Tsarina covers the life of Tsarina Catherine, the second wife of Peter the Great. There are many factors that make her life interesting, but the first and foremost is that she was born into abject poverty in the rural Baltics.
The blurb suggests that Catherine is faced with a great responsibility upon her husband’s death. While this is certainly true, very little of the book is devoted to Catherine’s ascension to power as the first woman to rule Russia in her own right. Rather, this is more of a “record scratch—freeze frame—you’re probably wondering how I got here” narrative, in which we examine the events that led up to Catherine scrambling to cover up her husband’s death until her position is more secure.
A couple of days ago, I was chatting (via text) with a friend, and I told her that I was reading a book about “the woman before Wallis”.
My friend said, “Freda Dudley Ward?”
I said, “No, she’s in this book, but this one is about the other “Other Woman”.
Like my friend, I was also not aware of Thelma Furness’ involvement with David, the Prince of Wales, but having read this book, I am much more aware—not only of Thelma’s story, but of the Gloria Vanderbilt custody battle.
I loved The Royal We, so I was very excited to find out there was going to be a sequel and even more excited to receive an ARC of The Heir Affair.
NB: If Royal Family alt-history interests you, but you have not read The Royal We, I suggest you proceed with caution because it’s almost impossible to properly discuss The Heir Affair without mentioning key details from The Royal We.
American Royals is the first book in Katharine McGee’s new YA alternative history series. I was very excited about the opportunity to read this book because the premise sounded very interesting.
The book begins with the following premise: after the American Revolution, George Washington became the new nation’s first king, and ever since then, his descendants have sat on the throne. An aristocratic class also developed, with titles like the Duke of Boston, but most of society is exactly the same.
The story begins with Beatrice, the king’s oldest child and heir, being tasked with finding a future spouse at the upcoming royal ball. From there, the story unfolds from four unique perspectives: Read more
King Consort is a contemporary m/m romance novel written by J.R. Gray. I found this book on Kindle Unlimited, and it piqued my interest because I love all things royal family.
Louis is the heir to the British throne, and he maintains a carefully crafted playboy persona in order to hide his sexuality. While on a goodwill trip to North America, Louis meets Xavier, who he later finds out is a paparazzo. But what seems like a disaster turns into an odd sort of partnership. There’s clearly a connection, but there are so many reasons for why something lasting between them can never work. They’re determined to enjoy their present, with no expectations of a future together. Read more
My Name is Victoria is a YA novel written by Lucy Worsley. I was excited about the opportunity to read this book because 19th century England is my favorite era in history. I also enjoyed the Victoria television series, as well as Daisy Goodwin’s companion novel and Julia Baird’s biography of Queen Victoria.
The story is told from the perspective of “Miss V”, the daughter of John Conrad, who oversaw the future Queen Victoria’s upbringing. The young Victoria was kept in isolation, and V is one of Victoria’s first friends. Victoria has been told that she needs to be kept apart from society because of her scheming uncles and cousins who might wish to harm her because of her proximity to the throne. Whether there is any merit to this claim, or whether this is intended to instill a sense of paranoia remains to be seen. Read more
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley/the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
I have always been fascinated by the Royal Family, so I was very excited about the opportunity to read Sally Bedell Smith’s new biography Prince Charles: The Passions and Paradoxes of an Improbable Life. Much of my interest is focused on the younger generation of the family, and Prince Charles has always remained somewhat enigmatic. I remember that the tabloid headlines from the early 1990s were less than favorable to the prince, so I was curious to learn more about his life. Read more
I found Buckingham Babylon by Peter Fearon at my town library. I was looking for some British history books, and this book was in the same section. I love books/movies about the Royal Family, so I was pleased to have discovered it.
Buckingham Babylon is subtitled “The Rise and Fall of the House of Windsor”, and it was published in 1993. There are some major Royal Family life events that have happened since the early 1990s, so in some respects, this book is woefully out of date. Read more