THE QUEEN’S CHRISTMAS SUMMONS
Setting an Elizabethan romance in Ireland is unusual, but McCabe uses the novelty of the country and the holiday season to develop several interesting plot points and add another dimension to the era’s history. Readers intrigued by England’s fight with Spain and those who enjoy a light read are in for a treat with this sweet love story.
Raised in Ireland where her father holds the Queen’s fortress outside Galway, Lady Alys Drury does her best to maintain normalcy when the Spanish Armada is headed toward Britain. Alys finds a lone sailor on the beach. She hides him instead of turning him over to the English. For the past several years, Sir John Huntley has been a secret agent in King Philip's court. He is with the Armada on a mission to ferret out a spy in Elizabeth’s court when he is washed ashore and rescued by Alys, who knows him as Juan. As he recuperates, they form a friendship, and when he leaves, John believes he will never see Alys again. Then Alys is summoned to court where she quickly learns that behind the glitter lies danger. Alys discovers John is the Queen’s man and their love is possible, but when Alys accidentally unmasks the traitor, her life is in peril. (HARLEQUIN, Nov., 288 pp., $6.99)