BY VICTORIA SPORTELLIPublication Date: September 24, 2020
Paperback & eBook; 376 pages
Series: Henry’s Spare Queen, Book One
Genre: Historical Fiction
A Desperate Midwife Bargains with a King
After suffering the loss of her first pregnancy, a son and heir to the English throne, Queen Matilda is once again with child. Overjoyed but cautious of another loss, King Henry seeks a skilled midwife to assist his wife throughout her pregnancy and labor. His search leads him to Margaret.
Margaret, once a woman of rank and leisure, has been betrayed by her father and made a common slave. The king’s dire need for a midwife provides her with an enticing opportunity to escape a life of servitude and return to her previous station, but first she must prove her worth and make a bargain with the devil.
King Henry is reluctant to haggle with the midwife, but when Margaret reveals her suspicions of foul play being the cause of the queen’s previous loss, his mind is made up. Not only will Margaret attend the queen, her fate with be tied to the queen’s – and that of their unborn babe. Deliver a healthy heir and King Henry will reward Margaret with the return of her rank, social status and wealth. Fail, and her life will be forfeit.
The two women are sent to a secret forest retreat to wait out Queen Matilda’s confinement away from the conspiracies and dangers of court life. Meanwhile, Henry’s brother Robert invades England to seize Henry’s crown and Margaret begins to fear she has allied herself with the wrong ruler.
Will Margaret earn her freedom…or a severed head?
Pick up Lady Margaret’s Escape today and experience the perils of living in medieval England.
Note: This novel includes the death of an infant which may be a trigger for some readers.
Buy this Book:
Lady Margaret of Royal Oaks has been forsaken by her father. Now living as her household's chatelaine, Margaret wishes for a way of escape and freedom. An unexpected visit by King Henry I allows Margaret to bargain for her freedom. The King came to Royal Oaks looking for her mother, an esteemed healer and midwife after the stillbirth of the Queen's son. Margaret's mother has passed, but Margaret has been trained well and convinces the King that she will be able to safely deliver the Queen's child. If Margaret is able to help Queen Matilda successfully deliver a child, Margaret will receive three boons from the King, and she knows exactly what to ask. for. However, keeping the Queen happy, healthy and protected is much more difficult than she ever expected.
Set during the tumultuous reign of King Henry I, Lady Margaret's Escape focuses on the women of this time period. Lady Margaret's character grabbed me from the very beginning with her good natured, hard working personality as well as her intelligence and thoughtfulness in all situations. The historical detail described in the book helped to set the scene and brought Royal Oaks alive as well as the keep where Margaret and Matilda were sequestered. These details gave insight as to how life in the 12th century was for day to day operations. I was especially impressed that Margaret at 14 years old was able to hold the responsibility that she did. While the plot's to dethrone Henry were not in the forefront of the story, they did permeate Margaret and Matilda's experience. I do wonder how Margaret gained so much foresight into policy other than keeping a sharp ear. The story ends on huge cliffhanger and I would love to keep reading the series to know what happens in Margaret's life next.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.
Ms. Sportelli, who loves to share her knowledge of English history, has concluded that Henry I was an under-rated king who struggled to keep his throne amid conflicts between Normans and Saxons. She writes of the era in novels featuring Lady Margaret, King Henry and Queen Matilda.
A life-long Anglophile, Ms. Sportelli loves British manners, folklore, customs, history, and humor; she watches every British film, television, show and documentary she can find.
Ms Sportelli has both children and grandchildren. She has taken seven trips to eight western European countries and loves England and Italy the most.
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