Don’t worry. If you haven’t read the first book in the Fairmiles series, you will still enjoy this book. I love a book with a clear villain in it and Livia, a widow from Venice, who has come to live with her mother-in-law and family in London. Livia is a conniver and she’s out to take advantage of her in-laws as she seeks to sell antiquities. But Livia fails to recon with her mother-in-law who doubts Livia’s tale and send her intelligent granddaughter to Venice to find Livia’s husband. While Livia ensnares people in her trap, a second story is taking place in New England. Ned, a son for Grandmother Alinor, has fled to New England because of his ties to the Roundheads and Oliver Cromwell. While I’m not sure how this fit into this story, other than to continue the characters from the first book, I enjoyed reading about a Puritan sympathetic to the Native way of life in the 1670’s. But the best part of the book is the end when granddaughter, Sarah, shows her iron strength and Livia gets her come-uppance. I really enjoyed this book. So often, historical fiction set during the 1600’s focuses on royalty and this book focused on strong women finding a place for themselves in business. I hope there’s a third book in the series, focusing on Sarah and where she directs the family fortunes.

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