This is exactly how I like my historical fiction served. History and romance are woven together so tightly that you don’t realize just how much research and effort went into its creation. In this case, the era of religious reformation in Europe and all the political ramifications that came along with it, is brought to life without feeling like you’ve fallen into a history textbook.
This story is as much tragedy as romance. What else would you expect when the main characters are firmly on two opposing sides of such a heated issue? Mark and Andrew recognize their mutual attraction, but both feel obligations; Mark to the Church, Andrew to the Crown.
Woods did a nice job of breaking this story into three parts; each part another opportunity for the lovers to meet only to be separated again by circumstances. I don’t know if Woods being British gave this story a more authentic flavor, but I know it didn’t hurt. I only hope the author revisits this time period in future books. I find I have a real appreciation for sexy monks, political intrigue and clandestine meetings. If that sounds like your cup of tea…I highly recommend this book