I discovered Angelique back in the 1960s, and I was hooked! I loved the history and the love story. I read the original in French. The English publication is actually two books in one: The first part is called "Angelique, Marquise of the Angels," and the second part is "On the Road to Versailles." The first book begins with Angelique's childhood in the gloomy castle of an impoverished nobleman, Angelique's loving father. There are also many siblings, who have strong character development. The historical research is impeccable. The romantic parts are the way I like them. They are intensely passionate, but there is none of what I think of as "The Joy of Sex" descriptions -- "he touched her there, and she gasped", "he touched her somewhere else, and she moaned/gasped/writhed" (take your pick). To me, that's just soft porn. The French are masters of describing the art of love. With Angelique books, the curtain does NOT discreetly come down, but you also don't feel as if you are reading a medical textbook! If you do not read French, don't let that deter you. The English translations are sometimes awkward, but the plots in the whole series are so gripping, you simply cannot put any of the books down. I bought the English translations for my daughter a few years ago, and she was hooked as much as I was. Serge and Anne Golon introduced 17th century France to millions of enthralled readers in the same way that Georgette Heyer did for Regency England.