Fleur de Montbulliou, the only survivor of an attack on her family's chateau by the angry rabble, hides in the countryside until fate places salvation in her hands. She rescues a merchant, Matthieu Bosanquet, whom she marries before he dies.

Now a widow, Fleur journeys to Paris, straight into a hotbed of treachery. She manages to elude the guillotine by assuming a new identity as the actress "La Coquette" and running a theater.

She cannot hide from Raoul de Villaret, a powerful man in the new republic. Raoul suspects that Fleur is not what she seems—that she is the last of the de Montbullious. Thus begins a passionate game of cat and mouse, with Fleur relying on the adage "trust no one." But Raoul has his own secret. When unrest erupts in the city and an enemy accuses Fleur of murder, Fleur and Raoul's love is tested.

Rich in the flavor of postRevolutionary France, filled with suspense and characters whose passions and lives will hold your attention, Fleur-de-Lis is a fast-paced read. Martyn infuses her story with complex historical events, yet makes history accessible and enjoyable. A great read for those who like to steep themselves in a rich historical novel and a romance. SENSUAL (Feb., 500 pp., $30.00 [Australian]) Order at panmacmillan.com.au.
Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin