‘A very readable account of a fascinating woman who dared to stand up to Henry VIII and survived. It is thoroughly researched, admirably written and the author’s love of the Tudor period shines through.’ Historical Novels Review
‘Creatively imagines the private life of Mary Rose Tudor in this richly textured historical novel. A thoroughly researched, elegantly written historical tale.’ KIRKUS INDIE
LINK TO BOOK EXTRACT: http://geraldineevansbooks.com/extract-reluctant-queen/
RELUCTANT QUEEN: A TUDOR BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORICAL NOVEL
One NOT about any of the six wives! Henry had plenty of other relatives, most of whom, given his short-lived dynasty and shaky right to the crown, the always insecure Henry had executed throughout his reign in order to secure his throne.
‘Can you imagine what it must be like to be the little sister of infamous English king, Henry VIII? Remember, this is the king who went on to have six wives, two of whom he had beheaded.
And although the teenage Mary Rose is his favourite sister (he even named his famous ship after her), his shifting alliances and ruthless desire to have his own way, made him push the young and lovely Mary into a hateful state marriage with the ailing and ancient King Louis XII of France.
But, a reluctant Mary Rose, as strong-willed as Henry and passionately in love, for the first time, with champion of the lists Charles Brandon, doesn’t give in easily. Before agreeing to the match, after a relentless campaign to get her to say yes, by her loving brother, Mary Rose extracts a promise from Henry. A promise she is determined he will keep.
At the French court, Mary Rose is pursued by the witty, charming, but debauched Francis, Louis’s heir, who, even at the young age of twenty, is a practised seducer.
Between the awful conjugal embraces of her sickly old husband and the persistent and unwanted attentions from Francis, Mary is in a desperately unhappy situation.
But then, her ailing husband dies, and the lusty Francis is elevated to the French throne and absolute power.
Mary Rose thought her situation BEFORE her husband’s death was difficult, but then she hears rumours of her kingly brother’s plans for her future. And they do not include keeping the promise he made to her.
Trapped in an impossible situation, caught between a lustful Francis and the ruthless self-interest of her older brother, the spirited Mary Rose makes a fateful decision aware, even as she does so, that she is taking her very life in her hands.
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