Library Loot | May 8th

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Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Marg from The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader.

Rivals in the Tudor Court by D.L. Bogdan

The death toll in Henry VIII’s England can be counted in the thousands. No one was more aware of this than Thomas Howard, third duke of Norfolk. Relying on his indomitable force of will, cleverness, and sheer good fortune, Thomas Howard manages to be one of the king’s only intimates to survive an unforgettable reign of terror. This impeccably researched companion piece to “Secrets of the Tudor Court” chronicles the ambitious duke’s life, loves, and remarkable capacity to endure. Before he was the king’s uncle, before he was his nieces’ ultimate betrayer, Thomas Howard was a hostage at the court of Henry VII while his father was imprisoned in the dreaded Tower of London. There he would marry the queen’s sister, his forever princess Anne Plantagenet. While he founded a dynasty, his career as soldier and sailor brought him acclaim and the trust of the Tudors. But when unspeakable tragedy robs him of family and fortune, Thomas must begin again. Abandoning notions of love, Thomas seeks out an advantageous match with the fiery Elizabeth Stafford, daughter of the duke of Buckingham. Clever, willful, and uncompromising in principle, the young duchess falls victim to a love she cannot deny. When Thomas takes on a mistress, the vulnerable Bess Holland, Duchess Elizabeth prepares to fight for all she holds dear. Only then does she learn she faces a force darker than anything she could ever have imagined, an obsessive love that neither she nor Bess can rival.

The Prophet by Amanda Stevens

My name is Amelia Gray.

I am the Graveyard Queen, a cemetery restorer who sees ghosts. My father passed down four rules to keep me safe and I’ve broken every last one. A door has opened and evil wants me back.

In order to protect myself, I’ve vowed to return to those rules. But the ghost of a murdered cop needs my help to find his killer. The clues lead me to the dark side of Charleston-where witchcraft, root doctors and black magic still flourish-and back to John Devlin, a haunted police detective I should only love from afar.

Now I’m faced with a terrible choice: follow the rules or follow my heart.

The Sumerton Women by D.L. Bogdan

Orphaned at age eight, Lady Cecily Burkhart becomes the ward of Harold Pierce, Earl of Sumerton. Lord Hal and his wife, Lady Grace, welcome sweet-natured Cecily as one of their own. With Brey, their young son, Cecily develops an easy friendship. But their daughter, Mirabella, is consumed by her religious vocation – and by her devotion to Father Alec Cahill, the family priest and tutor. As Henry VIII’s obsession with Anne Boleyn leads to violent religious upheaval, Mirabella is robbed of her calling and the future Cecily dreamed of is ripped away in turn. Cecily struggles to hold together the fractured household while she and Father Alec grapple with a dangerous mutual attraction. Plagued with jealousy, Mirabella unleashes a tumultuous chain of events that threatens to destroy everyone around her, even as the kingdom is torn apart…

Hawkwood: A Regency Crime Thriller by James McGee

Regency London is vividly brought to live in this extraordinary page-turner, the first in a series of historical thrillers featuring Bow Street Runner Matthew Hawkwood – a complex and fascinating hero. Hunting down highwaymen was not the usual preserve of a Bow Street Runner. As the most resourceful of this elite band of investigators, Matthew Hawkwood was surprised to be assigned the case – even if it did involve the murder and mutilation of a naval courier. From the squalor of St Giles Rookery, London’s notorious den of theives and cutthroats, to the palatial homes of the aristocracy where knights of the realm conduct themselves in a manner unbecoming to their rank, Hawkwood relentlessly pursues his quarry. And as the case unfolds, and another body is discovered, the true agenda behind the robbery begins to emerge: the stolen naval dispatch pouch held details of a French plot that, if successful, will send the Royal Navy’s entire fleet scurrying to port in terror, leaving Napoleon to rule the waves. With no way of knowing who can be trusted, Hawkwood must engage in a desperate race against time to prevent the successful execution of the Emperor’s plot.

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