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Servant of the Crown
Alison Quinn, Countess of Waxwold, never expected to leave her bookish life to serve in the court of the Queen of Tremontane. She certainly didn't expect to be swept off her feet by the Queen's brother, Prince Anthony. But when disaster tears them apart, Alison leaves court, only to be summoned back, this time to serve as Royal Librarian. When political turmoil threatens her beloved Library, Alison must find a way to save it--and find true love again.
McShane’s first novel set in the country of Tremontane, which somewhat resembles Regency-era England, reveals one woman’s struggles to balance forgiveness and self-respect. Alison Quinn, Countess of Waxwold, works with her father at his publishing company until she is summoned to be a lady-in-waiting to Queen Zara, the Dowager Consort, in the city of Aurilien. When the queen’s brother, Anthony North, very publicly insults Alison and she rebukes him, they are forced to spend time with each other to keep up appearances. As Alison begins to see the sensitive man behind Anthony’s carefree facade, she starts to fall in love with him and to trust in the validity of their relationship. But when disaster strikes, and she returns home only to be summoned back to the palace, Alison must decide whether she is willing and able to take a risk for the possibility of future happiness. Strong female characterizations underscore the appeal of this novel; Queen Zara is more than just a figurehead, and Alison staunchly refuses to settle for less than both love and a successful career. (BookLife)