The Dark Rose is book two in the Morland Dynasty series. The War of the Roses and the family Matriarch, Eleanor, has passed away. The family is now living during Henry VIII’s tumultuous reign. Paul, the great-grandson of Eleanor Morland, is the new family patriarch. His niece, Nanette, grows up with the Katherine Parr and becomes one of Anne Boleyn’s maid-of-honors.
I loved Nanette’s story and her close relationships with Anne Boleyn and Katherine Parr. In particular the end of Anne Boleyn’s reign and live was especially poignant. The only thing I didn’t like about Nanette’s story was her main love interest, which seemed too incestuous for me. I won’t say more to ruin the plot.
I grew to like Paul more as the book went on, but I had a hard time with him as a hero at the beginning o the book. He was actually rather boorish and cruel. I was sad to see how the cute children from book 1 ended up as such unhappily married adults. Luckily his character has major growth and becomes more sympathetic by the end of his life.
The overall book was great, but the beginning of the book moves rather slow. It tries to race through the history between books 1 and 2 a little too quickly. I think it might have been better to skip it or have to mention in passing after starting the main action of the novel. If you start this book and are bored by the beginning, keep on reading, it is worth it!
I am really enjoying the Morland Dynasty Saga and can’t wait to read more of it!
Book Source: Advance Review Copy from Sourcebooks. Thank-you!