Saturday, January 30, 2010

Book Review + Robin Maxwell GIVEAWAY

Ater reading the most romantic novel ever, O, Juliet, by Robin Maxwell, (see my review here)- for the Historical Fiction Bloggers Round Table Event-  I decided I needed more Robin Maxwell books in my life!

And so, I voraciously read Virgin, by Robin Maxwell, in just one sitting- it was that good!

Here's my Book review:

If you're a follower of this blog, then surely you know that of all English monarchs, Elizabeth I is in No way my favourite...Sorry- but that's just the way it is.  There's just something cold, calculating and non-feeling about her- for me..yet, I keep reading more and more books on her.  There's something intriguing about her that's for sure.  Or maybe, I just won't allow myself to believe that what you see is what you get-- and nothing so far has really moved me to change my opinion of her...

Until... Virgin: Prelude to the Throne, by Maxwell.  This is the story of Elizabeth from about the age of 13 to 15- don't kid yourself, this is not  children's literature.  Major things happen to Elizabeth and England within these two years to spur England into a series of dramatic turnabouts that it would be impossible to write-off this important time period.

Elizabeth is being raised by her step-mother, the Dowager Queen Catherine and her husband, Thomas Seymour.  With Kat as her guardian-lady-in waiting, you would think that Elizabeth had a dandy 'ole time with this wonderful mom and dashing dad...Poor Elizabeth, nothing could be farther from the truth.

Elizabeth endures such traumatic episodes that no child of that age should ever go through.  The abuse, betrayal, confusion and major incidents that happened to her would for sure leave a mark on her forever.  For me, this book helped explain so many things.  The poor child was torn between guilt, so-called love, shame, loss, confusion and almost treason- with the risk of death.

I think I've never despised a character more than Thomas Seymour.  And- what a change of heart for me to say that Elizabeth endeared me to no end! Her story literally broke my heart. I felt so much tenderness for this young girl who had her innocence cruelly taken away.  What more could she experience aftet having lost her mother in the harshest of ways, her father rejecting her when she needed him most, and then this cruel man luring her heart and young blossoming passions in such a pedophilic way...all for his own glory.  Poor, poor Elizabeth!

She trusted and loved this slime ball and felt guilty for thinking that she may have been the one to lure him on!  These are the typical feelings of youngsters who go through abuse of this sort.  Yet, after all she went through, horrible damage to her soul and person, our beautiful young royal, came out standing tall, proud and more majestic than ever, and I rooted for her all the way!

I must say that I am utterly surprised that after reading so much history, I've never read anything in such detail about this particular time in Elizabeth's life.  There's always bits and pieces alluding to this horrid period- but never in such detail and never so real.  Even Catherine Parr's death solved a few questions I had. this book is a must read.

Virgin, is a must read for all Elizabethan fans and historians who feel there is a missing link in Elizabeth's life.  Robin Maxwell has helped put the pieces together for me and now Elizabeth appears as a whole new different person. Her depth in character, her choices in life, her destiny and her ruling have roots from a far deeper place. I understand her so much better.

I highly recommend this beautiful, heart-wrenching and enlightening read to all.  Fantastic book- Thank you so much Robin Maxwell!

And now for the GRAND GIVEAWAY:

I copy of O, Juliet to one lucky winner!  This is open WORLDWIDE!!!

1 chance:  Leave a comment and your email (no email- no chance)

2 chances:  Become a Follower of this blog

5 chances:  put this on your sidebar with a link back to here

2 extra chances everytime you post or twitter and write back with the link

Good Luck to all!!!  Winner announced on Feb. 5th.

If you want more chances to win, go enter at all other members of Historical Fiction Bloggers Round Table Members:

Arleigh at
Allie at Hist-Fic Chick
Amy at Passages to the Past
Heather at Maiden's Court
Lizzy at Historically Obsessed
Marie at The Burton Review
Susie at All Things Royal


Katy said...

Hi I love your blog, please enter me I saw about it on Book Blogs. My e-mail is and I'm a follower and posted it on my sidebar.

Ingrid Mida said...

Hi Lucy,
I feel like running to the store to buy this book so I can read it this afternoon. I too find Elizabeth I fascinating and cannot get enough about her. Thanks for posting your review!

Unknown said...

No need to enter me - but I loved your review of Virgin. I have had this book on my shelf for a little while and now you have made me really want to read it.

Celticlady's Reviews said...

Hi Lucy, Please enter me!! I loved all Robin Maxwells books. I remember reading them awhile back. I think her books regarding Anne Boleyn were the first I read on her.

I am a follower and posted on my sidebar

A Bookshelf Monstrosity said...

First of all, thanks for the Virgin review. I hadn't heard of this one, and it sounds great.

I'd love to be entered for the giveaway.
+2 follower
+2 twittered:


Laura Hartness said...

Thanks for the heads up on Virgin! I'll have to check that one out. Here are my entries so far, more to come:

**I'm a blog follower

**My left hand sidebar has a giveaways section, and I've added this contest. I don't have a deadline date for entries listed on it, though. I just guessed that your last day to enter would be sometime in February.

**Blog post:


Thanks for hosting another giveaway!

Laura Hartness
The Calico Critic
CalicoCritic at gmail dot com

Helen said...

I'd love to win this book - thanks for the giveaway! Virgin sounds great too.

I'm a follower.

Link in left sidebar:

Tweeted here:


JaneGS said...

I'm an Elizabeth fan and a Maxwell fan, so Virgin: Prelude to the Throne sounds like a perfect book for me. Good review.

I would love to win O Juliet, which also sounds intriguing.

jagreensmith at

Also tweeted this.

brokenteepee said...

Elizabeth was a strong, intelligent woman in a time when that was not especially appreciated. (erm has it really EVER been?!) She was a pawn for most of her young life and when you think about it did a remarkable job of ruling a country in a time when women were not repected. I think she had to maintain that cold facade as protection.

Please enter me for O Juliet. This book sounds delightful.
I follow
I have the giveaway up on my sidebar at
and I tweeted

Thanks so much!
kaiminani at gmail dot com

Jo-Jo said...

I would love to win a copy of this book!
joannelong74 AT gmail DOT com

rubynreba said...

I would be thrilled to win a copy of this!

+2 follow

pippirose said...

I'd love the chance to win this book.
Intriguing subject.

+2 I'm a follower.

pippirose59 at gmail dot com

Margay Leah Justice said...

This looks like a good book, would love to win it!

+2 I'm a follower



Margay Leah Justice said...



BurtonReview said...

Interesting take on Elizabeth.. using those particular years to write about. Indeed I am positive that Thomas Seymour corrupted her (not in the carnal sense though he tried) whjic could be a reason she chose to not lose her heart to a man afterwards.

Martha Lawson said...

Wow! What a great review!! I've never heard of Robin Maxwell, but I will be checking her out. Your review really made me want to read these books..

I am a follower

mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

Svea Love said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carol W. said...

I am so eager to read O, Juliet.


Carol W. said...

Follower #1


Carol W. said...

Follower #2


Christina T said...

Thank you for your review of Virgin: Prelude to the Throne. I was looking for more Tudor fiction to read since I am doing the Tudor Book Challenge and this book sounds perfect. I love that portrait of the young Elizabeth I. It is my favorite portrait of her because it shows her looking very real-not the adopted persona of Gloriana from her later years. Thomas Seymour was a nasty piece of work and Katherine Parr deserved better after her years of putting up with Henry VIII.

Your review was excellent and I will definitely read this book for myself.

Rheanna said...

OH I LOVE ROBIN MAXWELL. Her books are amazing. I'd love to enter your contest since my neighborhood bookstore doesn't carry "O, Juliet" yet.
I am already a follower
I posted on my blog (
I put your contest on my sidebar (

Heres my email: Hot87Tamale(at)aol(dot)com

I tink thats 10 entries but not sure either way I'm so excited about this giveaway. I'll be telling everyone about the contest and your blog. Thx so much!

Roberta said...

Wow made me really want to read "Virgin" and I'm a real big Elizabeth fan as well as her mother. I have a soft spot for all the women who had to deal with "Henry" Thanks for such a great review as well as for the giveaway! Fondly, Roberta

Mystica said...

I came over from Laura Hartness's blog. I would love to win this book which has got such a good review.


Spav said...

I've heard about this author before and I would love to read her book.

+2 Blog follower
+2 Tweet:


Linda said...

Thanks for the interesting review on Virgin; I will add it to my wish list. And thanks for the O.Juliet giveaway. I'd love to win this book.

I already follow your blog thru Google Reader

Stacey Brucale said...

Please enter me! I am a follower.


Hot Off the Shelves said...

Oh wonderful! I hope I win.

I am a follower.


Darlene said...

Please enter me. Thanks. I am a follower.

bj19662001 (at) yahoo (dot) ca

Cheffer said...

+1 entrie This book looks so interesting I would love to be entered! +2 entries A follower of this blog
+5 giveaway on sidebar
+2 tweeted this giveaway


Arleigh said...

I loved this novel as well and feel the same abut Elizabeth I. Maxwell's Elizabeth novels are the ONLY ones where I actually like her character. Great review!

Roberta said...

Hello Lucy, just wanted to be included in the great giveaway for O'Juliet :}
my email is:

Roberta said...

Of course I'm a follower :}

Roberta said...

Back again...I've posted about this giveaway on my blog:

Roberta said... are always on my sidebar with all your fun giveaways and challenges and links :}

Roberta said...

Last but not's now on my facebook:}

Mel u said...

great review-my e mail is rereadinglives (at)gmail (dot)com
I am also a follower of your blog-thanks for hosting this generous giveaway

Laura Hartness said...

Sunday tweet!


Laura Hartness
The Calico Critic

Simply Stacie said...

Please count me in.

I follow.

simplystacieblog at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

I am a Follower.

Robin Maxwell is a new author to me. Thanks to your post I now have another interesting book to check out in addition to O, Juliet.

librarypat AT comcast DOT net

Cynthia Pittmann said...

I would love to read "O Juliet", Ms Lucy.
I'm a follower and I will tweet you right now.
Done. You are added to the sidebar with your http. I hope that all is wonderful in your world. (find me on facebook!)

Aimee said...

Oh, I'd love to be entered to win this book. Please count me in. Thanks!
+2 follower
+2 tweeted


Laura Hartness said...

Monday morning tweet!


Laura Hartness

The Calico Critic
CalicoCritic at gmail dot com

Emma said...

This book sounds wonderful.Please enter me in the giveaway.augustlily06(at)aim(dot)com.Thank you.

Sue said...

This looks fabulous! Thanks for the giveaway!

s.mickelson at gmail dot com

Passages to the Past said...

No need to enter my Luc...I just wanted to tell you that I enjoyed your review of Virgin. I like that it brought you a little closer to liking Elizabeth!

And yes, Thomas Seymour was a creepy creeper! Especially with what he did to Katherine Parr.

Reading said...

Please count me in. I would love to win this! Thanks for the giveaway.

lizzi0915 at aol dot com

Miss Haley said...

Enter me please!!!

+2 old follower

+5 sidebar:



Laura Hartness said...

Tuesday Tweet!


Laura Hartness
The Calico Critic

4everQueen said...

I hope to win this one, please enter me!

nunezbella at hotmail dotcom

+1 comment
+2 already a follower
+2 Blogged about it @:

Laura Hartness said...

Tuesday night tweet! Thanks!

Laura Hartness

Aik said...

I'd love to enter! Thanks!

+2 follower

+2 tweeted

aikychien at yahoo dot com

buddyt said...

I am a Follower but it seems I have not posted a comment.

I have been entering every giveaway I can find for this book and I just hope I get lucky somewhere !


buddytho {at} gmail DOT

Laura Hartness said...

Wednesday morning tweet!


Laura Hartness

Anonymous said...

please count me in....thanks


Anonymous said...

would love a chance to win this! thanks!

sensitivemuse at gmail dot com

Unknown said...

This book sounds so interesting. I am a relative newbie to historical fiction and this sounds like a good book to try. And the cover is beautiful!

I am a new follower!

I listed this giveaway on my sidebar at

Thank you!

~ Amy
Aimala127 AT gmail DOT com

Laura Hartness said...

Wednesday night tweet!


Laura Hartness

Laura Hartness said...

Thursday morning tweet!



Christina T said...

If it isn't too late, I'd like to enter.

+2 I'm a follower of your blog
+5 I put a link to this contest on my sidebar
+2 I posted this contest on my blog:

Becca said...

I would love to win this book, Lucy! Thank you for the opportunity!

1- mycreativeimagination (at) yahoo (dot) com

2- I am already a follower.

Curling up by the Fire said...

I would love a chance to win this book. Please enter me.

I am already a follower.

icewoman96 at gmail dot com

DK's Book Reviews said...

I would like a chance to win.