Thursday, 28 January 2010

Between Two Queens by Kate Emerson

Pretty, flirtatious, and ambitious. Nan Bassett hopes that an appointment at the court of King Henry VIII will bring her a grand marriage. But soon after she becomes a maid of honor to Queen Jane, the queen dies in childbirth. As the court plunges into mourning, Nan sets her sights on the greatest match in the land...for the king has noticed her. After all, it wouldn't be the first time King Henry has chosen to wed a maid of honor. And in newly Protestant England, where plots to restore the old religion abound, Nan may be the only one who can reassure a suspicious king of her family's loyalty. But the favor of a king can be dangerous and chancy, not just for Nan, but for her family as well...and passionate Nan is guarding a secret, one that could put her future -- and her life -- in grave jeopardy should anyone discover the truth.

Based on the life of the real Anne Bassett and her family, and drawing extensively from letters and diaries of the time, Between Two Queens is an enthralling picture of the dangers and delights of England's most passionate era.


I wasn't overly impressed with Kate Emerson's first book from Secrets of the Tudor Court so almost didn't get this but, I am glad I did this was a huge, huge improvement on the last book.

Another character I hadn't come across before just like Kate Emerson's previous book, I think its good thatshes bases these books on true people rather than creating a fictional character. Hopw much of this book is true in relation to Anne Bassett I don't know as I couldn't find a huge amount of information about her, only that she was a mistress of Henry VIII's for a short time, as she was in this book.

Overall the story was good but, the character of Anne "Nan" Bassett was not an overall pleasant one don't get me wrong she wasn't horrible or anything but, I just felt I couldn't warm to her or feel sympathy for her.

This is not for someone who is looking for some really good Tudor fiction a la Jean Plaidy this is fluffy Bunny compared to some of Ms Plaidys novels so I could compare it to Philippa Gregorys books but, I feel Philippas are hugely better, just great for a light read I feel.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Lost Dogs & Lonely Hearts by Lucy Dillon

When the abandoned strays from a local dogs’ home are matched with brand new owners, it turns out it might not just be the dogs who need rescuing.

Rachel’s aunt has left her a house, a Border Collie and, despite knowing nothing about dogs, a crowded kennels. But since her life has collapsed she’s not sure she can deal with any more lost souls.

Zoe’s ex-husband has given their children a puppy. The kids are in love, but she’s the one stuck training Toffee the impossible Labrador. She’s nearly at the end of her tether – until Toffee leads her to a handsome doctor...

Meanwhile Natalie and Johnny’s marriage hasn’t been easy since they started trying for a baby. But is a fridge-raiding, sofa-stealing Basset hound like Bertie really the child substitute they’re looking for?

As the new owners’ paths cross on the town’s dog-walking circuits, their lives become interwoven. And they – and their dogs – learn some important lessons about loyalty, companionship and unconditional love . . .

I am an absolute dog lover which helps with this book, if your not you might not quite get it or be able to identify with it.

The story revolves around the character of Rachel who has just arrived from London having split from her married (not to her!) lover, she finds the responsibility of the kennel on her hands, after her aunt who ran the kennels has passed away.

There are a great mix of characters here - Natalie & Johnny who are trying for a family (without much luck!), Zoe who has two children and recently split from her husband and Megan who is working at the kennels and originally from Australia just to mention a few.

This is a great chick lit with a twist of course, there is romance what good chick lit book would be without that? It meanders along nicely - its not hugely action packed and in some places is slower than others but, its just a cute read to while away a wet afternoon with a dog sat at your feet of course :-))

Sunday, 17 January 2010

The Lady in the Tower by Marie-Louise Jensen

Spring 1540 I am afraid. You are in grave danger. Mother, will you run away with me if I can free you? The servants call it the Lady Tower: the isolated part of the castle where Eleanor's mother is imprisoned after a terrible accusation. For four years Eleanor's only comfort has been their secret notes to one another. A chance discovery reveals a plot to murder her mother. Now Eleanor must free her before it is too late. But with danger and betrayal at every turn, she can trust no one. Especially not her father. Eleanor must use all her cunning to survive. For she soon realises that it is not just her mother she needs to save . . . but also herself.

I actually thought this book was based on Anne Boleyn, I never read the description beforehand and if I had I would have known but, that matters not this was really good and a surprisingly good read.

Four years after Eleanor's mother was locked in the tower, Eleanor is betrothed to a man she does not want, or does she? Whilst Eleanors mother is locked away she is still trying to be harmed as poisoned food is brought to her but, Eleanor smuggles poison-free food in to her and also goes to great lengths to try and get her away from the tower.

A little different to your bog standard Tudor novels and apparently this book is based on a true story but, loosely. Eleanor is a great character the only drawback is I think you can pretty much predict the ending but, thats no bad thing, this is a Young Adult book too so a fairly easy read.