Ruth's Reviews > By Grace Possessed

By Grace Possessed by Jennifer Blake
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This was another great read by Jennifer Blake, part of a series of three, based upon three sisters, who may, or may not be the sources of a curse, and following on from By His Majesty's Grace. I received it through netgalley, and, boy, was I glad I did!

Normally, romances with the curse theme going on don't work for me. They just come across as, well, cheesy, but I really like this one. For a start, the whole series is set at the start of the reign of Henry VII, a time of great political and social upheaval in England. Factions, loosely based around the House of York and the House of Lancaster, themselves much inter-related, have sliced England apart. Those with land or power have switched sides for personal gain, or lost out for picking the "losing" side, only to find favor as the tide changed again. Henry Tudor's own grasp on power was tenuous and pretenders to the throne were two-a-penny. Also, the church was still very powerful in all facets of life, the Reformation had not brought revolution in religious thought, and curses, witches and the mysterious were still very much a strong part of belief. In short, people really believed this stuff. So, the setting and the dubious nature of the curse itself, really works for me. It's a great little entertaining twist, but it doesn't dominate.

Neither does the history, although the way the author has wound in Lambert Simnel's history, the Battle of Stoke and the every day life at the early Tudor court is possibly the aspect of this book which just totally wins me over. I love it when authors not only do their history research, but make it such as integral part of the story, without boring you to death with descriptions of the mundane on every page. There is even a list of sources at the end, which I wish more romance authors would do. Henry Tudor himself plays an important role in this book as in the predecessor, and he comes across exactly as I would have envisioned him - a clever man, highly politically-astute, very strategic, driven and a notable warrior in his own right, but something of an emotionally-cold fish.

Now, as for the romance itself, well, who can resist a hunk in a plaid? And not just any hunk either, but a top-notch warrior, with sexy knees and a sweat-enducing burr ~~fans self~~.. And the heroine herself, is a sensible, self-possessed woman. She is not strong-willed in modern terms, since she would have been chattel either to her father, brother, husband or guardian, but the author manages, somehow, to make her fit the period, without making her a fainting wallflower either. It's quite a balancing act, and I loved it.

I absolutely can't wait to read the last in this series.

5 stars. I loved it.
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message 1: by Juliana (new) - added it

Juliana is it good? haven't read anything by this author. i remember seeing this series on net galley.


Ruth I have to say I'm really enjoying this one too. It's set in a very specific period of time (early reign of Henry VII), and the historical bits are carefully woven in such that it doesn't distract from the core story but adds 'color and texture'. The core romance is also great. Who doesn't like a hunk in a kilt? It's not emotionally angst-ridden, but is a nice romance, carefully set.


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