This concludes the trilogy of Susanna Horenbout and her betrothed, deadly John Parker. This book needs to be read in the order written in order to experience it to its fullest. The previous two books build this trilogy up and brings it to a satisfy conclusion. Susanna just wants to be the King's painter. She also wants to be acknowledged for her skills instead of be noticed as a female. These are all valid desires that are flipped upside down and then tossed aside as she fights for her life.
When the country is run by a King who is above the rules and corrupt power from different factions are in play, every day is an exciting day. Constantly living on edge, unknowing if the King will have a fit and declare a person a traitor is a hard life to live. When pulled in between the King and Queen's directives, this is an even more dangerous game. Unfortunately for Susanna, her presence causes certain misogynists to want to remove her from the King's favoured status.
For those who enjoy political intrigue that can end with "Off with her head", this book is for you. I liked the fast paced of this story which required Susanna to always be on her toes. A quick turn of phrase or a mistaken piece of information in the wrong hands could be taken out of context and used against her. Instead of direct assaults in this book, it is all indirect machinations with veiled looks and body language. I love this and find it so fascinating.
What I really enjoy about this book is Ms. Diener's interpretation of what could have happened during King Henry the VIII's reign. It makes history more interesting and sparks my interest in looking up what historians say happened. If only all the history books writers could write as engaging as Ms. Diener. Think of all the lessons children would learn not to repeat. This historical romance is recommended for readers who love political intrigue.
* I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book