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REVIEW

"Heroine's Time Travel Discovery could Change the Course of History"

Most readers of time travel novels have asked the question... what if the time traveler did something to change history. Ms. Brisbin has given her heroine the opportunity to do just that. It is an awesome responsibility.

The story is set in Elizabethan England, an era that turned a tide in British history. Elizabeth I was largely responsible for making England a world power. What if she'd never been queen? The question boggles the mind. Had Anne Boleyn born a son, would her life have been spared? If that son had inherited and produced heirs, the queens known as Bloody Mary and Good Queen Bess may have never reigned. The short-lived King Edward would perhaps never even been born. Their cousin, Mary Queen of Scots, may have lived a long and prosperous life. Her son, James Stuart, would never have sat on the throne, to preside over a united England and Scotland for the very first time. The Jacobite rising that destroyed the highland clans of Scotland may never have occurred. The possibilities are endless. Indeed our world could be very different today.

Present Day England

American textile expert, Sharon Reynolds is in England to examine a chest of clothing found in what had once been a priest hole. It is her responsibility to determine their authenticity. They appear to be Elizabethan. While she is examining one of the dresses, she notices the incongruous stitching of one seam. Sharon is truly excited by the find, and stays on late to continue her examination. After her friend leaves something strange occurs. When Sharon pulls at the poorly stitched dress seam, a small bundle of parchment is discovered. Oddly it is in excellent condition, as are the clothes. She is stunned by the words on the document. It is a deathbed confession....

Maria Morales Browning had been brought to England, from Spain, by Queen Catherine of Aragon, the first of King Henry VIII's wives. It had been her duty to attend to the births of the royal children. Sadly the union produced but one living daughter. Though she'd stayed on to attend the births of the new queen, she remained loyal to Catherine.

And so it was that she was present when Queen Anne's last child is born, an apparently lifeless son. All in the birthing room believed the child dead. She herself knew better, but believed his end would come soon. But no, though premature, the child tenaciously clung to life providing Maria with the means to avenge her queen. She places the boy with a Catholic family to be raised as a bastard son of the king.

Now on her deathbed, perhaps out of guilt, Maria has left behind the evidence of her deed, in the event that England should need a king. It was not to be.

A stunned Sharon rises in shock and stumbles. In an effort to spare damage to the antique dress, she twists and falls against a wall. The wall gives way to another room. The opening closes behind her. She is unable to find the catch and instead opens the door to the new room and finds herself in another time.

Mistaken for the Queen's new seamstress, Sharon has the unique opportunity to change history, if she can Anne's son, and if she chooses to reveal Maria's secret. It is perhaps the only way she can return to her own time. She doesn't count on falling in love with the queen's bastard half brother.

Elizabethan England

Richard Granville, master of the Queen's stable is handsome, charming, and a terrible flirt. He's also the illegitimate son of the old king and had always dreamt of filling his father's shoes. Perhaps that is the reason he is reluctantly involved in a covert plot with those who would have a Catholic monarch. His involvement is half- hearted as he had been raised with Elizabeth and does not wish to see her hurt. Yet the conspirators claim to have evidence that he is a legitimate son, and heir to King Henry VIII. It is very hard not to embrace the possibility. If it is not to be, he would live his other dream, to master of his own stables, as his father had bequeathed to him. Meeting Sharon may tip the balance, but not perhaps in the way he thinks. She makes him want a home and family. A life with her would be impossible if he should choose to be king. Little does he know that she possesses the very evidence the papists seek that would put him on the throne.

Sharon is unaware that he is even related to the queen, and that's the way Richard wants it. Too many people have sought his company because of that relationship. Sharon cares for him for himself.

Elizabeth did not hold the throne for so many years by being a fool. Will she uncover the plot to dethrone her or will Sharon find use her knowledge to make Richard king? If so, can she bear to lose him, or will she lose him either way?

I must admit to always having a strong interest in the Tudors. I was intrigued by the premise of the story but the romance kept me enthralled. I recommend the Queen's Man for a refreshingly different time travel tale set in a seldom- explored era.

August 2000
Copyright © 2000

Reviewed by Leslie Tramposch
Posted March 20, 2002

SUMMARY

Present Day, England.

Textiles expert Sharon Reynolds is examining a treasure trove of Elizabethan clothing when she discovers a bit of parchment containing an astounding piece of information. But before Sharon has a chance to share the find with her colleagues, she stumbles through a hidden door to another time...

Sixteenth Century, England.

Richard Granville, master of Queen Elizabeth's stables, is acknowledged only as the queen's half-brother—Henry VIII's illegitimate son. A dramatic first meeting sparks an attraction between Sharon and Richard, who recognizes a kindred spirit in this strange woman who seems to have appeared out of thin air. But only after they fall in love does Sharon realize that Richard is the heir described on the parchment—and that he, not Elizabeth—is England's rightful ruler. Now Sharon must make a choice, aware that her actions will determine the fate of man and his country....

 

The Queen's Man
by Terri Brisbin

Jove (Time Passages)
September 1, 2000
ISBN #0515129062
EAN #9780515129069
306 pages
Paperback
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Other Books by
Terri Brisbin

Taming the Highlander
The Maid of Lorne
The Countess Bride
The Norman's Bride
The Dumont Bride
Once Forbidden
A Matter Of Time
A Love Through Time


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