Tudor Rose by W.H. Doyle Blog Tour and Personal Review and Giveaway :)

Tudor Rose by W.H. Doyle
Publication Date: April 9, 2019
Publisher: Month9Books

In 16th-century England, two teenage best friends find themselves on an exciting journey from the country to the Queen’s court in the hope of being named ladies-in-waiting. But Sybille and Rose soon discover they aren’t the only girls who have their sights set on attending Her Majesty.  The girls must compete against worldly and cunning opponents, among them mean-girl Avis and her entourage of back-stabbing co-horts, tipping the balance in their already-tenuous friendship.

Soon, the grand hall is more like the hallway of a prestigious finishing school, with girls fighting for the attention of a dashing, young earl, amid parties fueled by drinking and indiscriminate dalliances. As the tension between Sybille and Avis heats up, the focus on Rose wanes, allowing her to turn her attention to more important matters – like getting close enough to the Queen to learn her secrets.

But being close to the Queen is not without its challenges. And when rumors of Rose’s influence make their way around the castle, no one, not even the Queen, will be safe.

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“I told you how I wasn't the one who bid on you.” “Yeah.” He didn't say anything else. I couldn't read what he might be thinking from his expression, which didn't help. “It's just, I'm not looking to date anyone. At all. It's not that it's you.” I tried to soften my words a little, and felt completely cliche with the it’s not you, it’s me excuse. Even if it was the truth. He nodded. “I get that. And I’m right there with you.” I leaned in. “You are?” It was strange, while I felt slightly better getting things out in the open, his words still unexpectedly stung a little. I told myself that maybe the whole thing wouldn't be so awkward moving forward if we were both on the same page. He shrugged with one shoulder. “Sure. I'm not looking to really date anyone either. I only did the whole auction thing because Coach asked me to.” A shadow crossed his face and it seemed as though he went somewhere else for a moment. I nodded. “Anyway, I certainly didn't expect it to end up being six weeks worth of dates either. Kind of more than I bargained for,” he said. Ouch. Some of the sting of his words must have shown in my expression, because he reached over to lay his hand on my knee briefly. “I didn't mean it like that. I just meant … ” He turned to face me more fully. “I get it, Sarah. You weren't looking for any of this. Neither was I. I have stuff in my own life that I'm trying to focus on right now.” He shrugged again, his hair falling into his eyes. “But, we're in it, we might as well at least try to make the best of it.” I nodded. “Okay. I guess that makes sense.” I looked down at my boots. The mud was starting to dry around the edges. He nudged me. I looked up and he grinned for a few seconds. “Just try not to fall in love with me.” He winked. “Ha, very funny.” I laughed and rolled my eyes. “Don't worry, I think you're safe.” I raised an eyebrow. “Same goes for you.” He reached out his hand for me to shake. “Deal.” “Deal,” I echoed. He removed his hand and took a deep breath before speaking again. “You don't like me much, do you?” His question surprised me. I looked back up to face him. His brown eyes were warm and sincere, without a hint of sarcasm. “I don't even know you,” I said, honestly. His head dipped the tiniest amount, acknowledging the truth in my statement. “But that doesn't change what I said, does it?” “Why do you think I don't like you?” I asked. He cocked his head, watching me. His scrutiny made me feel self-conscious, almost like he could see more than I wanted him to. I looked down again. I realized that he deserved for me to be honest with him. Which wasn’t easy. It was my turn to take a deep breath before answering him. “Chance, I really meant it when I said it wasn’t you.” I paused. “I’ve just been through some stuff recently, and I’m not ready to let anyone in.” I felt stupid even saying the words. He didn’t say anything right away, he just nodded. About a minute later, he said, “I get it,” barely above a whisper. We both stared out at the twilight sky, not speaking. But this time, it didn’t feel as awkward somehow. I glanced up at him. “I’m sorry I’ve been a jerk.” The corners of his lips turned up in a small smile. “Don’t worry about it.” And something about Chance's simple smile hit me somewhere in the gut that had been hidden for way too long.

***My Personal Review***

Rose is the typical Tudor lady, she had been married to the brother of her friend Sybille and unfortunately he had passed away before the marriage was consummated, however Rose is now tied to Sybille and her fate and family forever.  And now is the time when Sybille is supposed to be married off, and there is really only one choice according to her father Mr Maydestone - and that is for Sybille to be deemed a virgin (which she is NOT), and to marry and move to London.  Of course Rose will follow wherever Sybille goes and hopefully will find love.  Rose tells the reader in the beginning that she is a maiden, she knows without a doubt that she will pass the test of maidenhood ... but she also knows that without a little help, Sybille won't.  

Miraculously, Sybille passes the test, albeit with a little help, and she is all set to be married and will become a lady in waiting to the Queen as will Rose.  Their lives are all set to be perfect as to be a lady in waiting to a Queen is a very high honor to hold for any woman.  However it becomes clear that something is eating away at Sybille - she becomes snippy and far more feisty and seems to be determined to ruin her new life at any cost.  And not just that, but she is now treating Rose as a country girl, with contempt.  Although she is better than Rose in the hierarchy, they have been friends for a long time and Rose notices these changes and it concerns her.

And then they arrive - Queen Elizabeth.  Meeting her is simply amazing and the girls are thrilled to be part of her world and the court ... but will that change once they get involved with things?  The character of Avis being introduced lends even more intrigue to Sybille's attitude, as Avis seems like an uptight haughty girl who doesn't respect Sybille or Rose at all, reminding me of the movie Mean Girls, but honestly it was normal for the court in Tudor England.

Overall I enjoyed this book, and if I say more I will ruin it and I don't want to include spoilers.  But Rose and Sybille are definitely amazing characters - they are complex and very real for their time period.  And of course from things I have read the Tudor court is about the same - backbiting from everyone and constantly feeling like they have to watch their backs.  I love the entire feel of the book, I think it's great for anyone who loves Tudor history or historical fiction as well.  It's one of my passions, the Tudor era is one of the things I absolutely LOVE to read about :)  Pick this up and give it a try - and I will be reading his other books too!  

Author Bill Doyle was born in Michigan, and wrote his first mystery at the age of eight. He has gone on to write critically acclaimed and bestselling children's books, including stories of real-life war heroes in "Behind Enemy Lines: True Stories of Amazing Courage"; the pick-your-own-adventure "Worst Case Scenario Ultimate Adventure: Everest"; the historical fiction mystery series Crime Through Time; the Henry & Keats series including "Attack of the Shark-Headed Zombie"; the Scream Team series about Bad News Bears-type monsters playing sports; and soon-to-be released series "The Prizewinners of Piedmont Place."
Additionally, Bill has served as editor at Sesame Workshop, TIME for Kids and SI Kids. He's written for LeapFrog, Weekly Reader, Rolling Stone, Comedy Central, National Geographic Kids, and the American Museum of Natural History. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and holds an MFA in Dramatic Writing from the film school at New York University where he was taught by the likes of Arthur Miller and David Mamet.
Bill lives with two dachshund-headed canines in New York City, and you can visit him online at www.BillDoyleBooks.com.

Giveaway Info:
  • One (1) winner will win a Starbucks Gift Card


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