"Heroine's Time Travel Discovery could Change the Course of History"
Most readers of time travel novels have asked the
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
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
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-
Copyright © 2000
Reviewed by Leslie Tramposch
Posted March 20, 2002