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ROSE OF RABY
$9.99
Paperback
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BOOK DETAILS

  • Paperback
  • Dec.01.2011
  • 9780984816903

Cynthia gives an overview of the book:

ROSE OF RABY is the first and second books in a series of four about Cecylee Neville (1415-1495), mother of Richard III and Edward IV, Queen by Right and Abbess. This tale of Cecylee’s girlhood will appeal to readers of YA novels. Cecylee is the apple of her mother’s eye. In her father’s eyes, however, she is merely a valuable pawn in the game of marriage. But does Cecylee wish to marry the boy her father has picked out for her? Does she wish to marry at all? For at the age of ten, she has already experienced too much violence at the hands of men. Several years later, when Cecylee is twenty-six years old and the wife of Richard, Duke of York, a mysterious young man rides into her life. Who is he? And what is he doing in Rouen? By turns baffled and enchanted, Cecylee finds herself confronted by an intriguing challenge.
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ROSE OF RABY is the first and second books in a series of four about Cecylee Neville (1415-1495), mother of Richard III and Edward IV, Queen by Right and Abbess. This tale of Cecylee’s girlhood will appeal to readers of YA novels.

Cecylee is the apple of her mother’s eye. In her father’s eyes, however, she is merely a valuable pawn in the game of marriage. But does Cecylee wish to marry the boy her father has picked out for her? Does she wish to marry at all? For at the age of ten, she has already experienced too much violence at the hands of men. Several years later, when Cecylee is twenty-six years old and the wife of Richard, Duke of York, a mysterious young man rides into her life. Who is he? And what is he doing in Rouen? By turns baffled and enchanted, Cecylee finds herself confronted by an intriguing challenge.

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I heard laughter coming from the garden below, and looking down, saw Lisette with Blaybourne. I blinked. I hadn’t known Lisette was well enough to get up. When Margaret flew to her side, trying to convince her to return to her room, I understood.
Lisette put her hand on Blaybourne’s sleeve. “It’s such a lovely evening, will you not walk?”
I did not hear his reply, but Lisette threw her head back, laughter bubbling up from her throat. Blowing him a kiss, she was escorted back into the castle by Margaret.
Without thinking, I got up and craned my head through the window.
Blaybourne raised his hand and beckoned.
I clutched at the heavy draperies.
“Is something wrong, Cecylee?” said Isabel. “You mustn’t let silly little Lisette get on your nerves. She’s not worth your time.”
I resumed my seat. “You are quite right,” I murmured when the door flew open and Lisette came in, supported by Margaret.
“He’s taking me to the abbey tomorrow. He said it would do me good to ride out and get fresh air.”
Isabel turned to stare at her. “Your husband is fighting in Pontoise. Who could you possibly be talking of?”
Lisette flung herself down.
“I feel much better. I agree with our charming friend, fresh air will make me feel well again, especially as he’ll have to help me on and off my horse. How it will feel to be in his arms—” She closed her eyes and smiled dreamily.
I dropped any pretense of sewing and looked at Margaret. “Is she well?”
“Obviously not,” snapped Isabel. She rose. “I will not have it said that we ladies are so uncontrollable we fly towards the first pot of honey we see while our husbands risk their lives in battle.”
Lisette rose, hectic spots of red flaring on her cheeks. “I’m going out with him tomorrow.”
Isabel turned to Margaret. “I strongly suggest we give her a draught of poppy juice to calm her down.”
“I’m not a child!” Lisette stamped her foot, then swooned.
Isabel nodded to Margaret, and between them, they bundled up the limp figure and carried her off to bed.
I sat there, stunned. Were they going to drug Lisette? What had Blaybourne said to her? I closed my eyes and imagined Lisette in Blaybourne’s arms. I could feel his breath, hear her giggles, imagine what might happen.
But why should I care? What was he against Richard and four years of marriage? I knew scarcely anything about him—not of his family, where he came from, what his station in life was, or what he was doing in Rouen.
What was he doing in Rouen?
There was a soft footfall, and someone entered the room. My eyes flew open. And there he was.
I rose slowly; the room swirled.
With catlike grace, Blaybourne caught me in his arms.
“You shouldn’t be here.”
“Come, my love.”
“I shouldn’t.”
“I adore you,” he said, kissing my cheek.
At that moment, the door to Lisette’s chamber opened a crack. But no one came out.
He grabbed my hand, and we ran down the stairs into the courtyard, through the garden, until we came to the private screened-in area.
I turned away to compose myself, for I was short of breath, and the pins in my hair were coming loose.
“My love, do you remember you promised to meet me at compline?”
I put the last tendrils of hair back into place. “I am the governor of Normandy’s wife.”
“Has someone upset you?”
“Another story of a jealous husband. This time he beheaded his lady wife.”
“Who told you that?”
“Does it matter?”
He was silent.
“What about you? Can you fight with a sword? My husband is extremely skilled with his.”
“I have ways of protecting myself.”
“Do you?”
He flushed.

cynthia-sally-haggard's picture

What happens when Cecylee's husband discovers she's had a love- affair with an archer? Does he lock her up? Take the children away? Or do worse? Why not give yourself a treat and immerse yourself in an era when high fashion meant pointed headdresses? And find out?

About Cynthia

Born and raised in Surrey, England, CYNTHIA SALLY HAGGARD has lived in the United States for twenty-nine years. She has had four careers: violinist, cognitive scientist, medical writer and novelist. Yes, she is related to H. Rider Haggard, the author of SHE and KING SOLOMONS’...

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Published Reviews

Apr.11.2012

The Thwarted Queen is that wonderful combination of historical accuracy and a story that sweeps you away into the 15th century world of lords and ladies, royal intrigue, deep-seated passions and women as...

Apr.11.2012

"Rose of Raby" tells the story of Cecylee, a girl belonging to England's royal Neville family in the 15th century. Although this book is fiction, it aims at historical accuracy.

At the age of nine...

Author's Publishing Notes

ROSE OF RABY comprises the first two books of THWARTED QUEEN, which are available electronically as THE BRIDE PRICE and ONE SEED SOWN.