C harming. Desirable. Forbidden. Brought to court with other eligible young noblewomen by the decree of King Henry VIII, lovely Elizabeth "Bess" Brooke realizes for the first time that beauty can be hazardous. Read more...
Charming. Desirable. Forbidden. Brought to court with other eligible young noblewomen by the decree of King Henry VIII, lovely Elizabeth "Bess" Brooke realizes for the first time that beauty can be hazardous. Although Bess has no desire to wed the aging king, she and her family would have little choice if Henry's eye were to fall on her. And other dangers exist as well, for Bess has caught the interest of dashing courtier Will Parr. Bess finds Will's kisses as sweet as honey, but marriage between them may be impossible. Will is a divorced man, and remarriage is still prohibited. Bess and Will must hope that the king can be persuaded to issue a royal decree allowing Will to marry again . . . but to achieve their goal, the lovers will need royal favor. Amid the swirling alliances of royalty and nobles, Bess and Will perform a dangerous dance of palace intrigue and pulse-pounding passions.
Brought to glowing life by the talented Kate Emerson, and seen through the eyes of a beautiful young noblewoman, By Royal Decree illuminates the lives of beautiful young courtiers in and out of the rich and compelling drama of the Tudor court.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2010-10-25
- Reviewer: Staff
Emerson's third in her series (after Between Two Queens) explores the tempestuous world of the Tudor court in the sunset of Henry VIII's reign. Married to his sixth wife, Kathryn Parr, many years his junior, Henry still has an eye for Elizabeth Brooke, but luckily for her, only briefly, since Elizabeth's in love with Parr's brother, Will, who loves her but already has a wife. Henry deems divorce acceptable for himself but is loathe to grant it for others. After Henry dies, his heir, Edward, allows the couple to marry. Happy for a while, Will and Elizabeth are upended by the unexpected death of the young king and the political turmoil that follows. As Catholic Mary's rule tears them apart, they must decide how much they are willing to risk for love and country. Parr is a drab hero, but Elizabeth's fierce loyalty to him, against all odds, makes the story appealing. The supporting characters are not given enough play, especially the colorful Tom Seymour and Thomas Wyatt. While not Emerson's best, this is a solid historical with a refreshingly willful, sexually liberated heroine (Dec.)