In this wonderfully “clever and compelling” (Kirkus Reviews) retelling of the infamous—and torrid—love affair between Anne Boleyn and King Henry VIII, history collides with the present when a sizzling romance ignites in a modern-day high school.
Henry Tudor’s life has been mapped out since the day he was born: student body president, valedictorian, Harvard Law School, and a stunning political career just like his father’s. But ever since the death of his brother, the pressure for Henry to be perfect has doubled. And now he’s trapped: forbidden from pursuing a life as an artist or dating any girl who isn’t Tudor-approved.
Then Anne Boleyn crashes into his life.
Wild, brash, and outspoken, Anne is everything Henry isn’t allowed to be—or want. But soon Anne is all he can think about. His mother, his friends, and even his girlfriend warn him away, but his desire for Anne consumes him.
Henry is willing to do anything to be with her, but once they’re together, will their romance destroy them both?
Inspired by the true story of Anne Boleyn and King Henry VIII, Anne & Henry beautifully reimagines the intensity, love, and betrayal between one of the most infamous couples of all time.
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)|
|Age Range:||14 Years|
About the Author
Dawn Ius is the author of Anne & Henry, Overdrive, and Lizzie. When she’s not slaying fictional monsters, she can be found geeking out over things like true love and other fairy tales, Jack Bauer, sports cars, Halloween, and all things that go bump in the night. She lives in Alberta, Canada, with her husband, Jeff; their giant English Mastiff, Roarke; and their Saint Bernard, Charley.
Read an Excerpt
Anne & Henry
The Tudor ballroom glitters like we’re backstage at a Vegas burlesque. It’s too much—the crystal, the diamonds, the people—and there’s not nearly enough champagne.
As the music switches to a waltz, I pull Catherine into the middle of the dance floor and begin leading her through the steps, through the crowd of masked faces. Even with years of dance training, it doesn’t matter. I always feel out of place at these damn parties.
My girlfriend’s spine straightens, her body rigid as she scopes out the room, looking for Medina’s most important and influential. She spots our friends dancing toward us and offers a rare smile.
“You look gorgeous, Cath,” Liz whispers when she and Wyatt are within earshot. And then to me, “A masquerade ball. Your mom’s brilliant, Henry. I feel like a princess.”
My father would have hated this—the endless stream of feathers, gold leaf, and jewels. I hate it too, but my relentless lessons on etiquette rewind, play back at slow speed: “You certainly look like one,” I reply with a wink.
“Not one of your better lines,” Catherine says under her breath as Liz dances away, giggling, and Wyatt shoots me a glare. Frankly, I’m surprised he’s upright—less than twenty minutes ago he and the rest of the guys were smoking up behind the pool house. I don’t blame them. If I thought I could get away with it . . .
“Deadly bored, aren’t you?” Catherine says. The stem of her diamond-encrusted mask pokes into the side of my rib cage. “You should be proud, Henry. I don’t know how your mom did it, but the house looks—”
Gaudy is the word I think she’s looking for: A red carpet flows down the middle of our central staircase like a river of blood, a shocking contrast to the usual white that frosts everything from the leather sofas to the marble pillars.
“I’m not looking at the decor,” I say, and slide my hands down Catherine’s back until they’re resting on her ass. The purple gown hugs her hips and her blond hair spills down her shoulders in loose curls. She looks like a fucking queen.
“Don’t be inappropriate,” she hisses.
“I thought you wanted me to have a good time,” I say, and shift my gaze so she doesn’t see my grin.
I catch a glimpse of some juniors circling the chocolate fountain below. One of them pretends to stick his dick in it and the others hoot. I cough out a laugh.
“You would find that amusing,” Catherine says, her annoyance quickly growing. “How gross.”
“Loosen up, Cath,” I say, threading my fingers through hers. Jesus, even her skin is cool. I let out a sigh. “Let’s go check in with my mother.”
At the suggestion, Catherine brightens. “I’ll just freshen up first.”
“Oh, come on. Why mess with perfection?” My eyebrows rise and fall—twice—and I badly botch a Sean Connery impression. “You’re ravishing, darling.”
Her mouth forms a line and she tosses my hand aside. “That isn’t the slightest bit sexy.”
Catherine. Smart and popular, and she gets me, or at least the “me” everyone thinks they know. Plus, she’s an Aragon, which isn’t quite the same as being a Tudor, but since Mom has put herself in charge of finding me an appropriate match in Medina, Catherine tops a very short list.
She kisses my cheek, leaving me stranded in the middle of the dance floor. Another tune kicks in and I scan the crowd for a new partner. Maybe the senator’s wife or the assistant principal of Medina Academy, anyone who will take my mind off the mounting tension. I turn to—
My heart catches in my throat.
She is a raven among doves. Bloodred lipstick forms the shape of a heart, striking against her stark black hair and the simple disguise in her hand. Something stirs in my gut.
The girl lowers her mask, and I inhale as though sucker punched. Those eyes . . .
She blinks and the trance dissolves. I scrub my hands over my face to readjust my equilibrium and start making my way across the room, pushing through the crowd, trying to maintain eye contact. My face is flushed by the time I get to her, and I thrust my palm out with a jerk.
“Henry,” I say. The heart on her lips shifts in an ever-so-slight smirk. I cough out a nervous laugh, and exhaling, add, “I live here.”
Jesus Christ. I live here? I will the floor to open up and swallow me whole.
Her stare betrays nothing. If only she would just giggle or shake her head, something, anything, to save me from further humiliation. But she remains emotionless, blank.
She slides her top teeth over her lower lip, scraping off the bottom half of the heart. Sweat beads at the base of my neck.
“Would you like to dance?” she says.
There’s a certain amusement in her voice that puts me on alert. Her eyes crinkle at the edges and I’m sure she’s laughing at me. I should back off, but damn it if I don’t enjoy a challenge.
I hold out my hand and pull her close. She presses the stem of her mask into my palm—our skin touches. And for one disconcerting moment I’ve forgotten the steps, lost the ability to dance at all. She reaches up and holds my shoulder as we move across the floor.
My fingers itch to snake through the long tangles of her hair. I focus on the steps instead, the twirls and dips, working hard not to stumble. Son of a bitch. I’m all jacked up, my world spinning forward and back, suddenly off-kilter. I can’t take my eyes off her haunting face, but even without looking, I know everyone is watching us.
She twirls just out of reach and I yank her back. Whispering in her ear, I say, “Who are you?”
The music stops and a smattering of applause breaks the spell before she can answer. Next thing I know, she’s disappearing into the crowd without so much as a backward glance.
I blow out a breath.
Catherine’s fingers suddenly intertwine with mine. “And who was that?” The slight lift in her voice reveals her jealousy.
I grit my teeth and swallow a knee-jerk response, because I’m pissed off—confused, maybe—by my reaction to that girl.
“Henry? Did you hear me?”
“I don’t know,” I say, letting go of Catherine’s hand and loosening the collar of my tuxedo. It’s one thing for my girlfriend’s insecurities to bubble over at school. Another entirely to make a scene here, where the sheriff’s wife stands just a few feet away, ears perked and ready for gossip.
Catherine’s eyes dim. “She must be new.”
“Seems that way.” As a new waltz begins, I make a motion like I want to dance again. But it’s not Catherine I’m thinking about as I pull her close, and from the corner of my eye, I spot the girl. She catches me staring and I count the seconds, breaths, heartbeats, before she slowly lifts her disguise.
As Catherine twirls around, she sees the girl too and freezes midstep. “That’s her with your mother and the architect for the creative center,” she says. “What’s his name? Terry? Travis?”
“Thomas,” I mutter, not glancing back. “Thomas Harris.”
Catherine clucks her tongue. “She’s a bit . . . harsh looking, don’t you think?”
The comment is classic Catherine. Classic Medina, I guess. The whole damn town is crammed onto a tiny pedestal, pushing and shoving, jockeying for position as they claw their way to the top.
“I guess we should introduce ourselves,” I say.
Catherine fakes a smile. “Of course. But only for a minute, right?” She rubs her hand along my biceps and squeezes. “Charles and Marie are sneaking a bottle of champagne out to the dock. I promised we’d join them.” She drops her voice to a whisper. “I can’t wait to slip out of these shoes—they’re killing me.”
Catherine’s long gown hides five-inch heels, an effort to disguise her height. At six-foot-two, I tower over her. “Trust me, a million other places I’d rather be too.”
Which is turning out to be a bold-faced lie.
The closer we get to the girl, the louder my mother’s cackle echoes over the white noise of laughter, small talk, and music. Life without Dad and my brother hasn’t been easy for her the past year—hell, it hasn’t been easy for either of us. But somehow she’s managed to rise from the ashes of grief like a fiery phoenix, this evening’s gala the final step to full-on resurrection. Me? I’m still buried under the wreckage.
Catherine hangs on to me. This new girl has shoved her right out of her comfort zone. I feel guilty about it—because even though I shouldn’t be staring, I am.
What’s left of the painted heart on the girl’s lips cracks on our approach, revealing a small gap between her teeth.
“Hello again,” I say, warmth spreading across my cheeks.
She nods, stares. My face goes hot and I’m at a loss for words.
Catherine’s fingers move from my elbow to my shoulder, and tighten with a possessive squeeze. She crooks her neck, leans into me, and her blond hair spills over my tux.
“I don’t know what’s gotten into my boyfriend tonight. Must be the alcohol in the punch.” She smiles, but even from my view it looks more like a sneer. “I’m Catherine.”
The girl’s lips part and I catch a flash of something silver in her mouth. My throat dries to sandpaper. Is that a tongue piercing? Jesus. Everything about this girl is sexy as hell.
Catherine clears her throat, squeezes too tight. “And you are?”
“Anne.” The girl smiles a little. “Anne Boleyn.”
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I picked up this book expecting to like it because it's based on Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII, but this book blew me away. Ius's writing is strong - incredibly tight, but also infused with unique lines that resonate and stay with the reader long after you put the book down. Her characterization of Anne and Henry captivated me while the intense relationship between them, along with Ius's plotting and pacing, kept me turning the pages. I read the last 100 pages in a day. Ius is a brilliant author. I look forward to reading more from her and will definitely pick up whatever she writes. This is one of the best books I've read this summer.
I was intrigued the minute I heard about Anne & Henry and learned it was a retelling of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. As a history nerd who’s fascinated with the Tudors (even more so after visiting the Tower of London and Windsor Castle this past summer), I couldn’t wait to see how Dawn Ius would handle a modern-day retelling of this infamous historical couple. I think it’s important when going into this book to remember it’s a retelling and that the story of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn is not a fairytale, it’s not an epic romance, it’s not an example of a healthy relationship, or one with a happy ending. The royal court would have been full of duplicitous people, scandal, and intrigue, and I think Ius did an absolutely brilliant job of translating that to a modern day story featuring teenagers. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect from this book. I couldn’t imagine Henry and Anne’s story being told in modern times, especially in a high school setting. Within a few pages, I was completely hooked. Anne and Henry both fascinated me - they were far from perfect, but that was one of the things I liked most about them. I was sympathetic toward them almost immediately. Henry had big shoes to fill, and Anne had a colourful past she couldn’t seem to distance herself from, despite moving to a new place and not knowing anyone. When Anne and Henry met, they knew they shouldn’t be together for various reasons. When they actually were together, they knew things would be difficult, but they couldn’t stay away from each other. They were drawn to each other and although they tried to fight the outside forces trying to keep them apart, they were doomed from the start. The volatility of their relationship and the catty behaviour of the people around them worked really well in a high school setting. Between raging hormones, rumours, and misconstrued situations, there was plenty of realistic high school drama. Anne & Henry completely sucked me in from beginning to end. I was impressed not only with Ius’s beautiful writing, but with her ability (not to mention the guts!) to tackle a story that’s completely unconventional in YA. There were so many great little details that made my inner history nerd squeal in delight. The ending in particular had me actually hooting with pleased laughter. I thoroughly enjoyed Anne & Henry, and hope many readers will give it a chance and enjoy it as much as I did.
I went into this book knowing it was a retelling, but with very little knowledge of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn’s story. I really only knew the basics. So I was a bit surprised with where this story went, and eventually, how it ended. I thought Dawn’s writing style was a lot of fun. I loved Anne immediately and thought she was a fantastic character in the beginning. So snarky and fun, always living life to the fullest. Though I did very much enjoy this story and Dawn Ius’ incredible writing, I did have a few issues with this book. My biggest issue was I had trouble really getting a grip on Anne’s attraction to Henry. Henry’s attraction to Anne was totally understandable. The girl was a spitfire and a total blast! But Henry… he was just totally boring, naive, and much to “blah” for Anne, in my opinion. So because of this, I had trouble really connecting to their romance. I also didn’t care for the way Anne evolved throughout the story, appearing to be a completely different and weaker person by the end. Henry was a total jerk, who I just wanted to smack for his ridiculous actions. My only other real complaint was that the ONLY real likeable character was Anne. The others, including parents and other students, were just plain MEAN! The way they all acted was ridiculous and downright ugly. The way the story ended was also a little far-fetched, but I enjoyed it even despite that. I thought the last sentence (which Becca mentioned IMMEDIATELY after reading it) was perfection. Overall, a fun read that I quite enjoyed. I was extremely impressed with Dawn Ius’ writing as a debut author and I’m eager to see what she comes out with next. (Thank you to Simon Pulse for the review copy!)
Make no mistake about it, this is Anne’s Story: her trials with being the rebellious outsider, spurned and scorned by many who are uncomfortable with her clear thinking, devil-may-care approach to boys, life and her own single-minded determination. She’s bold, brassy, motorcycle riding, sharp tongued and intelligent. With one HUGE flaw. She is intrigued by Henry. Henry is exactly what one would expect from the ”golden boy” – raised without consequence, every whim granted on a silver platter, no true ramifications for anything and the attention span of a gnat. Completely unlikable, utterly without redeeming features, the lauded charms of the original Henry (he was purported to be funny, charming, athletic, and intelligent) missing, he was the character you had to dislike. Especially as he discards the new and shiny in favor of something different, simply because he never had to work to get anything. Ius has a wonderful writing style, she keeps readers engaged even with the horrible ‘hero’, because you need to know what is next. If I had one complaint, the accuracy with which she correlates the real couple to this fictional one forced some moments that would have been better felt and integrated had they come to the couple naturally. Using source material as inspiration is a wonderful tool, and Ius did that well, with only a few hiccups. A wonderfully promising debut offering that promises more great work in the future. I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.