ROYAL MISTRESS Anne Easter Smith
A Perfect 10
Touchstone
ISBN: 978-1-4516-4862-1
May 2013
Historical Fiction

England 1475 to 1519

Jane Lambert, daughter of a silk merchant, is married off at the ripe old age of twenty-two to boring, impotent, and much older William Shore, also a silk merchant. While she lives in semi-affluent conditions, Jane, who is witty, intelligent, and incredibly beautiful, is unhappy. Before her marriage she met handsome young Tom, whose kiss she will never forget, despite finding out later that he is married. Jane petitions the crown for an annulment after a few months of marriage on the grounds that her husband is unable to provide her with a child, but she's ignored. Her life makes a dramatic turn, however, when William, Lord Hastings, comes into her husband's shop and sees her. Even though he is immediately attracted to Jane, Will knows that she will definitely get the attention of King Edward IV.

As King Edward's mistress, Jane is quickly granted an annulment, and the king's devotion to her is noticed by all. Perhaps for the first time, Edward is truly in love, for Jane asks for nothing but a roof over her head. Her kindness and affection are what Edward craves, and he showers her with trinkets. But her heart is still with Tom, who she discovers is Edward's stepson, Thomas Grey, Marquess of Dorset. The queen is, of course, angry about Edward's string of mistresses, and this latest one seems to be lingering longer than the rest.

The story of Jane Shore is brought to life in this excellent, beautifully written novel. ROYAL MISTRESS delves into the world of court intrigue, family duties, and what a woman of Jane's era had to do to find happiness if she had nothing but her wits and beauty to work with. Historically Jane was known for her kindness to those who had nothing, as well as to her devotion to her duties as mistress to Edward, and later others whom she cared for. Her loyalty and loving nature made this an incredible story that deserved to be told.

ROYAL MISTRESS is entertaining, informative, and impeccably researched. I highly recommend this wonderful book.

Jani Brooks