Courting the Sun: A Novel of Versailles

Publication date: May 9, 2024

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France, 1670.

On her sixteenth birthday, Sylvienne d’Aubert thinks her dream has come true. She holds in her hands an invitation from King Louis XIV to attend his royal court. However, her mother harbors a longtime secret she’s kept from both her daughter and the monarch, a secret that could test the girl’s resilience and threaten her very life.

Madame de Montespan_Wikimedia CommonsIn Paris, Sylvienne is quickly swept up in the romance, opulence, and excitement of court. Assigned to serve King Louis’s favorite mistress, she is absorbed into the monarch’s most intimate circle. But the naïve country girl is ill-prepared for the world of intrigue, illicit affairs, and power-mongering that takes place behind the shiny façade of Versailles.



“Williams’s delicious debut immerses us in court life of France’s Louis XIV as we follow a wide-eyed teenager with village values into the sumptuous intrigue of the Sun King’s world. With smart writing, brilliant dialogue, and sensuous settings, Williams takes us behind the scenes of salons, games, and galas in Paris and Versailles where Sylvienne must find her place among both loving and scheming nobility.”

~ Lucy Sanna, author of The Cherry Harvest


“A rich journey through 17th century France in all its aspects—its bucolic countryside, the still-unmatched splendor of the court of Louis XIV, and the struggling French colony in Canada.  But above all, characters that speak to the reader and whisper their stories.  Graceful, memorable, and evocative.”

~ Margaret George, New York Times bestselling author of Elizabeth I, The Autobiography of Henry VIII & The Memoirs of Cleopatra


“Courting the Sun is a captivating, immersive coming-of-age tale set amid the beautifully detailed landscapes of seventeenth-century France and the opulent court of Louis XIV. The unexpected plot twists and tantalizing revelation of secrets make this novel a true page-turner.”

~ Jennifer Chiaverini, New York Times bestselling author of Canary Girls


A Spring Release from 

Black Rose Writing