THE HISTORICAL BOOKS
These are the historical fiction and historical romance books. They are in various eras, from the Norman Conquest to the early twentieth century. They have been well received and I hope you enjoy them. All these books are part of the Kindle Unlimited library, so you can borrow and read for free with a subscription.
The Wronged Wife
Set in the time of King Henry VIII
When Lord Richard Moreton returns from a year away fighting in France for the King, he is devastated to find his beloved wife with child. Furious, he lashes out at her and leaves, taking his five year old daughter with him.
It is seven years before he learns the truth, when his brother makes a death bed confession that he raped Richard's wife.
Now he must return to his Cornish home, reunite his daughter with the mother she has not seen for seven years, and try to seek his wife's forgiveness. He is a warrior, but this will be the hardest battle he has ever fought.
Set in the time of the Norman Conquest
Lady Rosalind is the ward of King Harold and is betrothed to one of his cousins, Lord Arthur. But when he comes calling and tries to take what he considers to be his before the wedding, she flees and is lost in the forest. That is when she sees the first Normans, setting their camps in preparation to the arrival of Duke William of Normandy and his invading army.
She is relieved to see a friendly face among the invaders, Stephen, a man to whom she was betrothed before King Harold, but instead of returning her to her home as she expects, he takes her to his commander, Robert. The love that develops between them can never be. She is a royal princess, he a married soldier.
The Romany Princess
Set at the beginning of the twentieth century
When Stella McKenzie is summoned to meet her Great Aunt Bess on the occasion of that lady's 100th birthday, she can have no clue as to the tale she will hear during that long day.
She has never met the Great Aunt before, but has heard stories, but Bess has stories of her own, secrets she has kept all her life and has no intention of taking with her to her grave.
This novel is also available in audio.
A Man in Mourning
Set in the time of King Henry VII, the first Tudor King
When Lord Ian Westerby's younger brother and heir is killed fighting for King Richard at the Battle of Bosworth, he must consider remarrying in order to sire an heir, or allow his estate to go to Henry Tudor on his death. But Ian is still devoted to his late wife, Eleanor, dead some ten years. He finds the very notion of another wife distasteful, but has little choice.
Lady Francesca Allinton is surprised to receive an offer of marriage from Lord Ian. It is well known that he is still devoted to his late wife but she is also surprised to have an offer at all. Since an accident left her crippled, potential suitors have become scarce, but she is happy to accept Lord Ian. She wants a home and children and this seems her only chance to have them.
Can these two put their past heartaches aside and learn to love again?
The Crusader's Widow
Set in the time of the Third Crusade
Against the wishes of his wife, Isabella, Lord Philip Whyford decides to accompany King Richard the Lionheart on a crusade to the Holy Land. Isabella is devastated when, two years later, his cousin Roger returns alone with the news that Philip is dead.
As Philip had no sons, Roger is his heir and he wastes no time in claiming the title and estate, but as the months of mourning pass, Isabella comes to realise that he also plans to lay claim to her and he tries to force her into becoming his wife. To help his cause, he reveals to Isabella that Philip had an Eastern mistress who bore him a son. Despite this news, she still loves Philip and rejects Roger's advances vigorously until he enlists the aid of Prince John to command her to accept him. That is when things get even worse and Isabella finds herself a fugitive with little option other than to leave England.
She must get away or be charged with treason and she must find out the truth about Philip's Eastern mistress and the son she bore him.
Set in the time of the first civil war between King Stephen and the Empress Matilda
Lord David Ravenscroft is busy at the court of King Stephen, planning a strategy to defeat the Empress Maud (Matilda) who has landed in Kent to reclaim her throne. When she is sighted in Oxfordshire, soldiers searching for her include David's house in their search. There they discover a naked man in the bed of his wife, Lady Catherine.
Heartbroken to think she has betrayed him, he returns home to confront her and hope for an explanation, but all she can do is beg his forgiveness. So he leaves for good, ordering a close guard around his wife to prevent her leaving the house and grounds.
It is three years later that he receives a letter from Catherine, telling him that she is dying and wants him to come to her so that she can explain. He cannot imagine how she can do that, but he will not refuse her dying wish and he sets out with his sister, Deborah, to comply with her wish.
What he discovers rocks his world and changes everything, but Catherine is so very ill, it could well be too late.
The Minstrel's Lady
Set in the Time of King Henry VIII and the downfall of Anne Boleyn
This book is the winner of the e-festival of words 2017 award for the Best Romance
Rose and Robbie are entertainers, minstrels and singers who make their living travelling from village to village, town to town, entertaining and hoping the people like them enough to throw them some coins.
When their old friend, Mark Smeaton, invites them to join him at the palace and entertain Queen Anne Boleyn, they are thrilled and collect enough funds to make the journey. But they are disappointed to discover that the Queen is not as interested in hearing them as Mark had led them to believe and when he is arrested, they decide their best option is to leave London.
But during heavy rain, their coach is tumbled into the River Thames, along with other passengers, including Lady Madeleine Harcourt who has come from Wales to meet her husband, Lord Matthew, whom she has married by proxy.
Rose is the only survivor, but when she wakes in an inn beside the Tower of London, she has no memory of who she is. The only thing salvaged from the wreckage is a box full of lovely clothes and a chest of jewels. It is assumed that these belong to her and when Lord Matthew arrives to claim his bride, whom he has never met, he assumes Rose is her.
When Rose's memory gradually returns and they realise the truth, they have fallen in love and had a son. But what can they do now? Rose cannot go home, still unmarried with a baby and the King will never allow one of his earls to marry a travelling singer.
The Cavalier's Pact
Set in the time of the restoration of King Charles II and the downfall of the Protectorate
When Lord Adam Pennington returns with the King from exile in France, he is penniless but determined to get back his family estate. The King has promised to restore the property of all the families who fought for his father and deprive Cromwell's followers of such property.
What Adam finds is depressing. His estate has been allowed to run to ruin, the village is derelict and a Puritan town has been built on his land. The house is in disrepair and the Puritan who bought the property from Cromwell, lives there as a recluse.
It seems unlikely that Adam will ever be able to afford to restore the estate to its former glory, but Jacob, the new owner of Pennington Park, makes him an offer he would like to refuse. Jacob is extremely wealthy and some years before, he faked the death of his daugher, Felicity, in order to save her from a charge of adultery, a crime which carried the death penalty under Cromwell. He is dying and cannot leave his vast fortune to Felicity, as she is legally dead. He suggests that if Adam marries her, it will give her an identity and he will leave his fortune to them both.
It is a tempting offer, but Felicity is a strict Puritan who hates royalists; Adam is a royalist who holds Puritans in contempt. Both of them need this marriage, and both have to ask themselves if it is really worth it.
To Catch a Demon
Set in the time of the restoration of King Charles II and the downfall of the Protectorate
Diana Spicer and her family are royalists and they manage to live out the Protectorate quietly until Jasper arrives with a group of renegade roundhead soldiers. They murder everyone except Diana, who is forced to marry Jasper so that he can acquire her property.
After ten years of abuse at his hands, she welcomes the news that the King is returning to reclaim his throne. But Jasper is not so happy about it. His name is on the late King's death warrant and King Charles II has vowed to execute everyone who was responsible.
Jasper flees and when Diana hears that his ship has gone down, she hopes never to see him again and marries her childhood sweetheart on his return.
But her troubles are not over when she learns that Jasper survived and worse is to come. The King does not believe that she was innocent in his crime and refuses to accept that she doesn't know his whereabouts.
Diana thought the arrival of the King would bring an end to her troubles; instead they are just beginning.
Shed No Tears
Set at the end of the Wars of the Roses, the death of King Edward IV and the mysterious disappearance of his two young sons.
When Lord Nicholas Rainham parts from his wife, he doesn't expect it to be two years before he attempts a reconciliation. But the death of his friend, King Edward IV, puts an end to all thoughts of that when the late King's friends begin to be accused of treason and executed. Afraid that he will be next, his only option is to flee but he cannot go far until he knows what has happened to the two young princes.
The fate of the princes in the Tower has been one of our greatest mysteries and this book proposes another suggestion.
The Loves of the Lionheart
History's Forgotten Princesses
This is my first book where the characters are all real people from history and their story is also true. It is what I call fictionalised fact and I have kept it as close to historical fact as it is possible to do with our limited records from the twelfth century.
Princess Alys, daughter of the King of France, was sent to England at the age of only eight, betrothed to Prince Richard, son of King Henry II. She was raised in the English court, while Richard had little interest in her and she was mostly ignored. In this setting, Alys became easy prey to the lecherous King Henry and he soon made her his mistress in her early teens.
This gave Richard the ideal excuse to reject her and marry the Navarrese Princess Berengaria, who he took with him on the third crusade, along with his sister, Joanna, the widow of the late King of Sicily.
Although probably a love match, Berengaria saw little of her husband and after the failure of the crusade, she accompanied Joanna to Rome while Richard made his way back to England, to get himself crowned a second time and sort out the muddle his brother John had made.
Much is known about Richard the Lionheart, but this book is not about him. It is about the princesses who were, or should have been, the Loves of the Lionheart.
The Gorston Widow
Set in the time of King Henry VIII
Robert is thrilled when he is given an Earldom as a reward for his services to King Henry VIII. He comes from lowly birth and is even more thrilled when the King gives him a bride of noble birth, Lady Marina Gorston. But Marina is known to be devoted to her late husband, and visits his grave every day without fail.
Robert assumes she will give up her vigil once they are married, but she refuses. He knows she had no love for Lord Gorston so her refusal is a mystery and she also refuses to tell him her reasons. When he overhears people talking about it, he feels he is a laughing stock and gives her an ultimatum: either she stops visiting the grave, or he will leave.
He cannot know the secret of her visits, nor the secret of the man who comes looking for his son, but when he is forced to return, he is shocked to learn the truth.
Set in the last years of the reign of the Protestant King Edward VI
Fleeing from a loveless marriage to a brutal husband, Marissa finds the world outside to be unwelcoming to a woman alone. Then she meets and accepts help from a mysterious young man who is also running, although from what she cannot guess.
Together they find shelter in a disused gamekeeper's cottage, until her rescuer is recognised and arrested.
Alone once more, Marissa finds herself with child from her husband's last assault, and can see no other option than to return to him.
But fate is a strange thing; she could never have expected the rise of the hated Catholic Queen Mary to be her salvation.
For the Love of Anne
In 1523 or thereabouts, a young gentlewoman was recalled from France by her family to take up a position as maid of honour to Queen Katherine of Aragon.
There she met a young man, Lord Harry Percy, a page in the household of Cardinal Wolsey and heir to the illustrious earldom of Northumberland. The couple fell in love and wanted to marry and for a little while they were happy, believing they could build a future together.
But one powerful man had other ideas.
The young woman was Anne Boleyn and she had no idea then that the King of England had taken a fancy to her and would rip her away from the man she loved because of it.
The Secret of Ainsley Gate
Set during the Black death of 1348
In the 21st century, the present Earl of Ainsley is very proud of his heritage, which has come down through centuries of nobility. But there is a secret to that past that would knock his opinion of himself flat on its face.
Set during the sixteenth century.
Peter Ashton makes the long journey to Cornwall, expecting to marry his cousin, Anne, an arrangement made when both were children. With him is his brother Ethan, who had been betrothed to Anne's youngest sister, Michaela. The problem is that Michaela disappeared two years before and Ethan wants to ask his uncle to dissolve the betrothal and release him to find a new bride.
All seems to be going well, but when the brothers arrive at Trengowan Abbey, they find their uncle dead and his daughter Anne accused of his murder.
Peter is his uncle's heir and now, as the new Earl of Trengowan, he not only has to attempt to find Michaela, he also has to prove Anne's innocence before she is condemned for petty treason and burned at the stake.
And it seems he has arrived just in time.