Dear Reader,

What fun Dark Angels was to write.

I hope it’s fun for you to read. The book was hijacked, plain and simple. I was trying to write about certain events in the early reign of Louis XIV (I’m still trying to write this). And among the events was the surprising, improbable, and gossip-ridden death of an important historical figure. I won’t say whom so I don’t spoil the plot twists in Dark Angels.

In writing the draft, I realized Alice Verney (the elderly Duchess in Through a Glass Darkly, my first novel) would be a young woman and that Richard, her dear love, would be a young man. Wouldn’t it be fun, I thought––what a jest, I thought––to bring them into this work.

Well, the long and short of it is they hijacked the story. And before I knew it I’d left France and was up to my knees in research about the very naughty but very intriguing court of Charles II. I was researching poisons, royal mistresses, politics, and military campaigns.

And when I was finally finished with a first draft, Louis XIV (only the most important figure of his age) was relegated to a very minor position, and Alice and Richard had a firm hold of the plot and weren’t letting go. Richard might have, but Alice, never.

So if you like political intrigue, if you like heroines who are splendidly, formidably wrong, if you like juicy gossip, if you like heroes who do indeed possess a noble heart, if you like heartbreak and then redemption, read on.

And enjoy. I did.

PS: There is a large cast of characters thrown at you in the first chapter. Don’t worry. There will be no test later. The ones you need to know about will appear again and again to take the plot where it must go and to make you comfortable with them. The mischievous, exuberant, and wickedly glamorous family of Charles II just all insisted on having speaking parts.