Title: Ruffled Feathers
Author: Anna Markland
Genre: Tudor Romance, Historical Romance
Dominic Hawke is a proud member of a well-respected family of London goldsmiths who’ve honed their craft for four generations. Like many goldsmiths, they also carry on a lucrative and trusted banking business.
Spain plots to invade England, assassinate her queen and install the Catholic Mary of Scotland on the throne. Determined to protect his country from Spanish interference, Dominic is also an informant for Elizabeth Tudor’s Spymaster.
When the Pope’s Venetian emissary deposits the funds to finance a Spanish invasion with the Hawkes, events are set in motion that will likely result in the Venetian’s execution.
Things go awry when Dominic meets and falls in love with the emissary’s daughter. A man smugly proud of his prodigious sexual appetite and imbued with an innate desire to dominate in the bedroom, he doubts the haughty and spoiled Luisa Bertolli would ever bend to his will. Even if she isn’t involved in her father’s plot, the innocent often do not escape torture and execution.
Unaware of her father’s involvement in treasonous activities, Luisa cannot understand her craving for a London goldsmith who lives in a cramped apartment above his shop. Venetian noblewomen are destined to marry wealthy Venetian men. She begins to suspect Dominic is somehow involved in her father’s affairs and doesn’t doubt that he craves sexual dominance—something she could never agree to. It becomes clear the goldsmith is using her to entrap her father.
Both their lives are at risk in the deadly game of intrigue orchestrated by the Queen’s notorious Spymaster, Francis Walsingham.
It’s a dangerous game of cat and mouse as goldsmith and spy Dominic Hawke unravels a plot by Spain to murder Queen Elizabeth and put Mary of Scotland on the throne. Dominic Hawke comes from a long line of esteemed goldsmiths, yet he carries a secret. He’s also a spy for Queen Elizabeth. When a Venetian emissary for the Pope deposits a huge amount of gold, Dominic knows he’s on the trail of a conspiracy. What he doesn’t anticipate is falling in love with the Venetian’s daughter. Luisa has bewitched him but is it all a ploy? Does she know what her father is plotting? Dominic is conflicted between saving his queen and rescuing Luisa from the gallows. As the net closes in on the conspirators, at the center are Dominic and the beautiful Luisa. Will they get out alive or will the spymaster for Queen Elizabeth, Francis Walsingham, eliminate them both?
Ruffled Feathers is a breathtaking historical romance set during Queen Elizabeth I’s reign. As a historical reader of all things Tudor, I’m very familiar with the events described in this book. It was written so precisely with impeccable historical accuracy and a sweeping love story, I read it in one sitting. Anna Markland is a bestselling prolific author, and this is my first read of hers. I hadn’t read more than a couple of pages before I was thrust into the story. I connected with Dominic right away. His dominant personality, both in the bedroom and out, makes him the alpha male women will adore. He knows what he wants, and he takes it. Luisa is a spoiled heroine but the more I read, the more I saw her motivation. She loves her father deeply and it’s honorable, in a way. The descriptive narration is deep, almost poetic, and grabs the reader by the lapels. The romance between Dominic and Luisa is quick but there’s a depth as well. The intrigue had me whipping through the pages, to see what would happen next. If you’re a fan of this time period, you’ll want to read Ruffled Feathers. I cannot wait for the next installment in this new series by Anna Markland. Highly recommend!
My Rating: 5 stars
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As an amateur genealogist (aka an addict of family tree research) I became obsessed with tracing my English roots back to the Norman Conquest in the 11th century.
This turned out to be a pipe dream since I am not descended from the nobility and records were not kept for "common folks" until much later. Even then, early parish records are often indecipherable.
As a result, I began to write stories about a noble medieval family I conjured from my imagination. The Montbryces were born.
Like many people, I had an inner compulsion to write one good book. What was originally intended as that one book about my fictional family eventually became the 12-book series, The Montbryce Legacy.
In other words, writing superseded genealogy as my principal addiction, and I have since published more than 60 novels and novellas. Almost all are historical romances that feature, Vikings, Highlanders, medieval knights or Regency earls. You can find more details on my website https://www.annamarkland.com/.
I've lived most of my life in Canada, though I was born in the UK. An English grammar school education instilled in me a love of European history which continues to this day. While I may boast of being a proud Canadian, I'm still a Lancashire lass at heart.
Before becoming a full-time writer, I was an elementary school teacher, a job I loved. I then worked as administrator for a world-wide disaster relief organization.
I love cats, although I haven't been able to bring myself to adopt another one since unexpectedly losing Topaz a few years ago.
I have few domestic skills. You'll notice most of my heroines hate sewing!
I try to follow three simple writing guidelines. I give my characters free rein to tell their story, which often turns out to be different from the original version in my head. I'm a firm believer in love at first sight. My protagonists may initially deny the attraction but, eventually, my heroes and heroines find their soul mates. It seems only natural then to include scenes of intimacy enjoyed by people who love each other deeply. I believe such intimacy is wholesome. Historical accuracy is important to me, although I have been known to tweak history when necessary. I write romance because I find happy endings very satisfying.
You can find me on all the usual social media platforms. On Facebook as Anna Markland and Anna Markland Novels, on Instagram as annamarkland, on Twitter as @annamarkland, and Pinterest and BookBub as Anna Markland. I also have a reader group on Facebook called Markland’s Merrymakers and new members are always welcome.
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Reviewed by: Mrs. N