Readers with a voracious appetite for Tudor-set novels will take Emerson’s Secrets of the Tudor Court series to heart. It is more than the careful research, dramatic events and lush details they savor; it is how Emerson merges little known historical personages and history into a powerful novel where ordinary people take center stage. This new outlook on history makes for realism, while tugging at readers’ hearts and stimulating minds to learn more about the era. Well-crafted historical fiction, romance and passion fill every page.
Audrey Malte’s father is Henry VIII’s tailor, and though she knows she is illegitimate this doesn’t prevent Audrey from happily growing up at court. It is only when she reaches a marriageable age that questions about her birth arise. Audrey wonders if the rumors that she is Henry’s child are true. Determined to uncover the truth, Audrey asks her music tutor, John Harington, for help. Her quest leads to many dead ends, but Audrey persists even when her father negotiates her marriage with the son of a powerful man close to the king. It is when Henry bestows several parcels of land on Audrey that she realizes she must be his daughter. But these are dangerous times, and Audrey must keep her secrets if she is to keep her head and win the man she loves. (GALLERY, Oct., 368 pp., $16.00)