Friday, October 26, 2012

Book Review: THE KING'S DAMSEL by Kate Emerson

“The King’s Damsel” makes reading about the pious princess Mary Tudor a real treat. Normally I am not too fond of the disowned princess Mary but I think this novel really changed my prospective of Mary. I love that Kate always manages to out does herself because she took a very hard to love historical figure and showed just how innocent she really was in her parents fighting. This novel just made me see how young she was and especially brought to light that Anne Boleyn could be so cruel to even to an innocent child. Mary’s only fault in life was the travesty of who her mother was.

Thomasine Lodge rapidly became a very wealthy heiress when her brother and father passed away suddenly. With the men in her life gone Thomasine was left with her stepmother and a substantially large inheritance. Her official “ward ship” was bought by a man she had never met…Sir Lionel Daggett. Sold by the only person who had the right to, the King had sold her one year before she had reached her majority. There was nothing Thomasine or her stepmother could do the deed was done and worse by the king. Sir Lionel had made arrangements for her to be placed in the Princess Mary Tudor’s household as a lady in waiting. Nasty Sir Lionel had more sinister plans for Thomasine and he needed her to try and help him advance at court.

When Thomasine’s arrived at princess Mary’s household she at first struggled with her new position as a lady in waiting. But after a time she developed a true bond with the Princess. They shared a deep real friendship that even Anne Boleyn could not even break.

It was out of love for the Princess Mary that Thomasine made the drastic choice of going to Anne Boleyn’s household as a spy for the Princess Mary. The plan worked and with the help of the very handsome silk merchant’s son Thomasine was able to warn the princess of the events that were unfolding between her parents and Anne Boleyn. Thomasine’s loyalty never waivered from princess Mary because she was a true friend and always would be. Anne Boleyn really tried to trip her up at later times but it did not work. Thomasine managed to catch the eye of the King and Henry always got what her wanted especially when it came to women.

Thomasine became King Henry’s mistress to help further Mary’s plight but she also incurred the famous wrath of that witch Anne Boleyn. The walls began to close in on Thomasine and she set out to do what she should have done a long time ago. It was time to get her inheritance. She needed help to do it and had no one to turn to but where there is a will there is a way and it was Thomasine’s destiny to fight this battle against anyone who stood in her way.

5/5 I enjoyed this one so much more that some of the other novels in this series. I really enjoyed that this time around Kate’s main character is a made up one that is surrounded by real historical characters. Typically Kate dose not do that but I enjoy that she chose to do something different this time around, it really work out good for the reader.
  • FTC- This novel was sent to me by the publisher for review 
  • PG-13 Rating mild sexual reference

Monday, October 22, 2012

Mailbox Monday

Royal Romances by Leslie Carroll 11.6.2012

"More breathtaking than any fairy tale, here are seven scandalous, seductive centuries of all-for-love royal desire . . .

Elegant palaces, dazzling power plays, shimmering jewels, and the grandest of all-or-nothing gambles—nothing can top real-life love among the royalty. Louis XIV defied God and law, permitting his married mistress Madame de Montespan to usurp the role of Queen of France, then secretly wed her successor, Madame de Maintenon. Grigory Potemkin was a worthy equal in Catherine the Great’s bed as well as in Russia’s political arena. Dashing Count Axel von Fersen risked everything to save Marie Antoinette’s life more than once—and may have returned her passion. The unshakable devotion of the beloved late “Queen Mum” helped King George VI triumph over his, and England’s, darkest hours. And the unpretentious, timelessly glamorous—even relatable—union of Prince William and the former Kate Middleton continues to enthrall the world.

Full of marvelous tales, unforgettable scandals, and bedazzled nobles who refused to rule their hearts, this delightfully insightful book is what the sweetest royal dreams are made of..."

The Borgias by Jean Plaidy

For the first time in one volume, Jean Plaidy’s duet of Borgia novels brings to life the infamous, reckless, and passionate family in an unforgettable historical saga.

Madonna of the Seven Hills:

Fifteenth-century Rome: the Borgia family is on the rise. Lucrezia’s father is named Pope Alexander VI, and he places his daughter and her brothers Cesare, Giovanni, and Goffredo in the jeweled splendor—and scandal—of his court. From the Pope’s affairs with adolescent girls, to Cesare’s dangerous jealousy of anyone who inspires Lucrezia’s affections, to the ominous birth of a child conceived in secret, no Borgia can elude infamy.

Light on Lucrezia:

Some said she was an elegant seductress. Others swore she was an incestuous murderess. She was the most dangerous and sought after woman in all of Rome. Lucrezia Borgia’s young life has been colored by violence and betrayal. Now, married for the second time at just eighteen she hopes for happiness with her handsome husband Alfonso. But faced with brutal murder, she's soon torn between her love for her husband and her devotion to her brother Cesare… And in the days when the Borgias ruled Italy, no one was safe from the long arm of their power. Not even Lucrezia.
Dictionary of the Word Origins A History of the Words, Expressions, and Cliches We Use, Jordan Almond

"Answering the age-old question, "Why do we say it?" this handy dictionary gives the intriguing origins of hundreds of everyday words and expressions.

Useful for reference and fun just for browsing, Dictionary of Word Origins is also a great way to expand vocabulary and enjoy doing it".

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Book Review: LADY OF THE RIVERS by Philippa Gregory

Book number three in the cousin’s war series “The Lady of the Rivers” is mother to “The White Queen”. PG has completely made up for the previous novel in the series “The Red Queen”. To be fair though I have to give her some credit for writing a novel about Margaret Beaufort because she is not exactly as likeable character during the war of the roses. The lady of the rivers is now a new favorite of mine but I am beginning to think none of her novels will ever topple “The Queen’s Fool” from its high-ranking pedestal because it is after all my favorite novel of hers. But on the other hand I am waiting for the next book in the series to arrive “The Kingmaker’s Daughter” to arrive in the mail. Who knows what Gregory has up her sleeve for the future of this series. I will continue to enjoy the benefits of her hard work cousins’ series or not.

Jacquetta, the Duchess of Bedford was a figurehead in the war of the Roses. Her daughter Elizabeth Woodville would become King Edward IV’s queen and we all know how quickly fortunes wheel turned on Elizabeth but what about her mother? In a war between cousins’ that spanned generations. Jacquetta was at the center from the very beginning. Married at what we today would deem a young age Jacquetta married the very much older uncle to the king of England. The Duke of Bedford was the English regent in France. To the powerful Duke Jacquetta was a tool that he planned on using for his benefit. It had been said that since her family had originated from the line of the water goddess Melusina. The women of the family were especially gifted when it came to the gift of sight. The Duke would awaken the sight with in Jacquetta and also introduce her to the dashing Sir Richard Woodville. Richard was the Dukes right hand man. The duke knew he was not long for this life and when he passed. Jacquetta and Richard married in secret. It was a true love match and the newlyweds went back to England to face the possible wrath of the young King Henry VI. They made it through and even found favor with the young king and when it came time for him to marry it was Jacquetta he called upon to befriend her distant relation and future Queen Margaret of Anjou.

Jacquetta became very close with the bratty queen Margaret and with her constantly stirring up problems with the nobles it was no wonder Jacquetta could feel the tension mounting to something horrific. She finds herself worrying about what the future holds because the constant shifting of power never stops. I have to admit that Philippa Gregory has given the greatest spin EVER on why and how King Henry VI because so suddenly ill. Gregory really blew me away this time and it made for excellent reading.

With an ailing King and a vengeful foreign-born Queen, England was in trouble and depending on your point of view Richard Duke of York was either a troublemaker or had legitimate issues with the king and queen but mostly it was the queen. The rift between the two house of Lancaster and York more volatile than it had ever been in the history of England. Jaquetta and Richard would defend their king and queen to the very end if need be. The couple had found that Margaret was leading them down a dark path of revenge. She would stay true to her allegiance but if Margaret kept on behaving like a spoilt brat the future of Jacquetta’s children could be put into jeopardy. She could never let that happen. Choices would have to be made and when it came time for sacrifices her family is what mattered the most.

5/5 I loved this novel. It is by far my favorite in the series. Once again I will say of course it is not 100% accurate nothing PG writes is. But I guess that is why they call it historical fiction and not non-fiction. Nonetheless I loved this read and I cannot wait for “The Kingmaker’s Daughter” to show up in the mail. I cannot wait to dig into that one and see what the future holds for Jacquetta and Richard. This is a historical fiction must read if you are not a stickler for complete historical accuracy.

  • FTC-This novel was sent to me by the publisher for review.
  • PG-13 For mild violence


Monday, October 01, 2012

Mailbox Monday

Rival to the Queen, Carolly Erickson

"From the New York Times bestselling author of The Last Wife of Henry VIII comes a novel about the bitter rivalry between Queen Elizabeth I and her fascinating cousin, Lettice Knollys, for the love of one extraordinary man.

Powerful, dramatic and full of the rich history that has made Carolly Erickson’s novels perennial bestsellers, this is the story of the only woman to ever stand up to the Virgin Queen— her own cousin, Lettie Knollys. Far more attractive than the queen, Lettie soon won the attention of the handsome and ambitious Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, a man so enamored of the queen and determined to share her throne that it was rumored he had murdered his own wife in order to become her royal consort. The enigmatic Elizabeth allowed Dudley into her heart, and relied on his devoted service, but shied away from the personal and political risks of marriage.

When Elizabeth discovered that he had married her cousin Lettie in secret, Lettie would pay a terrible price, fighting to keep her husband’s love and ultimately losing her beloved son, the Earl of Essex, to the queen’s headsman.

This is the unforgettable story of two women related by blood, yet destined to clash over one of Tudor England’s most charismatic men".

The Shadow of the Lynx, Victoria holt

"Nora Tamsin was fascinated by the ruthless Charles Herrick, but she discovered that he deserved his name "The Lynx". His love for her was overwhelming and frightening. By the time she realized that his plan for her was part of his obsessive desire for revenge, it seemed too late to escape.

Seduced by the power of the strange man called Lynx, Nora soon finds herself very much in love with him. And with his son . . ."~Lizzie~
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