Lace Balcony by Johanna Nicholls

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Vianna Francis, known in the colony as ‘The Sydney Venus’, is a notorious young mistress in keeping to a former gentleman convict, who uses her to entice wealthy men to his gaming tables.

A woman of mystery, Vianna is a magnet for scandal. Was she the mistress of a Royal duke? A lady’s maid who learned the tricks of the world’s oldest profession when in service to a Parisian courtesan? Or the widow of a young man executed on the gallows? Men of high rank are determined to possess this passionate, mercenary beauty.

The L’Estrange half-brothers were born only months apart. One brother is an idealistic dreamer, the other a volatile adventurer. And the rivals have two things in common – a fatal attraction to get-rich schemes that run afoul of the law -- and their obsession with Vianna.

About Johanna Nicholls

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Johanna Nicholls comes from a theatrical family. She was a journalist and magazine feature writer in Sydney, Melbourne and London. In TV, she worked as a researcher/writer and Head Script Editor of Drama at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Her first one-woman exhibition of ceramic art was a sell-out. She has lived in England, Italy, and Greece and travelled extensively in Europe. She enjoys exploring the back roads of Australia. Islands are a particular magnet–New Zealand, Tasmania, Norfolk Island, Kythera, Crete, the Isle of Man, the Cook Islands, and island gems along the Queensland coast.Her home is an 1830’s convict-built sandstone cottage in Birchgrove, Sydney, where she is currently writing her third Australian novel and researching her fourth.Her first historical saga, Ironbark, was published in Australia and New Zealand in 2009 and reprinted in 2010. In 2011 it was published in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland under the title of Die Blüte des Eukalyptus. Ghost Gum Valley is currently also being translated into German for publication in 2013.
Published August 1, 2014 by Simon & Schuster Australia. 584 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction