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The new novel from the bestselling author of THE SIXTH WIFE. 'England: firelight and fireblush; wine-dark, winking gemstones and a frost of pearls. Wool as soft as silk, in leaf-green and moss; satins glossy like a midsummer night or opalescent like winter sunrise!Little did we know it but that night we were already ghosts in our own lives!' When twelve-year-old Katherine Howard comes to live in the Duchess of Norfolk's household, poor relation Cat Tilney is deeply suspicious of her. The two girls couldn't be more different: Cat, watchful and ambitious; Katherine, interested only in clothes and boys. Their companions are in thrall to Katherine, but it's Cat in whom Katherine confides and, despite herself, Cat is drawn to her. Summoned to court at seventeen, Katherine leaves Cat in the company of her ex-lover, Francis, and the two begin their own, much more serious, love affair. Within months, the king has set aside his Dutch wife Anne for Katherine. The future seems assured for the new queen and her maid-in-waiting, although Cat would feel more confident if Katherine hadn't embarked on an affair with one of the king's favoured attendants, Thomas Culpeper. However, for a blissful year and a half, it seems that Katherine can have everything she wants. But then allegations are made about her girlhood love affairs. Desperately frightened, Katherine recounts a version of events which implicates Francis but which Cat knows to be a lie. With Francis in the Tower, Cat alone knows the whole truth of Queen Katherine Howard - but if she tells, Katherine will die.
A queen brought low by love compromised and power abused – the tragedy of Mary Tudor.
Even a queen cannot rule over men’s hearts. Mary’s husband, Philip of Spain, cares nothing for his broody, besotted new wife, and the public joy with which Mary is crowned soon sours as religion splits the country. Lonely and depressed, to what lengths will she go for her faith and family – and for the heir she so desperately wants?
Mary’s tragic story is seen through the eyes of Rafael, a Spanish sundial-maker who is part of Philip of Spain’s flamboyant entourage. As the once-feted queen tightens her cruel hold on the nation, Rafael becomes closer to her and his life – and new-found love – will be caught up in the chaos that follows.
Clever and compassionate Katherine Parr, Henry V111's sixth and final wife, survived their four turbulent years of marriage. But when the ambitious and handsome Thomas Seymour won her heart, mere months after the old king's death, their hasty union undid a lifetime of caution.
Catherine, Duchess of Suffolk, her best friend, is the unwilling witness to the dowager queen's late-blossoming love. But as she harbours nagging suspicions of Kate's new husband, it gradually becomes clear that she has her own dark tale to tell. For if Thomas might betray his wife for power, then cool, calculating Cathy might betray her for passion.
In times when the least indiscretion could mean arrest and death, Katherine Parr's tragedy plays itself out amongst those who loved - and deceived - her most. As events reach their inevitable climax, it becomes clear that Cathy and Kate will risk all in a world where love is a luxury even royalty cannot always afford.