Wolf Bride (Lust in the Tudor Court #1) by Elizabeth Moss
Released: May 5th 2015
Reviewed by Sheena
Favorite Quote: “There was something in his voice that dug at the truth and would have it out.”
Lusty! Dramatic! Danger and King Henry VIII! Oh, how I love tales of Tudor intrigue, the nefarious plots, high handed Lords, court life and the oppressed women with fire in their bellies! Wolf Bride delivered on all counts. This was a different perspective of the events surrounding the orchestrated fall of Anne Boelyn and I could not put it down.
England, 1536. Lord Wolf, hardened soldier and expert lover, has come to King Henry VIII’s court to claim his new bride: a girl who has intrigued him since he first saw her riding across the Yorkshire moors. Eloise Tyrell, now lady-in-waiting to Queen Anne Boleyn, has other ideas. She has no desire to submit to a man she barely knows and who – though she is loath to admit it – frightens her not a little. Then comes that first kiss. It awakens in both a fierce desire that bares them to the soul. But as the court erupts into scandal around the ill-fated Queen, Eloise sees first-hand what happens when powerful men tire of their wives. Dare she surrender her body and her heart?
Lord Wolf is a brute and grumpy to boot! He is scarred from battle and his wounds give him a limp. His hampered gait does nothing to soften his menacing air and he has lumbered back to England to marry his arranged bride, Eloise. Young Miss. Eloise Tyrell is reluctant to wed, but is duty bound to make Lord Wolf a fine wife and produce the heirs. Though she is young and her life controlled by the men around her, she has this passion and spine that makes even Lord Wolf yield to her wishes. Their betrothal is a quick business and soon Eloise is Lady Wolfe and not at all ready to share her husband’s bed. Lord Wolfe surprisingly yields to Eloise’s reluctance to consummate their marriage and in a move that endears him to her, he gives her time to become accustomed to her new role as wife and Lady to his Lordship. We expect him to steamroll her and take what is his by law, but he is showing some chinks in his armor when it comes to his new bride. His own gruff nature rubbing against Eloise’s honest and open temperament softened his resolve and paved the way for Eloise and Wolf to grow into a true love match.
Before they can focus on getting to know one another, and settle into their marriage, Eloise finds herself summoned to court and in immense danger at the center of treason. High treason, the likes of which the realm had not seen before. Queen Anne Boelyn has been accused of not only witchcraft but adultery and as the Queen’s hand maiden, Eloise is to be questioned. To compound the dangers facing Eloise, she has caught the attention of the womanizing King Henry and he means to cuckold Lord Wolf and have Eloise in his own bed. Threats fly at Wolf and Eloise from all sides and she must place her life and complete trust into Wolf’s hands, no guarantees that he can keep her alive, let alone unmolested by the King himself. The plot was fast paced and I’d have paper cuts if I were reading this as a paperback- a definite page turner. I could not get over the suffocating feeling of living life thorough Eloise’s eyes, precariously balancing on the precipice of danger. Honesty can get you beheaded as swiftly as a lie, yet she knew not what truths to tell or what lies to speak. Distancing herself from the Queen’s fate- but preventing her own walk to the gallows. The suspense was brutal!
Forget the “Fifty Shades” marketing ploy. This novel is indeed sexy and sensual but the heart of it, the substance of the writing is so far beyond trite “Fifty Shades” references. Sans the amazing peen scenes, the story is what draws you in. There is no insta love. Though an innocent, young woman, Eloise has a brain and very real reactions to how her life is not her own and what she plans to do to cope with this fact. She protests in her own way and uses her wits to guide her when her sex hold her back. Wolf is so damn grumpy, and nobodies gentleman and I loved him for it. He had honor above all things and his own baggage to contend with that humanized him in a way that spoke to me.
“Forbidden love in a privy garden,” Lord Wolf continued, his tone light though his blue eyes were cold as he looked her up and down. “Listening to you two reminded me of one of Chaucer’s tales. The old fool, his beautiful young wife, and the cunning lover. I am only sorry to have missed its torrid consummation. But no doubt that will be arranged as soon as my back is turned. ”
God’s Blood,” he told her thickly, “I swear to you that our marriage will never be food for gossip. I will not stand to be cuckolded, I promise you that. Once we are married, you will belong to me and admit no other man to your bed. Is that understood?…Swear it on your life.
“I swear it my lord.”
Creative license is a given with historical romance, but the handling of the Queen Anne trial and beheading was riveting! The anguish and fear and paranoia that seized the court during this time was conveyed exceptionally well by author Elizabeth Moss. I had long thought Phillipa Gregory cornered the market with story telling in this particular age in history, but Moss has come to play and I am here for every word to come! The Tudor reign has long been an absolute fascination of mine and to read such a rich novel that takes the story that we all know so well, peel back a few layers and give it a new vantage point is golden! I recommend this to anyone who enjoys historical novels of this era, anyone who is remotely intrigued by the Tudor court, hell, anyone who reads books at all! I want to get one of those twirly signs and stand on street corners and flap about to encourage folks to read this book! It is book 1 of the series and (as I recently finished book 3) the tales just get better and better!