The historical Lacey Chronicles series continues with this third outing that follows Mercy’s forbidden romance with notorious actor Kit in 1586.
Although familiar characters from the previous installments populate the background, this book stands alone. Shy, pious Mercy falls hard for Kit when they meet at a dinner party, and Kit, who loves the wenches, falls just as hard for her. His second meeting with her does not go well, causing scandal when he approaches her family in church. Nevertheless, Kit remains determined to marry Mercy and manages to win her love, despite the opposition of Mercy’s rich and straight-laced Puritan father. The couple’s secret plans go awry when Kit is arrested for possible treason, having gone drinking with Anthony Babington, who conspired with Mary, Queen of Scots to assassinate Elizabeth. Edwards keeps her story moving along swiftly, bolstering the standard star-crossed-lovers central plot with neatly folded-in historical detail. Her Elizabethan London adds a sense of authenticity to the whole story, and she even throws in a young Will Shakespeare as a minor player in Kit’s theater company. The characters’ reaction to the dangers of Kit’s arrest and his experiences in prison seem credible to the times, adding a further dimension of historical accuracy to the narrative. Mercy’s character, especially, comes across nicely, along with her interesting family.
Solid historical entertainment. (Historical romance. 12 & up)