**A historical novel spanning the first thirty years of Elizabeth I’s reign, telling the intimate story of England’s greatest sovereign **
The sickly Catholic fanatic Mary Tudor has reigned for six years when her half-sister Elizabeth ascends to the throne. After enduring years of exile following the execution of her mother, Anne Boleyn, the twenty-five-year-old Elizabeth inherits a realm divided by religious turmoil and financial collapse. She has already survived her own personal hell, nearly losing her life after her stepfather seduced her at thirteen. The ambitious Lord Admiral left her virginity intact, but took something far more valuable—her dignity and pride. Elizabeth learned a bitter lesson: There’s no place for love in a royal’s heart.
This novel journeys through the first three decades of the reign of Elizabeth I, including her volatile relationship with Lord Robert Dudley. From bedroom intrigues to affairs of state, Elizabeth brings to life the passion and the power, illuminating the woman who, in spite of herself, still yearned for human connection. She found it with Dudley’s successor, the wealthy, dazzlingly attractive Earl of Leicester. Award-winner Evelyn Anthony chronicles the monarch's long battle with her cousin Mary, Queen of Scots, for the throne, and advances a fascinating theory about who murdered Lord Robert’s first wife, Amy Dudley.