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(Royal Circle)

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  1,075 ratings  ·  177 reviews
Mary Howard has always lived in the shadow of her powerful family. But when she’s married off to Henry Fitzroy, King Henry VIII’s illegitimate son, she rockets into the Tudor court’s inner circle. Mary and “Fitz” join a tight clique of rebels who test the boundaries of court’s strict rules with their games, dares, and flirtations. The more Mary gets to know Fitz, the harde ...more
Hardcover, 524 pages
Published June 12th 2014 by Viking Books for Young Readers
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3.85  · 
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 ·  1,075 ratings  ·  177 reviews

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This month, I kept picking up books that I couldn't get into, so my solution? Pick up the biggest book on my shelf. And which book was that? Brazen by Katherine Longshore, the third book in a companion series set during Henry VIII's reign as king. Tudor Times? I read Tarnish a while back for book club, so when I was flipping through Penguin's catalog for upcoming releases, I knew I needed to request this beast of a book. Both Tarnish and Brazen sucked me in with the world, the cast of characters ...more
Alice-Elizabeth (marriedtobooks)
T/W- Death, Grief

I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed reading Brazen. A YA Historical fiction novel set during my favourite time period in History: Tudor England! Mary Howard, a cousin to Anne Boleyn, is married off to the King's illegitimate son Henry Fitzroy. Due to their ages, they are not allowed to spend any time alone together. But that is easier said than done, as both of them start to fall head over heels for each other. In a court where breaking rules could result in extreme
“If you only do as others say, be who they want you to be, you will lose yourself. And that will be the greatest loss of all.”

Due to my extreme book hangover, I've dedicated the past couple of days to befriending Google and stalking Mary and Henry Fitzroy and, naturally, proceeding to be a complete history nerd.

I have to admit: Fitz doesn't look that bad for a historical dude.

ANYWAY. No, I don’t spend my time judging historical figures based on their portraits. Who do you think I am? *chuck
"I am a FitzRoy. I am a duchess. I do not need a man to give me my identity, Father. I have my own."

History fascinates me, especially anything with the Boleyns, but I've never been one to read much of it in fiction. As much as history itself interests me, historical fiction has always been something I've steered clear of. But, with that having been said, I am so glad I gave Brazen a chance, because Katherine Longshore has the perfect voice for this type of story; she embodies each of the charact
May 12, 2014 rated it liked it
I am so happy to be alive today. By today I mean in the 21st century where women have a right to vote, a chance at making something out of ourselves, a chance at freedom, a chance at love. Mary never stood a chance, and all she had was luck at her side. At least in this book she did. Katherine Longshore paints us an honest yet hopeful picture of 16th century England. To me it sounds like a horrible place to be at but it does give us a great setting for an enthralling tale.

Mary Howard is only a d
Anna (Literary Exploration)
Jan 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-own, signed
I don't know I just have so many feelings right now and I can't get over any of them and I'm just going to go curl up in a ball and cry forever because WHY!?! WHY IS HISTORY SO CRUEL!?! Just read this it's amazing and you'll get all the feels. I swear.
I was so excited to find an ARC of BRAZEN (Penguin/Viking) by Katherine Longshore in my mailbox last week. I've read and absolutely loved her other two books, GILT and TARNISH, and I've been looking forward to BRAZEN, which isn't due out until 6/12/14. I had a busy week planned, but I was intrigued by the tagline: "There's only one man Mary Howard wants - the one she's forbidden from having ... her husband" so I figured I'd read Just A Few Pages. That was it ... my busy week was shelved and I fl ...more
Jan 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Actual rating: 4.5

I’m normally wary of historical fiction. It doesn’t make any sense, really, because a) I always seem to stumble upon great historical fiction when I do dip into the genre, and b) I adore history (except for… certain parts of American history, because they’ve been bashed into my skull with those poorly-written bricks the school system calls textbooks). *eyes YA historical fiction books with interest*

This was no exception, and it was, to be blunt and rather un-sixteenth-century-l
Dec 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This review contains spoilers for anyone who doesn't know basic Tudor history

Reading about history can be dull. I don't mean dull in a this-textbook-is-literally-putting-me-to-sleep, I-am-having-a-fabulous-dream-about-dinosaurs-right-now kind of way, not for me. I love history in every way, shape, and form, whether that's a textbook or a documentary or actually visiting historical monuments and buildings and walking where famed royalty walked hundreds of years ago.

The kind of "dull" I mean is in
Kimberly Sabatini
Jan 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mg-ya
I've never been one to lean in the direction of historical fiction until I started reading Katherine Longshore's books and BRAZEN is my favorite to date. Her writing just keeps getting better and better. It's so rare to find a book that is historically educational while also as tantalizing and swoon worthy as a very popular romance. An amazing read.

Mary Howard and Henry FitzRoy are chess pieces in the very real and dangerous games being played in King Henry VIII's court. But love has a power all
Oct 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I will read ANYTHING Katherine Longshore writes. Her historical fiction is brilliant and very well done. I have loved this companion trilogy and Brazen was no exception. I'd never heard of Mary Fitzroy but she and her story fascinated me. I want more historical fiction!
Jen (The Starry-Eyed Revue)
My new favorite in this "series". Beautifully executed (har har) and exquisitely told.


An advance copy of this novel was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

This review can also be found at The Starry-Eyed Revue.

I don't know as much about the Tudor dynasty as I probably should, given that it's one of my favorite historical periods to read about, but Katherine Longshore excels at bringing that period to life in a way that is romantic -- poetic, even --
May 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
I don't know why but I will always be intrigued and enamored with the Tudor era. I liked how Mary Howard's story was depicted. I really wish that her love affair had been as magical and full of passion in real life. I loved this book and I highly recommend it.
Megan Fryman
Jan 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The best historical fiction series I've ever read. Absolutely in love with this series. I could get lost over and over again in King Henry VIII's world.
Tara Kendall
Jan 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
My obsession with Henry VIII's court continues. This series is by far my favorite historical fiction series I've ever read. They are fascinating. I could not put this down!
Brazen was certainly entertaining at times, but it took a while for me to get invested, and while I eventually came around to the romance, it was a process. There also wasn't really a plot, to be honest with you, which meant that I felt like the story just sort of meandered along. There are several points where I feel like Longshore could have given a sense of build to the arc, instead of just some general ebbs and flows. There were also a lot of characters and I was unable to attach to ma ...more
Apr 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 Stars

This book is a work of fiction and takes a lot of liberties with history. We will never know how involved FitzRoy was with Mary. The author, Katherine Longshore, could be hitting close to home or could be totally off base, but what she does is creates a great story between 2 people who were actually married. You will find facts in her book, as well as fiction.

It was a scary time to be alive and under the King. He was finding fault with everyone, except himself. FitzRoy is the King's ba
*An ARC of this novel was provided in exchange for an honest review*

Those crazy Tudors--they're at it again!

Where do I begin? When I won a beautiful copy of Brazen, I was ecstatic. I've always been fascinated by the Tudor court, and now I had the opportunity to read a book that comprised three of my favorite things: YA, historical fiction and forbidden romance. I remember happy dancing in my room, up until my mom came in and looked at me with a strange expression, to which I could only reply "It
Oct 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this read. It was fast paced entertainment. The writing and character development was well done. I’ve enjoyed the series. Didn’t seem like 500+ pages at all.
Erin Arkin
This book is exactly why I love historical fiction.

To say that I have been waiting impatiently for this book to get into my grubby little hands would probably be an understatement. I have always loved historical fiction and when I stumbled upon Katherine Longshore’s Gilt I was instantly a fan of hers. She mixes in a great deal of history but as a reader, I am never overwhelmed and of course, there is the swoony stuff which I love.

Brazen is about Mary Howard’s life beginning on the day of her ma
Nasty Lady MJ
Feb 25, 2016 rated it it was ok
To see full review click here.

I am highly fascinated with the Tudor family.

They are a bat shit insane family, and why wouldn’t they be with that War of the Roses business.

Then there’s Henry the VIII.

Oh, Henry the VIII how you are this enigmatic person who I can’t exactly pinpoint why women found you attractive back in your day. And why Ann Boleyn liked you because you were just plain…


Don’t get me started with Henry the VIII.

I actually was interested in this book for a different reason, Henry
Jess (Gone with the Words)
Jun 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Read this review on my blog! --> Brazen by Katherine Longshore

For me, the thing about historical fiction that always grabs me is just how much I invest in the characters. Especially when it’s derived from actual history. I’ve always loved history and always loved losing myself in imagining what peoples’ lives were like then. I first fell in love with the Tudor era after watching The Tudors series on Showtime. If a character intrigued me enough I would spend time googling them and reading thei
When I saw what this one was about--namely an actual love story--I got really excited. I mean, FINALLY. After reading the two previous books in this sorta-not-really-a-series, I was ready for a legit love story. (The other two were more like courtly love stories, where there were elements of love but without the commitment.)

But I didn't really get that to the extent I was hoping. Longshore's strength--the history--is also a weakness in this element. She's so focused on the history and getting th
Christina (Confessions of a Book Addict)
Mary Howard was married off at a young age to Henry VIII's illegitimate son, Henry Fitzroy. You would expect this marriage to be awkward and horrible, and it is in the beginning, but as she gets to know Henry, she realizes that she has true feelings for him and vice versa. So, what is the one problem? Well, they can't be together even though they are married until Henry VIII decides it is appropriate. They can't even spend too much time together alone, let alone a night together and as they grow ...more
Oct 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Can I just say that Katherine Lonshore is amazing? She really is. Mary is an awesome character. Her story is a love story of two types, one for her and her child husband who she grows to love and one for her and her girlfriends. Her girlfriends are interesting young women in their own right and watching the three of them play off and learn from each other was awesome. Reading this also made me really curious about her actual life, considering the few things we know about her make her out as an u ...more
Feb 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Are you into stories of love, gossip and intrigue set against a real life historical backdrop? Before Reign made history sexy and cool for youths, there was Katherine Longshore and her books set during the reign of the Tudors. First Gilt, then Tarnish and now BRAZEN. Now, looking at just the title: Brazen, you might think that this is one of those seedy books that’s nothing but sex and flirtation and YOU WOULD BE WRONG.
Read the resst of my review here
Review goes live in July
May 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Longshore has done it again! The writing was beautifully crafted, from start to finish. Everything that you would expect and more happened and that made reading this so much more exciting. It made me sad once I finished because I knew that this was the last one.

“Marriage is a word that tastes like metal- the steel of armor, the gold of commerce, the iron bite of blood and prison bars. But also bronze, a bell that rings clear and true and joyously. Like Hope.”

And she was right about that last pa
Dec 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book literally ripped my heart in half.

I got so attached to the characters in this book. It was beautifully written, and it captivated me from page one.
I will definitely be buying more of Katherine Longshore's books.

Anyone who likes stories of kings/queens, etc. or historical fiction will enjoy this book.
Dec 07, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: couldntfinish
Bah. I wanted to read this but it is too soapy and crap. Is it YA? I feel like that is the only way I could handle it. Also, King Henry VIII's court stories annoy me for reasons I cannot pinpoint and wish they didn't. Somehow they just seem too trite to me? Not sure. Anyhow, I kind of want to know what happens, but can't deal with how it's written? I'm horrible I guess. The end.
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Mar 01, 2015 08:06AM  
Reading Buddy Style: December 2014: Brazen-Booklover101 1 2 Nov 17, 2014 09:46AM  

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“For all my love of words, I am afraid to use them at all.” 10 likes
“Blaming the woman for the loss of a child is like blaming the soldier for the loss of his life in battle.” 10 likes
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