Set in a period of great social unrest, this novel explores the various rivalries acted out between Royalist and Parliamentarian factions in 17th Century Britain. The real-life historical figure of Elizabeth Murray serves as the novels central protagonist; Countess Dysart and Duchess of Lauderdale, she inhabited Ham House, a Jacobean mansion built on the River Thames at Petersham. Throughout the reigns of Charles I, Charles II, James II, William and Mary, she became deeply embroiled in the politics of the Civil War. Wielding a great deal of influence due to her elevated position, and partaking in her fair share of adventure, she found herself right at the heart of the action. It is into this, which we are thrust, as Anita Seymour takes us on a breathtaking ride through the landscape of a divided England.

Historical with romantic elements

Heat Level 1.5

Review Rating: 5 Stars


I don’t read many books based on real-life historical characters, and was pleasantly surprised at how ROYALIST REBEL kept me turning the pages eagerly until the very last sentence. Anita Seymour makes an excellent job of bringing to life Elizabeth Dysart’s dangerous life as the daughter of Royalists. Elizabeth’s extraordinary parents acted as spies to bring about the return of Charles I to the throne during the English Civil Wars. Families who were loyal to the crown had much to fear from Cromwell and his followers.  Times became hard and cruel as Elizabeth Dysart’s life changes from one of luxury and privilege to difficulty and despair when she’s in danger of losing everything. But Elizabeth is up for the challenge, a wily heroine not without flaws, but I admired her and was caught up in her story, finding it at times thrilling and at times heartrending, as she deals with what life throws at her with immense courage and intelligence.

Well done, Anita Seymour, for so skillfully recounting Elizabeth’s long life during one of the most tumultuous periods in Britain’s history, and as Duchess of Lauderdale after her arranged marriage, when she has little power, plots and plans to keep her beloved home, Ham House, a Jacobean mansion built on the River Thames at Petersham.

Seymour has converted me to reading more stories about actual historical figures. I wait with anticipation to her next release.

Maggi Andersen is a writer of historical romance and romantic suspense. Her latest release is the first in Spies of Mayfair Series: A Baron in Her Bed.


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