Roses Have ThornsTitle: Roses Have Thorns

Author: Sandra Byrd

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Queen Elizabeth I has always been a personal favorite of mine (I mean, talk about a great name, right?) so author Sandra Byrd had a tough feat ahead of her from the onset. I picked up “Roses Have Thorns” with great expectations and warned myself ahead of time not to put any undue pressure on the author. However, I can honestly say that while Byrd’s vision of Queen Elizabeth I didn’t completely match mine, I was not disappointed.

The story follows the adventures of Lady Elin Von Snakenborg as she serves as a lady’s maid to Queen Elizabeth. Readers are transported to another time and place as Elin struggles to balance both allegiance to the queen and allegiance to her heart. While threats against the queen’s throne mount, threats within Elin’s own home abound.

I really appreciate how down-to-earth the author made both Queen Elizabeth and Elin. You feel the pain right along with Queen Elizabeth as she chooses loyalty to her people over the love of her life, and with Elin you see real flaws that would be impossible not to relate to.

What I really appreciated about this story was that Byrd didn’t just stop at “happily-ever-after” and a marriage. Instead, she goes past the marriage and straight to what it means to rediscover love once the honeymoon is over. Because of that, Elin’s love story is one of the more realistic and poignant I’ve read.

I wouldn’t consider myself a prude by any stretch of the imagination, but I did feel as though the author could have done without so many sexual references. While the references were always within the context of marriage and tastefully done, I didn’t feel it was necessary to know of every time the characters made love.

However, as with any Byrd book, readers are in for an emotionally gripping read with unforgettable characters who face real challenges and end up overcoming them in a way that makes you want to cheer aloud. Byrd is a master at subtlety, and all of the witty play on words were fun to find.

Although “To Die For” will remain my favorite, all the books in this series were well-worth reading, and it is with a fond farewell I say goodbye to the “Ladies in Waiting” series and look forward to more!

(I received this book for free in exchange for my honest review.)

Let’s Talk Book: Okay. I’m gonna be real here, guys. My egotistical self does tend to lean towards characters and/or historical people who have my name. Tell me I’m not the only one who does that!

How ’bout it-do you lean towards fictional or historical characters with the same name as you?