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Eve Edwards has a doctorate from Oxford University and thinks researching a large part of the fun for writing historical fiction. She has visited Tudor houses, attended jousts and eaten Elizabethan banquets to get the sights, sounds and tastes right for this book. And, yes, she can testify that it is possible to eat neatly without the modern invention of the fork. She lives in Oxford and is married with three children.
Gr 9 Up-Her full name is Lady Eleanor Rodriguez, Countess of San Jaime, but Ellie's title counts for little with her family impoverished by her father's obsession with alchemy and her Spanish heritage more often a liability than not in Queen Elizabeth's court. A good marriage would improve her fortunes, but fate keeps throwing Ellie in the path of William Lacey, whose grievances against her father and his own need to restore his family fortunes through an advantageous match make him and Ellie thoroughly unsuitable for each other. Inevitably, the two trade barbs, misunderstand each other, fall in love, and must contend with their circumstance and the machinations of others. Tournaments, feasts, fancy dress, and Catholic-Protestant tensions provide a veneer of Renaissance pageantry, but it's not enough to elevate the flat characters and rote plot. Libraries with a high demand for historical romance may find this a useful additional purchase; others can pass it by.-Christi Esterle, Parker Library, CO (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.