Lord Tabor doesn’t mind playing the Arranged Marriage card to save his lands–until he’s enchanted by the beautiful Gypsy-slave-turned-dancer, Sharai, who’s astute enough to realize that life in a nunnery would be safer than being his mistress. Tabor navigates the political tightrope preceding the War of the Roses to save their love.
Sold as a slave in Romania for seven pounds and three solidi, the Gypsy girl, Sharai, escapes a slave ship infected with the plague. As an adult, she performs her silky, exotic dances to earn enough to sustain herself and the toddling orphan girl she adopted. She yearns for relief from the grinding poverty, and a secure home. Having been violated by a nobleman posing as her hero, she wants naught of any other man of title, and also scorns the dubious Gypsy king who pursues her. In a tent at the bustling autumn fair in Winchester, she meets the dashing Lord Tabor, and her resolve to avoid all noblemen softens.
Though possessed of a stately castle with prosperous lands, the English knight,Tabor, teeters on the brink of losing all his holdings. A powerful noble has attacked Tabor’s castle, determined to seize his lands. Tabor seeks revenge for his older brother’s murder, but England’s throne is held by an infant king and his feuding uncles. The realm is paralyzed with uncertainty and lawlessness, and the crown has abandoned him.
Then a stroke of good fortune helps Tabor, a sizeable dowry that can save his holdings. He need only wed an earl’s daughter, the regal Lady Emilyne. But he has already fallen in love with Sharai, and they are locked in a powerful dance of desire.
|| “This adventurous and chivalrous story succeeds on many levels. An emotionally satisfying tale.” –Romantic Times
|| “Tabor’s Trinket” has made Janet Lane one of my favorite authors. I loved the book! If you’re looking for wonderful story-telling, unforgettable characters, and a marvelous sense of time and place, you must read Janet Lane.” –Maggie Osborne, RITA-award-winning author
|| “Fans of medieval romance will be thrilled with the tightly written plot. It is a story of love in the face of prejudice and misunderstanding, set in a time wrought with intrigue and political machinations. Ms. Lane’s debut novel grips the reader from the first page to the last, and Lord Tabor is a wonderful hero. A knight who reads books of romance is sure to steal any heart. This is a thoroughly enjoyable story in which to lose one’s cares. Go ye forth and seek out Tabor’s Trinket, it far surpasses being a bauble. Indeed, ‘twould more likely be called a small treasure. –loveromance.com
|| “Debut novelist Janet Lane pens a descriptive story set in a period of great political unrest when a man of honor is hard to find. This is a romance, so we know there will be a great conclusion. It’s the fun of finding out how that makes Tabor’s Trinket intriguing. Pick up this title and enjoy the read.” –Romance Reviews Today
Author’s Note by Janet Lane
The Coin Forest Series begins in 15th century England during the so-called Gypsy Honeymoon period and flows into the War of the Roses.
Over the centuries, Gypsies (Romani) have been romanticized, feared, tortured, and expelled.
Yet these nomadic people for a brief time enjoyed a social honeymoon in Europe. In a time span of several decades, royalty, the church, and nobles in many countries not only welcomed the Gypsies but also willingly financed their journeys through their lands.
Records of their travels suggest that India is their land of origin, but these nomadic people more often claimed Egypt as their homeland. During their exodus through western Europe, the clever Gypsies ascertained that nobility had its privileges. Always adaptable, they assumed titles such as “Count” and “Duke.” Harnessing the popularity of pilgrimages, their story evolved: they claimed to be of noble blood, ejected from their lands in Little Egypt. They traveled on a pilgrimage of penitence by order of the pope himself, who directed them to roam the earth for seven years without sleeping in a bed.
Dark-skinned and handsome, riding choice steeds and dressed in exotic clothes, the Gypsies dazzled peasants and royalty alike. Gypsies gained papers ensuring safe conduct from such dignitaries as King James IV of Scotland and Sigismund, Holy Roman Emperor (1411–37) and King of Hungary (1387–1437).
While the first written evidence of Gypsies in the British Isles is dated April, 1505, it’s probable that the Gypsies arrived at an earlier time. Official documents exist, along with stories which tell of Gypsies arriving in Paris in 1427, last seen heading toward England, likely enticed by the rich, powerful country that seemed to be finally winning the Hundred Years War.
During this time Gypsies were sold and traded, along with their bears and monkeys, in Bulgaria and Wallachia, and shipped to southern France. Thirteenth-century records reveal that a young Gypsy girl was sold in Marseilles for nine pounds and fifteen solidi.
Tens of thousands of Gypsies were confined in slavery, and yet, with the right clothes and a convincing story, they could become noble pilgrims, receiving respect and sustenance during their travels. One would be hard put to imagine better incentive to escape.
It is in this atmosphere of early social honeymoon that my fictional heroine, Sharai, appears in Tabor’s Trinket. She was shipped as a slave from Wallachia to Marseilles, fled France and ferried to England with a small band of fellow Gypsies, seeking freedom from slavery and a new beginning.