Who better to steal a heart for Christmas than a thief? In this e-short story and prequel to Maid of Secrets, an actress plays matchmaker for two young lovers.
It's December 1558 in England and a new Queen is about to be crowned, but thief and amateur actress Meg Fellowes and her Golden Rose acting troupe are focused on survival, not politics. In between performances of their newest play in the bustling town of Leeds, the troupe is picking the pockets of rich lords and ladies in preparation for their own ragtag Christmas.
At the end of each long day's haul, the troupe's spoils are divided up, with the useless bits cast aside. But on this particularly cold winter's night, Meg notices two curious, sealed letters in the discard pile. Together with her roguish troupe master, Meg opens them and discovers they are love letters—never sent—between a merchant's son and a landowner's daughter, who do not know of their shared affection.
Meg resolves to give the two would-be sweethearts their most hoped-for Christmas wish by returning the letters to the pockets of the intended recipients, not the senders. Can Meg master the role of matchmaker in time for Christmas, or will the young lovers be forced to spend another holiday—and perhaps the rest of their lives—apart?
Beatrice Knowles is a Maid of Honor, one of Queen Elizabeth I's secret protectors. Known for her uncanny ability to manipulate men's hearts, Beatrice has proven herself to be a valuable asset in the Queen's court—or so she thinks. It has been three weeks since the Maids thwarted a plot to overthrow the Queen, and Beatrice is preparing to wed her betrothed, Lord Cavanaugh. However, her plans come to a crashing halt as rumors of a brewing Scottish rebellion spread among the court.
Beatrice's new assignment is to infiltrate the visiting Scottish delegation using her subtle arts in persuasion. The mission seems simple enough, until the Queen pairs Beatrice with the worst of the lot—Alasdair MacLeod. Beatrice cannot help but think that the Queen is purposefully setting her up for failure. But Alasdair could be the key to unlocking the truth about the rebellion….and her own heart. Caught in a web of ever-more-twisting lies, Beatrice must rise up among the Maids of Honor and prove what she's known all along: In a court filled with deception and danger, love may be the deadliest weapon of all.
"Death comes to Windsor."
Sophia Dee, the most unusual spy of Queen Elizabeth's Maids of Honor, has run out of time for her psychic skills to fully manifest. A terrible new prophecy now haunts Windsor Castle, and the Queen demands answers before the next doomed soul dies.
Thrust into a dangerous and horrifying competition to solve the deadly prediction, Sophia finds herself pitted against the most celebrated mystics of Europe: John Dee, her devious uncle and the Queen's personal astrologer. . . and Nostradamus, the renowned prophet-seer of France.
In a court where whispers of witchcraft, poisonous plots, and grim assassins threaten her at every turn, Sophia needs answers fast. But does she dare trust Marcus Quinn, her uncle's striking and over-ambitious assistant? Or, instead, should she turn to the tortured dark angel of the spirit realm, who whispers to her only of sorrow and death?
As new dangers surface and dire prophecy sweeps toward its final victim, the five Maids of Honor prepare to do battle. Only then will the girl who so often sees the future finally discover if she can save the Crown—and herself.
I enjoyed reading all of these so much! It was so great to see Meg before she became a Maid of Honor, and then it was Beatrice and Sophie's stories! I enjoyed reading them so much! Such great books!
The fact that we got Beatrice's, and then Sophie's side of things, and their stories, was just awesome! We only got to see what Meg thought of them, and other's thoughts on you are different then what you think of yourself!
Oh, the romance! That added some complicated flavours to the books! I enjoyed all the flirtations, and the back and forths, and how they found some happy endings in the space of their stories! It was just so cute and wonderful! I loved the names of Sophie's suitor-esque guys, Marcus, and spoiler!
And the endings, oh! Such great endings, just like the end for Maid of Honor, but their own, you know? They are part of a series, but it's looking like at least most of the 5 girls are going to get their own stories, which is so great!
Favourite lines from A Thief Before Christmas: "Just a moment? That would be a pretty brief expression." Agreed!
I just really enjoyed reading these books so much-they were so great!
Author: Jennifer McGowan
Series: Maid of Honor #0.5, 2, 3
Read: July 7th, 10th, 10th, 2015
Source: Tuebl, Edelweiss
Reason Why: Enjoyed the first book, and they're Historical Fiction 2015 Books and Prequel & Sequel Challenge 2015 Books, and Maid of Deception and Maid of Wonder are WoW Books!
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Published: December 10th 2013, August 26th 2014
Expected Publication: August 25th 2015
A Thief Before Christmas:
Maid of Deception:
Maid of Wonder: