I love reading fiction. Especially fiction books within the Tudor era I was honored to receive a review copy of this book from the author and I’m so happy to tell you about it. I finished this book well over a month ago and finally got around to finishing a review for it. I wanted to make sure it received a proper review and not one that was rushed.
About the Author
Catherine Meyrick is a writer of historical fiction with a particular love of Elizabethan England. Her stories weave fictional characters into the gaps within the historical record – tales of ordinary people who are very much men and women of their time, yet in so many ways not unlike ourselves.
Although she grew up in regional Victoria, Australia, she has lived all her adult life in Melbourne. She has worked as a nurse, a tax assessor and finally a librarian. She has a Master of Arts in history and is also a family history obsessive.
Bess Stoughton, waiting woman to the well-connected Lady Allingbourne, has discovered that her father is arranging for her to marry an elderly neighbour. Normally obedient Bess rebels and wrests from her father a year’s grace to find a husband more to her liking.
Edmund Wyard, a taciturn and scarred veteran of England’s campaign in Ireland, is attempting to ignore the pressure from his family to find a suitable wife as he prepares to join the Earl of Leicester’s army in the Netherlands.
Although Bess and Edmund are drawn to each other, they are aware that they can have nothing more than friendship. Bess knows that Edmund’s wealth and family connections place him beyond her reach. And Edmund, with his well-honed sense of duty, has never considered that he could follow his own wishes.
With England on the brink of war and fear of Catholic plots extending even into Lady Allingbourne’s household, time is running out for both of them.
Bess evolves throughout the story and her character softened a bit as the story unraveled. It began with Bess returning home for her father to arrange a second marriage for her after the death of her first husband, another arranged marriage. Upon returning home Bess was reminded of the loss of her mother and the much younger woman her father married immediately afterward as well as the children they conceived through that marriage. Her half-siblings.
As Bess insisted that she could not possibly like her half-siblings she eventually warmed to her younger sisters and step-mother through her concern and dislike of her father’s choice of a husband. A wealthy, elderly neighbor whom her mother never liked nor trusted.
Bess, afraid that she would have to marry old man fled her father’s home with the help of her step-sister. She left behind a note stating that if she did not find a suitable husband within one year that she would marry the old man her father wished her to. That is where the story of Bess really began.
Throughout this story we are introduced to several men that could become a great choice for a husband for Bess, however, she fell for the one man that she never expected to which led her into a very dangerous situation.
I really don’t want to say much more than that because I do not want to ruin the surprises in the story for you. I would highly recommend that you buy this book and enjoy it for the wonderful tale that is told within its beautifully crafted pages.