In A Treacherous Court
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publish Date: August 2, 2011
From the author's website:
Henry VIII’s most lethal courtier and his newly appointed artist become the only thing keeping him on the throne – and if they survive, neither will ever be the same.
John Parker is one of Henry VIII most useful courtiers — utterly merciless and completely loyal. But one small favour for his King will pull Parker into a deadly plot against the throne, one that will test his courage, his resolve, and most especially, his heart.
A commission from Henry VIII should have been the crowning achievement of Susanna Horenbout’s career, but before the beautiful and talented artist even sets foot in England, she finds herself in possession of a secret that could change its history. With Parker as her only protection against killers who will stop at nothing to silence her, Susanna has to trust the dangerous, enigmatic courtier. She’s used to fighting in a man’s world, but she never expected to be fighting for her life.
The story takes place in 1525 England. Susanna Horenbout finds herself in an unusual predicament. She is on her way to England to serve as an artist for King Henry VIII. During the journey, however, a man dies in her arms with no one else around. He leaves her with his last words which are an important message for the King.
John Parker works very closely with the King and is one of his men. He comes across Susanna because the man who died in her arms also worked for the King. Parker tries to get the dying man’s message out of Susanna, but she is determined to tell the King herself because the message was for his ears alone. When a bolt seems like it was meant to take Susanna’s life, Parker decides to stay close and guard her on the way to the King, because someone clearly doesn’t want the message to get delivered.
This book was very hard for me to read. It was lacking in….something. I even stopped reading at one point when Parker and Susanna were being attacked. I think one reason is that I didn’t feel connected to the characters. I didn’t get the real feel for them, for what makes them who they are. I think another reason that I had trouble with this book was I just felt that the first two thirds dragged and was almost repetitive, in my mind at least. Even though I just finished this book last night, I’m having trouble remembering what happened; it didn’t interest me enough to stay with me. There was some romance between Parker and Susanna, but again, I just didn’t feel it.
The story finally started to flow and held my interest when there was about a hundred or so pages left. So while it definitely ended on a good note for me, this is not a book that I will be keeping on my shelves.