I was privileged to get an advance copy of this, the sequel to A Love Most Dangerous. I have enjoyed reading many of the author’s books but to me his best work thus far has been the two on the life of Alice Petherton, the marvelously created favorite mistress of King Henry VIII of England. In the world of coincidences, a Facebook group that I belong to posed the question of which fictional character you have read comes most to life for you? I read a lot of historical fiction and have met many great fictional characters, Fronto from SJA Turney’s Marius Mules series, Blaise de Garsenc from A Song for Arbonne by Guy Gavriel Kay, etc and I now include Alice. Martin Lake’s portrayal of a woman caught in the machinations of Henry’s court and who survives that tortuous road is brilliantly done; so much so that for me she lives and breathes in my mind even after I finished the book. That is not to say his other characters are second class, on the contrary, his Henry, Thomas Cromwell and the others make this book a very special read. I had 5 stars in mind after the first couple of chapters and that thought never wavered throughout. I am hoping that Martin Lake has room in his pen and/or keyboard for more of her story.