This book takes place post-civil war, during the reign of King Charles II, after regaining the throne. The main characters are still part of the Heron family, and though this book is more a romance, there are many actual events portrayed within. The London fire of 1666 is frightfully detailed, giving the readers the sights, sounds, and horrors of that catastrophic event. AThis book takes place post-civil war, during the reign of King Charles II, after regaining the throne. The main characters are still part of the Heron family, and though this book is more a romance, there are many actual events portrayed within. The London fire of 1666 is frightfully detailed, giving the readers the sights, sounds, and horrors of that catastrophic event. Another wonderful thread in the book, John Wilmot, second Earl of Rochester , renowned satirical poet and rake of the time, is woven into the story line as Alathea's lover. This is a great book, especially with Alathea making her way in a "man's world" as a portrait artist....
|Number of Pages||:||576 Pages|
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Alethea is the oldest daughter of Thomazine Heron, whose story was told in The Moon in the Water and The Chains of Fate. Her talent for drawing is evident even at the age of eleven and her parents send her to stay with cousins in London where she can train with the famous artist Mary Beale. Once grown Alethea's only desire is to paint and has no wish to marry and lose her independence - but there are three men determined to have her. Her beauty, wit and charm captures the fancy of John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, one of the more infamous and licentious members of Charles II's court. Also in love with her is Jasper, the country-doctor son of Thomazine's greatest friend, as well as the dark and brooding Kit who is forever scarred by his childhood and cannot let go of his obsessive and unhealthy desire for Alethea. Can Alethea maintain her virtue against the onslaught of charm and poetry from the amusing but married Rochester? Or will she face scandal and succumb to her greatest desires? What about the staid, but oh so faithful Jasper who is willing to wait patiently? Will she escape Kit's unnatural love or will it lead to violence? Will that evil witch Meraud finally get the just desserts she so greatly deserves? Inquiring minds want to know but I am not going to tell you - read it for yourself. Set amidst the backdrop of 17C England during the reign of Charles II, including a terrifying look at the Great London Fire, I found this an absorbing read that kept me reading well into the wee hours of the night. While it might not appeal to readers looking for an action packed novel, I loved the character developments and family relationships Belle was able to create, as well as a look at this period in England's history away from the King and his court. Belle has a nice knack for writing children and pets into her stories without them being cloying in their cuteness. I have to say though, despite all the shenanigans with Rochester and his drinking cohorts, the all time scene stealer was Rochester's pet monkey. The scene where Alethea's parsimonious uncle pays a surprise visit during a dinner party and the pet cuts lose at the most inappropriate moment, "The monkey shrieked rudely back and began, with intense concentration, an obscene ritual of intimate hygiene." Priceless.
And the Heron's saga continues, telling now about Alethea, daughter of Francis and Thomazine Heron. Alethea is a woman ahead of her time since her love for painting as above all her 3 admirers: Kit Drakelon, his half-brother, Jasper Sewell, a quiet country doctor and the infamous John of Wilmot, Earl of Rochester. Her first tutor in the art of painting was Mary Beale who immediately recognized Alethea's gift to draw very quickly any portrait of mainly her family in the beginning oh her career. After acquiring more technique, she learnt to paint miniatures at the Court, during Restoration period. The description of the Fire in London is unforgettable. Rochester's poems to Alethea are authentic, according to the author, and the order in which they appear in the story corresponds to the order in which most scholars considerer he wrote them. It also seems that the famous portrait of Rochester crowing his monkey at the National Portrait Gallery, is usually assigned to Jacob Huysmans. Since there is no signature on it, why not attribute to Alethea?After reading this series, I will certainly read the Wintercombe series.
This is the third story in the Heron series & is set during the Restoration period, with the arrival of King Charles the 2nd to the throne and the return of Simon Heron to Goldhayes. Causing Alathea (daughter of Francis and Thomazine Heron - The Moon in the Water and The Chains of Fate books 1 & 2 of the series) and her family, to leave Goldhayes to return back to live at Ashcroft. There, Alathea discovers her talent as an artist and she is sent to live in London, to escape the threatening attentions of her jealous half-brother. Through the following years as her talent blossoms, she experiences both the Plague and the Great Fire. Alathea's path through Restoration England is vividly described, as she pursues her dreams of becoming a famous female artist during this period. A time when it was very unusual for a woman to have a career let alone a successful one. This is a well written book & the author manages to make you feel part of events.You are also taken through a gamut of emotions. The characters are well rounded & the pace of the story keeps you turning the pages. I’d recommend it & the whole series to lovers of the Stuart periodI voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book
The third in the Herron family series. London fire. More romance than history. There is one more book in this series. Don't have it yet, but hope the author goes back to more of a history slant...
The third book in a trilogy about the Heron family. This one is set during Charles II's reign and could easily be read as a stand alone novel.
Sometimes I like a book much more after a few years and a second read. This would be one of those books. Since the previous two books centered mainly around Thomazine and Francis Heron, I think part of my problem was picking it up and thinking, "Yes! Time for more Francis!" and then feeling somewhat disappointed to find the book was about their daughter and they weren't in it much at all. (Which was silly of me, really, because the TITLE of the book is Alethea so it only makes sense that Alethea would be the main character.)I went into it this time knowing what to expect, and I enjoyed it a lot more the second time around. (Not that I disliked it on the first read. I just didn't like it as much.) Though I was still a little let down with the treatment of some of the characters, and I will never like any of them (with the exception of Jasper) as much as the older generation from Moon in the Water and Chains of Fate.
Third in the Moon in the Water series -- though this one centers on Francis and Thomazine's willful artist daughter. Alethea moves to London to pursue her art and becmes the lover of John Wilmot, the Earl of Rochester. (Yes, THAT Rochester.) Pamela Belle is fantastic at world building -- this is another of those books I can crawl into and live there. I did a paper on Aphra Behn in high school because of this book!
One of a series of historic fiction that takes place in 17th century England. Out of print and tough to find, but worth the read if you can stumble across it in a used book store. Belle's writing style reflects her penchant for history and romance.
Didn't quite connect with this book as much as the first two but still a good read