When beautiful Lady Jane Rievaulx begins her service to the Queen at Richmond Palace, she is thrilled to see the court's newest arrival . . . Master James Lacey.
No matter that Jane was previously courted by the eldest Lacey brother—James is the one who has won her heart. For his part, James cannot deny his fascination with Jane; his plans, however, do not allow for love. He is about to set sail on a treacherous journey to the Americas, seeking absolution for what he sees as past sins. But when Jane is forced into a terrible situation by her own family, only one man can save her. Will Master James return to his lady before it's too late?
Yay Jane and James! Even though I still prefer Will and Ellie from The Other Countess James and Jane were still absolutely adorable. It took me a while to warm to Jane in the first book so I wasn't sure whether I could really love her in this one, but I did. At just 18, Jane has been through so much with a broken engagement bringing shame to her and at the beginning of this book a dead husband that she loved and respected, despite not loving him romantically. I really loved reading about Jane because she was just so strong despite the fact that she has a lot to struggle through.
James was not as swoonworthy as his brother but he was still very sweet and romantic at the end, my issue is that he is very angsty and dark inside because of things that he witnessed as a soldier and it took him a while to lighten up and so he wasn't as romantic as I'd have liked. I loved when he came to Jane's rescue at the end but before that i was just not really swooning over him.
There was another romantic storyline as well that was just adorable! Diego is a servant for the Lacey's accompanying James and Milly is a childhood friend of both Diego's and Jane's, I really hope that we see more of these two in The Rogue's Princess. We also meet James and Will's illegimate brother, Kit who is a character that I loved due to his exuberance and characteristic, I can't wait to read all about him in The Rogue's Princess.
The writing was beautiful, I really felt like I was in Elizabethan England, in the courts and the country and the middle of London, at the dances and in the Queen's presence. I love it when a historical novel can take me back to the time it is based in and this one definitely did.
Overall Rating: A-
Book released 10th April 2012 by Random House Teens
Book received for review from the publisher (via NetGalley)