THE WINNERS! #TuesdayBookBlog #RBRT Bookreview team presents: The Gold & Silver 2016 Book Awards

The Winners!#RBRT Rosie’s Book Review Team presents: The Gold & Silver Rose Awards 2016

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*Cough* … On behalf of my team, I’m delighted to announce the winners and runners-up in the #RBRT 2016 book awards!

Books were selected from the several hundred submitted to our team for review over the past year, with the 24 finalists voted for by the reviewing team. These finalists were then offered up to the public for voting. Congratulations to the 8 winners and runners up!

A click of the book’s title will take you to Goodreads, where you can see reviews, and also leads to the Amazon, etc, buy links.

 

Fantasy / SciFi/ Horror

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Winner: The Prince’s Man by Deborah Jay

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Runner-up: Passing Notes by D G Driver

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Historical Fiction

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Winner: The Elizabeth Papers by Jenetta James

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Runner-Up: Back Home by Tom Williams

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Mystery Thriller

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Winner: On Lucky Shores by Kerry J Donovan

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Runner-Up: Rack & Ruin (previously titled Murder & Mayhem) by Carol Hedges

Contemporary

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Winner: The Disobedient Wife by Annika M Stanley

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Runner-Up: Scotch On The Rocks by Lizzie Lamb

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Congratulations to all the following finalists:

The Black Orchid by Celine Jean-Jean

Blood Of The Sixth by K R Rowe

Flesh by Dylan J Morgan

The Final Virus by Carol Hedges

La Petite Boulain by G Lawrence

When Doves Fly by Lauren Gregory

Jasper by Tony Riches

The Code For Killing by William Savage

Trust Me I Lie by Louise Marley

Wings Of Mayhem by Sue Coletta

Murder at the Lighthouse by Frances Evesham

Trust Me by Earl Javorsky

What Jennifer Knows by Wendy Janes

The Bad Girl by L Donsky-Levine

Silent Water by Jan Ruth

The Brazilian Husband by Rebecca Powell

Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT THE LADY ANNE by G Lawrence @TudorTweep #Tudor #HistFic

Today’s team review is from Cathy, she blogs here http://betweenthelinesbookblog.wordpress.com/

#RBRT Review Team

Cathy has been reading The Lady Anne , book #2 in the Above all others series by Gemma Lawrence

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As with the first book, this one also opens with Anne in the Tower of London awaiting her fate, lost in reminiscences. She recalls arriving in England after her years in France, unhappy and homesick to leave the country and people she loves. And all because her father wants to marry her off to acquire the estates and titles he thinks should rightly belong to his family.

Anne is not at all happy with the situation. She feels more French than English, is afraid she won’t fit in and will be friendless in this country which now seems alien to her. The terrible English weather doesn’t help, adding to her misery. But her childhood friend and neighbour, Thomas Wyatt, soon becomes her ally and champion. Joining the court as a maid of honour to Henry VIII’s Queen, Katherine, Anne becomes very popular and a leader in fashion with her own individual dress sense.

It’s fascinating to read an account of what could have been Anne’s thoughts, feelings and daily life, getting an insight into her character and motivations, to see Henry VIII through her eyes, and also through the eyes of her brother, George, and sister, Mary, both of whom were close to Henry. In some ways Anne is a contradiction, intelligent and sophisticated yet with the romantic ideals of a girl, as shown by her involvement with Henry Percy.

Anne had felt an attraction to Henry for years but only after she re-enters the Court after her banishment by Cardinal Wolsey for her ‘presumptuous and arrogant’ plans to marry Percy, does the attraction flourish as she and Henry were often in the same circles. Although she’s always been envious of her sister’s relationship with Henry, Anne is determined she will be no man’s mistress, not even a King’s.

Anne’s portrayal is realistic and believable and I enjoyed the interactions between Anne and Henry. It’s extremely interesting to read about court life, the intrigues behind the scenes and how false it seems most of the time.

As with the first book, the attention to detail and obvious research is wonderful, clothes, food, manners and court politics, all bringing the past to life vividly.

Book Description

1522, England. 
Anne Boleyn has lived an adventurous youth in the glittering courts of Europe, now, promised in marriage to a man she knows nothing of, Anne has been called home by her ambitious father. She will enter the English Court, to find many admirers courting her. Anne finds potential for love in three men, but there is one… more unexpected than all the others, who claims her heart. 
The beginning of a love which would change the course of English history, and shake the foundations of the Church… 
The courtier’s daughter who captured the heart of a King; Anne Boleyn. 
The Lady Anne is book two of Above All Others: The Lady Anne by G.Lawrence.
 

AmazonUK | AmazonUS | Goodreads | Twitter

About the author

G. LawrenceI am an independently published author, and proud to be so. Living in a little cottage in Cornwall in the UK, I love where I live as much as I love to write.

The age of the Tudors has been an obsession for me since I was a child, and many of my upcoming books will center on that time, but I also pen the odd dystopian fiction or historical fiction from other time periods. I will be releasing all my titles on amazon, for kindle and then hopefully for print later. 

I studied Literature (with a capital L) at University and usually have twenty or more books I’m currently reading. Reading and writing are about mood for me, and I haven’t found a genre I didn’t enjoy something about so far… 

You can often find me on Wattpad or Twitter when I’m not writing…

THE LADY ANNE (Above all others Book #2) by G Lawrence @TudorTweep #Tudor #HistFic #AnneBoleyn

The Lady Anne (Above all Others; The Lady Anne Book 2)The Lady Anne by G. Lawrence
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Four Point Five Stars.

The Lady Anne is book #2 in this series of historical fiction based on the life of Anne Boleyn. In book #1 La Petite Boulain, we read about the early years of Anne’s life spent abroad growing up in the Royal courts of Burgundy and France.

Book #2 begins with Anne returning home to England, saddened to leave her beloved friends and the French courts she is unhappy about the return especially when she hears of a potential marriage partner for herself, until she is reconciled with childhood friend Tom Wyatt, her older sister Mary and her brother George. These three make Anne’s life more bearable and soon she is placed as a maid-of-honour and servant of the Royal Wardrobe to queen Katherine.

Anne’s French style of clothing and her manner soon attracts many admirers and would-be suitors, yet it is the King who truly makes her heart flutter. Anne’s older sister Mary is currently Henry’s mistress and Anne looks instead towards a possible new marriage arrangement with Henry Percy. However she soon finds that this is disapproved of by both Cardinal Wolsey and King Henry.

As the storyline progresses Henry becomes obsessed with Anne, pleading with her to become his mistress. But Anne vows that she will save herself for her husband and she bravely fends off the King. Her refusal to take him to her bed only fuels his determination to find a way to be with Anne. The book ends with a common known historical point where Henry seeks to divorce Katherine and Anne’s tale will continue on book #3.

Once again the author fills the pages with rich description of Tudor life, immersing the reader into the daily life of Anne and her companions. Her internal struggle to hold out on Henry is a dangerous route but one you can understand and admire her for. These books are a joy to read and to learn a little more about lesser publicised part of Anne Boleyn’s life.

Book Description

1522, England. 
Anne Boleyn has lived an adventurous youth in the glittering courts of Europe, now, promised in marriage to a man she knows nothing of, Anne has been called home by her ambitious father. She will enter the English Court, to find many admirers courting her. Anne finds potential for love in three men, but there is one… more unexpected than all the others, who claims her heart. 
The beginning of a love which would change the course of English history, and shake the foundations of the Church… 
The courtier’s daughter who captured the heart of a King; Anne Boleyn. 
The Lady Anne is book two of Above All Others: The Lady Anne by G.Lawrence.
 

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com also available free from Kindle Unlimited

Twitter @TudorTweep

View all my reviews on Goodreads

LA PETITE BOULAIN by G Lawrence @TudorTweep #HistFic the early years of Anne Boleyn #Tudors

La Petite Boulain (Above all Others; The Lady Anne #1)La Petite Boulain by G. Lawrence
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Four point five stars
La Petite Boulain is historical fiction about the young years of the life of Anne Boleyn. The book opens in 1536 with adult Anne held prisoner in the Tower of London awaiting the final judgement on her life. Queen for only three years she is the scapegoat taking the blame for the fall of Katherine of Aragon, the fate of the princess Mary, the church reforms and the dissolution of the monasteries.

Surrounded by the eyes and ears of her enemy Anne looks back on her life, to where it all began. 1505 Hever castle, home of the Boleyn family. The family were well thought of at court. Henry VIII is crowned King and there is rejoicing at the birth of a baby Prince. But when the child dies a great sadness befalls the country.

Anne is sent abroad to the court of Burgundy to continue her education and perfect her courtly graces. First for Margaret of Austria, then as a lady in waiting for the Princess Mary Tudor when she is Queen of France and then for Claude, another Queen of France. Anne makes many friends in these courts and discovers the works of Martin Luther and many other authors who write about church reforms.

Anne meets King Henry of several occasions in her court roles, one most memorable was The Field of the Cloth of Gold in 1520 when the kings of England and France met to form treaties. Soon after this Anne’s father demands she return to England and the story continues on the second book in the series.

The writing style is filled with rich descriptions of the era and Anne’s life immersing the reader in the Tudor period, which I enjoy reading about. We get to see Anne’s very thoughts and feelings towards her king from humble childhood beginnings to adolescent stirrings and admiration. But don’t think Anne only ever had eyes just for Henry, the ways of court life spun many admirers and potential lovers in intricate webs around her. It was down to her education in court ways and her personal beliefs which made her the woman she was to become. Everyone knows about Henry’s six wives but few perhaps know more about Anne than simple details gleaned from history lessons. This book offers a great incite into how she became the women we know as Henry’s second wife.

Book Description

May 1536, London… a fallen queen sits waiting in the Tower of London, condemned to death by her husband. As Death looms before her, Anne Boleyn, second queen of Henry VIII looks back on her life…from the very beginning. 
Daughter of a courtier, servant to queens… she rose higher than any thought possible, and fell lower than any could imagine. 
Following the path of the young Mistress Boleyn, or La Petite Boulain, through the events of the first years of the reign of Henry VIII, to the glittering courts of Burgundy and France, Book One of “Above All Others; The Lady Anne” tracks the life of the young Lady Anne, showing how she became the scintillating woman who eventually, would capture the heart of a king. 
La Petite Boulain is the first book in the series “Above All Others; The Lady Anne” on the life of Anne Boleyn by G.Lawrence.
 

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com also available free from Kindle Unlimited

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT THE LADY ANNE by G Lawrence @TudorTweep #Tudors #HistFic

Today’s team review is from Noelle, she blogs at http://saylingaway.wordpress.com

#RBRT Review Team

Noelle has been reading The Lady Anne by G Lawrence

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Book Review: The Lady Anne by Gemma Lawrence @TudorTweep for #RBRT #historical fiction

The Lady Anne is the second book in the Above All Others series about the life of Anne Boleyn by Gemma Lawrence. The first book, La Petite Boulain, which I also reviewed, concerns the early years of Anne’s life, beginning with her happy childhood at Hever Castle in Kent and her education in the courts of France. This volume concerns Anne’s life and loves from her return home to when she falls in love with Henry VIII.

When Anne returns to England on the orders of her father, she is scheduled to become a lady-in-waiting to Queen Katherine, wife of Henry VIII. During her first days at her family home at Hever, acclimatizing to a land she hardly knows, she meets Thomas Wyatt, a neighbor whom she played with as a child. Thomas is an accomplished poet and a close friend of King Henry and falls in love with the talented, accomplished and stylish Anne. However, he is married, and Anne rejects him, wanting to be his friend, but the rejection is taken badly and it shapes some aspects of her life at court. At court she meets the young Henry Percy, with whom she falls in love, projecting onto him some of the innocence she still feels. Their intended engagement is thwarted, and from there the inevitable unwinds when Henry notices her and becomes besotted.

As with the first book, I liked the exceptional historical detail, from the food to the clothing to courtly romance, and the minutiae of life in that age – even to the way members of court and others smelled. Courtiers bathed more than most, but the fact the Queen often wore a hair shirt and how that led to her musky and repulsive odor was something new that wrinkled my nose! The politics of Henry’s royal courts, which defined everyone’s life and fate, is laid out in detail in terms of how it affected Anne and her family.

I also found that more than with La Petite Boulain, Anne becomes a rounded character, petty and venal, but also thoughtful and caring. The multiple sides of her personality made her real – not always likeable, but very human.

Above all, The Lady Anne is a love story, one that is hard to ignore. As the attraction between Henry and Anne grows, this reader found herself shaking her head at Anne’s determination to guard her honor and not become the King’s mistress, as her sister had been, worrying at what Henry would do in response to her audaciousness. Even though I knew how it would turn out. Such is the power of the author’s writing.

The Lady Anne is heavy in exposition, and particularly noticeable are the dialogue dumps – conversation from one side that last a page or more. There are also repetitions of facts and ideas. I will freely admit I skipped over the repetitions and skimmed the overlong conversations.

Nevertheless, the story has a fascination, especially so for this Tudor fan, that holds one’s attention. I was immersed in Anne’s life more than with the first volume, and I look forward to reading the third.

I purchased this book and reviewed it as a member of Rosie’s Book Review Team.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT LA PETITE BOULAIN by @TudorTweep #Tudors #HistFic

Today’s Team Review is from Cathy, she blogs here http://betweenthelinesbookblog.wordpress.com/

#RBRT Review Team

Cathy has been reading La Petite Boulain by G Lawrence

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The story begins in the Tower of London where Anne Boleyn awaits her fate, contemplating those who died in the manner that now lies ahead for her. In return for Henry VIII’s promise of protection for her daughter, Anne signs her life away, admitting to all she is falsely accused of. Sleepless, determined not to panic and to die with dignity, Anne lets her thoughts wander back to her happy and carefree childhood at Hever Castle.

It’s longer than I care to remember since I read a book about Anne Boleyn so I was looking forward to this one. It was a refreshing change to read the account from Anne’s perspective, giving a different slant altogether on her story and making her more ‘real’ than the impression I had from other books.

In La Petite Boulain Anne’s early years are illustrated comprehensively and we see hints of the intelligence and insight which would become very evident as she learned more of the world and her place in it. But initially Anne’s days were filled with lessons as she and her elder sister, Mary were educated in languages, music, hunting, deportment and how to conduct themselves in society.

When she was twelve Anne, along with Mary and their younger brother, George, left home to complete their education within other households. Anne was placed with Margaret of Austria at the Court of Burgundy, where she learned the ways of a courtier as well as keeping up with her studies. It was here Anne began to question the authority and reliability of the clergy, who were only fallible men, after all. As we follow Anne from Margaret’s court to that of Princess Mary Tudor, the impact and influence these high-born ladies have upon her colour her view of court etiquette and the hypocritical politics, which becomes more apparent, along with Anne’s growing appreciation that the way these are observed can make or break a reputation and have the potential to ruin a life.

The historical aspects, including clothing, food and manners, are detailed exceptionally well, as is the role and treatment of women. No matter their station in life, women are just there, it seems, to further the ambitions of men and are used accordingly, a commodity to be bartered, bought and sold.

I would have preferred a little more dialogue to break up the descriptive passages which, on occasion, were a little overpowering but that said, I enjoyed this excellent book very much. It gives a rounded picture of a determined, complex and intelligent woman whose high moral standards possibly hold the potential to aid in her downfall.

Book Description

May 1536, London… a fallen queen sits waiting in the Tower of London, condemned to death by her husband. As Death looms before her, Anne Boleyn, second queen of Henry VIII looks back on her life…from the very beginning. 
Daughter of a courtier, servant to queens… she rose higher than any thought possible, and fell lower than any could imagine. 
Following the path of the young Mistress Boleyn, or La Petite Boulain, through the events of the first years of the reign of Henry VIII, to the glittering courts of Burgundy and France, Book One of “Above All Others; The Lady Anne” tracks the life of the young Lady Anne, showing how she became the scintillating woman who eventually, would capture the heart of a king. 
La Petite Boulain is the first book in the series “Above All Others; The Lady Anne” on the life of Anne Boleyn by G.Lawrence.

About The Author

G. Lawrence

I am an independently published author, and proud to be so. Living in a little cottage in Cornwall in the UK, I love where I live as much as I love to write.
The age of the Tudors has been an obsession for me since I was a child, and many of my upcoming books will center on that time, but I also pen the odd dystopian fiction or historical fiction from other time periods. I will be releasing all my titles on amazon, for kindle and then hopefully for print later. 
I studied Literature (with a capital L) at University and usually have twenty or more books I’m currently reading. Reading and writing are about mood for me, and I haven’t found a genre I didn’t enjoy something about so far… 

Twitter @TudorTweep

Find a copy of La Petite Boulain here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com also available free from Kindle Unlimited

Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT THE LADY ANNE by G Lawrence @TudorTweep #Tudors #HistFic

Today’s team review is from Olga, she blogs at http://www.authortranslatorolga.com

#RBRT Review Team

Olga has been reading The Lady Anne by Gemma Lawrence

The Lady Anne (Above all Others; The Lady Anne Book 2) by [Lawrence,G.]

I write this review as one of the members of behalf of Rosie’s Books Review Team. I was provided with a free copy of the book as part of the team.

I have read and enjoyed La Petite Boulain, the first book in the Above all Others series and really enjoyed getting to know a bit more about Anne Boleyn’s childhood, and particularly, the way the story was told, in the first person from the point of view of young Anne, or, to be more precise, the young Anne as remembered by the older Anne at the moment of awaiting her death in the Tower.

Here we see Anne return to England after spending part of her childhood and teenage years in courts abroad. She is sad to leave France, as she feels by now more French than English, and the weather and the difficulties of her trip don’t help make her feel at home. Luckily, things take a turn for the better quickly. She meets Thomas Wyatt, a neighbour, accomplished poet, and a childhood friend, and once she joins the court, becoming one of Queen Katherine’s ladies in waiting, she soon meets interesting people, makes new friends, rekindles old friendships, and becomes a fashion icon and very admired for her style, accomplishments, and her personality.

I was curious to see how this novel would portray Anne as a young woman, in an era more familiar to most people than that of her early years. She is presented as an interesting mixture of a clever and intelligent woman, with far wider knowledge and experiences than many of the women her age she meets, but still a young girl at heart, who loves the idea of courting, handsome and romantic knights, and has to admit to being proud of the way men are attracted to her and women copy her dresses and jewels. She changes her mind often and she thinks she is in love with Tom Wyatt one day, although it’s an impossible love, but then decides it’s only friendship. She falls in love with Henry Percy (of much higher standing than her as he’s due to become the Earl of Northumberland) and with her father’s approval pursues a marriage that would have been very advantageous for her family, but when Cardinal Wolsey and Henry’s father forbid the match, her disappointment makes her hate him. And then, there’s King Henry…

I must confess that I enjoyed the discussions about Anne’s ideas and her education in religion and philosophy in the first book, and there were only passing references to it here (partly because she worried about the company she keeps and how they would react if they were aware of her opinions, and partly because there are other things that occupy more of her time), and there is much more about romance and romantic ideas. King Henry seems to notice her following an accident (although perhaps before that) and her behaviour and her refusal to become his mistress seem to spur him on rather than make him forget her and move on. If Henry Percy gave up on her without a fight, this is a man who would risk everything (even the future of his kingdom) for his own enjoyment and to prove himself, and in Anne, he meets a challenge. Not being a big reader of romance, the pull and push of the relationship and the will she/won’t she (especially knowing how things will turn up) part of it was not what interested me the most, although the scenes are well done and I found the fights and disagreements between the couple enjoyable. I became intrigued by King Henry’s portrayal, not so much by what he does and says, but by how others see him. There is a very apt warning her brother George gives her, recalling how King Henry was walking with his arm around a nobleman’s shoulders one afternoon and two days later the said nobleman’s head was topping a pole on the King’s orders.

I was more interested in matters of politics and alliances (confusing as they were), the inner workings of the court, marriages and births, and Anne’s reflections about the roles of women and men in the society of the time, that she struggles against but ultimately feels obliged to follow. I was also intrigued by the depiction of her family, her brother George, always close to her, her sister Mary, who although Anne always saw as too free and easy, she comes to understand and appreciate (and who manages to achieve a happy existence in her own terms, eventually), her mother, who suffers from a strange illness, and her father, who appears to be only interested in the family’s advancement (although claims that it is not for himself, but for those who’ll come after). He seemingly has no respect for morality if it can get in the way of achieving his goals, and at times he treats his daughters as pawns or worse. In the novel, Anne is portrayed as having much of the initiative, at least at the beginning, regarding her relationship with King Henry, but I was very intrigued by the role her uncle, the Duke of Norfolk, would come to play, and how much he influenced later events and the rise of Anne to become Queen.

This volume made me wonder, more than the first one, how reliable a narrator is Anne supposed to be. She makes a very interesting comment about wearing masks and the fact that we all perform our roles in public, whatever our feelings or thoughts might really be. After all, this is Anne remembering her life and trying to distract herself from her likely dark fate. Sometimes she does protest too much, when talking about her accomplishments, intelligence and fashion sense, and insists that she does not believe in false modesty. She also talks about Tom Wyatt’s affections and how she had not encouraged him, but she evidently enjoys his attentions. At other times, she describes events and scenes as if she were at the same time protagonist and observer (from telling us what she was feeling and her concerns, she will go on to describe what she looked like or what she was wearing). She does highlight the behaviours she thinks show her in a good light and easily finds ways in which to dismiss some of her more selfish or problematic behaviours, but at a time such as the one she’s living through, after having lost everything and everybody, it’s only understandable. If anything, it shows her as a complex and contradictory individual and makes her appear more real.

The writing is once more fluid and beautifully detailed, bringing to life places, customs and times long past.

Although I know what will happen next, I’m intrigued to read Anne’s version of events and look forward to the next book. I highly recommend this series to anybody interested in Anne Boleyn who enjoys historical fiction, and to anybody who is considering reading about such a fascinating historical figure.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com also available free from Kindle Unlimited

Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT LA PETITE BOULAIN by @TudorTweep #TuesdayBookBlog

Today’s Team Review is from Noelle, she blogs at http://saylingaway.wordpress.com

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Noelle has been reading La Petite Boulain by G Lawrence

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La Petite Boulain is the first of a series of novels that will follow the life of Anne Boleyn (this is Above all Others; The Lady Anne Book 1) by Gemma Lawrence, author of The Bastard Princess and The Heretic Heir, both about the daughter of Henry VIII who would become Queen Elizabeth.

Anne Boleyn has been the subject of many books, either about her or about the Tudors. I counted 45 on Goodreads alone, by some impressive historical fiction authors such as Antonia Frasier, Philippa Gregory, Jean Plaidy, and Nora Lofts, to name a few. Many of them I have read because I am in love with the Tudor story, so I looked forward to this book.

In La Petite Boulain, the early years of Anne’s life are explored in depth, beginning with her happy childhood at Hever Castle in Kent with her sister Mary and her parents, who were courtiers to both Henry VII and Henry the VIII. While still very young, Anne sees Henry VIII and is infatuated with him, even from a distance. Women in those times were always used as pawns by their parents to enable the family to rise in the ranks. Anne is no exception and at the age of twelve is sent to is sent to the Court of Burgundy to be tutored in court ways and manners by Margaret of Austria. An intelligent girl, Anne not only learns the various arts and language necessary for a courtier, but becomes an astute observer of court life and politics. As a polished young woman, she is sent to the court of France to be a lady-in-waiting to the Princess Mary Tudor, Henry’s sister, who was to wed the aged Louis XII, king of France. Eventually, she is recalled to England by her father, following the death of the Duke of Buckingham. The reader is reminded of her fate, as the story is bookended by her thoughts and observances during her time in the Tower of London, awaiting her possible execution.

What I liked about this book: The author did an exception and detailed job with the historical detail, from the food to the clothing. I loved being immersed in the minutiae of life in that age. The politics of the royal courts, which defines everyone’s life and fate, are laid out crisply and understandably. Religion becomes a part of this, as Martin Luther teachings took root in the Christianity of the commoners. The reader becomes drawn into Anne’s life and sees through her observations and thoughts the fate and treatment of women during that time. It also becomes clear why Henry would become so infatuated with her, as she learns well the lesson of enticing men with beauty, talent and intelligence, but never succumbing to their entreaties and wants. This prompts the question of whether Anne was really in love with Henry, or simply playing the political role of desirable courtier to advance her family. The next book may provide an answer!

What I did not like: The book is very heavy in exposition, mainly very lengthy descriptions of Anne’s thoughts. The dialogue that interspersed these long passages was well-imagined and a relief. Also, Anne’s constant wonderment and delight in the beauty and magnificence of the royal courts and nobility was somewhat overwhelming and at times slightly tedious. I deliberately read The Heretic Heir right after completing this book, to see if this were the author’s writing style. It is, but The Heretic Heir, in my limited opinion, is somewhat better.

All in all, I do recommend La Petite Boulain. I came away with a clearer picture of Anne herself and the time in which she lived. She became a real person, and even those who are not rabid fans of the Tudors will love the historical detail and reach an understanding of this complicated woman. I look forward to the next book in the series.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

 

Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT La Petite Boulain by G Lawrence @TudorTweep #Histfic #fridayreads

Today’s Team Review is from Olga, she blog at http://www.authortranslatorolga.com

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Olga has been reading La Petite Boulain by G. Lawrence

My review:

I write this review as part of Rosie’s Book Review Team. Thanks to Rosie Amber and to Gemma Lawrence for providing me with a free copy of the book in exchange for an unbiased review.

I’ve been reading more historical novels of recent and I appreciate the mix of skills their authors require. There has to be a lot of research for the novel to be grounded sufficiently in the era and not seem a total flight of fancy. But ensuring that this research is seamlessly weaved into the story and avoiding the risk of turning it into a textbook requires talent, inspiration, art and a passion for the topic. And La Petite Boulain has all those and more.

I’m Spanish and although I’ve lived in the UK for many years I wouldn’t say that my knowledge of English history is deep or detailed. Like most people the entire world over, I’m more familiar with the Tudors and their historical period than with any others, thanks to the fascination they have always held for historians, writers, and movie and television scriptwriters. I would guess that most of us have read or watched something about Henry VIII and Elizabeth I at the very least. And we’ve heard of Anne Boleyn. We might even have an opinion about her.

Since I started writing reviews and blogging about books I’ve come across many books about Anne Boleyn. What prompted me to read this one was a recommendation by one of the reviewers in Rosie’s team that I know is very knowledgeable on the subject (thanks once more, Terry http://terrytylerbookreviews.blogspot.com/) and the fact that this book looks at Anne not solely regarding her relationship with Henry VIII. The story is told in the first person, by Anne, who is waiting at the Tower to be beheaded (I’m sure this is no spoiler for anybody), and as a way of keeping calm and passing away the time without falling into despair (more so as she’s surrounded by hostile women sent to spy on her), she goes back in time and remembers her life from childhood. This is the first book in the series, and it takes us from childhood to the time when Anne returns back to England after spending several years away, most recently at the French court, when she’s already a young woman.

The book is beautifully written, with detailed (but not boring or drawn-out) descriptions of clothing, places, people and customs. The language and expressions are appropriate to the era without being overcomplicated or slowing down the story. We see Anne as she sees herself, a lucky girl who’s been born into a good family, with a caring, affectionate and accomplished mother, a father somewhat distant and cold, more interested in politics and the advancement of the family’s fortunes than in the feelings of their members, an older sister (Mary) who is the prettiest one, but less clever and freer with her morals (she’s a more sensuous creature), and a younger brother, George, whom she has much in common with.

We follow her amazement and wonder at historical events, such as the coronation of Henry VIII, when she takes a fancy to the young king, and see her education, first at home, and then at different European Courts, initially at Mechelen and then in France. The book captures well the innocence of a young girl arrived at a European court, who thinks everybody is beautiful, clever and brilliant, although even at that age she is a keen observer and a quick learner. She’s also good at noticing the power relations and getting closer to influencers and people who can teach her the most.

As she grows, she starts to notice and observe the underbelly and the hypocrisy of the society she lives in, and she also becomes a critical thinker, questioning organised religion and reading what were at the time considered dangerous tracks (Martin Luther). She is shocked by some behaviours she sees, including those of her family members, and by the clear difference in the way women are treated in comparison to the men, no matter how high their position in life, but she is determined to absorb knowledge and learn as much as she can, to ensure that she will not just be at the whim of those around her.

I enjoyed the historical detail, the reflections on events and historical figures of the era, but above all, the way the story is told, that takes the readers into Anne’s confidence and makes them experience with her both wonderful and terrible events, helping make her a real and understandable human being, rather than a cardboard figurine out of historical volume . La petite Boulain is an absolute pleasure to read, and despite knowing the story, I can’t wait to for the next book in the series.

La Petite Boulain is the first book in the series “Above All Others; The Lady Anne” on the life of Anne Boleyn by G.Lawrence.

https://www.amazon.com/Petite-Boulain-Above-Others-Lady-ebook/dp/B01CXCHPAU/

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Petite-Boulain-Above-Others-Lady-ebook/dp/B01CXCHPAU/

#FridayReads If you like #HistFic I can recommend these books #amreading

If you like books with historical themes and elements I can recommend these books

18760917A privileged young wife on a large Cornwall estate gains responsibility and confidence when her husband leaves to fight overseas. This English home front saga then becomes something more when she leaves for France herself to rescue a friend from danger. Elin lives a luxurious but lonely life at Hiram Hall. Her husband Hugo loves her but never recovered from the Boer War. Now another war threatens to destroy everything she knows. With Hugo at the front, and her cousin Alice and friend Mouse working for the war effort, Elin has to learn to run the estate in Cornwall, making new friends – and enemies. But when Mouse is in danger, Elin must face up to the horrors in France herself. And when the Great War is finally over, Elin’s battles prove to have only just begun. Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

22011018Terry Tyler’s seventh novel is a romantic drama spanning the years 1971 – 2007, with an unusual echo from history …

“KINGS AND QUEENS” tells of the life and loves of charismatic Harry Lanchester, which just happen to mirror the story of Henry VIII and his six wives. All the passion and suspense of the Tudor court, but set in modern times.

Harry’s realm is his South of England property developing company, Lanchester Estates, while his ‘wives’ are the twentieth century sisters of their historic counterparts: Anne Boleyn is reincarnated as the equally intriguing Annette Hever, and Henry VIII’s fifth wife with the risqué past, Catherine Howard, lives again in 1999 as Keira Howard, a former lap dancer.

The saga is narrated by each of the six women, in turn, interspersed with short chapters from the point of view of Harry’s lifelong friend, Will Brandon.

Don’t worry if you know nothing of this period in history – “Kings and Queens” can be enjoyed as a contemporary family drama, very much in the vein of Ms Tyler’s previous novels. Readers with an interest in the Tudors, though, will pick up on many similarities, references and metaphors, some quite amusing. For those non-Tudor fanatics who would like a brief look at the life of Henry VIII before reading, the author has included, in the Kindle book, a link to a mini-biography on her blog. Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

18286661Shiri blocks her ears to her mother’s screams and sees the arrows strike her father’s chest. With their murderers bearing down on her she turns to obey his final command. “RUN!” Amenhotep, Prince of Egypt, burns her village, enslaves her people, and destroys all she loves. Only Shiri escapes. With tears in her eyes and vengeance in her heart, she races to warn the Shepherd King. If she doesn’t reach him in time, all Palestine will burn. It’s a race that takes her from the fields of Armageddon, to the sands of Ancient Egypt and the very heart of Pharaoh’s court. It’s a struggle that brings the deaths of kings and the birth of a god. It’s a quest that sees her fall in love.   Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

18752098‘Look upon this wretch, all of you! Look upon her and thank God for his love and his mercy. Thank God that he has sent me to rid the world of such filth as this.’ 1647 and England is in the grip of civil war. In the ensuing chaos, fear and suspicion are rife and anyone on the fringes of society can find themselves under suspicion. Matthew Hopkins, self -styled Witchfinder General, scours the countryside, seeking out those he believes to be in league with the Devil. In the small village of Coggeshall, 17–year-old Alice Pendle finds herself at the centre of gossip and speculation. Will she survive when the Witchfinder himself is summoned? A tale of persecution, superstition, religious fundamentalism, hate and love, ‘The Black Hours’ mixes fact with fiction in a gripping fast-paced drama that follows the story of Alice as she is thrown into a world of fear and confusion, and of Matthew, a man driven by his beliefs to commit dreadful acts in the name of religion. Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

28234601February 1603, the last of the Tudor monarchs is dying, but Death must wait for Elizabeth of England to finish her tale…

As The Bastard Princess, Elizabeth Tudor, daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, has fought through a childhood of intrigue and peril to her place as the heir to the English throne. But as her sister, Mary I, the first anointed and sole Queen of England takes the crown, Elizabeth must face her most dangerous challenges yet… for Mary I is determined to return England to the Catholic faith, and will have none stand in her way.

Protestant Elizabeth knows that she must survive the suspicions and distrust of her sister, in a reign where rebellion and war freely stalked the lands of England.
To survive, this heretic heir must hone her skills in survival, wit and wile, in order that she may one day… become Queen.

The Heretic Heir is Book Two of the Elizabeth of England Chronicles by G. Lawrence. Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

23496306The boy looks up and sees the foreigner’s rifle aimed at him. Why is this man here? This is not his conflict, it is not the boy’s… it is hell.

Jay has been home for a long time, but the ghosts of Yugoslavia
are still with him as he busks his way round the country.

Marilyn is fresh out of a controlling relationship and desperate
to reassert her independence. The last thing she needs is to fall
for an itinerant storyteller who has a strange relationship with
the truth. And then the police call on her.

When the past catches up with the present and stories become
reality, Jay and Marilyn must decide who to believe and who
to betray.

A compelling narrative of trust and betrayal, love, loyalty and honour from a talented debut novelist. Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com