Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Tour Review and Giveaway - Roses Have Thorns (Ladies in Waiting #3) by Sandra Byrd

Roses Have Thorns Tour Banner FINAL.png

Roses Have Thorns: A Novel of Elizabeth I (Ladies in Waiting #3) 

Title: Roses Have Thorns
Author: Sandra Byrd
Series: 3rd (but works as a Stand Alone)
Pages: 352
Published: April 9th 2013 by Howard Book
ISBN:  9781439183168
Source: Sent for honest review and arranged tour

Description: In 1565, seventeen-year-old Elin von Snakenborg leaves Sweden on a treacherous journey to England. Her fiance has fallen in love with her sister and her dowry money has been gambled away, but ahead of her lies an adventure that will take her to the dizzying heights of Tudor power. Transformed through marriage into Helena, the Marchioness of Northampton, she becomes the highest-ranking woman in Elizabeth’s circle. But in a court that is surrounded by Catholic enemies who plot the queen’s downfall, Helena is forced to choose between an unyielding monarch and the husband she’s not sure she can trust—a choice that will provoke catastrophic consequences. 

I Give This ...


  I really do love historical fiction and have a serious soft spot when it comes to the Tudor area.   I consider myself pretty well read when it comes to Queen Elizabeth I.  So, I almost passed on this one just because I was wondering if anything new could be added to her story.  Wow!  I am so glad I changed my mind.  While the significant events never change, I think this book really gave new light to one of my favorite historical figures.

First off, Elin's journey from Sweden to England was beyond imaginable.  It seemed like such a simple thing and yet it took almost a year.  I don't blame her for wanting to leave her country and have the opportunity to travel.  Most young women never got the chance.  She must have been such a captivating person to complete this journey and catch the eye of the Queen.  I don't think its something that happened very often.

I think what prompted Elin to want to stay was the idea of romance and love, something she knew was not waiting for her at home.  I really don't think power and ranking were really a part of it, in fact it often seemed like she had no real use for her high title after her marriage and her husbands subsequent death.  Even when it was so evidently a dark spot in her future her marriage to a man well beneath her rank.  She only want love and friendship.  

I mentioned above how I consider myself knowledgeable when it comes to Queen Elizabeth.  However, I somehow missed this person in all my reading and research of Queen Elizabeth.  It seems completely plausible to me that the Queen would keep such an important person in her life well protected.  I like the idea that the Queen may have had a close friends, someone she could share her secrets with.  High ranking ladies in the Queen's household were often from other noble families of the land.  Those seeking favor from the ruling household or wanting to prove their loyalty. So how does a Lady from Sweden end up one of the Queen's most influential women?   

I loved Helena from the beginning pages.  I like how the author crafted a character that it seems like a blip in history and makes her come to life.  I loved how she seemed to be able to be just what the Queen needed.  I never thought how the Queen could be lonely and this book really brought that to focus.  It made so many of her actions make so much more sense.

If the author managed to capture my attention so much with the book, I will definitely be looking for her other books!  I look forward to what she had to offer in the way of historical fiction. 


Elizabeth Necklace.jpg
And now I am pleased to offer a giveaway for one copy of Roses Have Thorns by Sandra Byrd plus an Elizabeth I necklace (pictured above).  Contest open to US residents 13 and up and end April 24th.  Please fill in the form below to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway



  1. I have heard that Sandra has brought a unique look to this story! Can't wait to read it since it's not your typical history read!

  2. Really looking forward to this one! Thank you for the giveaway!

  3. Thank you so much for the lovely review, and for the time you take to read, too. I truly appreciate it!

  4. Loved To Die For. Would love to read another by this author. Thanks for the giveaway.

  5. To Die For was really great and I'm reading The Secret Keeper right now. I can't wait to get to Elizabeth and Helena's story!


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