review & giveaway: Roses Have Thorns by Sandra Byrd

roseshavethornsRoses Have Thorns

by Sandra Byrd

In the entourage of Swedish Princess Cecelia, Elin von Snakenborg arrives in Elizabethan England after a harrowing months-long voyage, unsure about her future when she finds her dowry and her fiancés affections usurped. However dim her prospects, she shines at court with her quick wit and unflagging devotion to her mistress—qualities not lost on England’s formidable monarch. When the time comes for the Sweds to move on, Elin is asked to stay, for she had captured the eye of a marquis and the respect of the Queen of England.

Elin became Helena, Marchioness of Northampton—the second lady in the land. Privileged as she may have become, she was also confined in many ways, with the Queen’s wishes always priority and political intrigue ever lurking in the shadows. With her family life perpetually in the background, she constantly questions whether perhaps her happiness is to be found outside of court life. Though fiercely loyal to the queen and ever intent on serving her, Elin eventually finds herself inadvertently caught in a plot to overthrow Elizabeth and place the Catholic Mary, Queen of Scots on the throne. She realizes she must delicately extricate herself for the future of her family and her queen, though perhaps to the detriment of her beloved husband.

This is the third in a series of “Ladies in Waiting” to Tudor queens by Sandra Byrd and I have enjoyed each one. Not many authors can present fleshed-out characters inside the very first chapter, but this is the case with Elin. She is even more interesting because she was in fact a real person, married to the brother of Henry VIII’s last wife, Catherine Parr. I enjoyed reading the parallels between this novel and the author’s previous book, The Secret Keeper, which features a young lady close to Catherine. I recommend this book to Tudor enthusiasts and even those thoroughly over-read in the era, as the interesting Swedish protagonist brings a fresh perspective to the genre.

Runs 4/27/13 – 5/5/13
1 Random Winner

Author Sandra Byrd has sponsored this giveaway of a beautiful pendant featuring Elizabeth I and a paperback copy of Roses Have Thorns. This giveaway is open to US and Canada residents and ends on Sunday, May 5, 2013. I use to choose the name of anyone who comments on this post. Thank you and good luck!


  1. Christine

    Sounds like a fascinating book. I will adding this to my books to read list.

  2. Linda B

    I don’t consider myself a Tudor enthusiast, but I like the era, and I enjoy reading a novel in which the main character is not a royal. Thanks for the giveaway.

  3. Pat in MO

    I love historical fiction and this one sounds good.

  4. Jen

    Though I’ve recently broken away from regularly reading Tudor era novels due to having already read a vast number of them, this novel sounds intriguingly unique within the genre. Being partially Swedish, I’ll admit the idea of reading about a member of the Swedish court also interests me. I’d love to be entered in the giveaway. Thanks so much!

  5. Christy E.

    Sounds really good. Thanks for hosting another great give away!

  6. Elizabeth MacGregor

    I enjoyed reading your wonderful review on “Roses Have Thorns” ~ I LOVE the Tudor-Era and have been looking forward to reading this one! Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy of this much-anticipated book and the lovely pendant! Happy Reading and Writing~ Cheers~ Elizabeth

  7. Tara from Maryland

    I have been stockpiling Sandra Byrd’s last two novels, so I’d love a chance to win the third one and read all three back-to-back!

  8. Nancy

    I read To Die For and loved it. thanks for the chance to win.

  9. Janet P.

    This is on my to read list! Love reading about the Tudor period!

  10. Rachel W.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  11. Shannon Gallagher

    Thanks so much for the Giveaway!! I loved To Die For and am looking forward to this one. Thanks again!

  12. Chelsey Mills

    I would love to win this beautiful pendant!! I am looking forward to reading this book soon hopefully. Thank you for the awesome giveaway!

  13. Doreen

    This sounds amazing! I’d never heard of Sandra Byrd before, but will definitely keep an eye out now.

  14. Stephanie Westerfield

    This is on my ” to be read” list for when I finish school in August! Can’t wait!

  15. Arleigh (Post author)

    Jen has won this giveaway! Congrats! Email coming your way!

  16. Sandra Byrd

    Thank you so much, Arleigh, for your wonderful review(s)and for hosting the giveaway on your site. I really appreciate your time and investment in reading and reviewing. (I love Tiffani at tartx, too.) :) Thank you again!


    I have been reading reviews of this novel, and I am dying to read it!

Comments are closed.