Robert K Massie's book about Nicholas and Alexandra is a very good read. The research seems to be well done, and accords with other accounts I have read. The narrative is beautifully constructed and it flows nicely. The author builds up a coherent picture of the life and times of the last Tsar, and starts this with a short but interesting precis of the reign of Alexander III, Nicholas' father. As expected of a biography, it goes through the life of Nicholas and Alexandra and the children, but also to a lesser degree, those closest to the royal family which helps to build up a picture of the Romanov world.
I learned an incredible amount from reading this book and found myself shuddering with horror at many of the decisions made by both the Tsar and the Empress, but I suppose that is benefit of hindsight and knowing how the decisions would affect the royal future.
If I had one criticism of this book it would be that the author is too sympathetic to the Romanovs. Both the Tsar and Empress made some appalling decisions, which even without the benefit of hindsight should have been obvious to them both, yet this seems to be brushed over. The decisions are made and the author appears to go to great lengths to excuse such decisions. This behaviour is particularly obvious during the Great War when Nicholas was at Stavka and Alexandra was in St Petersburg making the decisions, with the advice of Rasputin dripping in her ear. This approach always makes me uncomfortable when reading a biography as I understand the need for the author to understand, and even like or admire his subject, but to become an apologist for them is one step beyond.
However, this book is well written, a delight to read and well worth investing in. I would recommend it.