An alluring, exotic novel based on the life of the famous and much-painted courtesan, La Belle Phanariote. Perfect for fans of Painting Mona Lisa.'Stories precede her. Whispers of delighted amusement at her exotic beauty, her mysterious past. Some swear she has been a Sultan's odalisque. Others that she is a Greek princess. Princes praise her exquisite manners and her pleasing ways. And the King of Poland leads her in the polonaise.'Sophie, the Countess Potocki, is travelling with her entourage from St Petersburg to Paris, to consult with French doctors, when she stops at the Berlin palace of her friend, the Graf von Haefen.There, her whole extraordinary life during one of the most turbulent periods of European history comes back to haunt her - the many strands of her life, the many roles in which she has presented herself, the many biographies she has made up, the many lovers and protectors she has cherished and deceived. And still she continues to attempt to manipulate the lives of those around her.Brilliantly written, cleverly constructed with a strong cast of characters, both real and fictional, and vivid scenes, Garden of Venus is an alluring, sensuous and exotic saga which will delight readers of Tracy Chevalier, Philippa Gregory and Isabelle Allende.