By Royal Decree (Secrets of the Tudor Court #3) by Kate Emerson:
AS TEMPESTUOUS AS THE TUDOR MONARCHS THEMSELVES, THE SECRETS OF THE TUDOR COURT SERIES HAS BEEN CALLED “RIVETING” (“BOOKLIST”) AND “WELL DRAWN” (“PUBLISHERS WEEKLY”).
Charming. Desirable. Forbidden. Brought to court with other eligible young noblewomen by the decree of King Henry VIII, lovely Elizabeth “Bess” Brooke realizes for the first time that beauty can be hazardous. Although Bess has no desire to wed the aging king, she and her family would have little choice if Henry’s eye were to fall on her. And other dangers exist as well, for Bess has caught the interest of dashing courtier Will Parr. Bess finds Will’s kisses as sweet as honey, but marriage between them may be impossible. Will is a divorced man, and remarriage is still prohibited. Bess and Will must hope that the king can be persuaded to issue a royal decree allowing Will to marry again . . . but to achieve their goal, the lovers will need royal favor. Amid the swirling alliances of royalty and nobles, Bess and Will perform a dangerous dance of palace intrigue and pulse-pounding passions.
Brought to glowing life by the talented Kate Emerson, and seen through the eyes of a beautiful young noblewoman, “By Royal Decree “illuminates the lives of beautiful young courtiers in and out of the rich and compelling drama of the Tudor court.
Another wonderful installment of the Tudor court books by Kate Emerson. I am behind on my reviews (life gets in the way sometimes) but I really did enjoy this book. Bess is an interesting character and one that I felt a connection with. She is a woman who wants something, but can’t have it due to the stubborn will of the aging and unstable King Henry.
I have always enjoyed spending time in the world of the Tudor court and Kate Emerson has a way of writing it out in such a way that you feel a connection with the time. You can visually see the castle and the colors and everything that goes along with the Royal court. With all of that said the reason this one gets a 4 rating instead of a 5 is because sometimes the facts did not match up with Bess the real person but most of them did. The only other down swing is a few things did seem to get long winded so there were parts that dragged a little. So the long and short of it a solid installment in the series a good read if not the best of them.
My Gemstone Rating:
The Queen’s Mistake (In The Court of Henry VIII #2) by Diane Haeger :
From the author of The Secret Bride, the tragic tale of the fifth wife of Henry VIII?
When the young and beautiful Catherine Howard becomes the fifth wife of the fifty-year-old King Henry VIII, she seems to be on top of the world. Yet her reign is destined to be brief and heartbreaking, as she is forced to do battle with enemies far more powerful and calculating than she could have ever anticipated in a court where one wrong move could mean her undoing. Wanting only love, Catherine is compelled to deny her heart?s desire in favor of her family?s ambition. But in so doing, she unwittingly gives those who sought to bring her down a most effective weapon?her own romantic past.
The Queen?s Mistake is the tragic tale of one passionate and idealistic woman who struggles to negotiate the intrigue of the court and the yearnings of her heart.
Sometimes I read books out of order if they can be stand alone, or I post the reviews out of order. Such is the case I noticed with these two in the Tudor court series. Though it doesn’t really matter because while all in the same court these books are very different.
Katherine Howard is always portrayed as a frivolous little chit who ended up losing her head for being that way. This book manages to give her a little more depth and show things more from her perspective. She was never raised to deal with the dangers of a court like King Henry’s and she while not empty headed was not the brightest girl. Was that really a reason to have her head cut off? I don’t think so.
In this I also liked the way that the relationship with Culpepper was shown, instead of confirming that they actually slept together like a lot of other sources have (the Tudors) they do not in this. Yes they spend time together, even kiss a little she does love him deeply but she did not cheat on Henry once they were married in the physical sense. This was a good read and a different look at one of the lesser known Queens at Henry’s court.
My Gemstone Rating:
From the author of The Queen’s Mistake comes the untold story of King Henry VIII’s first well-known mistress.
As the beautiful daughter of courtiers, Elizabeth “Bessie” Blount is overjoyed when she secures a position as maid of honor to Katherine of Aragon. But when she captures the attention of the king himself, there are whispers that the queen ought to be worried for her throne.
When Bess gives birth to a healthy son the whispers become a roar. But soon the infamous Boleyn girls come to court and Henry’s love for her begins to fade. Now, Bess must turn to her trusted friend, the illegitimate son of Cardinal Wolsey, to help her move beyond life as the queen’s rival..
Anyone who knows even a small amount about the Tudor court has heard of Bess Blount and her Son to the King Henry Fitzroy, but do you know the whole story? In almost every Tudor era book I Have read they start with the Anne Boleyn era and graze over Bess Blount, so I was so excited to finally have a book that told more of her story. Yes it is fiction but oh it is so good.
Diane Haeger brings Bess to life as a vibrant fresh faced girl who truly loved the King, not just because he was the King but for the man that he was. It shows that unlike many who shared the King’s bed she did not think about what it would get her but how she loved him. More then that it shows the love that Gil had for her, even while she loved the King. This is a true story of love and desire and how it can change and grow over the years. I love the way the characters have been painted in this book. Flawed humans who are doing the best that they can through the situations they have been given. Henry in this book seems to know how flawed he is, that he uses those women in his life and how he has to harden his heart at times. The hard lines we have come to know Henry VIII for are softened some when you look at him through the loving eyes of Bess, even after he breaks her heart and takes their Son to court.
The way that Diane Haeger brings this court to life is quickly becoming one of my favorite to read. If you want to jump into the life of Tudor court through the eyes of a calm, gentle loving country girl like Bess this is going to be one for you. We may know the basics of the story but after reading this (fiction or not) I truly feel connected and as if I now know Bess better.
My Gemstone Rating: