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The Queen's Rival (In The Court of Henry VIII #3)

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  1,142 ratings  ·  65 reviews
From the author of The Queen's Mistake comes the untold story of King Henry VIII's first well-known mistress.

As the beautiful daughter of courtiers, Elizabeth "Bessie" Blount is overjoyed when she secures a position as maid of honor to Katherine of Aragon. But when she captures the attention of the king himself, there are whispers that the queen ought to be worried for h...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published March 1st 2011 by NAL Trade (first published February 4th 2011)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Rio (Lynne)
2.5 stars. Even though not all historical facts were documented during this time, those of us who know Tudor history have an idea how we feel these situations happened. Not much is known about Bessie Blount except that she did have Henry's son and was married to Gilbert Tailboys and Edward Clinton. In this story Diane weaves what is known with "a lot" of fiction. Some not so believable, but who I am I to say it didn't happen that way. The author had a tendency to write dialogue of things that wo...more
Jenn (Booksessed)
This book combined a lot of my nerdy loves. Tudor history, books, and sappy love stories. Not like super sappy, but you'll probably say "aww" a couple times. Unless, you don't have a soul, in which case you probably don't read books either. So it's all moot, right?

I'm still a huge fan of the Showtime series The Tudors even though there is some artistic license there (read, historical inaccuracies) that one must over look. Even though it's really hard. At least for me. So I went into this novel h...more
Kelly A.
Jan 12, 2011 Kelly A. rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Historical fiction lovers, Tudor fanatics
It's official - Diane Haeger is one of my favorite authors. I love her ongoing series about Henry VIII's court, and The Queen's Rival was no disappointment. I read it in less than 24 hours.

This book explores the life of Bessie Blount, one of Henry's very first mistresses. Though not much is known about Bessie's early life, we follow her through her years as a maid-of-honor to Queen Katherine of Aragon, her affair with Henry, and the birth of their illegitimate son, Henry Fitzroy. Little Henry is...more
Mishel Zabala
My Rating: 4.5/5 stars

The Queen’s Rival is about one of King Henry VIII’s known mistresses, Elizabeth “Bessie” Blount. It was a very emotional read that put me directly in the court of Katherine of Aragon and Henry VIII. I was both fascinated and horrified by the court lifestyle. The politics, rules, and hidden agendas are enough to make anyone’s head spin. The Tudor time period is another part of history that I avoided both in school and after I graduated. This novel was an introduction into an...more
well, I didn't realize that this was book #3....
Atleast I'm somewhat up on this history so I wasn't confused.

There is something so magical and fascinating to me about the Tudor court. I adore Henry, even though he is a dog. I love reading about Anne and Jane and Mary, I loved the show (and, yes I am so sad it's over, here's to hoping house of borgia is just as good) and I love the scenery and imagery of that time period.

This book was about Bessie Blount. The kings' first mistress to produce a...more
I enjoyed this book. Coming into it I didn't know all that much about Bess Blount, except you know the usual of being a mistress of Henry VIII and mothering one of his two sons. It was interesting to read. But there was a lot of problems that I had with this book. The main thing that was how stupid Bess came off. I mean really? She didn't think that the King had mistresses? Her parents were at court for most of their lives and tried to 'school' their daughter on the goings that should've been th...more
I adored this author's writing style and "voice." The story came alive to me and all I wanted to do was read this book. It was tragically beautiful and passionately written. The lessons Bess learned were priceless. Her longtime friend, Gil, was truly heroic. One couldn't help wondering what might have happened to the Tudor Dynasty if Henry VIII had married Bess Blount instead of Anne Boleyn. Though not Christian fiction, the story went deep and explored the faith of the characters, which was sin...more
This book didn't quite click with me. Bess Blount was an adolescent when she came to the court of Henry VIII. She was mesmerized by the handsome king (in his 20's at the time). A more vivid case of "puppy love" you wouldn't be able to find! But there the main character (Bess) drifts along with the plot. The author tries to convince readers that King Henry was wounded emotionally by the death of his older brother, Arthur, but it just didn't convince me. IMHO the king was a healthy (and lusty) man...more
Well written novel about Bess Blount, who is a character that is not usually in the forefront of Tudor novels. A good and interesting read, although it dragged a little bit at the end (and a side note, "Here, here" is incorrect. Arggggggg. I miss editors)

Christy English
Beautifully written novel of Bessie Blount...I really loved it
The Queen’s Rival is a story of a young girl name Elizabeth “Bessie” Blount whose father was injured in one of Henry VIII’s war with a neighboring country. Her mother, a lady in Katherine of Argon’s household comes home to take care of her husband and Bessie, dreaming of court life, takes her place. She is a beautiful and intelligent girl who captures many at Henry VII’s court and eventually Henry himself. Bessie becomes his mistress and rival to the Queen. As the story is told Katherine of Argo...more
I loved this book. In fact, I lived this book so much I dedicated an entire school project to it. I designed and created a Gown for the character Elizabeth Blount.

Elizabeth is beautiful, enchanting, whimsical and innocent. The imagery used to describe her has stuck with me, Diane includes all the correct Tudor mannerisms of how a noble Lady should act, whilst still giving Bess a girlish and innocent manner too 'her rose skirts pooled around her'.

No this isn't a Tudor fact book, so It's not some...more
Mar 30, 2011 Laurie rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: sold
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bessie Blount was a sweet heart. She was a good natured girl from the countryside at Kinlet. She spent her whole childhood with her big family dreaming of a life of grander things at the Tudor court. Bess was naive in all the right places for Henry VIII to notice her upon her arrival at court. It really did not help Bess that the first friends she made were with Henry's current treat of the moment Elizabeth Bryan. I found that Bess was different than the previous women in Henry's life; she was n...more
Helen Azar
For some masochistic reason I force myself to read (or at least attempt to read) every single Tudor work of fiction that is released lately. And there are plenty of those. Some of them are excellent(Wolf Hall by Mantel and the Matthew Shardlake mystery series by Sansom, just two examples). Others - not so much. Most unfortunately fall into the latter category, including this one. Yes, it's somewhat different because it focuses on one of the lesser known of Henry VIII's mistresses (whom he did no...more
Diane Haeger has written several historical fiction books but this is the first one I've read by her. I really liked this book so it's safe to say I will be reading more by her in the future. Especially since she writes about my favorite time in history. The story focuses on Elizabeth(Bess) Blount. Elizabeth comes to the court of Henry the VIII as a young, inexperienced girl from the country. She's grown up fantasizing about court life and about the King of England. She has to learn that things...more
Diane Haeger has done it again everyone! Haeger is an amazing writer who knows how to capture every minute detail. She peered into the life of King Henry VIII as a young man who is battling his emotions and learning how to control them. This is a new side of King Henry VIII that I haven’t seen portrayed be any other author. The book gets its name The Queen’s Rival because Queen Katherine views Bess as a threat to the king’s heart and soul, which she has lost due to her failure of providing a mal...more
I placed this on my "to-read" shelf because I can't say that I really read enough of it to count towards my 2013 challenge, but... I can't say that I'm ever going to read it, either. Or rather, finish it.

I don't remember much of my first attempt at Diane Haeger with The Perfect Royal Mistress, but I did give it two stars. Bessie Blount-related fiction, however, is really hard to find. So I decided to give this one a shot.

I'm used to historical fiction authors inflating their less-than-significan...more
I have a strange on-again, off-again relationship with Diane Haeger, especially since she began her "In the Court of Henry VIII" series. And, much like Henry and his mistresses, I found myself enthralled at one moment, but completely uninterested the next. It's a rocky relationship, to say the least. I've liked how Haeger has done some things, but not others. In fact, after reading the first book in the series, The Secret Bride, I told myself that I was done with Haeger's books. Then, over a yea...more
The Queen’s Rival is the third installment of Diane Haeger’s In the Court of Henry VIII series. It follows the teenage years of young Bessie Blount who suddenly finds herself a maid in Katherine of Aragon’s house hold when her father is hurt in battle and her mother returns to their country home to nurse him back to health.

Unprotected at court by her courtier parents, Bessie must learn court life from other teenage attendants. She soon finds herself fast-friends with Elizabeth Bryan, daughter t...more
Nay Nay
I've read alot of books about Henry VIII, his court, and his wives. I watched all the movies. In all these books and movies we only get little snippits of Bessie Blount, finally someone tells her story.
Many years ago I read THE SECRET BRIDE by Diane Haeger and really enjoyed it. So when I was looking for yet another Tudor fiction book and came across THE QUEEN'S RIVAL I was really excited, finally the famous Mistress of Henry VIII Bessie Blount is the main character. Diane Haeger writes that Be...more
I really liked this book. I don't know much from my own research about Bessie Blount, other than she was one of Henry VIII's mistresses and she did have a son with him. So I don't know how accurate the research was for this book. But I really liked how Bess was portrayed and felt she was a very likeable person. She would have been someone I would happily know in real life, someone who seemed kind and warm.

I enjoyed, too, the interpretation that Henry actually did love her and the toying with id...more
Rosemary Hazard
I found this a light, interesting read - like most historical fiction there are liberties taken by the author to add to the story but, all in all, I think this is a good book with more historical accuracy than most. It also reflects upon a well known but not often written about character in the Tudor history, namely, Bessie Blount, one of the most well known mistresses of Henry VIII an mother of his son who was the Duke of Richmond. The reader comes away with more of a sense of the young Henry a...more
I absolutely loved this book! It completely turned my thinking around. At first I didn't like Bess, but while reading this book, I fell right in love with her character. There were even a few times that I had to put the book down so I could CRY!! She was an amazing woman in this book! If you are a Tudor fan, this is a good read. Buy it :) It is one of my very favorites ever.
I love historical romances, and Henry the 8th has always been a favorite historical figure of mine, so i went into reading this book with high hopes. I am happy to say i was not at all disappointed, it was wonderfully written, with a great plot.
I love Diane Haeger, but this is by far the best one I've read! The details and the story are so riveting it's very easy to get lost in this book. I found myself laughing and crying with the characters and since this is not my first Tudor novel, I found myself feeling sympathy for some characters I've never felt before. This book truly transports you into the Tudor world with all the drama and intrigue of Henry viii's court. It also brings you into the world of the young and innocent bess blount...more
Awesome book! This is one of my favorite historical fiction authors, and once again she does not disappoint! This is the story of mistress Bess Blount, mistress of young king Henry VIII, and mother of the king's much loved and only acknowledged illegitimate son(Henry Fitzroy). It was very interesting to see this story unravel from Bess's point of view after only seeing tiny bits and pieces of her character in other various books! I love how Diane Haeger tells her stories through multiple charact...more
Ok. I have a slightly weird obsession with the Henry VIII era in history. And I had it long before it was the in thing either. With that being said, I've read several historical fictions set in this time period. What makes this one unique is it's about one of Henry's mistresses who never became Queen, Bess Blount. I've never read anything about her, so this was a bit of something new for me, and I quite enjoyed it. Obviously, this is historical fiction so not everything is on par with actual his...more
While this book is not historically accurate (how much fiction really is?), this book brings a refreshing view of the Tudor court before the Boleyn era. 'Bessie' Blount is easy to sympathize with and I enjoyed ' getting to know' her. If she was truly as lovely as portrayed in this novel, I don't see how Henry VIII would have have ever moved on to the Boleyn sisters. The book moves a bit slow at times, taking far too long to get to the actual meat and bone of the affair, and then there is a swift...more
Allison G
I think this was my favorite novel in the series so far! It was about Henry VIII's mistress Bess Blount. I learned so much about the history and was so intrigued by the story of her life and her loves. I even cried a bit near the end (I won't tell you why in case you don't know the history - don't want to ruin it for you). One more book in the series. So far I've enjoyed all of them, but I wish she had written them in chronological order...not a big deal though. Just seems like The Queen's Mista...more
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Diane Haeger is the author of four previous historical novels, including The Ruby Ring and My Dearest Cecilia. She lives in California with her husband and family.
More about Diane Haeger...
The Secret Bride (In The Court of Henry VIII, #1) Courtesan The Perfect Royal Mistress The Queen's Mistake (In the Court of Henry VIII, #2) The Ruby Ring

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