I am voluntarily reviewing this reader copy of Wolf Bride.
Tudor Era novels. I don’t have a good reason for not reading them, I just always think I don’t like them. Maybe it’s the tv show tripping me up. Anne Boylan wasn’t really a good friend to anyone, so maybe I always think she mucked up an entire Age. I pass these books by, after reading Wolf Bride I have a fresh palate and Elizabeth Moss has inspired me.
This book is steamy to the nth. Definitely 5 Steamies out of 5 and also NSFW.
Lord Wolf has just come home from another battle campaign for King Henry and approached his neighbor Sir John Tyrell for the hand of his daughter Eloise in exchange for clearing Sir John’s debts. Eloise has been in the company of Queen Anne as a lady in waiting these past years and has her heart on a courtier named Simon Thetford who has been romancing her recently. Upon learning of her impending nuptials she runs to Simon to appeal to him to elope with her to save her but finds that the fickle suitor would be more happy to dally with her after she has married. Heartbroken she decides the fastest way to an acceptable future is being a shrew and acting a child with her new intended. This works well. …because the last thing Wolf wants is a boring bride.
I liked this story a lot. The one thing that did feel a little raw in the telling was it felt that from time to time a little backstory is brought up but turns out to be irrelevant to any purpose. Along with that some ideas are put forth but not tied into a full thought. A good instance of the later issue would be in all the crumbs the reader is given of Wolf being intrigued in her as a child. This would feel more meaningful if ages were addressed and events appropriate to those ages. I was left thinking that one of the mentions of his attraction was when he was an adult and she was still a young girl–that made me squick, especially in light of the things he does to his bride in the name of her being his childhood obsession.
I would be remiss in not mentioning that there are a great deal of events that border on dark issues. Women were not held in high esteem in the era and Elizabeth Moss does touch on some of the less than respectable treatment of females. I will say it plainly, her female characters are always in the shadow of imminent or potential violation in physical and emotional forms. Kids, this is not a time in history where women had a great deal of power.
This novel is part of a series. The heroine and hero of the next book are in this one and are secondary characters given a decent amount of real estate in this story.
I do want to also mention that the portrayal of Queen Anne in this novel is very sympathetic. I hesitate to give the tart the same benefit of doubt. Off with her head!