The Cardinal's Whores by Adrienne Blake

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#Adult, #Historical, #Romance, #Suspense

Blackmail. Betrayal. Lust. Just standard fare in the court of Henry the Eighth. Joan Larke has heard all her young life that this is so, but she is completely unprepared to be dragged into the midst of it. Dragged she is, though, when the beautiful girl falls into the hands of the powerful and power hungry Thomas Wolsey: cardinal, confidant, and finally, lord chamberlain to the king. Wolsey knows how many secrets are passed in the bedchamber, and shamelessly enlists any woman who comes within his influence as his spy. He turns each one, under duress, into a whore who brings him information from her pillow talk with the movers and shakers of the early 16th century. But he needs love, too, and he keeps Joan to himself—for a time. When Joan finds that she is no longer wanted and in peril of spending the rest of her life in a convent, she turns to Lady Anne Boleyn, who is rapidly supplanting Queen Catherine in Henry’s affections. But treachery is a double-edged sword, and the betrayer often becomes the betrayed in the shadowy world of Tudor court intrigue. Although Joan has secrets of her own she can trade, in the end, she can do nothing but watch and tremble as the cardinal and the would-be queen battle behind the scenes for the love of their king, and to keep from winding up under the axe, as so many did in those dark days. Publisher’s disclaimer: The Cardinal’s Whores contains graphic sexual descriptions, along with detailed depictions of torture and death as practiced during this historical era. If you find such scenes offensive or excessively disturbing, please do not read this book.

Universal Link | The Romance Reviews

4 out of 5 (very good)

The Cardinal's Whores is the first book by this author I have read, and with the intriguing mix of fact and fiction she twisted into this story, she is definitely one on my watch list.

Joan Larke is a young woman, living with her brother, and hopeful for a marriage to a noble. However, when her path brings her to the attention of Thomas Wolsley, her life takes a different route. We stay with Wolsley throughout most of this book, but also see things from other's perspectives. This story touches on actual figures and events from that period of history, and then puts the author's take on things to make them fit here.

This was a very well written story, with no editing or grammatical errors that disrupted my reading. The pacing was smooth, and the transition from one person's POV to the next was seamless. For those that like historical stories, something with a bit of steam, then I have no hesitation in recommending this one. Thoroughly enjoyable.

* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and the comments here are my honest opinion. *


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Adrienne lives in the Poconos, hates the cold but loves the mountains. Unabashed cat lover and writer of naughty fantasy. Feed her coffee and chocolate and she'll write forever.

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#Adult #Historical #Romance #Suspense #4Stars