Author: Kate Emerson
Series: 4th (The Pleasure Palace, Between Two Queens, By Royal Decree)
Published: January 3rd 2012 by Gallery
Source: Personal Copy
Description: History remembers Lady Anne Stafford as the woman who cheated on her husband with both King Henry VIII and his companion, Sir William Compton. Lady Anne was indeed in love with two men at the same time… but the king wasn't one of them. Lady Anne's complex and heart-wrenching romantic relationships are at the core of this riveting tale that masterfully blends romance, drama, and historical detail as only Kate Emerson can.
I Give This ....
I've particularly enjoyed this series because it's caused me to take another look at lesser known people in the royal courts during the Tudor time period. I've probably heard Lady Anne's name in countless books I've read, but have obviously written her off. This book really brought her character to life.
I got the distinct feeling that Lady Anne had a someone difficult life. Her brother, the Duke of Buckingham did not come across as the best of people throughout this book. He seemed cold-hearted and calculating. I never got the impression that he cared even a little for Anne. It was all about what she could do for him. When her first husband died, the book made it seem like that he coerced Anne into handing over control of her holdings to him. I know she was young, but she had very little say over things even though widowhood should have granted her some freedom.
I thought maybe she might have found a worthwhile companion in George Hastings. But, I think he often was over powered by her brother. The saying often goes that love is blind, but in this case that wasn't so. It seemed more like it made him extremely jealous and quick to jump to conclusions. I was floored that he wouldn't stand up to the Duke and willingly sent his wife to a convent without hearing her side at all. Then he preceded to hold that against for years.
I found it interesting that the book makes it seem possible to love two men at the same time. Anne obviously loved her husband. She was devoted to him and did her best to wave off Will for years. But, it's equally as obvious that over time she grew to love Will as well. It wasn't something that she planned. I couldn't quite decide that if I was disappointed in her decision to act on that feeling. I think I half hoped that she would be a women true to her word for her entire life.
I really enjoyed this latest edition in the series. I feel like I'm getting a different side of history from the eyes of people history has forgotten. I'm ready for the next one!