3.0 out of 5 stars In the minority here….

I have to admit going into this one being confused about what the story was actually about, so many reviews go into such great plot detail that I found my head spinning – I’m keeping it short and sweet. This is actually two stories of two different women who served Elizabeth Tudor at two different periods in her life. The first, Katherine Grey falls in love with Edward Seymor and wishes to marry him but Elizabeth refuses to give permission for the two to wed – and their defiance leads to drastic circumstances. The second *daughter* is Mary Rogers (distantly related to Katherine) who joins Elizabeth’s household in her later years and finds herself in love with the rakish Sir John Harrington, but Elizabeth has other plans…..

And that’s pretty much it. While I enjoyed a look at a couple of lesser known ladies instead of the focus being on the monarch, I have to say that this book fell a tad bit flat for this reader. I didn’t find much chemistry between either pair of lovers, Elizabeth was pretty un-intimidating in the first half of the book (thankfully that improved in the latter half), but worst of all was the portrayal of Robert Dudley. Instead of being the “Machiavellian master courtier” as he’s been described he reminded me more of those irritating *barflys* I used to come across in my younger days – just a man who would flirt with anything in skirts. I never felt real connection with any of the characters, nor did I feel I was immersed into the period itself – I was always on the outside looking in. A good book, just not a great one.