In a Treacherous Court

( 11 )

Overview

An unconventional woman. A deadly enemy. A clash of intrigue, deception, and desire. . . .

1525: Artist Susanna Horenbout is sent from Belgium to be Henry VIII’s personal illuminator inside the royal palace. But her new homeland greets her with an attempt on her life, and the King’s most lethal courtier, John Parker, is charged with keeping her safe. As further attacks are made, Susanna and Parker realize that she unknowingly carries the key to a bloody plot against the throne. ...

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In a Treacherous Court

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Overview

An unconventional woman. A deadly enemy. A clash of intrigue, deception, and desire. . . .

1525: Artist Susanna Horenbout is sent from Belgium to be Henry VIII’s personal illuminator inside the royal palace. But her new homeland greets her with an attempt on her life, and the King’s most lethal courtier, John Parker, is charged with keeping her safe. As further attacks are made, Susanna and Parker realize that she unknowingly carries the key to a bloody plot against the throne. For while Richard de la Pole amasses troops in France for a Yorkist invasion, a traitor prepares to trample the kingdom from within.

Who is the mastermind? Why are men vying to kill the woman Parker protects with his life? With a motley gang of urchins, Susanna’s wits, and Parker’s fierce instincts, honed on the streets and in palace chambers, the two slash through deadly layers of deceit in a race against time. For in the court of Henry VIII, secrets are the last to die. . . .

Brilliantly revealing a little-known historical figure who lived among the Tudors, Michelle Diener makes a smashing historical fiction debut.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
John Parker is a loyal servant of Henry VIII, who, upon fetching painter Susanna Horenbout from the docks one day, discovers her hearing the last words of a dying man—words that could bring down the kingdom; Parker tries to persuade her to tell him, but Susanna refuses. "I gave my word to a dying man," she insists; the secret is for the king alone. From the moment of her arrival at court, Susanna's life is in danger, with murderous men coming out of the woodwork to try to kill her. As Parker becomes both her protector and lover, he struggles to discover who exactly wants Susanna dead, why, and how she threatens the king. With their enemies likely closer than anyone would suspect, Parker finds his loyalty to his king and his budding love for this woman in conflict. He may not be able to have both. In her debut, the first of a planned series, Diener cuts her characters from the classic molds: Parker is a violent, loyal loner; Horenbout is one part skilled painter and two parts damsel in distress. Fans of Tudor historicals will recognize players like the treacherous duke of Norfolk and the villainous George Boleyn, but this tale could take place almost anywhere. (Aug.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780594525233
  • Publisher: Gallery Books
  • Publication date: 8/2/2011
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Michelle Diener has always had a passion for reading and writing. She began writing stories when her parents gave her a typewriter for her twelfth birthday, and she hasn’t stopped since. Born in London and raised in South Africa, she now lives on the west coast of Australia with her husband and two small children.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 11 )
Rating Distribution

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(9)

4 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2013

    Amazing!

    This book grabbed me from page one and kept dying for more!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 17, 2012

    This was my first book by Michelle Diener and my first historica

    This was my first book by Michelle Diener and my first historical romance. To be honest, I was not sure if I would like it. I always shied away from historical romance because growing up, I hated learning about history and I hated the books we had to read in English class. I just couldn’t follow them with their weird language. I wasn’t sure if I would have the same feelings with historical romance. However, I recently have been made aware of some books that sound interesting and this was one of them. This book I happened to win from a blog so it sort of sealed the deal on trying this genre out.

    I really liked this book. I allowed myself to be swept away into the story. Reading this book purely as fiction (given my original mention of not having an interest in History or English I know nothing about King Henry), I truly fell in love with Parker and Susanna. They were characters with real feelings and emotions and they were so strong. Their love for each other was not instant but grew as they spent time together – which I usually like in a story.

    After Parker (King’s courtier) meets Susanna (the King’s new painter), someone tries to kill her. Parker and Susanna start on the journey to find out who it was and why. As they learn more with each person they encounter, the story they learn about gets deeper with more twists and turns. Parker realizes he can’t trust anyone so he keeps Susanna close as he continues to find out who is behind all of this. I loved the suspense to this book. It wasn’t just about Parker and Susanna although I enjoyed that they were together for most of the book. I look forward to reading more about them in the next books in the series. This book opened me up to the historical romance genre in general and I also plan to read Michelle’s other books!

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  • Posted April 12, 2012

    A great read.

    I really enjoyed reading this book. Full of historical characters!

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  • Posted February 9, 2012

    highly recommended

    The best book I have read in a long time, I cant wait for the squeal.

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  • Posted February 7, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Pretty good

    This is a pretty good read. Right from the first page, the story throughout is fast paced with some fight scenes as Parker has to find out why and who is after Susanna. The book reminded me a bit of Poison Study. Recommend both books.

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  • Posted September 10, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    History, Romance, Court Treachery And Possible War = A Great Read!

    Michelle Diener in her new book, "In a Treacherous Court" Book One in the Susanna Horenbout/John Parker series published by Gallery Books takes us to England in 1525.

    Susanna Horenbout is coming from Belgium to the court of Henry VIII to serve as the king's personal illuminator or painter. While on the ship she manages to witness the murder of a spy. The secret message for the king that the dying man whispered to Susanna has put her life in grave danger. In an effort to keep her alive The king places John Parker, Yeoman of the Crossbows, to be her protector. But can he keep her alive and still develop the romance that is brewing between them?

    Get ready for a nail-biting, page-turning thriller. Susanna Horenbout and John Parker's lives are in deadly danger as they race about trying to find a traitor within the kingdom, deal with an army amassing in France and a mastermind that is manipulating everything. Michelle Diener knows how to craft suspense. She also knows how to write a good romance as well. To really add to the pot this is a historical novel. There really existed Susanna Horenbout and John Parker and they really did have a romance. Now whether any of the rest of the story is true is a matter for the historians. Ms. Diener creates characters are so real that you care for all of them. "In a Treacherous Court" is great fun to read. I am so looking forward to the next book in this series.

    If you would like to listen to interviews with other authors and professionals please go to Kingdom Highlights where they are available On Demand.

    To listen to 24 hours non-stop Christian music please visit our internet radio station Kingdom airwaves

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Gallery Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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  • Posted August 3, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A gem among historical fiction!

    Artist Susanna Horenbout is sent by her father from Belgium to the court of Henry VIII to be his personal illuminator. When she arrives, there is an attempt made on her life and John Parker, the King's yeomen of the crossbows is charged with keeping her safe. When further attempts are made, they realize that Susanna unknowingly carries the key to a plot against the throne. While Richard de la Pole prepares for invasion, a traitor sets a plan into motion to destroy the kingdom from within. Can Parker and Susanna unravel this mystery in time to stop all this from happening? It's a race against time and the deceit is layered.

    With In a Treacherous Court, Michelle Diener weaves a wonderful tapestry of historical fiction. There are assassination attempts, moments of fear, battles and mystery as well as love, loyalty and chivalry. She weaves them together with the ease of a master and it grips you from page one and leaves the reader wondering at the end. Michelle kept as much historical fact as possible while taking liberties on the things that were unclear. This was huge for me as I love medieval history and it was enough for me to let go of the fact that this is a fictional piece and wonder if this actually could have taken place. This book is truly a gem among historical fiction and I eagerly look forward to more from her.

    Thank you to Michelle and Gallery Books for the advance review copy. It in no way influenced my review.

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  • Posted July 30, 2011

    Loved it

    In a Treacherous Court has everything. Suspense, royalty, intrigue, fantastic characters, great writing and a great love story. It's based on people who actually lived, and the author brought Henry VIII and his court to life. As I read it, I had the feeling that it really could have happened. I had chills. I've fallen in love with John Parker, Henry's Keeper of the Palace of Westminster and Yeoman of the King's Robes. One of the best heroes ever. Susanna Horenbout, who was likely the king's artist, is his equal. This book is page turning, yet it's so good you don't want it to end. I'm already eager to read Parker and Susanna's next adventure.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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