The Queen's Lady (Lacey Chronicles Series #2)

The Queen's Lady (Lacey Chronicles Series #2)

4.6 5
by Eve Edwards
     
 

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Book II in The Lacey Chronicles offers another tale of romance, deception and destiny. 

England, 1584.

When beautiful Lady Jane Rievaulx begins her service to the Queen at Richmond Palace, she is thrilled to see the court's newest arrival . . . Master James Lacey.

No matter that Jane was previously courted bySee more details below

Overview

Book II in The Lacey Chronicles offers another tale of romance, deception and destiny. 

England, 1584.

When beautiful Lady Jane Rievaulx begins her service to the Queen at Richmond Palace, she is thrilled to see the court's newest arrival . . . Master James Lacey.

No matter that Jane was previously courted by the eldest Lacey brother—James is the one who has won her heart. For his part, James cannot deny his fascination with Jane; his plans, however, do not allow for love. He is about to set sail on a treacherous journey to the Americas, seeking absolution for what he sees as past sins. But when Jane is forced into a terrible situation by her own family, only one man can save her. Will Master James return to his lady before it's too late?


From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—Lady Jane Rievaulx, recently widowed, finds herself in service to the queen at Richmond Palace in 1584. She is excited to see the man who has won her heart, James Lacey. However, he has plans to journey to America and is plagued by self-doubt. The 18-year-old is caught between the stepsons of her late husband, who think she owes them money, and her own family, who have plans for her to remarry, not for love but out of duty. Jane is hesitant to agree to this arrangement until she is given an ultimatum that would devastate a lifelong friend. James can save her but there is no way of knowing if he will return in time. The descriptions of the time period, clothing, court protocol, and class distinctions provide more than just a backdrop for this historical novel. The characters' dialogue and romantic involvement are largely innocent. While this title continues the tale from The Other Countess (Delacorte, 2011), the author provides enough backstory for it to stand on its own.—Denise Moore, O'Gorman Junior High School, Sioux Falls, SD
Kirkus Reviews
A 17-year-old widow struggles to find happiness in Elizabeth I's court in 1584. This second installment of The Lacey Chronicles (The Other Countess, 2011) stands on its own nicely. Lady Jane has survived a good marriage to a kindly elderly man, although her stepsons now intend to steal her dowry and even her wedding ring, through violence if necessary. Meanwhile, Jane secretly loves James Lacey, brother of the earl she was supposed to marry in the series' first installment. Now a lady-in-waiting to the Queen, Jane spends time with her old friend Milly, who runs a successful business as a seamstress. When her father tries to force her into another unwanted marriage, Jane looks to James for salvation, but he has embarked on Sir Walter Raleigh's first expedition to America. Can Jane save herself? Can Milly marry Diego, James' black servant, whom she has loved since childhood? Yes, it's all quite a soap opera. Edwards manages the historical setting fairly well, having clearly done her homework on the period. While the romance and characterizations remain standard stuff, the history might appeal to some readers. Spiced up with a few sword fights and dastardly attacks on innocent damsels, this fits the bill for historical romance. Pleasant for romance fans. (Historical romance. 12 & up)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780375983382
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
04/10/2012
Series:
Lacey Chronicles Series , #2
Sold by:
Random House
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
427,126
File size:
3 MB
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

1584

Richmond Palace, Surrey

"Now, when the Queen wakes, she is never in the best of spirits," advised Blanche Parry, leading Her Majesty's newest Lady of the Privy Chamber into the Queen's private apartments. Elizabeth was out hunting in the park of Richmond Palace, leaving the way clear for the induction into a lady's duties. The court had followed the sovereign like the train dangling from the back of her petticoats, sweeping across the snow in a glorious swatch of rich velvets and plumed hats, all mounted on first-rate horses--quite a pageant to entertain the commoners lucky enough to witness their passage.

"Your ladyship may be asked to sleep nearby to be on hand for messages. I, or one of the other Ladies of the Bedchamber, sleep within." Blanche gestured to the canopied bed in the room beyond. The apple-red hangings were exquisitely embroidered with flowers--pansies, roses and love-lies-bleeding.

The Dowager Marchioness of Rievaulx, as Jane was now known, smiled down at the stooped elderly attendant who was her guide in her first days as one of the Queen's ladies. Mistress Parry had served Elizabeth since before her coronation; now, at seventy-six, she surely had earned a better bed to sleep in than the one at the Queen's feet. Then again, perhaps the faithful retainer did consider it the best place in the kingdom. "I will await your commands, mistress," Jane said with a smile.

Blanche returned the smile and wagged her finger at the young widow. "I know what you are thinking, my lady."

"Oh?"

"That someone as aged and half-blind as me should have been pensioned off some years since."

"No, mistress, not at all." But she had been thinking something a little similar, truth be told.

"All you young girls do. You try to sit me in the chair nearest the fire, make possets and other such foolishness as if I'm already an invalid. But as I've told Her Majesty, this old warhorse has served her for over fifty years and intends to die in harness."

Jane thought that to have survived the reign of four Tudors so close to the center of power was something of a miracle and certainly not to be rewarded with the patronizing treatment of untried youth. Jane touched the lady's arm gently. "If I make you a posset, I give you permission to pour it over my head."

The Queen's chief gentlewoman bubbled with laughter and patted the back of Jane's hand where it rested on her elbow. "That I will, my lady. Come, I'll take you to the steward so he can find you a room. You may have to share with one or two others, depending on how many are at court. I tell all my noble ladies that they would have been much more comfortable had they stayed with their families, but still you all beg for the honor of serving our sovereign--it speaks well of you."

"Thank you, but your praise is undeserved. I am proud to serve the Queen, but I have to admit that I came in the main because the late marquess my husband asked me to do so."

"Ah yes, dear Jonas." The lady's eyes flicked over the pretty widow shrewdly, taking in the mourning weeds still worn long after the month's mind had passed. "You grieve him truly, I see."

Jane twisted the heavy wedding ring of the Rievaulx on her finger. Before Jonas was cold in his grave, his eldest son, Richard Paton, had demanded it back for his own wife, and Jane had taken great pleasure in refusing to part with it. The sons had been predictably cruel from the moment Jonas had been laid in the family vault, spreading foul rumors about the young widow. She knew many--if not most--people at court would think she had married Jonas for mercenary reasons; Blanche's insight came as a surprise and a blessing.

"Yes, I miss him. He was a kind and wise husband. I had him for too brief a time."

"It gives me great pleasure to find a place here for his widow, though that is scant payment for the generosity he always showed me. Which reminds me: when you receive gifts from those trying to gain an audience with the Queen, it is appropriate to declare them to me or one of the other senior ladies. There is a fine line between a gift and a bribe, but we can help you discern the difference."

And so the instruction continued until Jane felt quite dizzy with information. Having spent her time since Jonas's death four months earlier on her own in Yorkshire, she found herself shocked by the sudden flood of people, noise and movement that made up the continual parade of court life. Jonas had passed peacefully, and his sons had let her remain in her home until the details of his will were settled. It was only when the lawyers had locked horns over her widow's rights that the new marquess had ousted her from Rievaulx House and refused to move the tenants from the dower property that by right should have been hers for the remainder of her life. Having no desire to put herself back in her father's care, Jane had been thankful for the foresight that had caused Jonas to arrange a place at court for her.

Blanche led Jane at a slow pace to the steward's apartment not far from the Queen's suite.

"What else can I tell you? Ah, yes. Naturally, you are entitled to the bouge of court, meaning lodging, food, lights and fuel for your fire if your room has a grate. Two suits of livery are also yours--I'll give you the cloth; you'd best see a tailor as soon as possible, as the Queen likes her attendants to be appropriately attired, the better to emphasize her appearance. We are the setting; she is the jewel--do not forget this."

"No, mistress. Then may I beg leave to go to my needlewoman this afternoon?"

"You have your own? Will not one of our court servants do?" Blanche did not sound too impressed by the fastidious habits of the rich ladies who thought themselves above a service that served others well.

"I am patron to a deserving woman, mistress--an old friend before her father's fortunes were overset. She depends on my custom for her finishing business. I would not want to wreck her prospects by withholding my custom."

"As kind as you are beautiful," chuckled Blanche, her opinion of the young marchioness restored. "I am sure you can be excused. You are not due to be sworn into the chamber until the morrow, so the Queen will not look for you this day."

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