4 Stars for We, King Henry VIII Part One by S. Joy P. #Historical #MM

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Title: We, King Henry VIII: Part 1
Author Name: S. Joy P.
Publication Date & Length: May 30, 2015 – 188 pgs

Synopsis

Henry VIII of England seeks his way home – into the arms of his long-lost lover

On the 27th of January, 1547 AD, at eleven o’clock at night, Henry VIII is mere three hours from his death. On his deathbed, he only pines to behold his true love for one more time. To catch but a glimpse of Adhamh’s face – that he desires above all things. For his whole life fearful of God, he would now give his mind, body, and soul to the Devil if the Dark Lord promised him but one moment with his lost lover. Only his heart Henry could not give, for Adhamh has it in his keeping. It has always been so, from the day they met. And there the story of their star-crossed love truly begins.
In the hot August of the year 1521 AD, England lazily revels in its still young King Henry VIII, the most accomplished and the handsomest monarch of the Christendom. For whole the world, Henry plays the King who lacks nothing, and who fears nobody save God. Deep inside, he is a man tormented by dark secrets shrouding his marriage, tortured by fears for the fate of his dynasty. His summer morning is not filled with idle delight; it brims with barely concealed terrors – until the moment when God sends him a sign: a wolf trapped in the royal chapel. From the first heartbeat of the unexpected encounter, the beast exudes an aura of unalloyed loyalty vested in Henry alone. Overcome with the sight of the wolf’s unconditional surrender into his hands, Henry believes him to be a messenger of God and spares his life.
But… a human heart beats in the wolf’s chest. Adhamh the Seventh, the only son of the House of Svar, the Margrave at Zuria Labarra is the second most powerful man after the King of Cerbeden – and a werewolf cast out of his world as a punishment for a fateful failure. The High Immortal who so sentenced him to die as the Devil’s Own knew nothing about an uncanny resemblance between the King of England and the King of Cerbeden. Neither does Adhamh. In Henry, he sees his own beloved liege lord, whom he could never harm. The moment of his surrender gives birth to a new unbreakable bond and triggers a chain of inescapable events. The affection that arises between them faces constant dangers, both seen and unseen. Constraints placed on them by social norms and Henry’s religious beliefs can be overcome, but what if Adhamh is yanked back into his own world one day? This ever-present peril cannot be provided for. Nor is it the darkest threat lurking close.

If you love Henry VIII and like a touch of supernatural fantasy in your fiction, avail yourself of this autobiography that stays true to the cultural realities and historical facts of his time, twining them seamlessly with imagination and surprising motivations for well-known events. Through Henry’s memories, you can now witness the power of a bond that changed him, and through his deeds the all of England, forever.

Genres: Henry VIII of England: a fictional autobiography with supernatural aspects, gay historical drama, gay werewolf shifter romance

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Review

FourStars

Henry VIII has all the beloved characters from the Tudor era, including the big man himself, Anne Boylen, Catherine, lovers and courtiers. S. Joy has a gift writing this time period. Everything feels authentic. Tied to its time, not re-invented for our sensibilities. I loved it.
I got sucked into Henry’s realistically religious furvor and his love of the hunt–things I don’t usually get to read about. The politics of court dragged on a little bit, especially near the end, but the devotion to realism (or created realism) has to be applauded. It’s like the very best of fanfic. It takes an impossibly rigid, familiar world and puts a sexy werewolf into it.
Adhamh the Shifter’s story is compelling as well, although we don’t learn much about it in this first book. The mystery is as intriguing as the Tudors themselves. This is great historical fiction. One star off for the cliffhanger ending and some filler that didn’t captivate me, but for the most part, We, King Henry VIII Part 1 is an adventure.
C.E. Case

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AuthorBio

S. Joy P. was once told, “You understand the renaissance men better than you do those of nowadays.”
“Is that a flaw?” she asked.

Always fascinated with great men of the bygone era, she has been telling their fates since her high school years. Currently she writes for two royal patrons: Henry VIII and Vlad III (also known as Dracula). As a novelist, she spends endless hours doing research for her works and always strives to stay close to the historical reality. Of course, given the fantasy genre, she takes some liberties, but never disregards hard facts. Instead, she incorporates them in the story. The liberties taken fall in the territories uncharted in chronicles.

With Vlad the Third, the Prince of Ungro-Wallachia and the duke of Amlas and Fagaras, she has been having a love affair lasting two decades. Twenty years ago, her first story featuring him was born, and more followed as time went by. She has never believed him to be a monster. For her, he has always been an honorable prince whose reputation was sorely damaged by his enemies. When Love came to her with his tale, things and events clicked in their predestined place and the saga Dracula’s Love emerged from the fogs of time. Those who seek only blood and stakes and fangs in a tale about Vlad will not like it. Those who are willing to see him as a man with all human feelings, to consider his deeds through the lens of his time, to admire his greatness and to forgive his flaws… those are very welcome in S. Joy P.’s world.

His Majesty Henry VIII and she have had just as long history together, with periods of waxing and waning interest from both sides. One December night in 2013, she watched a documentary which portrayed him in a particularly vicious light. That night, a transformation of her interest in him into a commitment made to him began. She does not like him to be portrayed as a hulk who was not in control of his eating habits, or as a vessel of illnesses and infirmities of all kinds. Even less she enjoys reading over and over again that he was a tyrant who only pursued his shallow interests, and in the process ruined lives of six wives. And so she promised him to write his story and let him tell it in his own words. Their conversations and her deep research about him and his time gave birth to We, King Henry VIII, a historical supernatural drama that features his romantic love for a man and covers more than a quarter of a century of his life. In this fictional autobiography, Henry remains true to his inner-self. To the virtuous prince whom he was. If you are willing to see him in this light, as a great man though not always a perfect one, and if you enjoy lyrical prose, you are going to love the We, King Henry VIII Series.

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