Back Blurb :
“Royal courts are glittering places. But there can be many dangers there.”
The words of Juan, the shipwrecked Spanish sailor Lady Alys Drury nursed back to health, echo in her mind as she puts on another courtly smile.
Then Alys locks eyes with a handsome man amid the splendor of Queen Elizabeth’s Christmas court—Juan is posing as courtier John Huntley! Alys is hurt at Juan’s deception until she learns he’s an undercover spy for the crown… Amid the murky machinations of the court, can true love still conquer all?
My View :
I do have to admit that Tudor/Elizabethan era novels are my guilty pleasure, they don’t come along often so I was over the moon when I got the opportunity to review The Queens Christmas Summon’s. And I wasn’t disappointed! The thing about Tudor/Elizabethan novels is that a lot of authors tend to stick to the known historical character’s and stick religiously to the story that we all know and love, what I really like about this is that we have a new couple to get to know. Alys and John’s story is so strongly entwined with historical fact that it makes a new story out of one that has been told so many times, it is refreshing and new and utterly real and likable.
Our couple; Alys and John are the cutest couple that I have come across in ages, they met each other when they were but children, a brief but memorable encounter that neither of them ever forget, and then fast forward ten years and they are once again thrown together. Alys is the daughter of one of Queen Elizabeth’s Lord’s but because of her mother being Spanish, their family was sent to live in Ireland so her father could be lord of the Duboynton castle; here she dreams of one day being able to attend Queen Elizabeth’s court but with England and Spain at war she is to stay at her isolated little castle untill the Queen summon’s her.
Alys laughed with joy. “I feel the same John. We are bound together, you and I. We have been ever since I found you on that beach.”
He smiled, and it was like the summer sun coming out, warming her heart. “so we must go on saving each other?”
“For the rest of our lives, I hope.”
“Does that mean you will marry me, Alys? That you will stay with me even in a tumble-down pile like my house?”
Alys feared her heart would burst, it was so full.” I would go anywhere at all, John, as long as we are together.”
“My angel,” he said, and leaned closer to press his lips to her in a warm kiss filled with the promise of all the days to come. “I do love you.”
“As I love you.”
He kissed her hand. . .
John like Alys is half Spanish, because of this fact he is taken under the wing of his godfather, the notorious and elusive Sir Matthew Morgan, who enrol’s John into a life of spying for his Queen and Country. One day when he is trying to get back to England after year’s of being under cover at the Spanish court, John is on the Armada that sink’s in a storm on the Irish coast. John and wounded and in serious danger when Alys saves his life.
Their relationship isn’t highly erotic or overblown, it is sweet and gentle, the atmosphere is charged around them, it simmer’s below the surface. They are both conflicted and confused about their feeling’s for one and other, John is the worst for it he has his role as a spy to consider and how dangerous that position is for those around him and you can understand why he tries to keep Alys at arm’s length, but even the trained royal spy can’t ignore that fact that she has become his world.
There is some really lovely moment’s between these two, by far the most romantic moment for me is when John is teaching her to dance while they are hiding out in a little neglected Abbey in Ireland. They are both themselves they isn’t any falsehood’s they are just two people sharing a beautiful moment.
She came to a stop close to him, mere inches from his shoulder. She didn’t dare look up at him, into those magical eyes. The warms of his nearness made her breath catch. “Now – now what?”
“I put my hand on your waist, like this,” he answered hoarsely as his hand landed lightly on her waist. “You hold my shoulder, and we turn.” They spun around each other, slowly at first, their steps twining around each other, perfectly matched, as if they had always danced just like that. Alys held onto his strong shoulder, letting him guide her, trusting him, But then she got ahead of him, and his leg tangled in her skirt. She felt herself tip-off balance, toppling toward the floor. She caught his shoulders, her stomach lurching, and he swung her up high in the air.
Alys laughed, her head floating giddily. “Is this part of the dance?”
“it is now! Our own step.” He twirled her around and around, as if she was a mere feather. . .
If you’re a fan of Tudor/Elizabethan historical, conflicted romance, ruggedly handsome spies, fearless heroines and with a christmas undercurrent then The Queens Christmas Summons is the book for you. Even if you’re not a regular reader of any of the above, this book will charm you none the less.
I did really love this, and I cannot thank the lovely Amanda enough for sending me an early copy, it has got so many twist’s and turn’s there is danger and romance and deadly secret’s in every corner of Queen Elizabeth’s court and right in the centre is our adorable couple.
This is a must Christmas read, and I do recommend that everyone go out and grab a copy.