To Die For: a novel of Anne Boleyn by Sandra Byrd

To Die ForTo Die For by Sandra Byrd
A Novel of Anne Boleyn
Ladies in Waiting, #1
Genre: Christian Historical Fiction
Pages: 332 Trade Paperback
Date Published: August 9th 2011
Publisher: Howard Books

What would you sacrifice for your best friend?
Would you die for her?

Meg Wyatt has been Anne Boleyn’s closest friend since they grew up together on neighboring manors in Kent. So when twenty-five-year-old Anne’s star begins to ascend, of course she takes Meg along for the ride.

Life in the court of Henry VIII is thrilling… at first. Meg is made mistress of Anne’s wardrobe, and she enjoys the spoils of this privileged orbit and uses her influence for good. She is young and beautiful and in favor; everyone at court assumes that being close to her is being close to Anne.

But favor is fickle and envy is often laced with venom. As Anne falls, so does Meg, and it becomes nearly impossible for her to discern ally from enemy. Suddenly life’s unwelcome surprises rub against the court’s sheen to reveal the tarnished brass of false affections and the bona fide gold of those that are true. Both Anne and Meg may lose everything. When your best friend is married to fearsome Henry VIII, you may soon find yourself not only friendless but headless as well.

A rich alchemy of fact and fiction, To Die For chronicles the glittering court life, the sweeping romance, and the heartbreaking fall from grace of a forsaken queen and Meg, her closest companion, who was forgotten by the ages but who is destined to live in our hearts forever.

Read from January 27 to February 01, 2013

I’ve been excited about Sandra Byrd’s Ladies in Waiting series for a long time and kept meaning to pick up the book, but life just kept getting in the way. I wanted to be able to really read it and give it justice in attention. I knew Sandra to be a contemporary author and though I have not read her contemporary novels I was intrigued to read her historicals and now having stayed up late into the night finishing her first in the Ladies in Waiting series I realize I have sorely missed out and I’m delighted to put her novels on the permanent keeper shelf.

When To Die For was first announced it had an interesting cover that did not entice me. But then as it was published it was released with the most delightful and gorgeous cover! The details in the dresses and attitude of two friends standing arm and arm is fabulous and gives an interesting look to Anne Boleyn and her lifelong friend Meg Wyatt.

As a reader I was captivated from the first preview scene and then thus into the story from the beginning in their childhood. The romance between Meg and the not-to-be Will Ogilvy was heart wrenching and barely palpable as even a glance might be enough to provide a little warmth to the heart for both of them. Also getting a fictional account of the romance between Anne and King Henry was interesting and believable as well as of course sad knowing how the story ends. Reading this tale along side lots of historical detail transports the reader to a place long gone and imagine how things might have been.

There seem to be lots of stories that tell of Anne Boleyn, but of the ones I have read or watched this one from the viewpoint of Meg Wyatt was the most enjoyable and tastefully done. Without a doubt I believe that readers from both the Christian Historical Fiction and secular pool would enjoy this story. Today I’m delighted to pick up the next Ladies in Waiting novel The Secret Keeper: A Novel of Kateryn Parr and jump into this next adventure of a time long past. I really hope I’ll be blessed to get my hands on the third novel of Elizabeth, Roses Have Thorns: A Novel of Elizabeth I, in the months to come as well.

*Thanks to Sandra for providing a copy for review.*

Best-selling author Sandra Byrd has published nearly three dozen fiction and nonfiction books including her new Tudor-set series, Ladies in Waiting. Book 1, To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn launched in 2011. Book 2, The Secret Keeper: A Novel of Kateryn Parr will debut in June, 2012.

Her other titles include the French Twist series, which includes the Christy finalist Let Them Eat Cake (2007) and its sequels, Bon Appétit (2008) an Piece de Resistance (2009) as well as the London Confidential series for tweens.

For nearly a decade Sandra has shared her secrets with the writing students she mentors and coaches.

Before turning to full-time writing, Sandra was an acquisitions editor. She lives in the Seattle, Washington, area with her husband, two children, and little dog.

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