William de Veres and Elizabeth Walters were childhood friends separated because of their fathers’ greed. William was sent to school, then joined the military; Elizabeth was forced to marry an abusive man. Years later they encounter one another under dangerous circumstances, but neither acts as if they recognize one another.
Two years later, when Elizabeth is trying to see the king, William uses his position as the king’s bard to secure her an appointment. Once they acknowledge their feelings for each other, Elizabeth must reconcile William’s behavior in the intervening years when he was in the king’s personal service. They also must deal with the political intrigue of the court and its viciously greedy and jealous attendees. (HQN, Aug., 384 pp., $7.99)