Setting - Britain, 1530 --- During the passionate and turbulent reign of Henry VIII, Elizabeth Meredith, the heiress of Friarsgate and youngest of Rosamond Bolton's daughters, at the age of 22 was still unmarried. After her eldest sister Phillipa had renounced her inheritance of Friarsgate for a life in court, Elizabeth, the youngest had proclaimed she wanted Friarsgate and would run it herself. Fiercely independent, intelligent, and hopelessly devoted to the land, she needed nor wanted any man in her life to take the reins of that responsibility away from her.
Her mother Rosamond, knew that Friarsgate needed an heir and Elizabeth needed to marry in order to keep Friarsgate in the Meredith family. Summoning Thomas Bolton, Rosamond's cousin and Elizabeth's beloved elderly and most fashionable uncle to escort her, arrangements were made for Elizabeth to travel to court where Thomas would endeavor to find Elizabeth a suitable husband.
Prior to their leaving for court, Elizabeth met and was attracted to the divinely handsome Scot, Baen MacColl, but knowing of his own humble and illegitimate beginnings, Baen dared not to hope for anything other than friendship with the very beautiful Elizabeth.
During the short time Elizabeth spent at court, the very lonely and exotic Anne Boleyn, who was then the object of Henry VIII's latest attention, befriended her. Anne valued Elizabeth's honesty and they forged a firm friendship. It was also during this short stay that Elizabeth would enjoy a flirtation with Flynn Stewart, bastard brother of King James V of Scotland, and be disappointed that he'd choose duty over marriage to her and Friarsgate.
After returning home she had another visitor from the north, and Elizabeth would throw caution to the wind in the arms of Baen MacColl. It would be a bittersweet lesson to find that once more, her weakness for a Scot would leave her disappointed as Baen battled his loyalty to Elizabeth over ties to his family.
--- Lovers of deeply historical romantic reads will soon find themselves immersed in the latest tale from the prolific pen of Ms. Small as she takes the reader on a delightful tour backstage of the court intrigues of Henry VIII. The historical background, the descriptions of fashion, food, behavior, and court intrigues will all be fascinating to the romance readers who love the historical details that this author supplies in abundance. As a stand-alone novel, the faithful reader will be reintroduced and updated on the lives of the other Friarsgate Inheritance ladies, their spouses, and the ever-beloved cousin and uncle Thomas Bolton; while the first time readers will find themselves scurrying to find the previous books in the series. As always, Bertrice Small delivers another lusty, full and passionate romance that is sure to delight her present fans and make believers of the uninitiated. --- [...]