Book Review

by Carolly Erickson

Genre: Historical Romance, Historical Fiction, England, Tudor Period
Sensuality: MILD
Setting: Tudor England

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Continuing her exploration of Henry VIII’s wives, Erickson turns her attention to Catherine Howard, wife number five. With her usual fast pace and dialogue-driven style, she brings the ill-fated young queen to life with a sympathetic, realistic portrait of a vivacious girl forced to wed an ailing, old man and whose youthful actions lead her straight to the executioner’s ax.

Fresh from disappointment with his marriage to Anne of Cleves, Henry is ready to grasp at a young wife, one who’s sure to bear him another son. Henry has no idea that his “rose without thorns” has already had three lovers. As much a pawn of her family’s ambitions as her own desires, Catherine weds Henry while keeping up her affair with Thomas Culpeper. She is seemingly unaware of the intrigues and power struggles of the court as she plays with fire by continuing to be unfaithful. She somehow believes all will be well if she gives the king a child. As her world crumbles around her, Catherine clings to hope. (ST. MARTIN’S, Sep., 304 pp., $25.99)

Reviewed By: Kathe Robin

Publisher: ST. MARTIN’S

Published: September 2012

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