Two great forces fight for England ? and one woman is torn between them It is 1642, and civil war is beginning to split England in half. The dashing Cavaliers swear loyalty to the Crown; the stern Puritans vow to risk all for liberty and their mighty, wrathful God . . . and beautiful, fiery Lilias Pride will face the hardest choice of her life. Married to Richard Pride, MP for Bristol, she devotes her loyalty to him and to the Puritan cause. Yet Priam Lithgow, Royalist Earl of Chelwood, stirs her deeply, and when he falls into danger, she risks her life to save his. With the Restoration, Lilias hopes to flee love and peril and find safety in the New World of America. Yet she cannot escape her heart ? or her destiny.
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Kate Sedley, a student of Anglo-Saxon and medieval history, lives in England. She is married and has a son, a daughter, and three grandchildren. ""The Saint John's Fern"" is the ninth novel in her critically acclaimed series featuring Roger the Chapman.
For readers unfamiliar with British history, Sedley's latest may be tricky to follow, but there's no doubt it's a gripping and engaging read. Set in seventeenth-century England, it provides a seemingly authentic portrayal of the political upheaval and religious turmoil of the time. It is also a love story starring Cornish beauty Lilias Pengelly, who is just 16 when she and her Puritan father must flee Cornwall to avoid religious persecution. The pair plans to sail for America and a better life, but before embarking, tragedy strikes--a tragedy that will change the course of Lilias' life. Her wild, dark beauty attracts plenty of men, but she eventually marries solid, reliable politician Richard Pride. Once she meets the dashing Earl of Chelwood, though, her heart belongs only to him. But the Earl is married, Cromwell comes to power, a civil war ensues, and Lilias finally flees to America, vowing to return one day. For historical-romance fans interested in English history beyond the Regency period, this is a novel to savor. Not only does Sedley deliver enlightening social commentary and an insightful glimpse into a turbulent historical period not usually covered in the romance genre, she also provides all the necessary staples: handsome heroes, passionate heroines, great tragedy, deep love, shattering heartbreak, and the horrors of war. A top-notch pick for all romance collections. Emily Melton
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