Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Watch the Lady by Elizabeth Fremantle Review and GIVEAWAY!

Penelope Devereux is the daughter of an illustrious family and will soon be a lady in waiting for Queen Elizabeth I, but she can never have the man she truly loves, Philip Sidney.  She must marry wealth to help her family fortunes, but her true love will never be forgotten as she becomes Sidney’s muse for his sonnet sequence Astrophil and Stella.  As the years pass, Penelope realizes that she must grasp happiness when she can and that she has a great political mind and is willing to use it.

Penelope’s brother Robin, the Earl of Essex is the Queen’s favorite, much to Robert Cecil’s, the Queen’s man, dismay.  Cecil works behind the scenes to bring both the Earl of Essex and Penelope down.  This leads to a stunning conclusion.

I was intrigued by this entire novel.  I had never heard of Penelope Devereux before, and after a quick google search, I discovered she was real as were the facts of this historical fiction novel.  Author Elizabeth Fremantle also has a great afterward where she describes her research, the real facts of Penelope, as well as where she took some fictional liberties based on the facts. I loved the afterward as well as the book club questions.

I loved how Penelope was a strong heroine in a time when women were not allowed to be strong.  The fact that she survived the intrigue of court while living a scandalous life of her own says a lot about her and her strength.  I thought it was interesting how she was whitewashed from history so that the men in her life would not be tainted by her scandal.  I love how Queen Elizabeth states in the novel that she likes how Penelope has chosen to live her life “as a man” of the time, loving who she wanted to love.  I also enjoyed that this heroine has the same name as my young daughter.

Overall, Watch the Lady had political intrigue, great history, romance, and wonderful characters; it is a book not to be missed.

Book Source:  Review Copy from Simon and Schuster – Thanks!

One lucky winner will receive a copy of Watch the Lady by Elizabeth Fremantle courtesy of Simon and Schuster .  If you would like to win Watch the Lady, please leave a comment on why it sounds interesting, what you know about Penelope Devereaux.

As part of your comment, you must include an email address. If I can't find a way to contact you I will draw another winner. 
For an additional entry, blog about this giveaway or post it on your sidebar. Provide a link to this post in your comment.

I will be using (or a Monte Carlo simulation in excel) to pick the winners from the comments.
This contest is only open to US residents (Sorry!).
No P.O. Boxes.
The deadline for entry is midnight on Friday July 17th.
Please make sure to check next week to see if you are a winner. I send emails to the winner, but lately I've been put in their "junk mail" folder instead of their inbox.
Good luck!


  1. Thanks for hosting this giveaway, Laura! I would like to learn more about Penelope. I will add this giveaway to my blog's sidebar. :)

  2. I'm always up for a good historical fiction novel! Thanks for the chance to win.

  3. This historical sounds captivating and Penelope courageous and fascinating. Thanks for this great feature and giveaway. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  4. Thanks for your great review which sounds intriguing. A historical set during this era and a character like Penelope is of interest to me greatly. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

  5. Thank-you all for entering the giveaway!