The Queen’s Lady
When Lady Jane Rievaulx is widowed at the age of 18, she becomes a Lady of the Privy Chamber at the court of Queen Elizabeth I. Jane’s tyrannical father wants to arrange a new marriage for her, but she is determined to stay in control of her own life. And she already has her eye on an earl’s brother – James Lacey.
Initially, James is less than impressed by Jane, but as the two are thrown together, romance develops. Of course, there are many obstacles in their path. Do not be misled by the strapline on the front cover (“Can she resist the danger of desire?”). The little “desire” there is in the book, is understated.
Alongside the main story of Jane and James are several subplots and a varied cast of supporting characters, which include the Queen and Walter Raleigh. The reader is drawn into the Tudor world, not only at court through Jane’s work, but also through London’s street-life when Jane visits her friend, Millie. Plenty of historical detail – especially regarding the fashions – and a sprinkling of 16th-century vocabulary create a believable period atmosphere, and the themes of equality, tolerance and determination are possibly even more relevant to contemporary readers than they were in 1584. Targeted at the young adult audience, this will appeal to girls 12+.