Then the King dies and his half sister, Mary, takes the throne. Her aim is to turn England back to the Catholic Church of Rome and she is determined to do so no matter what the cost in human life.
Adrian and his family will pretend allegiance to this new Queen and hope to wait out her reign in peace, but it seems things are not to work out as they hoped.
When Adrian’s brother confesses his love for Frances, causing a scandal throughout court circles, Adrian must find a new bride, but in the meantime he meets Marianne, the daughter of a tavern keeper who is about to sell her virginity to the highest bidder.
He rescues her and falls in love with her, but she can never be his countess, and he must forsake her when he is presented with a new bride, Lady Elizabeth Paxton.
Elizabeth was formerly betrothed to a man who betrayed his entire family as heretics and now she is afraid to trust. But she learns to trust Adrian who falls in love with her. They are happy together until the Queen demands that he take a position at court, flushing out heretics and bringing them to trial. Although he uses his position to help the Protestants, Elizabeth is terrified and the strain drives a wedge between them and sends Adrian back into the arms of Marianne.
Will Adrian and Elizabeth survive the Catholic reign? Will they be able to revive the love they have for each other, or will the Queen’s death come too late to save their marriage?
Read the first chapter here