Courtesan of the Saints
17th Century, no. 2
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Miles Talbot, spy, is sent to England by the exiled Charles II in the mid-1650s, to sound out what support there is for a restoration. He meets Cherry Weston, a beautiful and wealthy young widow who holds many entertainments for Parliamentarians at the time of the Parliament of the Saints. Among her frequent guests is Dare-to-be-Faithful-to-God Denham, a man who believes all enjoyment is wicked, but who is drawn to Cherry despite himself.
Miles is soon welcomed to Cherry's bed, but while he fails to learn anything from her, he suspects she is attempting to discover his secrets. She has at least two other lovers, young Parliamentarians. He has to leave her while he travels the country, on the pretence of purchasing a small estate, but in reality to visit known Royalists and gauge what support there is for the King. He is involved in setting up the Sealed Knot, a secret society hoping to coordinate the various plots n behalf of the King, but not all the plotters are willing to be guided by a body they feel is not active enough.
Marina Oliver has published over fifty novels and several non-fiction books. Many of her historical novels, twentieth-century sagas, contemporary romances and crime books are now available as e-books.