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A Rose for the Crown

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  4,994 ratings  ·  287 reviews
In A Rose for the Crown, we meet one of history's alleged villains through the eyes of a captivating new heroine -- the woman who was the mother of his illegitimate children, a woman who loved him for who he really was, no matter what the cost to herself.
As Kate Haute moves from her peasant roots to the luxurious palaces of England, her path is inextricably intertwined wi
Paperback, A Touchstone Book, 650 pages
Published March 14th 2006 by Simon & Schuster (first published March 7th 2006)
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Lady of the Lake
Oct 13, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: HFR readers, not historical purists,
I liked this book because I loved the romance that Richard III had with Kate...the history isn't what you would read this one for..and I am not one to HAVE to have the facts laid out before me I know enough to go and look to NON fiction when I have questions. As I see it there are only so many ways a writer can present the facts and I love to see the facts branch off to other areas and have the authors imagination tell me a tale that who know could have happened..why not! There are plenty of gre ...more
Apr 27, 2011 rated it it was ok
I wanted to like this book. I really did. I've always loved Richard the third and felt he got a raw deal from history. But here's the thing... The book meanders. Not just for pages, but for hundreds of them. You know, I'm starting to realize that this is a real theme with a decent amount of the historical fiction out there. They're not well plotted at all. The authors just follow the course of history, throw in a few love scenes, and call it a day. That's cool, and all, but the books end up lack ...more
Well, this was a fine read, but it started out slow, thicken in the middle, and was slow to the end. I found it a bit on the dull side yet I was fascinated at the same time. 
I think this could have been a much more enjoyable book had the editor had a stronger hand. It's very easy to read, not too many vocabulary words to look up, in fact I only have six written down and the book is over 600 pages.

Unfortunately, I thought the first 370 pages were pretty dull. Eventually the story does pick up and I did appreciate learning about Richard III and the turbulent politics of the times.

There are some seriously forced situations that made me roll my eyes and the real story
Oct 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I love an author who takes a fictional character and tells us all about the history of the time. One of my favourite books is the Queen's Fool by Philippa Gregory because I loved the fictional character of Hannah. This book was as good as that and I loved the character of Kate.

Kate leaves her family home at a tender age to live with her cousin as a companion. There she learns a lot about herbs and healing and becomes best friends with her cousin. Kate is married off to an older man that fortunat
Tara Chevrestt
Sep 25, 2009 rated it it was ok
I gave this two stars instead of one because I did enjoy the first two parts. It lost me in the third. When the heroine gave herself to Richard and agreed that it was ok to break her married vows, but when he marries into a woman of "his station" it would not be ok for him. I say, No Deal. I decided to give the woman the benefit of the doubt, as she had been a strong, rather independent for the times, and outspoken gall up until this point. However, she proceeds to give Richard three sons, the l ...more
Sep 14, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: fans of lighter historical fiction
In this debut novel, the author weaves a remarkable tale about the unknown mistress of King Richard III, who becomes the mother of his children. Kate Haute rises from her humble beginnings as the ward of her wealthy cousin and marries well, twice. Kate’s quick wit and outspokenness charm nearly everyone she meets, including Richard, the young Duke of Gloucester. Kate and Richard’s passionate love affair is set against the backdrop of the War of the Roses, a tumultuous period in English history. ...more
Danielle Gonzalez
Nov 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a story about a mistress of King Richard III who bore him 3 children. It was a great love story about a fictional character who had a long relationship with Richard of Gloucester before he married Anne Neville. The story starts with the main character, Kate, as the young daughter of a modest farming couple. Her strong willed personality, sense of humor, and beautiful harp playing carries her to further adventures as she moves up in the world. I liked the character, I liked the portrayal ...more
Feb 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing

Anne Easter Smith, please accept my undying devotion to your authorhood. I commit to read and love all the books that you have placed in this world and shall forever be committed to praising your holy writing with reviews. I hearby swear my love for your words. Amen.

OMG. I cannot get over how amazing this book is. After the awful YA I've been reading lately, this beauty was an amazing breath of fresh air. It is so magically majestic in every way. From th
Mar 02, 2009 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: romance fans
I began listening to this as preparation for a trip to England because this is a time period that I'm not as familiar with as others. I LOVE historical fiction when done well. I enjoyed the beginning of this novel believing the author was setting the scene for the "historical" part. A better description of this book would be a "fictional romance set in historic England". I gave up more than half way through because the hiSTORY was so lacking and the "breathtaking passion" so increasingly the foc ...more
Brittany B.
3.5 stars

I can't get this story out if my head. I don't want to write an essay on it, so read this for yourself and you decide. I've changed my rating of this book 3 times.

An interesting and heart-breaking story. Very well done, considering I don't particularly like Richard III. But this is FICTION. It's not argumentative writing meant to prove Richard's character. It's an emotional story that only works if the reader suspends some disbelief.

In fact, I was angry and emotional during the last
Mar 09, 2008 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: History buffs
Had high expectations, but prose clumsy, plot forced, and characters stiff and unconvincing. Dutiful - not dynamic - history. Despite good intentions, not enough heart. Almost hagiographic. Beautiful cover, but for a much more compelling version of the Richard III/War of the Roses stories, look to Penman's The Sunne in Splendour. ...more
Oct 06, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: ricardian-books
Yet another book about yet another fictional mistress of Richard III, with yet another imagined and mythical illegitimate child, Richard of Eastwell, a legend raised more than two century after Richard's death. It's laughable though the expedient the author adopts to explain why on earth this third child was never know by anyone in his time, why Richard didn't acknowledged him like he did with the other two, why he apparently didn't know anything about him... because the "mother" gave him away n ...more
Jun 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
This story comes from my favorite era of history but from a refreshingly different point of view. Its so sweet and heartbreaking, the journey Katherine takes from a small girl with a simple country life, to the mistress and secret lover of the King.
Ambrosia Sullivan
Jan 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I was very eager to read A Rose for the Crown as I have long been curious of Richard III. Of course I know the history and how many regard him as a villain. Some call him a Wife poisoner and others of course accuse him of being a usurper and a killer of his nephews. Historically none of that can be proven of course and you always have to take some things with a grain of salt (Anne Boleyn being a witch anyone?), still I wanted to see what Anne Easter Smiths take on Richard III would be. I would n ...more
Mar 06, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Aryn, Alison, Jamie
Recommended to Chelsie by: Janet
Shelves: favorites
This is one of my favorite books. It is a historical novel about King Richard that shows him in an entirely different light then history tells. You will laugh, cry and end up loving the main character. If you liked The Other Boleyn Girl, you will love this one so much more. If you didn't like that book, you will still love this one! ...more
Elia Princess of Starfall
Jul 15, 2014 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of Historical Romance
Recommended to Elia Princess of Starfall by: Myself
In reality, this is a 2.5 stars from me.

In the Q&A section of A Rose for the Crown we learn that it took Anne Easter Smith eight years to create, research, brainstorm, write, re-write, edit, market and finally to publish her debut novel.

That, my friends, is true commitment and discipline; Characteristics that many of us rarely hone and are often the bane of an aspiring authors existence. An infamous (though fictional) example is Brian from Family Guy who constantly preaches about the various no
Katy M
Dec 04, 2019 rated it liked it
I really liked the story, but sometimes the writing and dialogue got on my nerves. And everybody falling all over Kate because she was "bold." ...more
May 04, 2021 rated it did not like it
This novel is about Kate who will be the heroine of the story, we have known her since her childhood, her family relationships, her political and disastrous marriage but above all the book is about her relationship with Richard III whom she meets when they are teenagers, Kate will be the mother of his illegitimate children that in this book are 3 not two, more than his lover Kate is the love of his life and vice versa, so this is the book of a tragic love between a royal duke and a lowborn woman ...more
Emily Hepple
Jan 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Another amazing book by Anne Easter Smith. Didn’t want it to end. Well and truly in love with her portrayal of Richard iii and her character Kate. I wish we knew more about the real Kate.
Kate Lawrence
Jun 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This had everything I enjoy in a historical novel. A smooth writing style, a solid basis in historical fact, a compelling storyline, realistic and sympathetic characters (plus a few dastardly villains, also historical), a long length (632 pp.) to really get lost in, and no confusion arising from too many characters, too much historical detail, or too much jumping around in time. The dialogue felt authentic to the period; that is, the characters don't speak like modern people in costume. Helpful ...more
*sign* why has it taken me so long to read this book, or anything by Anne Easter Smith? I can't think of a good excuse, it's not the size because I love a good thick book. It's not the presentation because the cover is gorgeous. It's not because I've heard negative things about this book, on the contrary I have heard nothing but good things (and others she has written). So last week I decided enough already and purchased the audio from audible, loaded up my iPod and went for a walk. Then I walke ...more
Rio (Lynne)
May 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
Historically, Richard III did have two known bastard children Katherine Plantagenet and John of Gloucester. Historians have questioned the fact that Kate Haute was their mother, but there is no official proof. This is where the author takes Kate and gives us a soap operish sweeping saga. This could be a made for TV movie. I enjoyed this, but I also took it with a grain of salt. Richard III is made into a saint, which was a little tongue in check for me. Overall this book covers a lot! If you are ...more
Jun 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I was completely blown away by this book. I picked it up on a whim at the book store and was immediately entranced by the characters and the dynamic setting. Though many of the characters take on roles that are typical of similar historical novels they never feel stereotypical, always taking on a full life a dimension from their first mention.

From the very first page you feel for Kate, a spirited girl in a time when such passion often landed her in the wrong spot. Though the tale gives you insig
Linda Bridges
Jul 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014-books
No one knows who was the mother of the two illegitimate children of Richard III of England, so this story of a fictional mistress, Katherine Haute fills in a gap. Born poor but raised by richer relatives, Kate is in a loveless marriage when she meets young Richard. Falling in love, she bears him three children (one unknown to him) before his political marriage to Anne Neville to whom he apparently remained faithful. As the story proceeds, Kate and Richard's lives are forever entwined by their c ...more
Jun 14, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of Historical Fiction
I'm trying to read at least one Historical Fiction novel about each of England's Kings and Queens. This one was about Richard III. I think the author probably portrayed him in a better light than actual history does. I liked the characters in this book...but you know from the beginning that there is not going to be a happy ending. The author keeps you reading...and wondering what will happen. This novel covers about 30 years in the life of the main character Kate...seeing her through two husband ...more
Cheryl a.k.a Poptart
Dec 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I would have to say it has been quite awhile since I have wept this many times while reading a book. I found this book to be very personal and enriching. While I am not much of a historical fiction person, my interest has now been caught up in this time period. Anne Easter Smith is a masterful storyteller and you can really tell she poured her heart and soul into this novel. Many I the reviews I have read said she was in desperate need of some good editing but I say that if she were to cut anyth ...more
Nov 26, 2007 rated it it was ok
Just under halfway through this sprawling historical fiction/romance I'm throwing in the towel. I really like the characters, the setting, and most of the writing, but I know it's about to get all bosom-heaving-tragedy and I just don't have it in me. I am not invested enough to want to put myself through it. Everybody's pretty happy at the moment, and I cheated (I never do this!) and read the last page, and with that I'm done. ...more
Mar 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
I am a "fan" of Richard III. I believe he was maligned in history. This story follows the lead of Sharon Kay Penman and paints him as a man thrust into the position of King; a dutiful husband and loving and protective father and uncle. A man true to his heart and a victim of the gruesome medieval time period. I truly enjoyed exploring the relationship between "Mistress" Kate Haute and Richard Plantagenet. Meticulously researched and beautifully written. ...more
Elaine Cougler
Aug 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A Rose for the Crown by Anne Easter Smith turned out to be a lovely story as well as a document to reinstate Richard III's reputation. Shakespeare used poetic license to make Richard a hunchback and the murderer of his nephews. Smith's scholarship sets the record straight. The excellent story centers around Kate, the fictional mistress of Richard, and their love set against the turbulent history of the times. a very good read. ...more
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 3 Feb 20, 2015 09:08AM  

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A native of the UK,
Anne Easter Smith is an award-winning historical novelist who has lived in the US for more than 40 years. Her four novels about the York family during the Wars of the Roses are published by Touchstone at Simon & Schuster. She was the Features Editor at the Press-Republican in Plattsburgh, NY for 10 years, and her writing has been featured in a number of national magazines. She l

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