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In a Treacherous Court

by Michelle Diener

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11312176,383 (3.62)5
In 1525, artist Susanna Horenbout is sent from Belgium to be Henry VIII's personal illuminator. After an attempt is made on Susanna's life, John Parker, the king's most lethal courtier, is charged with keeping her safe.Further attacks are made and Susanna and Parker realize that she unknowningly carries the key to a plot against the throne. With a gang of urchins, their wits and instincts, the two work through the layers of deceit at the court of the king.… (more)



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Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
A quick and easy read, fun and action-packed.

Susanna Horenbout travels from Belgium to England to join the court of Henry VIII as his personal painter. En route she unwittingly becomes entangled in a treasonous Yorkist plot and her life is in danger. She and her protector, John Parker, must discover who is behind the plot and who is trying to kill them.

There is lots to like in Diener's first novel. Susanna is a likable heroine, capable and assertive, yet without 21st century pretensions, and John Parker makes a very dashing male lead. I did appreciate the historical note at the end stating what was fact and what was fiction.

What let the book down imo was how Susanna walked from one attempt on her life into the next - the constant round of assasination attempts, abductions and muggings. People who like a lot of action with their historical fiction will like this, I didn't. The author clearly knows the time period, so I would have liked for her to mix it up a bit; as it was, we found ourselves in some alley every few pages, daggers and swords at the ready. I also would have liked to hear a bit more about Susanna's art, which I thought would have added a different dimension.

Because of the spacing between the lines the book is a lot shorter than the page count would suggest. This is the first book in a series and since the story isn't completely resolved, I will just have to get on with the next one.

In short, liked it but didn't love it. ( )
  SabinaE | Jan 23, 2016 |
Despite a lot of modernisms, I really enjoyed it. Review coming... ( )
  kara-karina | Nov 20, 2015 |
Tudor England! Historical fiction! Spies! Banter! Intrigue! Romance!
Yes, I very much liked this book. ( )
  ewillse | Mar 23, 2014 |
Tudor England! Historical fiction! Spies! Banter! Intrigue! Romance!
Yes, I very much liked this book. ( )
1 vote PatienceFortitude | Mar 6, 2014 |
Tudor England! Historical fiction! Spies! Banter! Intrigue! Romance!
Yes, I very much liked this book. ( )
  PatienceFortitude | Mar 6, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
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To my husband, who supported me and never once thought I wouldn't achieve my dreams, and to my children, who have learned to repeat themselves with good grace when their mother is so deep in her work she doesn't hear them the first time.
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"I am the keeper of Paradise, Purgatory and Hell."
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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An unconventional woman. A deadly enemy. A clash of intrigue, deception, and desire. . . . February 1525: Artist Susanna Horenbout is sent from Belgium to be Henry VIII’s personal illuminator inside the royal palace. But her new homeland greets her with an attempt on her life, and the King’s most lethal courtier, John Parker, is charged with keeping her safe. As further attacks are made, Susanna and Parker realize that she unknowingly carries the key to a bloody plot against the throne. For while Richard de la Pole amasses troops in France for a Yorkist invasion, a traitor prepares to trample the kingdom from within.Who is the mastermind? Why are men vying to kill the woman Parker protects with his life? With a motley gang of urchins, Susanna’s wits, and Parker’s fierce instincts, honed on the streets and in palace chambers, the two slash through deadly layers of deceit in a race against time. For in the court of Henry VIII, secrets are the last to die. . . .Brilliantly revealing a little-known historical figure who lived among the Tudors, Michelle Diener makes a smashing historical fiction debut.
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