Diane Haeger~~4 1/2 and 5 Star Reviews

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The Queen's Rival

Diane Haeger

New American Library

Trade Paperback




King Henry VIII is famous for his many wives and lovers, but what of his mistresses?  Miss Elizabeth "Bessie" Blount was the first well‑known mistress and the only woman to give Henry a son who lived into adulthood. Who was this young woman? A daughter of courtiers, the beautiful Bessie was called into the queen's service at the age of 14 and immediately caught the young king's eye. Innocent and naïve, Bess struggles to learn how to manage court life, stay loyal to the queen and true to herself all while fighting her growing infatuation to the handsome and charming royal who seems intent on having her body and catching her heart.

This story is an absolutely fascinating look into the heart of a young girl thrown into the intrigues of court life and forced to learn life's lessons through harsh experience. It is both beautiful and heart‑wrenching as the reader learns to love this woman as she lives, loves, loses and learns to find peace in a life so barren of it.  Ms. Haeger brings such emotion into this breathtakingly rich tale that one finds themselves not only moved, but somehow, better for having read it.

Tammy J. Schneider