Title: Queen's Gambit: A Novel by Elizabeth Fremantle
Published August 6, 2013; Simon and Schuster
Genre: historical fiction
"Kit," he says, eventually, "you can trust me." His voice has a supplicant's tone.First chapter:
"How can I?"
"I didn't know you then...I know you now."
The notary smells of dust and ink. How is it, Larymer wonders, that when one sense blunt another sharpens. He can pick up the scent of everything, the reek of ale on the man's breath, the yeasty whiff of bread baking in the kitchens below, the wet-dog stink of the spaniel curled up in the hearth. But he can see little, the room swims and the man is a vague dark shape leaning over the bed with a grimace of a smile.Publisher description:
"Widowed for the second time at age thirty-one Katherine Parr falls deeply for the dashing courtier Thomas Seymour and hopes at last to marry for love. However, obliged to return to court, she attracts the attentions of the ailing, egotistical, and dangerously powerful Henry VIII, who dispatches his love rival, Seymour, to the Continent. No one is in a position to refuse a royal proposal so, haunted by the fates of his previous wives, two executions, two annulments, one death in childbirth, Katherine must wed Henry and become his sixth queen.
Katherine has to employ all her instincts to navigate the treachery of the court, drawing a tight circle of women around her, including her stepdaughter, Meg, traumatized by events from their past that are shrouded in secrecy, and their loyal servant Dot, who knows and sees more than she understands. With the Catholic faction on the rise once more, reformers being burned for heresy, and those close to the king vying for position, Katherine's survival seems unlikely. Yet as she treads the razor's edge of court intrigue, she never quite gives up on love."
Katherine Parr was Henry VIII's last queen, one who survived his reign and married again. I am eager to read this one.