'An artist never betrays her patron...especially one of the world's most powerful kings.
Susanna Horenbout has learned this lesson from the cradle. But when she receives a letter from her father telling her to do just that, she faces a dilemma. Betray Henry VIII, or carry out the request of her father's employer, Margaret of Austria and pass secret information to Henry's queen, Katherine of Aragon.
Caught between the machinations of her husband and her nephew, the Emperor Charles, Queen Katherine needs all the allies she can get. But what can Susanna really do to help her, and even if she does, will it be enough?
Susanna and her betrothed, Parker--one of Henry's most trusted courtiers--balance on the knife's edge of treason as they try to make sense of both international and domestic conspiracies. Sometimes, it's better the enemy you know...'
I have long touted the brilliance of Michelle Diener and her historical fiction thrillers, so when she asked me to read the newest installment of the Susanna Horenbout and John Parker series, I jumped at the chance. I love these characters and I absolutely get excited to read one of Diener's books. I always know that the story hits the ground running with suspense and won't let you go until the very last page. This book was no different. It took me a couple of pages to get acclimated with where the story had left off in previous books, but once I got past that, it was a thrill ride that floored this historical fiction lover.
Susanna Horenbout and John Parker are very much in love and would love to be able to relish in their romance, however, fate and treason have a way of finding them and making their lives chaos. This is the third installment in the series, and I strongly recommend reading the previous two, In a Treacherous Court and Keeper of the King's Secrets, as if you skip those, you will be confused as this story takes place right after the last one leaves off. Susanna is a kick-ass character that doesn't take any crap and proves her worth standing up to men who are powerful. John Parker defends Susanna because she has captured his heart and because he is known for his acts of espionage and intrigue when defending the King and the Crown.
If you love historical fiction that is suspenseful, intriguing and beautifully written, please do yourself a favor and read this book and this series today. Michelle Diener is absolutely one of my favorite historical fiction authors and never disappoints this reader. This book was an engaging thrill ride from page one and I was sad when I reached the last page. The only problem that I have with these books are that they are simply not long enough and the author cannot write them fast enough for my liking.
Overall Rating: 4.5
Title: In Defense of the Queen
Author: Michelle Diener
Series: Susanna Horenbout and John Parker #3
Publisher: Season Publishing
Publication Date: August 1, 2013
Genre: Historical Fiction
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Disclaimer: This book was given to me by the author in exchange for my honest review. I reviewed this book without compensation of any kind. All thoughts and opinions are solely mine.