There are games played only at court for power, love, revenge...Fourteen-year old Mary Shelton must learn to play them all when she enters the cauldron of spite, ambition, and danger that is the court of King Henry VIII.
No one in her family expects Mary to go far; she’s the middle daughter, sharp-tongued, not the favorite, not pretty. But when her cousin, the new Queen of England, Anne Boleyn invites a Shelton daughter to serve her at court, Mary proves to her parents she’s their best choice when she boldly spies on them. Mary needs her penchant for breaking the rules if she’s to survive at court.
Surrounded by girls desperate for the same prize: a grand marriage—Mary quickly outshines them all when she discovers her talent for flirtation and catches the eye of the reckless yet beguiling Lord John de Vere. Thrilled by his attentions, she falls headlong into a passionate game of Pass-the-Time that promises Mary the love she craves and the advancement her family desires.
But Mary's dazzling success brings her dangerous enemies who scheme to ruin her life at court. Mary must win Queen Anne’s favor to escape their plots and win her future with Lord John.
When Mary forgets that love at court is always a game, she finds herself used in a vicious revenge designed to destroy the most powerful noble in England. With her greatest enemy ready to reveal her worst secret, Mary has just one chance to save herself from total ruin. It means lying to her family, deceiving Lord John, and defying the Queen.
It’s the game Mary was born to play...if she dares.
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