The Royal Windsor Secret: A Novel (Paperback)
Could she be the secret daughter of the Prince of Wales? In this dazzling novel by the author of Sisters of the Resistance, a young woman seeks to discover the truth about her mysterious past. Perfect for readers of Shana Abe, Bryn Turnbull, and Marie Benedict.
Cleo Davenport has heard the whispers: the murmured conversations that end abruptly the second she walks into a room. Told she was an orphan, she knows the rumor—that her father is none other than the Prince of Wales, heir to the British throne. And at her childhood home at Cairo’s Shepheard’s Hotel, where royals, rulers, and the wealthy live, they even called her “The Princess.”
But her life is turned upside down when she turns seventeen. Sent to London under the chaperonage of her very proper aunt, she’s told it’s time to learn manners and make her debut. But Cleo’s life can’t be confined to a ballroom. She longs for independence and a career as a jewelry designer for Cartier, but she cannot move forward until she finds out about her past.
Determined to unlock the truth, Cleo travels from London, back to Cairo, and then Paris, where her investigations take a shocking turn into the world of the Parisian demi-monde, and a high-class courtesan whose scandalous affair with the young Prince of Wales threatened to bring down the British monarchy long before anyone had heard of Wallis Simpson.
Christine Wells writes historical fiction featuring strong, fascinating women. From early childhood, she drank in her father’s tales about the real kings and queens behind popular nursery rhymes and she has been a keen student of history ever since. She began her first novel while working as a corporate lawyer, and has gone on to write about periods ranging from Georgian England to post World War II France. Christine is passionate about helping other writers learn the craft and business of writing fiction and enjoys mentoring and teaching workshops whenever her schedule permits. She loves dogs, running, the beach and fossicking for antiques and lives with her family in Brisbane, Australia.
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“Royalty, secrets, diamonds and courtesans all come together in this riveting tale. We follow heroine Cleo from the delightful eccentricity of Shepheard’s Hotel in Cairo to the glitter of Paris's jewelry salons, to a luxurious royal wartime hideaway as Cleo grows from endearing ingénue to a force to be reckoned with. A sweeping novel about love, ambition and what family really means.” — Natasha Lester, New York Times bestselling author of The Paris Orphan
"The Royal Windsor Secret is a thrilling historical fiction brimming with adventure, mystery, romance, and a willful, independent heroine you will root for, all wrapped up in a scintillating secret." — Madeline Martin, New York Times bestselling author of The Keeper of Hidden Books
"The Royal Windsor Secret takes us into the glittering demimonde of courtesans and precious gems, where long-held secrets make and destroy lives. Cleo Davenport is charming as an aspiring jewelry designer who travels the world in pursuit of her dreams and her true parents. Lush descriptions, detailed research, and exotic locales make this a standout from Christine Wells." — Kerri Maher, USA Today bestselling author of The Paris Bookseller
“From the exotic hotels of pre-war Cairo to the glittering jewelry ateliers of Paris, Christine Wells has written a richly layered tale of intrigue in The Royal Windsor Secret. Fans of The Crown will delight in the familiar faces of Wallis Simpson and the Duke of Windsor even as they revel in this story of dreams and ambitions, love and war.” — Stephanie Marie Thornton, USA Today bestselling author of Her Lost Words
“Christine Wells captivates in her latest novel, taking us back to a tumultuous time in history, and adding more than a dash of sparkle. The Royal Windsor Secret is a delicious and scandalous read, with a twist that you won’t see coming!” — Eliza Knight, USA Today bestselling author of Starring Adele Astaire
"In The Royal Windsor Secret, Christine Wells takes a fascinating chapter in the Duke of Windsor’s early life and gives it an equally fascinating coda in the form of a love child, who shares all of the duke’s passion and impulsivity, and yearns for a life beyond what she already knows. The truth of Cleo’s parentage will have you turning pages until the very end, while Cleo’s search for fulfilment—creative, professional, social, and romantic—results in a beautifully told tale." — Bryn Turnbull, bestselling author of The Paris Deception