The story begins in 1498 as That Upstart Henry Tudor (can you tell I don’t like him?) maintains his hold on the crown despite the multiple pretenders claiming to be one of the lost princes in the tower – including the latest claimant Perkin Warbeck. Lucas Lovat returns from an extended tour of Europe where he traded goods for his father and earned quite the reputation as a lady’s man, but also acted as a spy for Henry. The King sends Lucas to the Queen’s court at Greenwich Palace to spy on Warbeck’s wife Katherine Gordon as well as to seduce one of her ladies – Megan Baswell. Never fear though, Henry sets spies upon his spies and Megan is forced to report back to Henry on the actions of Katherine and Lucas.
Despite Lucas’ best efforts, Megan is determined to hold onto the one coin she still owns – her chastity. Lucas soon finds he cares for Megan a great deal but the ghosts of his past prevent him from declaring himself. Lucas begins a deadly game of cat and mouse as a big secret from his past is revealed and he determines to ascertain Warbeck’s true identity at all costs. Is Warbeck truly Richard Plantagenet or just another imposter? Will Warbeck escape the tower and make another attempt at Henry’s crown? Can Lucas and Megan survive it all with their heads intact?
And that’s about all I can tell you – there are a couple of big plot twists and going any further would give it all away. Improbable as it is, this was still a very entertaining *what if* novel where the author took that never ending mystery of the Princes in the Tower and put her own spin on it. The scenes in the tower were sufficiently creepy (the walls did have ears) and Warwick just broke my heart. While this is billed as an historical romance, you’re not going to get your payola until the very end and when you do it is quite tame by today’s standards, so if you’re looking for a book filled with nothing but sex I suggest you look elsewhere. If you are a fan of the period and looking for something a little different I’d definitely go for it, and at the price it’s selling for what have you got to lose?
Why no link to the Amazon page? Well, the PW blurb gives the whole damn thing away and I recommend you avoid it at all costs if you wish to remain spoiler free. I’ve informed Amazon but my faith in the customer service reps is pretty slim.