Published: February 3rd 2011, Puffin
Pages: 324 pages, paperback
Series?: Yes, The Other Countess is the first book, The Rogue's Princess (book three) is due out later this year
Acquired: Kindly sent for review by the publisher
Summary (from Goodreads): 1584 – Surrey, England When Lady Jane Rievaulx begins service to the Queen at Richmond Palace, she is thrilled at the court’s newest arrival . . . Master James Lacey. Despite her previous 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?
My review: This is the second book in The Other Countess series but I read The Queen's Lady as a standalone. I have to say that, although this one is set a year and a half after the first book, I would recommend reading the series in order. There were a few details that confused me that I think would have made more sense if I'd read The Other Countess so I don't think The Queen's Lady works particularly well as a standalone.
What I really liked about The Queen's Lady is that it's clear Edwards loves history and has put so much research into getting the tone and dialogue correct for the time period this novel is set in. I loved the dialogue - it was beautiful and witty and really held the book together, in my opinion.
The love story is a big deal in The Queen's Lady, as I believe it is in most historical fiction. There is lots of sighing and angsting that is sure to satisfy any historical romance fan. James is swoonworthy and very well written, he has a great back story but I was a little surprised to find out both James and Jane are only supposed to be eighteen years old, as they seem much older.
I'm not a massive historical fan but I did like The Queen's Lady. I didn't love it but I think historical fans will eat this one up. Edwards is clearly a master of the genre and I was impressed with her research and writing.
First line: 'It was a sad fate to have only three people in the world that really cared about her.'
Read if you liked…: The Fool's Girl - Celia Rees
Total: 14/20 (B)