Widowed as a child bride, it appears that Rosamund Bolten will once more be her greedy uncle's pawn, until she marries the much-older Hugh Cabot. Hugh gives her the opportunity for independence. He treats her as a daughter, training her to care for their valuable estate, Friarsgate. He even arranges it so that upon his death she becomes Henry VII's ward.

As a young and lovely girl at court, Rosamund befriends the princesses and Katherine of Aragon, Prince Arthur's widow, who is to marry the boisterous and handsome Prince Henry (Hal). These childhood friendships will hold Rosamund in good stead after she is married and widowed once more.

After her life becomes more complicated, she befriends the Tudor women and becomes lover to the young King Henry VIII, she is destined to strike out on her own, and perhaps, just maybe find a new love with the Scotsman Logan Hepburn.

Few authors bring history to life as vibrantly as Bertrice Small. It is not just the color, pageantry, intrigue and historical events, but the people, real and fictional, that make me truly believe they are living in times past and experiencing every taste, touch and smell first-hand. ROSAMUND is a fitting beginning to a new series from a grand mistress of the genre. SENSUAL (Oct., 400 pp., $14.00)

Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin