Ladies in Waiting, by Laura L. Sullivan (fiction) – royal scandal, queenly dignity, kingly contempt

book cover of Ladies in Waiting by Laura L Sullivan published by Harcourt

The king’s mistress overturning orders given by the queen?
Secret treaties with opponents against war allies?
Spies, and plots, and elegant dances…

Modern-day soap operas have nothing on Charles’ court, as he fathered many illegitimate children before marrying his Queen, Catherine of Braganza. If the Protestant king has no royal son, then his Catholic brother will succeed him on England’s throne.

Following the days of our Ladies in Waiting  came a vicious run of the Plague and the Great Fire of London – Restoration England was no place for the timid!

Disguises and secrets and romantic notions amid royal protocols and power plays – pick up this intriguing book today at your local library or independent bookstore
**kmm

Book info: Ladies in Waiting / Laura L. Sullivan. Harcourt, 2012. [author’s website] [publisher site]

My Recommendation:  Three young ladies-in-waiting christened Elizabeth come to assist the new Queen as she arrives in the 1662 court of King Charles II. Gossip, treachery, and court intrigue swirl around them as Zabby, Beth, and Eliza become friends, protecting the Queen.
Sweet little Beth has a most frightening mother determined marry her off to the most influential nobleman possible – and will truly horsewhip anyone who tries to lay one finger on this delicate maiden. Never mind that Beth wants to marry her childhood sweetheart, who has lately vanished, trying to recapture the fortune that his father squandered.
Arriving from her learned father’s Barbados plantation to study with her grandmother, Zabby is wise in things scientific, but a veritable babe in elegant manners and dress. Luckily for His Majesty, she is well-versed in medicine as he falls ill with the plague in a Dover inn and she nurses him back to health without the court being aware of the danger.
Elisa’s father frets that being at court will sully her pious upbringing, but the fifteen-year-old knows only that being in London will bring her that much closer to her goal of becoming a playwright. Perhaps the right costuming will even allow her to attend plays without an escort…
Queen Catherine herself has a most formidable rival in the King’s mistress, the Countess of Castlemaine, who has already borne him two illegitimate sons. How can the petite Portuguese fight against that voluptuous beauty? Her ladies-in-waiting are determined to help the Queen turn this political marriage into one of love and affection.

Rumors of an assassination plot, disguised journeys to the theater district, experiments in the King’s scientific elaboratory, and a highwayman who preys on the nobility – what other obstacles must the Queen and her ladies-in-waiting overcome in Charles’s scandalous royal household? (One of 5,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com) Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

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