All the Queen's Players

Jane Feather, Pocket, $15 paper (400p) ISBN 9781416525547
Rosamund Walsingham is from a lesser branch of the Walsingham family, with no real fortune or prospects until she catches the eye of her influential cousin, Francis Walsingham, Queen Elizabeth's spymaster and secretary of state. He sends the beautiful young woman to court to act as his eyes and ears, a task she performs well until she gets involved in an ill-advised liaison with fellow courtier, William Creighton, who has similarly dim prospects. Disgraced, Rosamund is sent to spy on Elizabeth's sister, the imprisoned Catholic queen Mary, but soon discovers that the cost of these political games is greater than she could have anticipated. Accomplished romance author Feather (A Husband's Wicked Ways) delivers another reliably steady historical, but sidesteps the most provocative opportunities of her Elizabethan court setting in favor of a fairly tame tale. Rosamund is too typical a heroine, while Feather's most interesting characters-the historical figures of Francis and Christopher Marlowe-are relegated to sideline roles. Fans of historical romances should probably skip this in favor of a Tudor tale with more heat. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 05/03/2010
Release date: 04/01/2010
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