Diane Haeger takes you into a world where love was nothing compared to political alliances, women were controlled by the men in their lives, life was granted only at the mercy of the king and princesses DIDN'T get choices.
I found this book to be completely intriguing. As a history buff, and one who has been fascinated with Elizabeth I, getting a glimpse into the early life of her father and his siblings was a great bonus to a wonderful love story. Balancing fact with fiction has never been an easily accomplished feat, but Ms. Haeger did so with great aplomb and conviction.
I found myself regularly stopping to look up more facts on Henry, Mary and Charles Brandon (Mary's true love) and learning so much more. And while most of us are familiar with the later years of Henry's life, Ms. Haeger gives is a wonderful and refreshing glimpse into his life before what most stories focus on. The relationship between the key players in this novel is complicated but full of love and leaves you hoping they all end up living happily ever after.
ary Tudor, the headstrong younger sister of the ruthless King Henry VIII, has always been her brother's favorite--- but now she is also an important political bargaining chip. When she is promised to elderly ailing King Louis of France, heartbroken Mary accepts her fate, but not before extracting a promise from her brother: When the old king dies, her next marriage shall be solely of her choosing. For Mary has a forbidden passion, love for her brother's older best friend--- a man with a scandalous reputation, yet still she is determined to forge her own destiny, through her own cunning, courage and passionate boldness.
The Secret Bride is the triumphant tale of one extraordinary woman who meant to stay true to her heart and live her life just as her royal brother did---by her own rules.