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The Fugitive Colours

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The highly anticipated follow-up to the sweeping historical thriller The Blue is a story of silkweavers, painters...and spies. As Genevieve Sturbridge struggles to keep her silk design business afloat, she must face the fact that London in 1764 is very much a man’s world. Men control the arts and sciences, men control politics and law. And men definitely control women. A Hug The highly anticipated follow-up to the sweeping historical thriller The Blue is a story of silkweavers, painters...and spies. As Genevieve Sturbridge struggles to keep her silk design business afloat, she must face the fact that London in 1764 is very much a man’s world. Men control the arts and sciences, men control politics and law. And men definitely control women. A Huguenot living in Spitalfields, Genevieve one day receives a surprise invitation from an important artist. Grasping at the promise of a better life, she dares to hope her luck is about to change and readies herself for an entry into the world of serious art. She soon learns that for the portrait painters ruling over the wealthy in London society, fame and fortune are there for the taking. But such high stakes spur rivalries that darken to sabotage and blackmail—and even murder. Genevieve begins to suspect that her own secret past, when she was caught up in conspiracy and betrayal, has more to do with her entrée into London society than her talent. One wrong move could cost her not just her artistic dreams but the love of those she holds dear. It’s a delicate dance, and a dangerous situation. And not just for Genevieve and her loved ones. . . because all the while there are ruthless spies who wish harm to England itself watching from the shadows. A sequel to Nancy Bilyeau’s The Blue, The Fugitive Colours again reveals a dazzling world of glamour and treachery in Georgian England, when beauty held more value than human life. She immerses readers in a fictionalized account of real lives and events whilst staying faithful to the historical and social context.


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The highly anticipated follow-up to the sweeping historical thriller The Blue is a story of silkweavers, painters...and spies. As Genevieve Sturbridge struggles to keep her silk design business afloat, she must face the fact that London in 1764 is very much a man’s world. Men control the arts and sciences, men control politics and law. And men definitely control women. A Hug The highly anticipated follow-up to the sweeping historical thriller The Blue is a story of silkweavers, painters...and spies. As Genevieve Sturbridge struggles to keep her silk design business afloat, she must face the fact that London in 1764 is very much a man’s world. Men control the arts and sciences, men control politics and law. And men definitely control women. A Huguenot living in Spitalfields, Genevieve one day receives a surprise invitation from an important artist. Grasping at the promise of a better life, she dares to hope her luck is about to change and readies herself for an entry into the world of serious art. She soon learns that for the portrait painters ruling over the wealthy in London society, fame and fortune are there for the taking. But such high stakes spur rivalries that darken to sabotage and blackmail—and even murder. Genevieve begins to suspect that her own secret past, when she was caught up in conspiracy and betrayal, has more to do with her entrée into London society than her talent. One wrong move could cost her not just her artistic dreams but the love of those she holds dear. It’s a delicate dance, and a dangerous situation. And not just for Genevieve and her loved ones. . . because all the while there are ruthless spies who wish harm to England itself watching from the shadows. A sequel to Nancy Bilyeau’s The Blue, The Fugitive Colours again reveals a dazzling world of glamour and treachery in Georgian England, when beauty held more value than human life. She immerses readers in a fictionalized account of real lives and events whilst staying faithful to the historical and social context.

30 review for The Fugitive Colours

  1. 5 out of 5

    Nancy Bilyeau

    When I decided to write another book with Genevieve as the main character, it was important to me to explore consequences. A great many things happen to Genevieve and other characters in 'The Blue.' It's a pet peeve of mine that in suspense fiction, characters don't always seem to be changed by momentous events in a book. Without giving spoilers, I wanted to write about how the adventures and misadventures of 'The Blue' would shape her character. But I also worked hard so that anyone could follo When I decided to write another book with Genevieve as the main character, it was important to me to explore consequences. A great many things happen to Genevieve and other characters in 'The Blue.' It's a pet peeve of mine that in suspense fiction, characters don't always seem to be changed by momentous events in a book. Without giving spoilers, I wanted to write about how the adventures and misadventures of 'The Blue' would shape her character. But I also worked hard so that anyone could follow 'The Fugitive Colours' without having read 'The Blue.' It was quite the challenge. :) Another goal I had with this novel is to go further than I ever had before in immersing readers in a different time and place. I did a great deal of research so that a reader will know what it is like to be plunged into Spitalfields, Leicester Fields or Covent Garden in November 1764: how London feels, sounds, smells, even tastes Finally, I have to say that, without giving anything away, I put more of myself into this novel than any other. I "felt" certain things that Genevieve goes through. I don't know whether it was because I wrote this novel during the pandemic, but I connected on a deep level with my main character. I'll be interested in what you think of the novel. I hope my instincts paid off in a good read.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Literary Redhead

    The Fugitive Colours by Nancy Bilyeau Lume Books Pub Date: May 12 I completely fell under the sway of Nancy Bilyeau's The Fugitive Colours, sequel to the highly regarded The Blue. Genevieve, a silk designer in Georgian England (London, 1764), finds that men not only control the arts market, but every aspect of society. She struggles financially and is thrilled when she receives an unexpected invitation from a famed artist. Yet it comes with a price, she finds, as cutthroat competitors threaten art The Fugitive Colours by Nancy Bilyeau Lume Books Pub Date: May 12 I completely fell under the sway of Nancy Bilyeau's The Fugitive Colours, sequel to the highly regarded The Blue. Genevieve, a silk designer in Georgian England (London, 1764), finds that men not only control the arts market, but every aspect of society. She struggles financially and is thrilled when she receives an unexpected invitation from a famed artist. Yet it comes with a price, she finds, as cutthroat competitors threaten artists' livelihoods and lives. Adding to the treachery are spies who want control over England. A beautifully written historical thriller that can be read as a standalone but makes readers like me want to go back and read The Blue immediately. Highly recommended! Thanks to Nancy Bilyeau, Lume Books, and NetGalley for the ARC. Opinions are mine. #FugitiveColours #NancyBilyeau #LumeBooks #NetGalley #historicalthriller#mysterynovels #womensfictionnovel #ArtsInGeorgianEngland #SpiesInEngland1764 #bookstagramcommunity

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

    A good bit of troubling incidents and family struggles not anticipated disturb the onward and upward path of our struggling artist who is drawn into intrigue unwillingly. Kindle Unlimited

  4. 4 out of 5

    Sydney Young

    When I read Nancy Bilyear's The Blue, I felt dropped into a world I didn't much know about -- the world of painting fine china and how important the color blue was as enterprising entrepreneurs and countries fought for domination. By contrast, The Fugitive Colours was a world that I had encountered, however slightly. The world of Covent Garden and harlots and the backstabbing ton. And art, an art world that needs fresh, new colors. Here Genevieve is now married--but is she happily married? Its h When I read Nancy Bilyear's The Blue, I felt dropped into a world I didn't much know about -- the world of painting fine china and how important the color blue was as enterprising entrepreneurs and countries fought for domination. By contrast, The Fugitive Colours was a world that I had encountered, however slightly. The world of Covent Garden and harlots and the backstabbing ton. And art, an art world that needs fresh, new colors. Here Genevieve is now married--but is she happily married? Its hard to say, especially as her husband is pursuing other endeavors in order to offer support for thier family. Lucky for Genevieve, she knows how to run a business herself; at least, she has the wits and grit to make an effort of it. If only the rest of her world would cooperate. And, if only trouble wouldn't come knocking at her door. The Fugitive Colours offers the same type of page turning intrigue as readers experienced in The Blue, but with even more interaction with London's dark and bright world of the 1760s. Also, now that so many of us have seen HARLOTS, we may have more visual idea of what that world looks like. I certainly enjoyed the comparison in my mind while reading this book and considering the many persons revolving around Genevieve and her hazardous world. Thank you to the publisher for offering an arc in exchange for an honest review.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Danielle Thorne

    Another Great Art Adventure I enjoyed this look into the Georgian art world with its strong heroine and complicated plot lines. Everything was resolved and the mystery sorted. A great book two for Genevieve. I look forward to the next.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ann Dudzinski

    I was originally drawn to this story because the main character is a Huguenot living in Spitalfields. I don’t find a lot of historical fiction focused on Huguenots, either in France or in England, so that definitely piqued my interest. But I got a lot more than that. The plot also encompasses the burgeoning art scene in 18th century London, French spies at the close of the Seven Year War, and a quick foray into alchemy. This is the second installment in the Genevieve Planché series and while I ha I was originally drawn to this story because the main character is a Huguenot living in Spitalfields. I don’t find a lot of historical fiction focused on Huguenots, either in France or in England, so that definitely piqued my interest. But I got a lot more than that. The plot also encompasses the burgeoning art scene in 18th century London, French spies at the close of the Seven Year War, and a quick foray into alchemy. This is the second installment in the Genevieve Planché series and while I haven’t read the first book, the author does such a good job of bringing the reader up to speed on what happened before this novel starts, I may not have to. Which, I suppose, is a double edged sword since I don’t feel the need to run out and buy the first novel, but I was fully engaged in this one without having to wonder what the heck the author was referring to in the backstory. I bring that up because due to the main character’s involvement in espionage in the first novel, her husband Thomas, a chemist (or natural philosopher), can no longer do any work with colors. This sets up a multi-layered conflict in this novel. I’ll admit, I had a hard time getting into the book at first. It begins with a prologue that gave me the impression this was going to be more of a thriller. While it’s definitely suspenseful, It’s not a break-neck thriller, which was fine, but the pacing in the first few chapters felt slow due to my expectations. Once I settled into the story and Genevieve’s day to day life juggling her business of creating paintings for silk, playing referee between her two employees, and maintaining a household with a young child and less than responsible servants, I was engrossed. The historical details are superb and the author seamlessly moves from the world of artisans to spymasters and from affluent neighborhoods to Covent Gardens. Woven into the large cast of interesting and fully formed fictional characters are a parade of real historic figures. I realize I didn’t actually write a blurb for this book but there’s so much going on, multiple storylines that were all wrapped up plausibly AND managed to hint at another installment (I hope), that my entire review probably would have been spent on the summary. Suffice it to say that I finished the book satisfied and supremely impressed at the level of immersive historic detail. I rated this novel a solid four stars. ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Thank you to NetGalley and Lume Books for providing the ARC copy of this novel. I have left my review honestly and voluntarily.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Megs

    After being pulled into the world of the 1750's London in the Spitalfields, I couldn't help but fall in love with The Blue and the world of porcelain making. Because of this, I had high expectations for The Fugitive Colours. And boy, I was not disappointed. We're reintroduced to Genevieve Planche, now one Mrs. Strurbridge, roughly six years after her adventures in Derby. After having inherited her family house, Genevieve now runs a semi-successful silk decour business. Though, there's nothing mo After being pulled into the world of the 1750's London in the Spitalfields, I couldn't help but fall in love with The Blue and the world of porcelain making. Because of this, I had high expectations for The Fugitive Colours. And boy, I was not disappointed. We're reintroduced to Genevieve Planche, now one Mrs. Strurbridge, roughly six years after her adventures in Derby. After having inherited her family house, Genevieve now runs a semi-successful silk decour business. Though, there's nothing more she wants than to leave the past both her and Thomas share behind. Afterall, it would be best for everyone involved. Though, Genevieve doesn't quite get what she wishes for and is quickly thrusted back into the world of art, and of course, colours. After finishing The Blue, I couldn't help but anticipate what was next for Mr. and Mrs. Sturbridge. The writing was brilliant, and I quite enjoyed the introduction of new characters and the reintroduction of old faces alike, I thoroughly enjoyed seeing that headstrong Genevieve could not quietly let her dream of being an artist go. I loved seeing Genevieve use skills acquired as a spy in the last book to figure out just what was going on. The book was beautifully written, and I can't help but think I'll find myself coming back to this series in the future. Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with this wonderful book to read and review.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Davida Chazan

    I truly enjoyed this sequel to Bilyeau's novel "The Blue," and this one had a more complex plot than that one did. Find out more of what I thought of it from my #bookreview on my blog here. https://tcl-bookreviews.com/2022/05/1... I truly enjoyed this sequel to Bilyeau's novel "The Blue," and this one had a more complex plot than that one did. Find out more of what I thought of it from my #bookreview on my blog here. https://tcl-bookreviews.com/2022/05/1...

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kate Eminhizer

    A successful artist in 1760s London exhibited talent, was accepted by society, had connections and patrons, and most importantly had secrets. While Genevieve had a moderately successful silk designing business she struggled to be recognized as a true artist. Not only was she a woman but her past and her lack of connections made it nearly impossible to compete in the male dominated art scene. In her attempts to take advantage of every opportunity to further her business and career she realizes th A successful artist in 1760s London exhibited talent, was accepted by society, had connections and patrons, and most importantly had secrets. While Genevieve had a moderately successful silk designing business she struggled to be recognized as a true artist. Not only was she a woman but her past and her lack of connections made it nearly impossible to compete in the male dominated art scene. In her attempts to take advantage of every opportunity to further her business and career she realizes that rivalries spur deceit and blackmail. Genevieve soon began to question her husband's actions in addition to those in her household. Bilyeau weaves a story that includes an intricate look at the London art scene and a deftly created mystery that will keep the reader thoroughly engaged. Although this is the second book in the series it can be read as a standalone. A very enriching and insightful look into life in 1760s London. I received a copy of this book via NetGalley.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Helen

    A new Nancy Bilyeau book is always something to look forward to. I’ve loved everything I’ve read by her so far: her Joanna Stafford trilogy, about a nun displaced in Tudor England after the dissolution of the monasteries; Dreamland, set in a Coney Island amusement park; and The Blue, a wonderful historical thriller involving spies, art and the race to create a beautiful new shade of blue. The Fugitive Colours is a sequel to The Blue and another great read; the two books stand alone, so it’s not A new Nancy Bilyeau book is always something to look forward to. I’ve loved everything I’ve read by her so far: her Joanna Stafford trilogy, about a nun displaced in Tudor England after the dissolution of the monasteries; Dreamland, set in a Coney Island amusement park; and The Blue, a wonderful historical thriller involving spies, art and the race to create a beautiful new shade of blue. The Fugitive Colours is a sequel to The Blue and another great read; the two books stand alone, so it’s not necessary to have read the first novel before beginning this one, although I would recommend doing so if you can. It’s 1764 and Genevieve Planché, heroine of The Blue, is now a married woman running her own silk design business in Spitalfields, London. With the help of her two young assistant artists, Caroline and Jean, Genevieve is beginning to find buyers for her silk designs and is determined to make the business a success. However, she has not given up on her dream of becoming a serious artist and when she is invited to a gathering at the home of the portrait painter Joshua Reynolds, it seems she could still have a chance of achieving her ambition. This in itself would have been the basis for an interesting novel – a woman trying to build a career for herself in what was still very much a male-dominated field – but there’s a lot more to the story than that. Due to the parts played by Genevieve and her husband in the recent search for the blue, their names have come to the attention of some very powerful people who are hoping to enlist them in further conspiracies. Yet again Genevieve is forced to wonder who she can and cannot trust, but this time one wrong decision could mean the end of her dreams, the loss of her business and even the destruction of her marriage. The Fugitive Colours is perhaps not quite as exciting and fast-paced as The Blue, but I found it equally gripping. Set entirely in London, it’s a very immersive book taking us from the Spitalfields workshops of the Huguenot silk-weaving community to the grand homes of the rich and famous and the nightlife of Covent Garden. While Genevieve and most of the other main characters are fictional, we do meet some real historical figures too – not just Joshua Reynolds but also Giacomo Casanova, the Earl of Sandwich and the fascinating Chevalier d’Eon. I particularly enjoyed the portrayal of the 18th century art world, the snippets of information I picked up (not coming from an art background myself, I didn’t know what ‘fugitive colours’ were, but now I do), and the insights into how difficult it was for women like Genevieve and the real-life Frances Reynolds, Joshua’s sister, to gain recognition for their work. I hope there will be another book in the Genevieve Planché series as I think there’s certainly a lot more that could be written about her. If not, I’ll look forward to seeing what Nancy Bilyeau decides to write next.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Susan Wands

    Nancy Bilyeau's latest book, The Fugitive Colours, takes a deep dive into the Georgian world of London artists with her protagonist Genevieve Planché from her previous novel, The Blue. Famous painters such as Joshua Reynolds and Thomas Gainsborough populate this cut-throat world of artists looking for patrons, while scientists and secret societies plot political intrigue that leads to murder. Nancy's books always excel in the historical details, and in this story she has brought to life the stru Nancy Bilyeau's latest book, The Fugitive Colours, takes a deep dive into the Georgian world of London artists with her protagonist Genevieve Planché from her previous novel, The Blue. Famous painters such as Joshua Reynolds and Thomas Gainsborough populate this cut-throat world of artists looking for patrons, while scientists and secret societies plot political intrigue that leads to murder. Nancy's books always excel in the historical details, and in this story she has brought to life the struggles of a woman artist in a society dominated by men. Genevieve is ambitious, loyal, passionate and blind to what is in front of her - just my sort of heroine, a flawed human being, not a martyr or victim. I stayed up until 2:30 in the morning finishing The Fugitive Colours when I had a full schedule the next day, but I could not stop reading. Highly enjoyable!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Mystica

    I wish I had got to the first book in the series but this was good as a stand alone too. The world of silk weavers, and finding a woman who had her own workshop and did designs in silk particularly the ones that Genevieve did was surprising and stunning. Flowers not just from Europe but the exotic ones from the Caribbean and India were her repertoire but she was held hostage by the fact that she was totally dependent on the house which ordered her designs. They had no hesitation in bargaining with I wish I had got to the first book in the series but this was good as a stand alone too. The world of silk weavers, and finding a woman who had her own workshop and did designs in silk particularly the ones that Genevieve did was surprising and stunning. Flowers not just from Europe but the exotic ones from the Caribbean and India were her repertoire but she was held hostage by the fact that she was totally dependent on the house which ordered her designs. They had no hesitation in bargaining with her to the maximum Genevieve's husband a brilliant chemist and spy is now under a restraint from using his skills and is now a mere tutor to an Earl's son. Genevieve has to support and earn for herself and also for her young son as best as she could. When her past history of being a spy is being used against her in the form of blackmail, Genevieve has to use all her skills to keep afloat. Who is the enemy here and why is she being targeted is something she has to figure out and this takes quite a long time. An intense emotional read about a strong woman who is trying to protect her husband, protect her business and just survive in the cut throat world of design and politics doing a hard balancing act. A very good read.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Donald

    Weavings Interesting historical fiction involving weaving of silk in London by weaving historic characters at every turn! Unless you're current with the names and works of the involved or mentioned persons, take the time to use the search feature. It truly amazing how author, Nancy Beltway stocks her pond. Weavings Interesting historical fiction involving weaving of silk in London by weaving historic characters at every turn! Unless you're current with the names and works of the involved or mentioned persons, take the time to use the search feature. It truly amazing how author, Nancy Beltway stocks her pond.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Marie Z Johansen

    Thoroughly Delightful Reading! I have enjoyed every book that I have read by Nancy Bilyeau and this book is no exception! A bit of fascinating history and thoroughly believable characters…looking forward to her next offering!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Emilya Naymark

    This is a gorgeously imagined and very carefully researched novel about artists, fashion, and spies in eighteenth century London. Genevieve, whose story was first introduced in The Blue, is a deeply relatable and talented woman trying to support her household with her silk design business. Her dearest wish, however, is to be free to be a fine artist, a career path all but impossible to women of that time. So, when she gets an invitation to a gathering at Joshua Reynold’s house, she is both torn This is a gorgeously imagined and very carefully researched novel about artists, fashion, and spies in eighteenth century London. Genevieve, whose story was first introduced in The Blue, is a deeply relatable and talented woman trying to support her household with her silk design business. Her dearest wish, however, is to be free to be a fine artist, a career path all but impossible to women of that time. So, when she gets an invitation to a gathering at Joshua Reynold’s house, she is both torn and secretly hopeful. The invitation, coming in the midst of a grueling deadline, is an almost impossible temptation—will she be finally accepted as an artist? Or are there more sinister forces gathering around her? Told using real personages from history, and brought to breathing life, this novel is beautifully written and so vivid, I can still picture it. It needs to be a movie.

  16. 5 out of 5

    LittleRead

    I wish I had read The Blue first, but I’ll rectify that quickly…and you have the chance to do just that if you’re reading this. Regardless, this was a well told story and I was immediately invested in Genevieve’s story. Lots of action and games from the era are played out in this book. It also makes you realize just how lucky we women are these days in achieving our goals. A great read that will transport you back in time and make it hard to put the book down.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Caroline Palmer

    As good and enchanting as The Blue! I’m glad to read more about Genevieve and to see her and Thomas end together with a connection to both Darwin and Wedgwood!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Janet

    A Genevieve Sturbridge novel in crime infested London The former Genevieve Planchè is now the wife of Thomas Sturbridge, a chemist who she met in France. Genevieve is a struggling female artist who is finding rejection to develop her talent in both France and England. The love of her life is a young idealist young man who will not compromise his duties and obligations to family and country. Because of restrictions placed upon him, he is forced into tutoring a young man while Genevieve tries to ea A Genevieve Sturbridge novel in crime infested London The former Genevieve Planchè is now the wife of Thomas Sturbridge, a chemist who she met in France. Genevieve is a struggling female artist who is finding rejection to develop her talent in both France and England. The love of her life is a young idealist young man who will not compromise his duties and obligations to family and country. Because of restrictions placed upon him, he is forced into tutoring a young man while Genevieve tries to earn a living making designs for silk painted gowns. Thomas is separated from Genevieve during most of this story while she tries to satisfy her only business contract, a fellow Huguenot catering to the wealthy London ladies who love silk painted gowns. Genevieve has two young assistants she employs to help find suitable prints for the gowns. Jean and Caroline are both trustworthy and dependable, both of moral character. A man servant and wife help with household duties. An invitation from the famous Joshua Reynolds to attend a special party is met with little enthusiasm from Genevieve because it reminds her of a humiliating moment previous to this. Reynolds supposedly is honoring Hogarth, an artist who had rejected Genevieve’s aspirations to become an acclaimed artist. Because Jean and Caroline urge her to accept the invitation she goes to the party where she is received by Joshua Reynolds, his sister, and guests. She is well received which gives her hope that perhaps her dreams to become an artist may be fulfilled. London is a city filled with crime at all levels. Thomas is well known for his knowledge and understanding of chemical properties involved in color. Because both porcelain and silk painting are sought by the very wealthy Thomas is a person whose knowledge would be valuable to entrepreneurs, artists, and nations. Thus, Unscrupulous characters are trying to lure Thomas into working for them. He keeps Genevieve in the dark regarding his work as a tutor for the son of a very disreputable man. At the same time, Joshua Reynolds seeks his services also. Genevieve finds herself walking through the darkest, most forbidden areas of London on a rescue mission. She learns the truth about her two assistants and Thomas, her husband, as well. All does not end well. Nancy Billyeau has written a novel which depicts the problems that women faced in the man’s world of 18th century London, not just for artists, but in all trades. She introduces us to Kitty Fisher, a famous courtesan for the very rich. Street prostitutes worked together to both seduce and to rob men. Women are discouraged from entering a man’s world, but despite that, Genevieve has hopes that her talent will be rewarded. A sequel may continue to see how she will achieve her goal. I am hoping to read the fate of her characters in her next novel. It ends on a cliffhanger imho. I recommend the Fugitive Colours!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Peter

    I welcomed this opportunity to visit again with Genevieve, a character I've fallen in love with in the first of the series, The Blue. I did wonder how I can get caught up with it, already knowing how intelligent and resourceful she could be. I should have known better. Though she has a home in London, the pollution is worrisome for her son and a disaster for her husband. Her business is having success, but also growing pains and threats from its main customer. Her income, partly because of her ge I welcomed this opportunity to visit again with Genevieve, a character I've fallen in love with in the first of the series, The Blue. I did wonder how I can get caught up with it, already knowing how intelligent and resourceful she could be. I should have known better. Though she has a home in London, the pollution is worrisome for her son and a disaster for her husband. Her business is having success, but also growing pains and threats from its main customer. Her income, partly because of her generosity, is never quite enough. And thanks to a deal with the government, her husband's brilliant potential in the sciences is blocked so thoroughly he can only get work as a tutor, taking him away from home for large stretches of time. Things get worse, of course, as her past spying activities come back to haunt her, ultimately leading to disturbing and deadly situations that seem impossible for her to extract herself from. Really, everything that could go wrong does, forcing this already amazing woman to use all her wits and charm. A note about the charm. Genevieve's voice lures you in and keeps you reading, so you become proof point one in supporting her ability to influence those who are around her. Adding to the fun, she isn't always honest. Nobody really is in the story. Agatha Christie reveled in giving her characters secrets, and Bilyeau does that both directly – with a terrifying trip to meet at night with a criminal whose identity is secret — and within the nuanced conversations, invitations, and demands of those around her. Clues are everywhere and they come together delightfully, bit by bit, for a satisfying ending. This is more than a mystery, of course, actual people from this colorful (pun intended) era show up, adding to the richness of the world that is both peculiar and familiar. I was especially struck by the interweaving of art and celebrity and by how even intelligent people were sucked into conspiracies based on crank science. For the latter, I appreciated how the explosion of new ideas and findings, once popularized, seemed to invite smart people with little expertise to invest time and energy into doomed plots. This was a lively voyage through an era I know mostly through the Horatio Hornblower novels. Though this is a different genre, it was fun seeing these times from a different perspective. I savored every page, and, in some cases I read paragraphs out loud for the pure joy of speaking the words. As much as I loved The Blue, I'd have a hard time deciding which was my favorite book.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Eunice R

    It all started with fugitive colours, spying and greed and the like of such covetousness did not fade throughout this wonderfully dramatic and fantastic historical fiction. So many criss-crossing layers zipping this way and that surely kept me on my toes. There were Hugenot refugees who came from France to Spitalfields, England where the setting of the story unfolds, many of whom were tradesmen in the silk weaving business; there's the spies egged on by Louis XV post the Seven Years War between It all started with fugitive colours, spying and greed and the like of such covetousness did not fade throughout this wonderfully dramatic and fantastic historical fiction. So many criss-crossing layers zipping this way and that surely kept me on my toes. There were Hugenot refugees who came from France to Spitalfields, England where the setting of the story unfolds, many of whom were tradesmen in the silk weaving business; there's the spies egged on by Louis XV post the Seven Years War between France and England, infiltrating London and region; there's the chemists and painters trying to dig out information from the main character, Geneviere's husband Thomas, secrets which he is forbidden by law to reveal; and the aspiring and determined painters who'd do much to have the information. Geneviere herself is an artist - a painter on silk with two proteges Caroline and Jean, there's the housekeeper Daphne along with George and Sophie, also household staff and little Pierre, Geneviere and Thomas' son. Each have their role to play. Things really begin to boil when Geneviere accepts an invitation to Joshua Reynold's home and she gets more than she bargained for. This chap was a true to life successful painter back in 1764 when this story takes place. The flight of activity seems hinged on and around Geneviere and Thomas, and even Caroline, each with pasts they are loathed to reveal. Somehow or another the info leaked out to unscrupulous people creating much suspense, mystery and thriller scenarios with the spies added to the mix for good measure. Overlapping this are the silk weavers' employees airing disgruntlements and demonstrations. The murder and the whodunnit will bate your curiosity and keep the pages turning. I really enjoy getting peeks into history wrapped in fiction form such as this author Nancy Bilyeau has penned. This second book in the Genevieve Planche series is fast-paced and entertaining, as well as educational. I believe most mature readers will love this book, especially painters and those who are interested in silk. ~Eunice C., Reviewer/Blogger~ February 2022 Disclaimer: This is my honest opinion based on the review copy sent by NetGalley and the publisher.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Vivienne

    My thanks to Lume Books for an eARC via NetGalley of ‘The Fugitive Colours’ by Nancy Bilyeau in exchange for an honest review. This is the sequel to her 2018 novel, ‘The Blue’, that presented the story of Genevieve Planché, an English born descendant of Huguenot refugees. Her aspiration is to become an artist though in the male dominated art world of the 18th Century no one takes her seriously. However, I don’t want to give spoilers for ‘The Blue’ and although some backstory is provided in ‘The F My thanks to Lume Books for an eARC via NetGalley of ‘The Fugitive Colours’ by Nancy Bilyeau in exchange for an honest review. This is the sequel to her 2018 novel, ‘The Blue’, that presented the story of Genevieve Planché, an English born descendant of Huguenot refugees. Her aspiration is to become an artist though in the male dominated art world of the 18th Century no one takes her seriously. However, I don’t want to give spoilers for ‘The Blue’ and although some backstory is provided in ‘The Fugitive Colours’, I would recommend reading the books in order. ‘The Fugitive Colours’ opens in 1764 as Genevieve struggles to keep her silk design business afloat all to aware that men control the arts and sciences, politics and the law. And they definitely control women! When Genevieve receives a surprise invitation from an important artist, she hopes that her luck is about to change and she will be admitted into the world of serious art. No further details to avoid spoilers for a novel that has a fair degree of intrigues and political machinations alongside the elegant gowns and wigs. I loved following Genevieve’s story in ‘The Blue’ and ‘The Fugitive Colours’ as she was a spirited lead character. In addition as a former student of art history I always appreciate novels that delve into the subject of art and artists. I felt that Nancy Bilyeau was meticulous in her recreation of the dazzling society of Georgian London placing her fictional characters alongside historical figures as various events are played out. When I read historical fiction it is very important to me that the author remains faithful to the historical and social context, even if that leads to uncomfortable scenes. Nancy Bilyeau definitely demonstrates this kind of commitment to her craft immersing her readers in the period. I will be looking forward to her future projects as well as reading her earlier works. Highly recommended.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kelly Van Damme

    3.5 rounded up Published four years after The Blue, The Fugitive Colours continues the story of Genevieve Planché, now Mrs Sturbridge. I had a great time reading The Blue via The Pigeonhole back in 2018, even though I wasn’t much of a hist fic reader at the time. The Blue was definitely one of the books that broadened my horizons, opening my eyes and my heart to historical fiction and when I spotted The Fugitive Colours on NetGalley I couldn’t click on that request button fast enough. Note that Th 3.5 rounded up Published four years after The Blue, The Fugitive Colours continues the story of Genevieve Planché, now Mrs Sturbridge. I had a great time reading The Blue via The Pigeonhole back in 2018, even though I wasn’t much of a hist fic reader at the time. The Blue was definitely one of the books that broadened my horizons, opening my eyes and my heart to historical fiction and when I spotted The Fugitive Colours on NetGalley I couldn’t click on that request button fast enough. Note that The Fugitive Colours can be read without having read The Blue, to be perfectly honest I don’t recall all the details either but I had no trouble following the story. While Genevieve was a feisty and outspoken single woman in The Blue, in The Fugitive Colours she is married with a young son. She is still feisty and she still hasn’t completely given up on the dream to become an artist but by necessity, her plans have morphed into a business deemed slightly more suitable for a woman: she has her own silk design business with two artists in her employ. Like its predecessor, The Fugitive Colours addresses the fact that in mid-18th century London, women are still very much secondary to men. It also taught me about the continuing struggles and rivalry between England and France and their respective kings, and the plights of English Huguenots and professions like silkweavers. In this respect, it reminded me of Blackberry & Wild Rose by Sonia Velton. While all the main characters are fictional, the author did manage to sneak in a rather impressive number of real persons. Most notably to me was the portraitist Joshua Reynolds, whose faulty technique in mixing paints led to the title of this novel. The Fugitive Colours is a bit of a slowburner until all the storylines come to a head and everything is happening all at once. It’s a story of intrigue laced with espionage in a world where people fight tooth and nail for what they believe in. The Fugitive Colours didn’t quite enchant me as much as The Blue or this author’s Dreamland, I’m not sure why, but I think that it lacked a certain trigger to truly spark my fascination, The Blue has the search for creating the perfect colour blue, which – to my great surprise – fascinated me to no end, and Dreamland is set on Coney Island, a place I’ve always found fascinating. So I guess I kinda missed that fascination this time around, but obviously that’s just me. I did have a good time with The Fugitive Colours and I’d recommend it to hist fic readers, especially those who enjoy stories set in the Georgian era. Thanks to Lume Books and NetGalley for the eARC. All opinions are my own. The Fugitive Colours will be out on 12 May.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Timothy Miller

    Nancy Bilyeau used to live in Tudor England. Now she lives in Georgian England (with side trips to Gilded Age New York). I say this because her books are so meticulously researched that the reader feels he is reading an actual narrative from the past, and that’s a very good feeling indeed. We’re transported to 1760s London, the silk-design shop of Genevieve Sturbridge, the heroine of The Blue, a fearless, determined woman whose aspirations to be an artist got her entangled once in a world of spy Nancy Bilyeau used to live in Tudor England. Now she lives in Georgian England (with side trips to Gilded Age New York). I say this because her books are so meticulously researched that the reader feels he is reading an actual narrative from the past, and that’s a very good feeling indeed. We’re transported to 1760s London, the silk-design shop of Genevieve Sturbridge, the heroine of The Blue, a fearless, determined woman whose aspirations to be an artist got her entangled once in a world of spying and intrigue, shifting allegiances and yes, murder and will do so again in short order in The Fugitive Colors. The difference is that this time Genevieve has a business and a family to protect, so that her room to maneuver against the various forces trying to entrap her in their webs is even more circumscribed, the stakes that much higher. And the cast of villains and artists which Bilyeau blends so well is that much richer. What are the fugitive colors? Let’s just say that the outisize ambitions of the premiere English artist of hos day, Sir Joshua Reynolds come into play, as well as a host of artists jostling for his spot. And did I mention the king of France? And the Bow Street Runners? And Casanova? It’s a heady brew that Bilyeau mixes up, served up in the finest of crystalline prose.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Lorin (paperbackbish)

    I really loved the first novel in this series. Did that instantly make my expectations for this book higher than average? Maybe so. I found it to be entertaining, but not at the level of the first book, The Blue. Genevieve and Thomas Sturbridge return in this story, now married and living in London with their son, Pierre. Through strange machinations, Genevieve is approached by London’s leading portrait artist and pressured to help him solve a private problem he is facing. Other madness goes on s I really loved the first novel in this series. Did that instantly make my expectations for this book higher than average? Maybe so. I found it to be entertaining, but not at the level of the first book, The Blue. Genevieve and Thomas Sturbridge return in this story, now married and living in London with their son, Pierre. Through strange machinations, Genevieve is approached by London’s leading portrait artist and pressured to help him solve a private problem he is facing. Other madness goes on simultaneously with her employees, old friends, and new acquaintances, until it all comes together in the end. There were SO many individual elements in this story, and I think Nancy Bilyeau tied them all together exceptionally well at the conclusion. I did not find the mysteries of this narrative as engaging as those of The Blue, but this book is shorter and I breezed through it easily. I had no idea what “fugitive colours” were before I read this story! Very interesting, as usual. I find this author’s historical fiction to be very well written — I feel submersed in the time period without being overburdened by detail or historical fact. I realize that this is a highly objective matter, but it’s perfect for my preferences! Thank you to Lume Books, Nancy Bilyeau, and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this ARC!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Fellows

    The Fugitive Colours Genevieve Planche Book 2 Spitalfields 1764 It was a time when women were not accepted into the art world at all, and it was considered improper employment for them to paint men as they would be staring at them, for too long for it to be proper. Growing up in the Huguenot area of London, Spitalfields and SoHo things were not safe for many craftsman who were trying to make a living in the art world. Secrets, disbelief, cruelties, pretence, overworked, and miserable lifestyles in 1 The Fugitive Colours Genevieve Planche Book 2 Spitalfields 1764 It was a time when women were not accepted into the art world at all, and it was considered improper employment for them to paint men as they would be staring at them, for too long for it to be proper. Growing up in the Huguenot area of London, Spitalfields and SoHo things were not safe for many craftsman who were trying to make a living in the art world. Secrets, disbelief, cruelties, pretence, overworked, and miserable lifestyles in 1764. Never knowing who could be trusted who would cheat you, and who would steal your ideas. Genevieve only wants a better life for her family, and feels that it could be her chance to prove her chance as an artist with the art world behind her. With all the lies, subterfuge, insincerity’s and sycophantic people, spies and blackmail Genevieve doesn’t know who to trust. The fears she has is that she might have to deal with some ugly things of her past. After all, this is the age of corruption. Folks with despicable morals. Nancy Bilyeau writes a magnificent story of a lifestyle in 1764 that the reader has a hard time imagining. Her vivid descriptions, her attention to detail, and her historical and geographic information are admirable. I enjoyed this book enormously. Superb book Nancy Bilyeau.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Debra Schoenberger

    The Fugitive Colours is a sequel to Blue, a fascinating glimpse into the world of colour and porcelain painting in France before the revolution. I would highly recommend reading the first book as the background is important to fully understand the events taking place in the second book. We are transported to 1764 England, where Genevieve Sturbridge is mistress of her own silk design workshop. A talented painter in her own right, she employs two other painters who help her produce designs that are The Fugitive Colours is a sequel to Blue, a fascinating glimpse into the world of colour and porcelain painting in France before the revolution. I would highly recommend reading the first book as the background is important to fully understand the events taking place in the second book. We are transported to 1764 England, where Genevieve Sturbridge is mistress of her own silk design workshop. A talented painter in her own right, she employs two other painters who help her produce designs that are more beautiful and original that any other designer at the time. London is dirty, the air is foul and walking the streets is dangerous. Earning enough to support her household is becoming increasingly difficult. She has still not fully recovered from her traumatic experiences in France and she becomes alarmed when a serious of encounters with characters from her past begin to threaten the peace she has worked so hard for. Her experience as a former spy are crucial to her investigation of events unfolding around her as she feels her control slipping away, both with her work and her household. Beautifully descriptive with believable characters, this is another one of those absorbing stories that will keep you up late at night.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    I liked this story very much. The plot was interesting and unusual, well planned and executed. I felt immersed in 18th Century London life and loved the setting of the art world, paintings and artists. I do feel that that I would have been better off reading the first book Blue before this as some of this story relates to earlier events but the author does a fine job in filling in background detail without it becoming too arduous. (In fact it whets my appetite for getting the earlier book!). Rea I liked this story very much. The plot was interesting and unusual, well planned and executed. I felt immersed in 18th Century London life and loved the setting of the art world, paintings and artists. I do feel that that I would have been better off reading the first book Blue before this as some of this story relates to earlier events but the author does a fine job in filling in background detail without it becoming too arduous. (In fact it whets my appetite for getting the earlier book!). Real life characters and events blend in seamlessly with the fiction incorporating well researched historical detail. Genevieve is an intelligent, talented and very likeable heroine desperately trying to balance family life with running her own silk design business but it seems that her life is never going to be straightforward or easy. I very much enjoyed the artistic detail of the work involved in perfecting her designs and the relationship she had with her two assistants, Jean and Caroline. The story kept me on my toes, and while several threads jostled for attention all was eventually resolved in a satisfactory and somewhat unexpected conclusion. I look forward to the next stage in Genevieve's eventful life!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Susan Peterson

    The Fugitive Colours is a gripping and immersive novel set in 1764 London, and features a young and artistic heroine, Genevieve. Genevieve runs her own silk design business, an anomaly for that time, when men still control businesses, government, the arts, and yes, women. Struggling to keep her business afloat, with her husband away, she receives an offer she can’t refuse, a way to fulfill her artistic dreams—but at what cost? We enter a world of spies and treachery, intrigue and danger, and in The Fugitive Colours is a gripping and immersive novel set in 1764 London, and features a young and artistic heroine, Genevieve. Genevieve runs her own silk design business, an anomaly for that time, when men still control businesses, government, the arts, and yes, women. Struggling to keep her business afloat, with her husband away, she receives an offer she can’t refuse, a way to fulfill her artistic dreams—but at what cost? We enter a world of spies and treachery, intrigue and danger, and in Genevieve we have a heroine who is not only a brilliant artist, she is also smart and cunning and headstrong and ambitious. There is a vividness to this story that is rare—readers are thrust right in the middle of this multi-layered story, and 18th century London comes to life in all of its brilliance and its seediness, engaging all of our senses as we are captivated by this story and its characters.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca of Wilson Hill Farm

    This book highlights that plight of the Huguenots living in England through the main character, Genevieve Sturbridge. Genevieve owns a silk design business which also gives the reader insight into the weaving industry during the late 1700s. This is the 2nd book in a series and it seems that Genevieve's desire for a career as an artist is much stronger than many other desires in her life - possibly even that of wife, mother, friend, and business owner. And despite trying to overcome her poor deci This book highlights that plight of the Huguenots living in England through the main character, Genevieve Sturbridge. Genevieve owns a silk design business which also gives the reader insight into the weaving industry during the late 1700s. This is the 2nd book in a series and it seems that Genevieve's desire for a career as an artist is much stronger than many other desires in her life - possibly even that of wife, mother, friend, and business owner. And despite trying to overcome her poor decisions in the past, she seems to be dragged into the dark world of political espionage. I enjoyed this fascinating glimpse into Georgian England and while the first half of the book was a bit slow moving, the second half was exciting and intriguing as the mystery unfolds. Thank you to Lume Books and NetGalley for providing an ARC copy of this novel. I have left my review honestly and voluntarily.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Di Paterson

    What a difference! Too often sequels are disappointing; but not in this case. I enjoyed 'The Blue', the first book in this series, and liked the main character, Genevieve very much. This book expands on her character really well, and introduces some very interesting new characters too. It's full of intrigue, mystery and secrets. I'm a great fan of fictional characters mingling with real people in historical fiction, and Genevieve's relationship with Joshua Reynolds and the art scene of Georgian What a difference! Too often sequels are disappointing; but not in this case. I enjoyed 'The Blue', the first book in this series, and liked the main character, Genevieve very much. This book expands on her character really well, and introduces some very interesting new characters too. It's full of intrigue, mystery and secrets. I'm a great fan of fictional characters mingling with real people in historical fiction, and Genevieve's relationship with Joshua Reynolds and the art scene of Georgian London brings a wonderful dimension to the story. Nancy Bilyeau's research is immaculate, making her one of my new favourite authors of historical fiction. Much better than the first book, this is a definite must-read, and can be done without having read 'The Blue'. My thanks to NetGalley for the advance copy to read.

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