The Queen’s Christmas Summons
Lady Alys Drury, raised in isolation on the Irish coast, has grown up hearing stories of Queen Elizabeth’s court in London. Her quiet life changes drastically one September night when wretched survivors of the Spanish king’s Great Armada wash up on the beach outside her father’s tower house. Sickened by the slaughter of innocent sailors, she saves the life of one wounded Spaniard, hiding him in a ruined abbey. They grow to care for each other as he recovers. But Juan disappears and Alys is summoned to serve the Queen at court. A dumbfounded Alys finds her Spaniard at court, now using the name John Huntley. Is he a spy for the Spanish king? Can Alys trust him, and can she trust the promptings of her own heart?
I thoroughly enjoyed this historical romance and found it wonderfully diverting during a difficult weekend. Alys and Juan are sympathetic characters, while the contrasts between the wild Irish coast and the sumptuous Elizabethan court provide a lovely treat. Recommended for historical romance lovers and those in need of a “Calgon take me away” read.