by Jane Feather

February 2003
ISBN: 0-553-53808-5
Reviewer Graphic Button Bantam Books
Mass Market Paperback

Kissed by Shadows is a novel full of intrigue. Lady Pippa Nielson has been betrayed. She believes that her husband is having an affair, but the truth is much more troubling, with danger tracking her every step. Caught up in the web of lies that surround the court of Queen Mary Tudor, she is being used as a pawn by the Spanish contingent, who are eager to cement their foothold in England.

Sir Lionel Ashton has been a part of the plot from the beginning. Why is he offering solace to the young noblewoman? Pippa is as determined to uncover the truth, as Lionel is to keep it revealed. Keeping a close eye on the young bride is the best way to insure that she remains ignorant. Lionel does not expect to feel such strong emotions toward Pippa. His mission is clear and he has no time for distractions.

The author does a fine job of giving us just the right amount of historical information. It is never overpowering, but is critical for the background of the story. Readers who are unfamiliar with the plots that surrounded Mary and Elizabeth Tudor will need this information to understand what is going on. The themes that play out in this novel are dark, but times were troubled. Women were often used as political pawns, with no thought to their welfare.

While this book is well-written and has an excellent plot, it is even stronger when prefaced by the companion novel, To Kiss a Spy.

Reviewed in February 2003 by Paula.

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