian with her husband and children.  This is her first novel.
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Setting:  England during the reign of King Charles II: I was immediately captivated by the cover on the book.  How lovely.  I immediately wanted to read the book wondering about the GIRL ON THE GOLDEN COIN. Frances Stuart is the primary character living in France along with her mother and siblings. Most of us don't know anything or very little about Frances Stuart.  She can be seen wearing Roman attire, a Corinthian helmet and a shield beside her that shows the union of Scotland and England on the golden coin.  She has been on medals and coins since 1672 since she served as the Britannian model.  In 2006, after her retirement...a fifty pence piece was seen.
The author writes with such beautiful descriptions that you find yourself enthralled.  What I really found fascinating was when she said no to one of the most powerful men in the world.  Back then that was a gutsy thing to do.  Nowadays not, but not then.
The guide at the first of the book tells you who is who and helps you learn about the different characters. Some of the other characters are: Henrietta Maria of France, Louis XIV, Charles II, the Duke of Buickingham, Lady Castlemaine and the Duke of Richmond and Lennox.  
The book is written through Frances.  As she travels, she becomes settled in on her telling the story.  I thought the author did a turn around from a lot of stories of this nature.  She used a young, innocent girl, who plays a game she has absolutely no interest in.   The author could have used an elderly Frances, reflecting back on the years,  but she chose the younger girl.  Good choice.  The author shows us the growing up process that Frances went through.  She grew up to be a strong woman who could stand on her own and not stagger.
I would have liked  for the wording to be a bit more of the era instead of so modern.  There is the combining of historical fact and fiction, making for a good read.Another good point of the author's writing is she didn't bore you with a lot of facts.  I'm sure the author did a lot of research to write this riveting nvoel.

Ms. Jefferson wrote a beautiful, innocent, informative and enjoyable read about  the growing of an innocent girl, a king who is portrayed as a man, not just a powerful person.  You develop a puppy crush on the king. He is so down to earth.  He's sexy and the evil eye of jealousy may raise it's head.  Who will ride off with Frances, The Duke of Richmond or the King.? Ultimately, what I adored about Jefferson’s GIRL ON THE GOLDEN COIN is how innocent and real it felt. It’s rare for an author to portray a king as a man and not someone with an abundance of power who can’t take no for an answer.

I would recommend this book to historical fiction lovers, with romance tucked in.  The author wrote a beautiful historical love story that will remain with you for some time to come. The approach to this book was so new, refreshing and so beautifully written.  You have a woman, who is innocent but full of conviction.  She has faults as do all.  For her family's sake she sacrifices much..The author keeps you involved in the story as if you were right there with Lady Frances Sturart.  You will want to keep this book on your shelf to read and re-read.  It doesn't bog you down.  The only fault I find is that it ends.  I didn't want it to, I wanted more.

I was given a  complimentary copy of GIRL ON THE GOLDEN COIN by Marci Jefferson from Night Owl Reviews for my honest view.  No other compensation took place.

I would give this book 4 STARS.
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