My rating: 1 of 5 stars
“Oh, if ’twere you, ‘twould be ‘twerrific!”
Bookshelves: abandoned, bloody-awful, chick-lit, dnf, historical-fiction, i-am-an-anglophile, merry-olde-england, ugh, women, icky-romance
First, my apologies to Lake Union Publishing and Net Galley. I had deleted this from my Kindle because the cover illustration and swirly-girly typeface made me think I’d downloaded a romance in error. Then I saw it on my Net Galley shelf and remembered it was Tudor historical fiction. My bad. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review, several months ago.
I was excited to have Katherine Grey as the main subject, as she is usually only mentioned in passing with reference to her older sister, the doomed Nine Days Queen. The prologue was very well-written and sucked me right in. Katherine Grey! Tudor intrigue!
But…it quickly became pedestrian romance fare. Far too many adjectives and adverbs: “I washed down the savory meal with one smooth and delectable goblet of free-flowing red wine after another…” Ugh. The phrase “prince/ss of the blood” was way overused, 6 times in the first chapter alone. And all the “for certes” and ’tis/ ’twere/’twill/’twould …it’s hard to take anything seriously when I keep hearing “Robin Hood: Men in Tights” in my head.
We quickly descend into pages and pages of rambling about whether Katherine and her sister will escape the wrath of the Tudor sisters at having their throne pounced upon (nope) and how sucky it is to have such scheming parents (yep). This rambling takes intermission for a wedding ceremony, which insto-presto changes Katherine from a sheltered and innocent twelve-year-old child bride into a sophisticated and expert flirt, complete with bold gaze and breathy voice, then returns for several more pages of conjuring gallows and scaffolds.
I’m out. The phrase “tender flesh” was used. I’m not waiting around for anybody’s “throbbing manhood.”
I think it’s unfortunate that the courtly opulence and intrigue of history lend themselves so well to the romance genre, because fictionalization of interesting historical people and episodes is my fave-o-flave, while bodice-ripping/kissy-kissy/agonising over whether Prince Charming will come to the rescue is decidedly not. I know I said this after I tortured myself by reading Me Before You all the way through, but I think I’ve finally learned that sometimes you really can judge a book by its cover. This book is listed as Women’s Fiction and General Fiction (Adult). If it were properly listed as Romance, an ARC would not have been wasted on me.
Jumping ship at 14%.
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