The Marriage Game, by Alison Weir. Weir, established biographer of the Tudors, returns again to her fictionalized accounts of Queen Elizabeth I. Only twenty-five and newly crowned, Elizabeth vows to rule the country as both queen and king. But her counselors continually press her to form an advantageous marriage and produce an heir. Though none of the suitors have yet worked their way to her throne, the dashing—though married—Lord Robert lays claim to Elizabeth’s heart. Their flagrant flirting, their unescorted outings, and the appointment of Lord Robert to Master of Horse inspire whispers through the court, and even rumors that Elizabeth has secretly given birth to Lord Robert’s child.
Events take a dark turn when Robert’s wife is found dead. Universal shock is followed by accusations of murder. Despite the scandal, Elizabeth and Robert manage to navigate the choppy political, economic, and religious waters around them. But the greatest obstacle to marriage between the Queen and her true love may come not from outside forces, but from within.
Mightier Than the Sword, by Jeffrey Archer. Fifth in this riveting family saga (new to it? Start with book one, Only Time Will Tell), Mightier Than the Sword opens with an IRA bombing of the maiden voyage across the Atlantic of the MV Buckingham, resulting in loss of life and a number of repercussions that will shake the Clifton clan, spread amongst several continents, to their very core. Anticipation for this installment in the series is high, and critics are calling it the best of Archer's work to date. High praise, indeed!