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Secrets at Court by Blythe Gifford

Cover Art used by arrangement with Harlequin Enterprises Limited.  All rights reserved. ®and T are trademarks of Harlequin Enterprises Limited and/or its affiliated companies, used under license. Copyright 2014

2014 NRCA Finalist
NRCA
 
 
SECRETS AT COURT
Royal Weddings

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THE THRONE OF ENGLAND IS AT STAKE!

Anne of Stamford has long been the keeper of her mistress's secrets, but when Lady Joan marries the king's son, court life becomes ever more perilous. Sir Nicholas Lovayne has arrived to uncover the truth about Lady Joan's past, and Anne must do something—anything—to throw him off….

Longing to escape the intrigues at court, Nicholas hasn't counted on the way Anne distracts him—her refusal to accept pity for her clubfoot touches something deep inside him. Will he be able to follow his duty when every fiber of his being tells him to protect Anne?

Royal Weddings

A hint of scandal this way comes!

 

February 2014

Harlequin HistoricalsTM
ISBN#978-0-373-29777-1


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From Miss Bates at Miss Bates Reads Romance:

"Gifford’s novel is superbly researched and her characters, historical and fictional, come alive...Her love for her characters and respect for historical veracity shine through."  Click here for the complete review.  




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PORTUGAL

 Secrets at Court by Blythe Gifford
 
  Tajemství dvora
(Justice mystery)
Harlequin
2016

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Tajemnica książęcej wybranki
(The mystery of the prince's chosen one)
HarperCollins Polska
October 8, 2016

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SEGREDOS DA CORTE
(Secrets at Court)
HarperCollins Ibérica
January 10, 2016

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Secrets at Court by Blythe Gifford
GERMANY


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Secrets at Court by Blythe Gifford
 
  HEMLIGHETER VID HOVET
(Secrets at Court)
HarperCollins Nordic
June 2016

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DAS PIKANTE GEHEIMNIS DER ZOFE
(The Piquant Mystery of a Maid)
HarperCollins Gemany
March 29, 2016

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SECRETS AT COURT
Mills & Boon
March 2014

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SPAIN

Secrets at Court by Blythe Gifford
 
  SEGREDOS DA CORTE
(Secrets at Court)
Harlequin Históricos
April 22, 2015

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SEGRETI A CORTE
(Secrets at Court)
Harlequin Mondadori
November 20, 2014

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SECRETOS en la COURT
(Secrets in the Court)
Harlequin Ibérica
August 28, 2014

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    Secrets at Court by Blythe Gifford
  READ THE REVIEWS  
 
"...Gifford’s novel is superbly researched and her characters, historical and fictional, come alive. Gifford understands that writing about the Middle Ages requires her to render character in such a way that they feel alien and strange to a contemporary audience. The reader should feel the years and changes that separate us from medieval times. Nevertheless, Gifford makes them sympathetic. Her love for her characters and respect for historical veracity shine through..."

Miss Bates - Miss Bates Reads Romance



"This was such a wonderful story that I didn't want it to end, and when it did, I was left with that horrible what-on-earth-can-I-read-now? feeling you get when you read a book which completely absorbs you...
...The hero and heroine are wonderfully written. We get to see the world through their cynical eyes, and then the development of unexpected, unwanted love. The intrigues of the Court are woven deeply into the story and the ending is as convincing as it is simple...
...Straight to my all-time-favorites list and I'm never getting rid of it."

Ruth - Goodreads
5 of 5 stars



"Royals plus secrets plus impending exposure always equals drama of the highest order, and Gifford delivers..." 

RT Booklovers
♥♥♥♥
 
READ AN EXCERPT

Chapter One

Windsor Castle—late March, 1361

‘Come. Quickly.’ A whisper, urgent. Disturbing her dreams.

Anne felt a hand, squeezing her shoulder. She opened her eyes, blinking, to see the Countess holding a candle and leaning over her in the darkness.

Closing her eyes, Anne rolled on to her side. She only dreamt. Lady Joan would never rise in the dead of night. That was left to Anne.

Slender fingers pinched her cheek. ‘Are you awake, Anne?’

Suddenly, she was. Throwing back her bedclothes. Reaching for something to cover her feet. ‘What is it?’ Had the pestilence found them? Or perhaps the French? ‘What is the hour?’

Lady Joan waved a hand. ‘Dark.’ Then, she gripped Anne’s fingers and tugged. ‘Come. I need you.’

Anne tried to stand. Awkward, more out of balance than usual. She patted the sheets, searching for her walking stick.

‘Here.’ It was thrust into her hand. Then, the Countess, putting her impatience aside, offered a shoulder to help Anne rise.

Kindness from her lady, often when it was least expected. Or wanted.

Walking staff tucked snugly under her left arm, Anne hobbled through Windsor’s corridors, mindful that Lady Joan had put a finger to her lips to signal quiet and gestured for her to hurry. As if Anne had any control over either. Between stick and stairs, she could not hurry unless she wanted to tumble to the bottom and risk her only good leg in the process.

Lady Joan led her towards the royal quarters and into an echoing chapel, dark except for a candle, held by someone standing before the altar. A man, tall and strong.

Edward of Woodstock, eldest son of the King, Prince of England, smiling and looking nothing like the stern warrior she, nay, all England and France knew.

Lady Joan was beaming, too. No longer sparing a glance for Anne, she moved swiftly to join her hand with his. ‘Here. Now. With a witness.’

No. It could not be what she intended. But Lady Joan, of all people, knew what must be done and how important a witness would be.

The Prince took her candle and set them both on the trestle that served as an altar. Wavering flames cast shadows upwards on their faces, throwing the Prince’s nose and cheekbones into sharp relief and softening her lady’s rounded smile. Then they clasped hands, fingers tight, one on top of the other’s.

‘I, Edward, take thee, Joan, to my wedded wife.’

Anne swallowed, speechless. Surely God must want her to speak, to prevent this sacrilege?

‘Thee to love and keep, as a man ought to love his wife…

She freed her voice. ‘You mustn’t. You cannot! The King, you are too close…’

The Prince’s scowl stopped her speech. They knew the truth better than she. They shared a royal grandfather, a connection too close for the church to allow this marriage.

‘All will be as it must,’ Lady Joan said. ‘As soon as we have said the vows, we will send a petition to the Pope. He will set aside the impediment and then we will be wed in the church.’

‘But…’ Anne let the objections fade. The Countess believed it would be as easy as that. Logic, reason, all for naught. Lady Joan would do as she pleased and the world would accommodate her.

It had ever been thus.

The Prince withdrew his frown and faced his bride again. ‘…and thereto, I plight thee my troth.’

As if he knew exactly the words to say.

Ah, but her lady knew. Lady Joan knew exactly what must be done to make such a marriage valid.

Now, she heard her lady’s voice, the soft, seductive tone Anne knew too well. ‘I, Joan, take thee, Edward, to be my wedded husband…’

Intentions stated, clearly. Too late to protest now.

The chill of the midnight chapel sank into her bones. She would be the one. She would be the one who held the truth of Lady Joan’s clandestine marriage.

Again.

Excerpt Copyright © 2013 by Wendy B. Gifford.

 

Copyright 2003-14, W. Blythe Gifford

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