MARK OF THE ROSE
The setting adds interest to what might otherwise be an ordinary story. This is part of the Tudor Vampire Chronicles series, but it is not necessary to have read the others, as the backstory is very well done.
Verity Llewellyn is at Henry VIII’s court as one of Queen Jane’s ladies. As a member of the Llewellyn family, she is dedicated to guard the Queen from vampire attack, but she is considered the most inept of the family. Seeing that the pregnant Queen is growing weaker by the day, she sends for help, and gets Rhys Williams, noted vampire slayer, and her girlhood crush. Rhys remembers Verity, but he does not want her risking her life when she has no battle training. When she objects, he challenges her to a practice fight to test her skills. Passion stirs during the fight, but they have no time: vampires are gaining access to the queen at night. Verity and Rhys will have to work together and keep their focus on the queen, not each other, if they are to successfully survive. (SIGNET, Sep., 320 pp., $7.99)