Unexpectedly, Dr. Dee took her right hand, letting her fingertips rest in his palm. “This is the hand of a woman, Your Highness. But it is also the hand of a ruler. The king, your father, spent much effort and pain to secure a worthy heir for England. If he had been able to see beyond your woman’s body, he would have found the heart of the heir he sought.”
The Boleyn Deceit by Laura Anderson
**ARC provided by NetGalley**
Summary: In The Boleyn King, we were posed with the story of, “what would have happened if Ann Boleyn’s baby boy didn’t die and he became king?” Now, King William is in love, and is about to do to his country what his dad did by marrying Minuette for “love”. The problem is she doesn’t love him back. She loves his best friend, Dom. And, Elizabeth is trying to keep everyone together, possibly like a queen? Love triangles, political intrigue, and betrayal, the tale continues on the “What if”.
Review: The alternate history genre is still new to me, so I was intrigued by the premise that King Henry actually didn’t kill most of his wives cause he had a son. I liked the first book a lot. This one was good, but it fell flat for me.
I think the problem with this book was that nothing really happened to move the plot forward until the very end. Especially through the middle, the story really dragged, with 3 out of the 4 characters busy mooning and moping. The end made up for boring bits. Without giving out spoilers, the end was equally warming and heart stopping.
The most exciting parts of this book were the political drama and Elizabeth’s realization that maybe her role is more important than the king’s sister. She is also my favorite character, controlled, caring, and truly meant to rule a new world. I like Robert Dudley also, he is beloved ambiguous. I am looking forward to Lord Rochford getting what he is due. He’s a great villain.
For Romance lovers, I think this book will be loved by them. The romance is sweet and believable, with passion without racy erotica. Forbidden loves of all kinds are explored, and who doesn’t love forbidden love? Robert and Elizabeth’s doomed love is my favorite. Elizabeth maturely handles her emotions, and I never know whether to applaud Robert for his love for Elizabeth or smack him for being a douchebag.
I think historians, especially those familiar with Tudors, will have trouble reconciling the fact with the fiction. But, I am no historian buff, and I enjoy intentional alternatives. If you like historical romance and political drama in an alternate reality, then I would suggest picking up this series. I am looking forward to reading the conclusion of this trilogy.
Sex: Kissing and references to sex
Violence: War scenes and regal crime
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Series Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Next Book: The Boleyn Reckoning, the final installment, will be out July 15th, 2014