Destiny Lies Waiting and its sequel Thy Name is Love take place in Richard III’s England and center on silver-haired Denys Woodville and Sir Valentine Starbury, Duke of Norwich.
Denys does not know who she is. She was adopted as an infant by Elizabeth “Bess” Woodville, now queen and married to Edward IV. Denys makes numerous attempts to uncover her true lineage, but each effort meets an abrupt and tragic dead end. Bess Woodville is behind this, she knows it — but she cannot prove it. And she refuses to give up her quest, no matter who tries to stop her.
Bess is the driving force behind the conniving and calculating Woodville family. She treats Denys with harsh cruelty throughout her life. Bess metes out Denys’s ultimate degradation when she marries her off to the haughty and ambitious Valentine Starbury. Denys despises Valentine, despite his princely looks, vast holdings and striking performances on battlefield and tiltyard. His warrior skills are second only to Richard’s, the most gifted soldier in the kingdom. He is also Richard’s dearest and lifelong friend, their fathers having died together in battle.
A nagging force tugs at Denys’s heart as her feelings for Valentine slowly strengthen and bloom into love. It is her fear of his naked ambition to place Richard on the throne. Denys believes that he is exhorting Richard solely for his own gain. This conflict builds throughout the story. It resolves in the end when King Henry VII tests Valentine with the choice of joining court as a supporter or death as a traitor. Valentine freely gives himself up, and an impressed Henry lets him go.
Valentine wants Denys to find her family as badly as she does. In digging through his early memory and long-buried archives, he eventually uncovers a lead which she follows to her true family. Not until the day of the battle in which Henry Tudor kills Richard does she find out who her family is. This revelation sends her into a stunned shock surpassed even by the devastating news of Richard’s sudden death.
Woven throughout the book is a subplot involving Christopher Columbus. It was during this period that he appealed unsuccessfully to the king of Portugal for financial backing. Since Columbus visited England at this time, I have intertwined his stubborn, persistent nature and passionate quest for adventure with the characters’ lives. This adds to the romantic tension and creates additional conflict between the protagonists.
In the end, Denys pays a visit to Richard’s last living relatives. His nephew Edward of Warwick and two young daughters are cruelly imprisoned in the Tower of London. She wonders what life under Tudor rule will hold when these little girls come of age...