Hilary Mantel meets Sylvia Day: the first installment in a deliciously erotic trilogy, set against the sumptuous backdrop of the scandal-ridden Tudor Court by Elizabeth Moss.
BOUND TO HIM AGAINST HER WILL...
Lord Wolf, hardened soldier and expert lover, has come to King Henry VIII's court to claim his new bride: a girl who has intrigued him since he first saw her riding across the Yorkshire moors.
Eloise Tyrell, now lady-in-waiting to Queen Anne Boleyn, has other ideas. She has no desire to submit to a man she barely knows and who-though she is loath to admit it-frightens her more than a little.
Their first kiss awakens in both a fierce desire that bares them to the soul. But as the court erupts into scandal around the ill-fated Queen, Eloise sees firsthand what happens when powerful men tire of their wives...
This turned out to be something more in line of a steamy Tudor era court intrigue arranged marriage piece which was much more appealing to me when I actually sat down to read it making me sorry I dragged my feet.
I have had this one on the shelf for some time. I initially got excited when I read the blurb and saw a couple of reviews, but would you believe the comparison line was what held me back? Telling me a book is the historical version of Fifty Shades of Gray or a cross between Hilary Martel and Sylvia Day actually had the opposite effect of what they wanted. I was less than enthused about either possibility. And, in the end, for my part, it wasn’t an apt set of comparisons. Might need to have a Yakkety Yak about that on a different day.
The story caught my attention from the very first pages when the heroine, Eloise Tyrell, is part of Queen Anne’s ladies and she notes the Queen is stepping out on her husband, Henry VIII (and he’s flagrantly stepping out on her, but that is neither here nor there back in that time). Henry and Anne’s court is a dangerous place to be with ambitions high and Henry’s volatile temper. This was exciting and I enjoyed that part.
I did struggle a bit with the heroine. I didn’t hate her, but she’s kind of a passive-aggressive type. Eloise faces an arranged marriage that she does not want with a noble who looks great in person and on paper and puts the playful flirty puppy type guy she was mooning over to shame, but still she tries for a silent battle of snippy attitude and refusal to really see that she’s getting quite a fantastic deal for those days. She kept getting caught in situations that made her look bad because she froze up and wasn’t thinking which did make me feel sorry for her a little. I felt her real issue with the marriage was that it wasn’t her own idea and Wolf isn’t easily manipulated by her.
But getting past Eloise’s control games, I really enjoyed the rest of the story. I even enjoyed how Eloise’s fiery nature paired well with Wolf. It was quite steamy and probably a tad over-balanced with the sexy times, but lust is the game with this series afterall so I was expecting it. I thought the court intrigue and the way Wolf slowly earned his new wife’s respect and love was the best part. Wolf plays a deep game with King Henry himself as the other player which made for a nice, taunt build to the finish.
So, all in all, it was a nice Tudor era lusty romp and I was glad to have read it. This is definitely for those who like their historicals steamy and want a bit of medieval court intrigue on the side.
My thanks to Sourcebooks Casablanca for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
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