Title: THE DUKE’S QUANDARYAuthor: Callie Hutton
EBook: 285 pages
Release Date: March 10, 2014
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Drake, Duke of Manchester is searching the Marriage Mart for a perfect bride. He wants a woman who is poised, sophisticated, and worthy of the title Duchess. But most of all, he wants a woman who does not want the useless emotion of love.
Socially awkward Miss Penelope Clayton isn't meant for marriage. A serious botanist, she has no desire to wed, so being forced by her guardian to participate in the Season to find a husband is torture. She'll never fit in with the ton, especially if they discover she's been pretending to be a man within the scientific community.
As Drake's family makes over Penelope, turning her from naive bluestocking to enchanting debutante, he is put upon to introduce her to society and eligible bachelors. Despite dance lessons and new gowns, Penelope is the opposite of poised and sophisticated as she stumbles from one mishap to the next. Why then, does he find it so hard to resist her?
A King Without Equal
By: Callie Hutton
By: Callie Hutton
My degree is in education/history, so writing historical romance seems to fit. What I find amusing is history was probably one of my least favorite subjects in elementary and high school. I mean, who really cares what date the Battle of the Bulge was fought? To me, history was no more than going from one war to the next. Memorizing battlegrounds and dates made history very dry and boring.
Years ago, I picked up an historical fiction book on the Six Wives of Henry VIII series written by Jean Plaidy. It was on Katherine Parr, his last wife who only survived losing her head because he died before the sentence was carried out. I’m sure she had a huge whew! moment over that one.
Of course, once I finished that book, I went right to wife number one, Catherine of Aragon, and read them all in succession. I was hooked on history.
Although it sounds sort of strange, since old Henry was a brutal man, and one very dangerous husband, I found him so fascinating that he remains my favorite English king.
For those unfamiliar with his history, he married his brother, Arthur’s wife, which was what gave basis to his later petition to the church for a divorce. Arthur and Catherine were married only six months when he died of what was called the ‘sweating sickness.’ Henry VII did not want to give up Catherine’s dowry, so he kept her in England – she was from Spain – and betrothed her to his younger son, the future Henry VIII. Since he was too young to marry, they remained betrothed for four years.
By the time Henry VIII was old enough to marry, his father no longer cared about an alliance with Spain, so he didn’t push for the couple to marry. Henry VIII, however, was in love with Catherine, so as soon as Henry VII died, they married.
After years of many stillborns and miscarriages, Catherine had produced only one child, a girl, Mary. Disgusted with his lack of a male heir, Henry decided to put Catherine aside and marry his mistress, Anne Boleyn. The Catholic Church denied his request for a divorce, invalidating his contention that Catherine was not his legal wife, because she had been married to his brother. Frustrated, and pressured by Anne who was with child, he broke with the church, started the Church of England, and had his appointed Archbishop of Canterbury grant him an annulment, thereby making his daughter, Mary, a bastard.
Anne, unfortunately only produced one daughter, Elizabeth, and frantic for a male heir, Henry charged her with treason and adultery, and had her executed. The wives that followed, Jane Seymour, who produced one son, a sickly Edward, died birthing him and was followed by Anne of Cleves, from whom he was granted an annulment. Next wife, Catherine Howard, went the way of Anne Boleyn, and lost her head.
What fascinates me about the man is how different he was over the span of his lifetime. He was extremely religious, and even wrote ‘Defence of the Seven Sacraments,’ a treatise aimed at Martin Luther and what Henry saw as Luther’s errors. Yet he broke with the church.
He was very much in love with Catherine of Aragon, yet treated her shamefully after he divorced her, keeping her from her daughter for years. He caused the break with his church for Anne Boleyn, yet had her executed for what many saw as trumped-up charges.
Despite Mary being declared a bastard, she assumed the throne after her younger brother Edward died. Her reign, where she was tagged “bloody Mary,” ended without issue, so her sister, Elizabeth, Anne Boleyn’s daughter, became probably one of the best monarchs to ever rule England.
Henry was an enigma, and throughout history he has been analyzed, condemned and admired. I simply think he was a fascinating person.