'Geoffrey the Handsome is the virile and charming Duke of Normandy, who seduces Queen Eleanor of France to spy for him. Said to be the most beautiful woman in Europe, and very rich, Eleanor has not been able to give birth to an heir for France. Her liaison with Geoffrey could remedy that – or lead to her downfall and Geoffrey’s death. But what begins with cool calculation becomes a passionate affair. Despite his love for Eleanor, Geoffrey has larger plans: to help his warrior son, Henry, seize the English throne from the uncle who usurped it from its rightful heir, Henry’s mother. When Henry is forced to intervene to save the lives of his father and Eleanor, he falls foul of the French queen – and madly in love with her Byzantine maid. Should he become King of England, however, this dazzling foreign girl will never be acceptable as his queen.
These two relationships – both forbidden, both perilous – are at the centre of a tale of consuming ambition, family vengeance and political intrigue set in the glorious flowering of troubadour culture, mysticism and learning that is 12th-century France.' (Source: Boomerang Books website)
'It is 1154 and Henry Plantagenet avenges his family honour by taking back the English throne from Stephen the Usurper. The kingdom he inherits is impoverished, lawless and broken by years of civil war. By his side is the beautiful, wealthy and indomitable Eleanor of Aquitaine. Combining forces, this golden couple use their charisma and shrewd diplomacy to crush rebellious barons and restore England's prestige and glory.
'However, an equally ambitious financial magician is needed to restore the royal treasury. Opportunistic Thomas Becket answers the call, using his appointment of Chancellor to fill not only the King's coffers but also his own. In a dance of ambition, vengeance and forbidden passions, Henry, his Queen and the Chancellor fight for political power and control against forces seen and imagined, each with their own agenda, each determined to hide their own shameful secrets.' (Publication summary)
'The third book in the compelling Birth of the Plantagenets series follows the battle for dominance between Church and Crown. England's Archbishop of Canterbury is dying and with him the power of the Church. Seizing his chance, King Henry II sets out to enforce the rule of law that he has painstakingly established to bring violent, corrupt and criminal clergy before his courts. The ever-scheming courtier, Thomas Becket, uses his mastery of deceit, sycophancy and wit to undermine the monarch and the Plantagenet dynasty. Should Becket be elected as the next Archbishop of Canterbury, to the fury of Queen Eleanor and Empress Matilda, he will be one step closer to being applauded as England's strongman. A story of ambition, jealousy, rebellion and downfall, The Lions' Torment follows Henry, Eleanor and Becket in an era of political flux, betrayal, and vengeance that leads to one of the most scandalous and tragic murders in history.' (Publication summary)
'England, 1171. Thomas Becket is dead, beheaded at the altar of Canterbury Cathedral. As news of his assassination spreads across the country and into Europe, Henry's reputation as a just and mighty king begins to disintegrate.
'Eleanor, no longer loyal, nor in awe of her husband, instigates the revolt she has craved for years-with Henry's three eldest sons as her allies against their father. Yearning to dethrone him and to gain power and liberty for herself, she beings to stir trouble at court.
'But when Henry discovers the plot, will Eleanor be strong enough to withstand his outrage? The punishment for treason is death. And what of the empire they have built together-can it survive when the royal family are at each other's throats?
'The fourth book in the illustrious Birth of the Plantagenets series delves into the feud between the spouses Eleanor of Aquitaine and Henry II, painting the portrait of an empire steeped in conflict, treachery, and wild gambling for power.' (Publication summary)