Friday, August 20, 2021



It’s 1856 in Paris France and newlywed Livia  has just moved into her husband’s mansion.  She feels extremely out of place with her surroundings and wants nothing more to be back in her home in Italy.  Livia grew up the daughter of a doctor she loves to study plants.  It’s probably one reason she misses her home in Italy so much because it was surrounded by beautiful gardens. But now as the wife of a diplomat she has no use for her love of plants.  Livia becomes fast friends with Elisabetta, and as they find the masquerade balls and the French high society to be intriguing, they find that there is much more to going on then meets the eye.  

I found this book to be both absorbing and interesting.  The vivid description of both France and Italy made the book a wonderful escape.  This is a wonderful historical fiction that is sure to entertain readers who enjoy this genre.  

Thank you Meghan Masterson for another wonderful and emotional read.  The characters were relatable and the story was very captivating and was definitely an engrossing read.



Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
Author:  Meghan Masterson 
Publisher:  Bookouture 
Publication Date: August 18, 2021 
Pages: 250 
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Paris, 1856. In a world ruled by men, one woman holds the fate of a nation in her hands.

When newly married Livia arrives in her husband’s grand, echoing mansion house in Paris, she longs to return to her home in Italy with its fragrant garden. A doctor’s daughter, her study of plants and poisons has always been her greatest obsession. But now she is the wife of a powerful diplomat and she has no use for her skills and knowledge. Except for the deadly nightshade she keeps hidden under her dress… For a dark secret is hidden in her past, and Livia knows that she must protect herself and the life growing inside her…

Livia feels isolated, but soon she befriends Elisabetta, Napoleon III's glamorous and controversial mistress. And she finds herself caught up in an exciting whirlwind of masked balls and intrigue in French high society. But enemies lurk in the shadows, and one night an assassination attempt is made on Napoleon outside Elisabetta’s house. Then Livia’s husband is arrested for treason…

With danger surrounding them, Livia must fight with Elisabetta to save their country and the lives of those they love. But can she really trust her new friend? And with a baby to protect, how far is she prepared to go?


Meghan Masterson graduated from the University of Calgary with an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Communications Studies, and has worked several unrelated jobs while writing on the side. When not writing, Meghan can often be found reading at all hours (even at breakfast), practicing archery and roaming through the woods with her dog.

Meghan is represented by Carrie Pestritto of Laura Dail Literary Agency.

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