Monday, December 6, 2010

[ARC Review] - By Royal Decree by Kate Emerson

Title: By Royal Decree
Author: Kate Emerson
Series: Secrets of the Tudor Court
Genre: Historical Fiction
Release Date: December 14, 2010

I received this book for review from Simon & Schuster.

Summary:  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.

Thoughts: In 1542 a young noblewoman named Elizabeth Brooke (Bess) arrives at the court of King Henry VIII.  Only 15 she is there along with a number of women, as possible choices to be the next Queen.  Not having any interest in the decaying King - she tries to keep her head down. Before heading back home she does catch the interest of William Parr, brother to Catherine Parr.  The moment they see each other it's love and so begins a dangerous and wonderful love story.

By Royal Decree is a pretty amazing read. Intrigue and passion drive this story. I loved it. Rich in historic detail. Ms. Emerson's writing pulls you in from page one and makes you feel like your really there in the Tudor court.  This is the third book in the Secrets of the Tudor Court, telling the story of Elisabeth Brooke and William Parr.  I enjoyed Bess & Will's story. They went to through hell to be together and through all the pain and heartache they believed it was worth it.  This is only the second time reading Kate Emerson, but she has become a favorite. If your a fan of Tudors, you won't want to miss this book.

The book also includes maps, family trees and a Who's who of the Tudor Court. They were great tools to have while reading the book.  As I said above this book is part of the series, but can definitely be read as a stand alone story.

Score: 5 Stars

Author Website:

Secrets of the Tudor Courts:
The Pleasure Palace
Between Two Queens
By Royal Decree


  1. Hey, Anna! I know I'm going to have to end up getting all three of these. I'm going to start the first book in the series tonight. Was the romance aspect a very strong part of the story, or was is more of a historical-fiction novel?

  2. BTW, I LOVE these covers!! They're all so beautiful.

  3. Never been a big Tudor fan but Emersons books sounds good



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