The Secret Bride (In The Court of Henry VIII 1) by Diane Haeger
Mary 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 the elderly, ailing King Louis of France, a 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, and is determined, through her own cunning, courage, and boldness, to forge her own destiny.
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… (Goodreads)
Mary has known Charles Brandon since childhood and doesn’t hide her dislike. But growing up she notices her feelings starting to change, yet she knows that a princess can’t have a future with a duke. Mary does her duty by marrying the old French king and after her husband dies, she and Charles follow their hearts knowing Mary’s brother will be furious.
The book leaned more towards romance than straight historical fiction but unfortunately I couldn’t feel the passion between Mary and Charles. I kept waiting something to happen and sparks starting to fly but nothing. I didn’t really connect with Mary to be fully interested to know what happened with her. She was too naïve and well… maybe not too bright. And of course beautiful. Which we heard many, many times.
And there were too much sneaking around corners and secret meetings. How could Mary had the opportunity to do half of what she was doing?
This was rather easy and quick read but didn’t quite reach the expectations.
Published: NAL (2008)
Source: my own