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THE SECRET LOVE OF KING EDWARD IV...
on 6 October 2009
This is a work of romantic historical fiction that takes place in fifteenth century England. A young, barely conscious, and very pregnant gentlewoman is fleeing through the forest with another gentle woman. It all proves too much for the pregnant woman and she dies in the forest, but not before giving birth to a baby girl. The child is left with Deborah, a wise woman and healer who lives in the forest. Named Anne, the child is taught to read and write Latin and do sums by a local priest, while Deborah teaches her domestic skills.
When Anne is nearly fifteen, she is placed into service in the household of a wealth London merchant, Matthew Cuttifer, to attend his wife, the Lady Margaret. It is the Cuttifer household that Anne's fame as a skillful herbalist and healer take hold. When The King, himself, Edward IV, hears of Anne's skills, she is summoned to his castle to assist the Queen through the rigors of childbirth. It is through her service in his household that the King takes note of Anne's charms.
Before Anne knows it, she finds herself permanently ensconced in the palace. It is there that she awakens to love, as Edward IV has more than a platonic interest in her. It is also there that she discovers her true origins. This knowledge changes her life and conflicts her, as events occur that take on new meaning in the context of her new found knowledge. Fleeing her old life with all of its intrigues and dangers, she hopes to start a new one.
This is an interesting, fairly well-written work of romantic historical fiction that is steeped in period detail. It is the first in a trilogy of books. I enjoyed it and expect that I will be reading the remainder of the trilogy.