As It Pleases the King The King's Pleasure Book 1 by Sara Harris Genre: Medieval Romance
February 1542, London
Catherine Howard, Queen Consort of England, faces the executioner's axe.
King Henry VIII needs a new wife.
Lady Bridget Denny and her cousin, Lady Elizabeth, have fallen into favor with His Majesty's groomsmen. They are taken to Court to be judged for the position of the next queen, but Bridget fears the title of Queen of England is little more than a royal death sentence. The woods surrounding the castle are deep and dark and hold many secrets-perhaps there is room for one more.
Bridget is determined to escape the lusty king. But can she survive his royal executioner?
From nowhere, a servant appeared and refilled my mug. English wine rose to the brim, fuller and deeper scarlet than before.
I brushed a cocoa brown tendril of hair over my shoulder.
“Thank you, sir.”
He leaned close to my ear. “Compliments of the King.”
My heart slapped the inside of my chest and my breath came faster. Perhaps he is sending drinks around to all the girls.
Careful not to call too much attention to myself, I turned slightly.
The redheaded girl from Surrey still mopped at her front and her large, gray eyes watered just a bit. Sure enough, her mug was dry.
Elizabeth, lost in conversation with one of the twins from Dorset, picked up her mug. Her familiar voice rang out across the table
like a beacon in my ears. “Do you suppose His Majesty would think me impolite if I were to ask for a refill?” Obviously already
feeling the effects of the first helping, Elizabeth sniggered. “That wine is the best to have ever passed my lips!”
King Henry is watching.
My heartbeat, loud before, quickened to a pulsing gallop in my ears. The world spun around me and melted the dining hall into
a fresco of colors, faces, and gold-beaked peacocks, still wearing their iridescent feathers. I squeezed shut my eyes and gripped the
side of my chair. Mother Mary, please intercede before I become ill.
Someone clapped sharp and quick and sent a hush of quiet over my giggling tablemates. The courtier with the plume strode into
the dining hall. His shoes, shiny black, clipped like horse hooves on a cobblestone street.
“Ladies.” He bowed a deep bow. “Once again, it is so good of you all to have accepted the King’s invitation and come to Court.”
Sara is a mother of four, animal lover and advocate, and conservationist. Little House on the Prairie, Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman, and Lonesome Dove are among her favorite shows/movies and books. Sara holds her B.A. in History and is the author of the historical romance series, An Everlasting Heart, from 5 Prince Publishing and recently debuted into the children's book realm with Chunky Sugars (5 Prince Kids), written for her own chunky baby.