Title: At the King’s Command (Tudor Rose Trilogy #1)
Author: Susan Wiggs
Publisher: Mira 2009
Genre: Historical Romance
Rating: 4 / 5 stars
Reading Challenges: Summer Romance – Historical
How I Got It: own it
Frustrated by his own failures at matrimony, King Henry VIII punishes an insolent nobleman by commanding him to marry the vagabond woman caught stealing his horse. Stephen de Lacey is a cold and bitter widower, long accustomed to the sovereign’s capricious and malicious whims. He regards his new bride as utterly inconvenient…though undeniably fetching.
But Juliana Romanov is no ordinary thief—she is a Russian princess forced into hiding by the traitorous cabal who slaughtered her family. One day she hopes to return to Muscovy to seek vengeance.
What begins as a mockery of a marriage ultimately blossoms into deepest love.
Another predictable historical romance… but wait, there’s more than meets the eye in this one! Secrets abound! Just how I like it! I ended up enjoying this volume more than I thought I would; especially given my recent abundance of DNFs.
I loved the main heroine, Juliana. She was the right amount of fierce determination and calm in the face of circumstances and the fury of her new husband. Stephen was a bit annoying at times. Male pride be damned, he was just acting like a fool for part of the novel! Jillie, the maid, was a fun side character. And the gypsies were colorful in so many ways. I think I liked the scenes with them most of all. Even King Henry VIII is given side character status. And he’s just as much of an asshole as you think he would be.
The plot is fairly predictable, but that’s what I’ve come to expect from romances. There are a fun diversion in between more thought-provoking reads. I liken them to palate cleansers. We have two people destined to be together, but one or both fight their fate for most of the book. An outsider complicates matters. They finally realize their love for one another and live happily ever after. Oh yeah, and there are sex scenes. These were done beautifully; not the usual crass descriptions.
Overall, I give it a thumbs up (and 4 stars)!
Tudor Rose Trilogy:
- At the King’s Command (or Circle in the Water)
- The Maiden’s Hand (or Vows Made in Wine)
- At the Queen’s Summons (Dancing on Air)