The Tudor Secret (The Elizabeth I Spymaster Chronicles) by C.W. Gortner
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery
Book of Your Shelf? No
Why I have it: ARC
Series: Spymaster Chronicles (1)
Welcome back to the Tudor court (one of my favorite places to read about). King Edward is sick and rumored to be dieing. The kingdom is in an uproar, and the regent prepares to put Jane Grey on the throne, usurping both Princess Mary and Princess Elizabeth.
Enter Brendan Prescott, an orphan raised by the Dudley family at their country estate, sent to court to serve their son Robert. But as everyone in the Tudor era seems to, they have an ulterior motive. Brendan finds himself sucked into a web of intrigue revolving around a plot to imprison and possibly execute the Princesses.
Overall, a very interesting story. The author admits to taking liberty with some of her characters and expanding on rumors that were very vague in the time. I had two big complaints. One, that there were a few contradictions in the story. People were said to have one point of view or opinion only to have it miraculously flip a couple of chapters later without any explanation. Two, the romance in the story seems to spring out of nowhere. I was very much blindsided by it. Once I paused and went back, just accepting it and moving on, it was a nice part of the overall story.
The characters grew and developed, but it was all very abrupt and made things a bit choppy. If there is a second in the series, I will probably give it a try and give the author another chance to smooth out the flow of her story.