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Tour: The King’s Inquisitor (Stuart Monarch, #2) by Tonya Ulynn Brown

Book details:

Book Title: The King’s Inquisitor

Series: Stuart Monarch Series

Author: Tonya Ulynn Brown

Publication Date:July 1, 2022

Publisher:Late November Literary

Page Length:369

@Archaeolibrary, @maryanneyarde, @MrsBrownee2U, #CoffeePotBookClub, #BlogTour,

#HistoricalFiction, #HistoricalRomance,

The queen of Scotland is dead. Her almoner’s son, William Broune, has fulfilled his father’s wish that he should serve the king, James VI, at court. William finds himself caught between loyalty to the king or loyalty to his conscience. As William is forced to serve as the king’s inquisitor in the North Berwick witch trials, he must make a decision. Will he do what the king asks, and earn the wife, title, and prestige he has always desired, or will he let a bold Scottish lass influence him to follow his heart and do the right thing? If William doesn’t make the right choice, he may be among the accused.

Trigger warnings: Some violent imagery.

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It took only a minute or two to change my clothes, and I was soon on my way back to the gathering. However, a slight lifting of the hair on the back of my neck indicated to me that I was not alone in the hallway. I turned and looked over my shoulder just in time to see Francis Stewart, the Earl of Bothwell, stepping out into the dim light. Candlelight bathed his face in a warm glow, but there was nothing warm about his company. I stiffened at the sight of him and resumed my walk toward the hall.

“William Broune, just the man I wanted to see.” He caught up to me and matched his stride with mine, keeping pace with my quickened steps.

“Bothwell, what are you doing here? I’m sure you did not receive an invitation to the queen’s birthday celebration.”

“Ah, is that what is going on? And here I thought perhaps it was a welcome home party for me. I’ve been abroad, you know.”

I didn’t bother to answer him. His company was about as welcome as a burr in one’s shoe. Only, the burr could be removed and discarded. We could never seem to rid ourselves of the earl completely.

I sighed. “What do you want?”

He chuckled, scratching his chin. “Such a friendly greeting from an old friend. I’m touched.”

I stopped abruptly and turned to him. He took two steps further before he realized I had paused. “I would hardly call you an old friend. I don’t make a habit of befriending men who make sport of kidnapping our king and terrorizing the nobility.”

A grin crept up his face, but the look in his menacing eyes was anything but jovial. “Aren’t we the sycophant. You are no more noble than the Holyroodhouse maid your father married.”

I drew my clenched fist back. I didn’t like to fight but speaking of my dead mother was too much. He flinched but smiled again when he realized I hesitated. He was an earl after all, and I merely a servant of the crown.

“You’ve gone too far.”

“Oh, come now, William. You know I meant no offence. I’m merely pointing out that you are not nobility and therefore shouldn’t be troubled when one of the noble class is ruffled. I know I’m not bothered, and I’m as noble as they come.” He inspected the nails on his upturned hand, and I started walking again.

When I didn’t speak, he hastened his pace to catch up. “I was hoping to speak to you about a business proposition. Then again, perhaps you are too busy with the witch trials.”

I ignored him. It unnerved me how much this man always knew about the king’s business. Besides, I was too busy. There had been many more arrests and another interrogation awaited me tomorrow with Doctor Fian. But I wasn’t about to tell him that.

“It is a chance to make a lot of money, and I thought perhaps you would be just the person to assist me.”

“Not interested.”

“But there may be a wench or two in the kitty as well.”

“Still not interested.”

He reached out and grabbed my arm, stalling me once more. “Since when is William Broune not interested in a good roll in the hay and a chance to make some loot?”

“Since I am actively pursuing Lady Beatrix Ruthven, and I have no desire to attach myself to the likes of you.” I jerked my arm from his hand which still held fast to my coat.

“Lady Beatrix? Ah, but she is a fine, fine prize.” His voice turned husky, and he cocked his head.

“Yes, a marriage to her will certainly enhance your prospects. But this is money in your pocket, man. Immediate money. And there’s no need for her to know about the wenches.” He lifted and dropped both eyebrows in one swift motion, and I caught a glimpse of how persuasive he was capable of being.

“I’ll go into business with you when hell freezes over.” I was just inches from his face, close enough to smell the whisky that clung to his breath. I tapped the side of his face playfully, then resumed my walk. He did not follow.

“I can barely resist your sweet talk, Broune,” he called as I continued walking. “But when you realize that you need a little capital, and your new bride is suffering from a headache again, as all new brides do, come find me. I’ll be more than happy to accommodate you.”

“I suggest you make yourself scarce, Bothwell.” I called over my shoulder. “If His Majesty were to find you here, you may not escape as easily as you did at your last trial.”

Tonya Ulynn Brown is an elementary school teacher. She holds a Master’s degree in Teaching and uses her love of history and reading to encourage the same love in her students. Tonya finds inspiration in the historical figures she has studied and in the places she has traveled. Her interest in medieval and early modern British history influences her writing. She resides in rural southeastern Ohio, USA with her husband, Stephen, two boys, Garren and Gabriel, and a very naughty Springer Spaniel.


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Tour hosted by: The Coffee Pot Book Club

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