Small (Rosamund) resumes the 16th-century tale of Rosamund Bolton, an orphaned English beauty who's been "a wife one way or another since... three years of age," and who now, at 22, wants to live on her own terms. Widowed thrice and the mother of three daughters, Rosamund flees her home, Friarsgate, to escape a marriage proposal and to visit her dear friend Meg, Queen of Scotland.
At court, she meets Patrick Leslie, earl of Glenkirk; sparks fly immediately, though he's twice her age. When King James sends Patrick to the Italian city of San Lorenzo to speak with England's allies in an attempt to prevent a Scottish-English war, Rosamund accompanies him. There the two bathe in the sunshine, make love during the siestas and get to know the diplomats. Upon their return to Friarsgate, Rosamund realizes that she wants to be more than Patrick's mistress. But as war breaks out between England and Scotland, Rosamund finds herself fighting for her family, her land and her life.
Full of historical detail, political intrigue and lots of steamy, enthusiastic sex, the second Rosamund saga should please Small's many fans.