Very like a Queen by Martin Lake


Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance

Pages: 389

Published by Lake Union Publishing

Release date: January 26th, 2016




The King’s favor was her sanctuary—until his desire turned dangerous.

Alice Petherton is well practiced at using her beauty and wits to survive in the Court of King Henry VIII. As the King’s favorite, she enjoys his protection, but after seeing the downfall of three of his wives, she’s determined to avoid the same fate. Alice must walk a fine line between mistress and wife.

She finds a powerful protector in Thomas Cromwell, and Alice has every reason to believe that she will continue to enjoy a life of wealth and comfort at Court…until she puts everything at risk by falling in love with a Frenchman, Nicholas Bourbon.

When Cromwell is executed, Alice loses her only ally and flees to France. There she hopes to live in peace with Nicholas. But Alice is lured into a perilous game of treason, and peace doesn’t last long. Will Alice get back the life and love she’s fought for? Or will she lose herself to the whims of a capricious monarch?


I was entirely intrigued by the description of the book and its very idea. I feel highly ashamed to admit that I’ve never actually read anything related to the Tudors nor have I watched anything in relation to it. I am not ignorant of history, though, I have read up on the history of important figures and who doesn’t know Henry VIII?We begin with Alice Petherton

We begin with Alice Petherton, favored Mistress of Henry VIII and it is no secret. She has witnessed many horrors, but also finds herself favoring the King, love may be a strong word but she does care for him in a way and in that she has his confidence, too.

Thomas Cromwell is an important friend, one who also has the utmost confidence of the King and a few other characters as well.

Alice is a bit of a spoiled brat and I think she comes to learn this, too. She believes herself cunning enough to try and outwit or soothe the beastly King when he’s put off, so much so that everyone beckons her when he’s in these moods. Alice has prowess, but I felt the execution in the characters as well as the story telling left it a bit stunted.

I will say that about the entire book, I felt like there were many moments that were stunted, Alice’s love for Nicholas Bourbon, the summary makes one think that there is actually more of a love affair than there actually is in the book. It’s very muted and that is just as well with me if it were meant to be that way, but the summary seems to promise more and more I certainly didn’t get from that.

There were also long draws, pauses in the story and I think it could have been condensed by at least 150 pages. Altogether, it was a nice story, it was an interesting one, too, to be able to see that aspect of Henry VIII – however fictitious it may be.

The ending was quite rushed and I ended it feeling a touch dissatisfied, it was too rushed and not enough depth. That’s how I fairly felt about the book, not enough character depth.




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