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Showing 1-10 of 12 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 59 reviews
on June 8, 2011
And not because of flowery language or obscure unfamiliar terms. It's just I can't seem to flow with this story, and so picking the book up then putting it back down after a few pages. Plus, offhand references to "what happened" (the death of) to Queen Ann Boleyn" are distracting and seem an attempt to downplay that significant painful event into near obscurity. That said - those references are somehow uncomfortable for me, although I suppose are necessary to build this book's characters, a necessity for those familiar with the history through the works of other authors. But how could it? This is a story within a story within a story - and may be why I'm having such difficulty concentrating on this tale - of a vain, simple-minded but ambitious mid-15th century English girl with obscure beginnings who aspires to make a name for herself at the court of King Henry VIII. One of the main female characters, Nan, has a character and personality disturbingly identical to that of Katherine, Henry VIII 5th wife - a wife he also accused of adultry and had beheaded at the Tower of London (that must be one haunted place). This story has Nan catching the King's eye - and interest -in nearly the exact same manner as his child bride Katherine -but "Nan" is not Katherine. I found the story well-written and would be absorbing if I wasn't already familiar with so many of the sigificant historical characters and read other books on the same subject by different authors. I'm having trouble staying connected to this story but that's to be expected and is no reflection on the great work of this author. Other than that - this is a well-written tale of the motives of the characters who revolve around court life - an enjoyable read.
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on May 27, 2010
I am almost finish with reading this book and I must confess that author has opened up a whole new world into Henry's court. The reader will find alot of knowledge about the everyday courtier's life, struggles, fears, and the drive for ambition. The star of the book, Anne Bassett is determind to wed a rich and titled man, but for all her struggles, she's yet to find one due to the fact that mostly all potiental bachlors are married or engaged to another young female courtier. Anne eventually catches the eye of the king and he takes a facny to her, but not one that seems to last very long. It's almost as if Henry wants Anne around for comfort and nothing more. He likes the idea of her being there and even considers to marry her but he must wed a foreign princess; in this case Anna of Cleves. Anne also has a yound man in her life, Ned Corbett, but he is not rich and he doesn't even have a title. They do share something special to Anne's heart but I won't spoil it for the readers. I will just say that it is something Anne must live with for the rest of her life and the fear of it being exposed to King Henry could mean life or death for young Anne. So far, the king keeps Anne in the back ground while he's married to his fifth wife and doesn't seem to realize that she wants to be his mistress even if it means futhering her own ambitions as well as those of her family. I'm up to the part where Anne realizes it would be better to push Catherine Parr's knowlege of being a domestic and more stable wife toward's the king's path. Maybe the young Anne Bassett is starting to realize that ambition is not everything, and that love may have it's place in the court of King Henry.
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VINE VOICEon March 27, 2010
I REALLY enjoyed this book. I found that when I wasn't reading it, I was looking forward to when I would be able to pick it back up. I read Ms. Emerson's first book from this series, 'Pleasure Palace', and while it started out great, I felt she kinda dropped the ball as far as holding the readers attention during the majority of the book. That was NOT the case with 'Two Queens'.

I liked how the story is told from the perspective of a women who sits a bit outside of the Tudor drama. Anne Bassett is not someone I remember coming across in any of the other Tudor books I've read. And while, yes, I suppose TECHNICALLY she could be called Henry's mistress, she was just baaaarely that. As Ms. Emerson tells it, they only did the deed once...and Henry was very, very drunk at the time. Nan (as she's called) is much of the time in close proximity to the King and reigning Queen of the moment (she is after all a Lady in Waiting), but she has her own story on the side...and it's definitely a good one.

We follow Nan as she grows up...starting as a young girl with hopes of beating out her sister to be chosen to serve the Queen (a very pregnant Jane Seymour at the start), who hopes to meet a titled and rich husband...to a girl who falls for a man she can never have, yet will risk everything for him. Finally, as Nan deals with a huge upset pertaining to her own family, she realizes her prospects for the future have been forever altered, and she settles into a more quiet, realistic life for someone of her position.

In the end, if you're interested in reading this, I say go for it. It's not necessary at all for you to read 'Pleasure Palace' first, as the two books aren't really connected in anyway besides them both focusing on the Tudor court. I was definitely hesitant to give Ms. Emerson a try again after being slightly disappointed in her first novel, but I'm so glad I did. This was an absolute pleasure to read.
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VINE VOICEon January 22, 2012
I enjoyed the first book in this series, 'The Pleasure Palace', and was looking forward to reading this one. Unfortunately I didn't find it to be as gripping as the first, as the story seemed to drag on without too much action. Most things that happened the reader heard about second hand, meaning it read more like an account of events as opposed to allowing the reader to live through them.
On the other hand I still enjoyed the fresh perspective that Kate Emerson throws upon the court of Henry VIII--showing it through the eyes of a courtier not much featured in historical fiction. It's always nice to have a new voice telling a familiar story.
The list of historical figures featured at the back of the novel was an excellent addition, and I'm glad that the author added such an extensive list of names, alongside brief accounts of who they were. That in itself made for an interesting read.
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on March 5, 2010
This is the second book in Kate Emerson's series, and it's not too bad. She gave a good story line for a minor character in King Henry VIII's court, and one that I was not aware had possibly been Henry's mistress. It took a while for me to get into the story, just because the character of Nan Bassett seemed rather shallow at first. However, her character developed into maturity as the circumstances surrounding her grew dismal, and I began to admire her for her survival skills. Not a bad book, but I liked Kate Emerson's first novel,"Secrets of the Tudor Court: The Pleasure Palace" better.
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on June 30, 2011
I was lukewarm about Kate Emerson's The Pleasure Palace, but was willing to give this book in the series a go. I tried off and on for a year to get through it. I can't manage it. I find it tedious and boring. The imagery just doesn't come alive. Nice try, but no cigar. It makes me even less happy with the time I put into The Pleasure Palace now. Think twice about The Pleasure Palace. Give Between Two Queens a miss.
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on December 12, 2012
Henry VIII has never been my favorite historical character and, after reading Philippa Gregory's Tudor novels, I considered myself done with him and his six wives. However, I've always been a sucker for the "untold story" and when I stumbled across Kate Emerson's Secrets of the Tudor Court series I was hesitant, but couldn't pass up a novel based on the life of a real historical figure I knew nothing about.

To be honest, there isn't a lot that is new here. Henry VIII is a lecherous king who is attracted to all beautiful young ladies who come to court. So Anne Bassett comes to court to be a maid in waiting to Jane Seymour and, lo and behold, catches the eye of the king. What is actually quite interesting in this novel is the character of Anne. She falls in love but isn't willing to marry without money. The king notices her and she clinically decides that being his mistress would be good for her future. But when his attention wanders from her to Catherine Howard, she is mostly relieved. Unlike many of Henry's queens, Anne weighs the risks of becoming close with the king and, while part of her urges her to seize the chance, another part of her wants happiness more. It is interesting to watch how Anne's motivations and desires change as she grows up and realizes the dangers of court.

Another part of the story that was very interesting is Anne's firsthand experience of the mercurial moods of Henry. Her family is in charge of Calais and, when a treasonous plot is discovered by her stepfather and brought to Henry's attention, suspicion quickly turns on him and his family. Anne has to walk a delicate balance between trying to help her family but also protect her place at court. The reader gets a good sense of how dangerous Henry VIII's court was, not just for his wives but for everyone who risked being there. The information about the plot and the arrest of Anne's family is all true and I didn't know much about it before this book.

One thing to beware of, the cast is huge. It is one of those situations where people marry and names change and it gets difficult to keep characters straight. There is a Who's Who in the back that is pretty helpful but sometimes I really had no idea who Anne was talking about.

I enjoyed this book. It isn't my favorite piece of historical fiction by any means but it was a quick read and well written. This was an entertaining read, especially for people whose interest in the Tudor period hasn't been satisfied yet.
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on September 30, 2015
It was not terrible, but not really something that I would tell a friend to buy.
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on October 29, 2015
Book kept your interest from beginning to end.
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on November 15, 2012
Thanks a lot for your service. I love the story. This is very amazing author and I love the historical fiction book she writes
Let everyone enjoy the fiction I got right now in very good, like new condition
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