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The Emperor's Conspiracy Paperback – November 27, 2012

48 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in the Regency London Series

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Michelle Diener has always had a passion for reading and writing. She began writing stories when her parents gave her a typewriter for her twelfth birthday, and she hasn’t stopped since. Born in London and raised in South Africa, she now lives on the west coast of Australia with her husband and two small children.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Gallery Books; Reprint edition (November 27, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451684436
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451684438
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #971,048 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Michelle Diener writes historical fiction, science fiction and fantasy. From the Tudor court, to the streets of Regency London, and into magical landscapes, she's never happier than when she's building worlds, sculpting unforgettable characters and crafting suspenseful plots.

Michelle was born in London, grew up in South Africa and currently lives in Australia with her husband and two children.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Kim Adams on November 29, 2012
Format: Paperback
Happiness resides not in possessions, and not in gold, happiness dwells in the soul. - Democritus

Michelle Diener burst onto the historical fiction scene last year with her debut thriller set in Tudor England, IN A TREACHEROUS COURT. For THE EMPEROR'S CONSPIRACY, she delivers an equally engaging suspense set in Regency England. Diener steps out of the grand ballrooms to give us a glimpse of gritty London - both in the stews and in the aristocracy who grovel in their selfish pleasures. Charlotte Raven is a remarkable heroine who survived poverty and now thrives under the guardianship of a generous patron. Yet she reveals her past to protect the children of another noble family. Charlotte's selfless act garners another friend in the ton. But it also brings her to the attention of Lord Edward Durnham. A solemn man, Edward realizes that Charlotte can aid his current investigation what turns out to be the Emperor's conspiracy - Napoleon's effort to rob England of its gold.

Both heroine and hero are jaded by childhood traumas. They are practical in dancing around polite society. They are loyal to family. And they are stubborn as mules. Charlotte and Edward puncture the facades erected by the other to find the hope of happiness that has eluded them. The possibility of romance is a subplot that enhances the larger mystery of who is orchestrating the smuggling operation. THE EMPEROR'S CONSPIRACY captured my attention from the prologue and kept it throughout the unexpected twists of human depravity. Despite the darker tone, I enjoyed THE EMPEROR'S CONSPIRACY as a break from my lighthearted historical romances.

Recommended read for those who enjoy the Regency Era but would like something different from the hapless heiress on the marriage mart.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Story Circle Book Reviews on May 1, 2013
Format: Paperback
A spy thriller intertwined with a romantic triangle, set in Regency England, with a peek into high society, a whiff of the gutters, and a dollop of blackmail. Such a recipe couldn't fail but produce an engaging tale of history and mayhem.

The heroine, Charlotte, was the daughter of a prostitute. The girl worked as a chimney sweep since she was four, but at twelve, luck smiled on her: she was adopted by Lady Catherine. Since then, Charlotte has lived in two worlds. While le bon ton knows her as a reserved society miss with an impeccable reputation, her friends from the stews call her Charlie. She visits her former rookery often and helps as many of her former mates as she can, with work or money.

Circumstances bring her in contact with Edward, a wealthy nobleman working for the Crown. Sparks of interest and desire ignite between them, but before they can explore their mutual attraction, they must untangle a treacherous conspiracy that threatens not only Charlotte's life but also the security of England.

While Edward is searching for the traitors, Charlotte battles the ghosts of her childhood. Her heart is torn between her sisterly affection for Luke, her former sweetheart and the current crime boss of London, and her emerging love for Edward. Edward's work for the Crown pitches him against Luke, so both men pull her in the opposite directions.

In turns charming and sensible, kind and surprisingly ruthless, Charlotte struggles to reconcile her unfolding feminine passion with the unbreakable ties of her past. She can't betray her friends, she can't forfeit Luke, her soul brother, but she wouldn't abandon her hopes for happiness with Edward either.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Blodeuedd on November 27, 2012
Format: Paperback
It was a nice mix of historical fiction, suspense, mystery and romance. Charlotte the heroine was no simpering miss of the ton. She used to live in the slum, daughter of a whore, worked as a chimney sweep but was saved by a nice lady and raised as her ward. While still be connected to the underworld. Oh yes I loved that premise at once.

In this story there is a mystery too. Gold smuggled out of England and a Lord who tries to figure out the plot. A Lord who become the romantic interested of our cool heroine. As he is not one of those silly Men of the ton who wants her dowry and are all talk. And it works, because they do not fall at once, they do not even like each other at once. It's a story that will take time.

A good mystery, evil guys, flirting and the underworld. Yes that other thing I liked. She has an old friend, Luke who is now a crime boss and it just brought something new and very fresh to it. A woman torn between two worlds, dividing loyalties and a plot that kept it going. It was a book that was hard to put down, easy to read and suddenly I had read it and wanted more.

I truly enjoyed it
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 27, 2012
Format: Paperback
*Huge sigh of satisfaction* This is THAT book, the one where history melts into the background, the writing disappears and players emerge spitting character and bold love so that... I sigh.

Charlotte - Charlie - is a great character. She's headstrong and intelligent. Her guardian/savior is the sweetest, smartest lady. It's a household of two great brains with different kinds of strength and I loved seeing the strong women.

Charlie's childhood friend, the crime lord, is so dark and mysterious and powerful. I loved the dirty grit of the streets and the society that pulsed beneath the city. There's no fluffy cuteness about it... it's as real as poverty.

Edward Durnham really doesn't have much of a chance of participating in Charlie's life or in this story, but he's stubborn and persistent and won't take "stay away" as an answer. He causes more trouble than he helps, sometimes, blundering where he doesn't belong. But his heart has been awoken and he understands Charlie in ways no one else can. I love his view of her and their romance is delicate and fresh.

I could hug the pacing... this book is hard to put down. It flies by. I might have been frustrated only because it ended and I could have continued reading their story for a long time.

My Rating: 5 - I need this book in my library so I can reread it often!! (I rec'd my ARC from Edelweiss.) I love a story that doesn't center around romance, but yet has some... a story that has so much tangible history, but doesn't clobber me with it... a mystery that I can't second-guess and is not overbearing. This is one of my favorite books this year.

Like this, Like that... I was reminded a little of Soulless, Alanna, & Crown Duel. There's a bit of mystery and smart players, a great thief and underworld, but also a play-acting society where appearances rule. I loved the smart new combination of some of my favorite elements!
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