The wooded hills of Oxfordshire conceal the remains of the aptly named Ashdown House—a wasted pile of cinders and regret. Once home to the daughter of a king, Ashdown and its secrets will unite three women across four centuries in a tangle of romance, deceit and destiny…
In the winter of 1662, Elizabeth Stuart, the Winter Queen, is on her deathbed. She entrusts an ancient pearl, rumored to have magic power, to her faithful cavalier William Craven for safekeeping. In his grief, William orders the construction of Ashdown Estate in her memory and places the pearl at its center.
One hundred and fifty years later, notorious courtesan Lavinia Flyte hears the maids at Ashdown House whisper of a hidden treasure, and bears witness as her protector Lord Evershot—desperate to find it—burns the building to the ground.
Now, a battered mirror and the diary of a Regency courtesan are the only clues Holly Ansell has to finding her brother, who has gone missing researching the mystery of Elizabeth Stuart and her alleged affair with Lord Craven. As she retraces his footsteps, Holly’s quest will soon reveal the truth about Lavinia and compel her to confront the stunning revelation about the legacy of the Winter Queen.
“Fans of Kate Morton will enjoy this thrilling tale.” —Candis Magazine
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About the Author
Nicola Cornick is a historian and author, and also works for the National Trust as a guide at Ashdown House in Oxfordshire where she drew inspiration for this novel. Her award-winning books are international bestsellers and have been translated into twenty-six languages. She lives in Oxfordshire.
About the Narrators
Fiona Hardingham is a British-born actress, singer, voice-over artist, and AudioFile Earphones Award–winning narrator. On stage, she appeared at the Edinburgh Festival in her comedic one-woman show The Dark Show. She has also starred in the dark-comedy short film The Ballerino. She earned a BA honors degree in performing arts from Middlesex University, London, and also studied at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts.
Heather Wilds is an award-winning narrator and actress. She has won three AudioFile Earphones Awards for her narrations. She trained at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama and the University of Glamorgan and has appeared in numerous plays, receiving critical acclaim. She has also performed in award-winning short films, appeared on television and in commercials, and has worked extensively as a voice-over artist.
Beverley A. Crick is an actress, narrator, and accomplished voice-over artist. Her credits include film, television, commercials, radio, corporate narrations, looping, theater, comedy, and hosting.