The year is 1511 when we once again join Lady Rosamund, the Lady of Friarsgate. She has been summoned by her good friend, Margaret, Queen of Scotland. The two women grew up together in the Court of Margaretís father. Her cousin, Thomas, is going with her. Having outlived three husbands and with three daughters, Rosamund has no desire to marry again. She is planning on taking some time for herself to visit with her old friend and is planning on staying until Margaret gives birth.
Rosamund is given a room in the castle while Thomas must fend for himself. He rents a home while he is with Rosamund in Scotland. She has also come to Scotland to get away from her neighbor, Logan Hepburn. Logan lives in Scotland at his own keep, Clavenís Carn, and has told Rosamund that he will marry her so she can give him sons. While at the Scottish Court, Rosamund meets the Earl of Glenkirk, Patrick Leslie, and itís love at first sight for them. Somehow, they both know that they will not be able to remain together forever and so decide to enjoy what time they will have.
James, King of Scotland, has requested Patrickís presence for a specific reason. Patrick was once Scotlandís ambassador to San Lorenzo and James wishes that Patrick return there to complete a mission for him. King Henry of England is pushing for a war with Scotland and James would prefer to avoid war with England. Scotland has prospered under his rule and he wants it to stay that way. Patrick receives the Kingís permission to take Rosamund with him.
This is the exciting part of the story where Patrick realizes just how intelligent Rosamund is and how she can manipulate people. They are both existing in paradise right now, but how long can this last?
This is a wonderful story in the tradition of all Bertrice Smallís stories. The story is so wonderfully written that you can hear the horses hooves clopping on the cobblestones and smell the mimosas. The characters are so very well rounded and believable. I really loved how independent Rosamund was for a woman in her early twenties in the fifteenth century and how she refused to marry again. I laughed at the way she manipulated her maid into getting married. I definitely recommend this book to all lovers of historical romance.
Chere Gruver, October 2003
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