Beautiful. Seductive. Innocent. Jane Popyncourt was brought to the court as a child to be ward of the king and a companion to his daughters -- the princesses Margaret and Mary. With no money of her own, Jane could not hope for a powerful marriage, or perhaps even marriage at all. But as she grows into a lovely young woman, she still receives flattering attention from the virile young men flocking to serve the handsome new king, Henry VIII, who has recently married Catherine of Aragon. Then a dashing French prisoner of war, cousin to the king of France, is brought to London, and Jane finds she cannot help giving some of her heart -- and more -- to a man she can never marry. But the Tudor court is filled with dangers as well as seductions, and there are mysteries surrounding Jane's birth that have made her deadly enemies. Can she cultivate her beauty and her amorous wiles to guide her along a perilous path and bring her at last to happiness?Basing her gripping tale on the life of the real Jane Popyncourt, gifted author Kate Emerson brings the Tudor monarchs, their family, and their courtiers to brilliant life in this vibrant new novel.
Emerson's second in her Tudor court series (following Secrets of the Tudor Court: The Pleasure Palace) begins with Jane Seymour's death after giving birth to a son, Edward, and follows the fortunes of one of her maids of honor, Nan Bassett. Concerned about her position now that her queen is dead, Nan catches Henry VIII's eye almost at once, a dangerous position for a young maid. When her family becomes embroiled in treason and scandal, it is all she can do to stay alive and must balance the desires of a king with the desires of her heart. As in her first Tudor novel, Emerson skillfully crafts a strong heroine who maintains careful command of her sexuality and her independence. Nan's behavior is as brave as it is scandalous for the time, and Emerson makes readers appreciate the consequences of Nan's choices. An in-depth view into the later years of Henry's court with the charismatic king gone to seed, makes him a character, in Emerson's capable hands, to be feared and in some ways pitied. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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January 04, 2010
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