The Crimson Crown - by Edith Layton
ISBN: 0451402278 Penguin Group (USA)
A king's throne at stake, a woman's heart at risk
Handsome adventurer Lucas Lovat was an instrument of the King's will. And the King was Henry VII of England, who would do anything and destroy anyone to keep his hold on the sceptre of power.
Beautiful Lady Megan Baswell did not know that Lucas was commanded to use his sensual charms to make her his pawn. Just as he did not dream that she was unlike any of his countless conquests. But as they played a dangerous game of desire and deception with each other, they were swept up in unexpected passion beyond control...and caught in a tug-of-war between their opposing loyalties and overwhelming love...
From the Critics
Layton's (Surrender to Love) novel of late 15th-century England is an overburdened effort to construct an alternate fate for the ``two unlucky boy princes'ix '--Edward and Richard Plantagenet--competitors for the throne who were supposedly murdered in the Tower of London. After eight years of spying throughout Europe for Henry VII, Lucas Lovat returns to England only to be caught up in the king's continuing attempt to protect his throne from rival claimants. Most dangerous is Perkin Warbeck, who says he's Richard Plantagenet and may still have a secret, devoted following. Lucas knows better, as he himself is Edward Plantagenet (his brother, Richard, is Henry's right-hand monk). But he accepts his assignment to ingratiate himself with Warbeck's wife, Lady Katherine, and her attendants in hopes of uncovering possible intrigues. While there, Lucas is caught in the spell of Megan Baswell, attendant to Lady Katherine and another of Henry's many spies. Plots, machinations and identities are revealed at last; none have the spark needed to raise this tale above the ordinary.
Based on the mystery surrounding the death of the Little Princes by their uncle, The Crimson Crown is Edith Layton's crowning achievement.
Once again, Edith Layton transports readers into a lavish tapestry of richly detailed portraits of real historical personages. With vibrantly colored threads of mystery (Lucas's identity will be one surprise), sensuality, and heartwarming and tender romance, Ms. Layton cooks up a sumptuous feast fit for fans of Roberta Gellis, Anita Mills, and Rosemary Jarman. Historical buffs will savor each word like a tasty Christmas confection.
© 2005 Edith Layton. All rights reserved.