I really loved Denise Domnings medieval stories and when I found her Elizabethan stories I just knew that I had to try them too.
Like most of the romances set during Queen Elizabeth I reign and especially those taking place at court the story is full of intrigues, plots and machinations. Between Catholics and Protestants, Elizabeth and her cousin Mary Stuart’s shadow not to mention personal revenge the period seems ideal for an interesting and engaging story.
Lady in Waiting is the story of Anne Blanchemain and Christopher “Kit” Hollier. Anne is brought to court, against her will, by her grandfather. He wants a title for his family and since Anne is now his only heir he wants to marry her off to one of his friends at court. Kit is heavily in debt, when Lady Montmercy offers to pay his debts and marry her daughter to Kit’s brother ( a reclusive man with a frail health for which Kit feels responsible) and allowing him to regain the family title in exchange for ruining Mistress Blanchemain he readily agrees.
But Kit is not as hard and unfeeling as he believes. After meeting Anne he realizes he can’t be that ruthless. She is a nice girl, to whom he is immediately attracted to, but I think it is more about who he is that he can’t go through with it, in fact he even saves her from the advances of the man his grandfather wants her to marry. They end up spending a lot of time together, as the queen decides Kit will teach Anne to dance to win a wager and it is quite fun to see how Anne tries to seduce Kit while he tries to fight the attraction between them.
I liked that Anne seemed such a fresh and sensible heroine, she helped disabled people because of her mother but she never preaches about it, she is less than innocent but doesn’t spend her days dwelling on it. She is the first one to sense that there is more to Lady Montmercy than it seems and she is the one who plays detective to find out what happened in the past to make the lady plan her revenge.
If there is a flaw in this story is that the action flows slowly, I think a story of intrigue like this one would require a faster pace to work as well as it could. But for me it was still a very satisfying read and that I felt conveyed the perfect atmosphere of the period. On her website the author mentions she has rewritten this story and I can’t wait to read the new version and see if it works even better for me.