Audrey Malte is illegitimate, though her beloved father - tailor to King Henry VIII - prefers to call her “merry-begot,” saying there was much joy in her making. Then Audrey visits the royal court with her father, and the whispers start about Audrey’s distinctive Tudor-red hair and the kindness that the king shows her. Did dashing Henry perhaps ask Malte to raise a royal love child? The king’s favor, however, brings Audrey constraint as well as opportunity. Though she holds tender feelings for her handsome music tutor, John Harington, the king is pressuring her to marry into the family of treacherous, land-hungry Sir Richard Southwell. Audrey is determined to learn the truth about her birth at last. The answer may give her the freedom to give her heart as she chooses . . . or it could ensnare her deeper in an enemy’s ruthless scheme.
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