Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Rose Bride by Elizabeth Moss

Hilary Mantel meets Sylvia Day: the final installment in a deliciously erotic trilogy begun in Wolf Bride, set against the sumptuous backdrop of the scandal-ridden Tudor Court by Elizabeth Moss.

She's fallen too far...

Margerie Croft yielded her virginity before her wedding night, and then fled King Henry VIII's court, knowing she couldn't marry a man she did not love. Now she is viewed as soiled goods, fit only for the role of a courtier's plaything.

Virgil Elton has heard the wicked rumors, but something about Margerie calls to him. Drawn close despite himself, he invites her to help in his work to restore the king's flagging health. But as he comes to know her, Virgil discovers beneath the layers of protective reserve a woman who is as intelligent and passionate as she is beautiful. He will stop at nothing to heal the damage the court has inflicted, even if it means falling himself...

Add to Goodreads

Book 3
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

5 nail-biting, tense stars.

Picking up the gantlet Rebel Bride threw down, Rose Bride was a nail-biter of a read. From page one, the primary emotion I felt as a reader was stress. The era in which this series is set in was a terrifying time for women.

Of the three heroines thus far, Margerie is the most mature and level-headed, but then again she has been out it the real world, instead of protected. The reader finally learns the truth as to why Margerie jilted Wolf from book one – she was forced to bed him by her mother (which was never explained as to why she was told to do so by her mother), and then she was terrified of him. Running away to France with her best friend, who happened to be male, and I'm surmising gay. They planned to marry to save her reputation, but he passed quickly from an illness.

Years upon years later, Margerie resumes her place at court as a seamstress for Jane Seymour at her grandfather's request. Rumors and stories abound, turning Margerie, whom had only had one uncomfortable, awkward sexual encounter with her betrothed in all those years, to a trained courtesan bedding everyone and anyone.

Why would anyone want to be in court, including the king himself? In a similar fashion to the previous books, the constant tension and level of fear of the narrator being taken against her will starts right on page one. The king’s men, and everyone else, was in fear of their women being forced by the king, yet they all acted like the girls seduced him and welcomed the attentions – I found this contradictory. Everyone and everyone should have just known whichever maiden was in the king's presence didn't want it, yet they rewrote it in their minds to blame the girls. Just as Wolf feared in book one, and Susanna suffered in book 2, Margerie tells King Henry no to his face. As punishment, she is set upon by his men like rabid dogs going after a fox on a hunt.

With every breath every woman takes in this era, they seem to be forced to suffocate on the fact that they are lessor beings, and all punishments will be meted out from between their legs. I find this beyond disturbing, simply because there seems to be NO men in this series, including past male narrators, who thinks this disgusting. In any society, no matter the norm, there are always gray areas between the black and white. Even if under Henry's reign men found this appropriate, there should be 3 out of 10 men who would see women as human beings, especially since this is a romance series where the reader is to believe the hero falls in love with the heroine.

In walks Virgil Elton to save the day. As a scholar, a doctor, he does see Margerie as a human being. Evolved, he actually has no problem with her reputation, finding her liberated and mature. But there is a problem, as he treats her as such, when she is actually innocent of the rumors.

While enjoying Virgil's bed, Margerie becomes Lord Munro's mistress, ensuring a future where she is a landholder. Just as her male best friend from years ago, Munro is of the same nature, not truly needing her to warm his bed, but to help cover up the true rumors of his nature circulating. Intelligent, Margerie takes Munro up on his offer. I could understand his terror as well, and it was a convenient solution to both of their problems.

The only problem, Virgil believes it, is jealous and resentful. While listening to all of the rumors circulating about Margerie, he apparently closes his ears to all rumors pertaining to Munro, except those involving Margerie. If he had opened his ears, he would have learned the truth that Margerie had sworn to never voice. Actually, he would have quickly realized all rumors were unfounded, but the doctor, the scholar, apparently found rumor to be gospel. That was my only problem with Virgil, as I enjoyed his personality so much more than the previous heroes. But then again, Virgil's ignorance was forced by Margerie.

Needless to say, having Virgil believe Margerie loose of morals was hard to take, and I understood her mature approach of not explaining it away, as no one would believe her anyway, so why waste her breath.

All in all, I've been riveted while reading these three books. Stressed but riveted.

***On a side note: what was Margerie dreaming of while sleepwalking? It felt like it was a plot that was forgotten, as it hinted she was assaulted in the past and was reliving it while sleepwalking. That thread just unraveled and was never explained.

Also Available in the Lust in the Tudor Court Series

Book 1
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca

For reviews & more info, check out our Wolf Bride post.

Book 2
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca

For reviews & more info, check out our Rebel Bride post.

From her earliest years, Elizabeth Moss knew she wanted to be a writer. Now she writes historical romance with a hot, sexy twist. Elizabeth was born into a literary family in Essex, and currently lives in the South-West of England with her husband and young family.

She also writes commercial fiction as Victoria Lamb (historicals) and Beth Good (contemporary rom coms).

Connect with Elizabeth

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Blog  ~  Goodreads


Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Rose Bride (Lust in the Tudor Court #3) by Elizabeth Moss to read and review.

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