Release Date: 3rd February, 2011
1584 - Surrey, England.
When Lady Jane Rievaulx begins service to the Queen of England at Richmond Palace, she is thrilled at the court's newest arrival . . . Master James Lacey. Despite her courtship with his older brother, James is the man she truly loves. And for his part, he cannot deny his fascination with her. However, James is setting sail on a treacherous journey to the Americas, seeking absolution for what he sees as past sins. But when Lady Jane is forced into a terrible situation by her own family, there is only one man to save her. Will Master James return to his lady - before it's too late?
Last year, I ADORED and LOVED Eve Edwards debut novel, The Other Countess. Anything with historical elements and romance is my type of book, and since I loved Edwards first book, I was definitely looking forward to reading its sequel. While it still disappoints that Will and Ellie are no longer the main characters (though they do make a few cameo appearances throughtout the book), but reading an Eve Edwards book is like slipping into the most comfortable chair and shoes, where you're able to be whisked away into a world of Queen Elizabeth I's court and a Tudor England.
THE QUEEN'S LADY is a story about Lady Jane Rievaulx (her name has changed by marriage), a character whom played a minor role in The Other Countess and it was a nice story to learn more about her. We read about her being recently widowed, still at the very young age of eighteen, and she's devastated by the loss of her elderly husband, who through kindness and sweet friendship saved her from her own family, and now with him gone, Jane must deal with the greedy and damn wicked stepsons who believe they have more claim on their father's money than herself. Now, Jane must seek refuge with the Queen as the Lady in waiting, and she's absolutely happy when she discovers James Lacey returns to the court - her feelings still stronger than the last time they spoke. For those who don't know James, he was the brother of Will (the main character of The Other Countess).
As for James himself, he is dealing with his own demons and like the stubborn boy that he is, he thinks he's not worthy of Jane's love. *insert eye roll here* In effort to rid of his lost soul and to become a better man for Jane, he plans to set sail on a dangerous journey to the newly discovered America. Problem for Jane is that her father and brother (whom I hate more than ever), have plans to marry her off again.
While I prefer Will and Ellie's character from The Other Countess, but Jane's character is much more likeable in this sequel. Though we do see a change in her from the Jane we saw in the first book. She's less . . . animated. But nonetheless, I felt sorry for her. She is a young girl who is being used as breeding stock for her own families gain and I couldn't imagine the pressures of this in this particular society, and unfortunately for Jane, she is the subject of gossip. Ones that have some consequences. Yet through and through, Jane has such a strong prescene about her because no matter the hardships she faces, she still remains to be strong, loyal, and a kind person.
The main thing I think everyone loved about THE QUEEN'S LADY was the romance between Jane and James. Kind of ironic they both have the same J in their names. Jane is one of the most respected young woman in the court (a kind person at that) and James is probably the complete opposite. He's broody, a little mysterious, and a little tortured like a lot of boys are in fictional novels. And we can't get enough of them. Anyway, their romance was a lovely thing to read about because they brought out the best in each other and cursed the others who thought otherwise of their romance. Also have to mention, I love how the likes of Will, Ellie, and Milly made appearances in the book . . . so we haven't lost the touch of what we loved about The Other Countess.
Overall, once again Eve Edwards has wrote another great addition to the series - all with beautiful descriptions and wonderful historical detailings. From the rich descriptions of costumes to the vivid scenes of Tudor times, Eve Edwards has become one of my favourite authors. And while THE QUEEN'S LADY wasn't as strong as her first novel, The Other Countess, but with my love of history, romance, and an interest in the England/Tudor times, THE QUEEN'S LADY has impressed me.