Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Source: Borrowed from the Library
Rating: 5 out 5 stars
Synopsis: Mary Howard has always lived in the shadow of her powerful family. But when she's married off to Henry Fitzroy, King Henry VIII's illegitimate son, she rockets into the Tudor court's inner circle. Mary and "Fitz" join a tight clique of rebels who test the boundaries of court's strict rules with their games, dares, and flirtations. The more Mary gets to know Fitz, the harder she falls for him, but is forbidden from seeing him alone. The rules of court were made to be pushed... but pushing them too far means certain death. Is true love worth dying for?
Review: I picked this book up when I was craving some historical fiction, and had heard good things. This book exactly what I was looking for and thoroughly delivered more than I needed in that beautiful cover. I'm a bit of a sucker for Tudor England, and if you are too, this is a must read.
The romance in this book was so lovely. Mary and Fitz had me rooting for them from the very beginning and never once was I swayed away. They're incredibly respectful of each other and held an equality within their relationship that was modern for their time, and I really enjoyed that aspect of the book. Don't get me wrong, there were definitely some classic Tudor relationships going on here, especially of course between Henry VIII and Anne.
I'm not incredibly knowledgable on the Tudor era, but for the most part the story seemed accurate from what I remember. I'm mostly referring to Henry VIII and his many wives. I previously had not known about Mary Howard but when I read a little extra from the author on how she was drawn to Mary, I enjoyed the book even more. To avoid spoilers, I won't go into detail, but it revolves around how incredibly independent Mary is for her era, and this aspect made me appreciate the book in a whole new perspective.
This book wouldn't have been complete if not for some drama, and that was widely entertaining and kept the book interesting. There were constantly things happening and people's decisions intersecting and impacting more than they thought. I flew through this book, there was always something happening and I couldn't get enough. This was the kind of book that when I put it down, I couldn't stop thinking about it and was dying to pick it up and keep reading.
If you like historical fiction, Tudor England, or a fantastic love story, this is a perfect read for you. Once I finished this one, I immediately sought out Longshore's other two novels that seem like sort-of companion books to this one. I'm hoping to read them when I'm craving another historical fiction read.