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Rosamund [Paperback]

Bertrice Small

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On the day she had married Hugh Cabot, the child, Rosamund Bolton, watched silently as her uncle and his wife had ridden away. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.9 out of 5 stars  37 reviews
23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Garbage 24 Oct 2004
By Jacelya Jones - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have to say that this is my second and hopefully LAST Bertrice Small novel. I feel as if I was tricked into buying this book, because the first Small novel that I stumbled onto, Skye O'Malley, was so good that it mislead me into thinking that this author might be a treasure. If Rosamund is anything to go by, then I was sorely mistaken.

First, there it is impossible to believe that Rosamund would be as smart as she supposedly is at the age of six years old when we know that she could not even read the alphabet or spell her own name. And yet she understands complicated social politics and what it means to be heiress of her own estate?? And getting a little ahead of myself, the hero apparent for the upcoming sequal FELL IN LOVE WITH A SIX YEAR OLD when he was the mature age (for those times) of sixteen years? Disturbing.

And then the love interests.... I don't even know where to begin! For all intents and purposes Sir Owein Meredith should have been all that Rosamund needed--a grown man, a knight, beautiful and blonde, sought after by all the women of the court. And yet in her reminisence of the man, Rosamund recharacterizes the same as a dry, old bore. I don't think Small knew what she wanted to do with the knight and what she wanted him to represent. One minute he was an angel-haired, smooth knight and the next he was a weak old man with one foot out of the grave. Small vascillated, never deciding whether we (and Rosamund) are to fall in-love with the man...or merely have a fondness for him.

And the relationship between Rosamund and the prince, later King Henry was also difficult for me to swallow. Again, here Small did not seem able to make up her mind whether her main character was a weak, malleable obsequious submissive or a strong, independent, self-possessed heiress. The way she reacted to Henry's propositions, arrogance and bad behavior did not show any of the adroitness or diplomacy she supposedly had been born with and cultivated during her time at court. And more importantly, my high regard of Rosamund suffered as her actions increasingly showed a lack of basic integrity and the goodness Small endeavored to encourage us to believe she possessed.

And the ending...the ending.... Well, all I can say is that while Small's imagination must have been bursting with possible love interests for Rosamund, I think that the quality of romance, erotica, plot and character connection in each relationship should be paid more heed than to the quantity of characters. More specifically, while the Scot thrown into the mix and maintaining a position in the background of the story may have been compelling, it was vasty unsatisfying to have him waiting in the wings and then so haphazardly forced into the limelight toward the end and during the epilogue.

For Shame, Miss Small!
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully done! 17 Nov 2002
By Huntress Reviews - Published on
By the time she is thirteen, Rosamund has already been orphaned and widowed. She first wed a child as a baby of three, but the boy died shortly thereafter. When she wed again to a good, kind man, the two plotted together to make sure she was educated and strong enough to stand up to her wicked uncle when her elderly husband passed away. Not only that, but the kindly man called in a favor so that Henry Tudor VII would become Rosamund's protector upon his death, thus foiling her uncle's scheme to marry her off to his odious son and steal her inheritance.
The king's man, Owein comes to take her to court, where she finds life very different and catches the already wandering eye of Prince Henry who will grow up to be Henry VIII. To prevent his despoiling of her, she is given to Owein, whom Rosamund believes she could easily love.
Their years together are happy, until tragedy strikes, leaving Rosamund's fate again once in the air. Fortunately, she had made a friend of the young queen, Katherine of Aragon, and is now able to benefit from being owed a royal favor. Not only that, but Henry VIII is now king, and has not forgotten her.
***** Richly detailed and sensual as all of Ms. Small's book tend to be, this captivating portrait of a woman ahead of her time will be a treat for her loyal fans. Almost crossing the line to become historical fiction, it paints a portrait of the Tudor era and life at court that the history books fail to cover. Rosamund is a heroine to take her place among the classic ladies of fiction, dominating every page of the novel and proving her strength time and again. *****
Reviewed by Amanda Killgore.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Ms. Small I know from her earlier works 3 Mar 2004
By kng - Published on
"Rosamund" is the first book by Bertice Small that I thoroughly enjoyed since her famed O'Malley series. Of course, Rosamund is no Skye (can't help making the comparison), but her story is strong and intriguing enough to warrant a sequel.
What I enjoy most about Bertrice's novels is her ability to paint history in a fun, three-dimensional way - the strong point of "Rosamund". Rosamund meets a young Henry VIII, befriends Katherine of Aragon and the future Queen of Scots, all in a believable series of events. Each of these characters also has endearing qualities, and I saw them more as actual people than as merely plot devices.
Rosamund herself is a likeable heroine, though she seems a bit bland at times. I was hoping for a bit more fire and spunk, but instead, she came across as cold sometimes. I really liked Owein Meredith - caring, strong, and loyal.
Of course, Bertrice's sex scenes are steamy. But if you're familiar with her previous works, these would seem recycled.
Overall, an enjoyable read. I plan to complete the Friarsgate Inheritance trilogy.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The first of a wonderful new series from Bertrice Small 13 Oct 2003
By Ms Winston - Published on
"Rosamund" would be a wonderful introduction for readers who are unfamilar with the works of Ms Small, and a welcome addition to the library of those who believe the classic Skye O'Malley series to be among the best romance fiction produced in the last 25 years. We meet the very young heiress Rosamund at age 6 as she about to marry her second husband, chosen for her by her evil uncle, who is determined to rob her of her inheritance. From the beginning, the reader is engaged by the lively and intelligent Rosamund, her retinue of loyal relatives and servants, and the men who will play prominent roles in her early life. As usual, Ms Small displays a scholarly interest in the clothing, food, manners, economics, and morals of the time period in which the story is set -- this time Tudor England. Rosamund's experiences at the court of Henry VII, where she becomes a friend to the widowed Catherine of Aragon (and meets the future Henry VIII), and is in turn befriended by Henry's daughter Margaret, is a fascinating look at 16th century England. This book will not disappoint! The second book in the series, "Until You," has just been released (October 2003). I rated it a 3 but it is still a fitting companion to the wonderful "Rosamund."
11 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Here we go again 6 Oct 2002
By A Customer - Published on
If you've read Ms. Small's previous books you know the plot. This book is Wild Jasmine and Darling Jasmine revisited, only it takes place during King Henry VIII's early years instead of King James's time. Ms. Small took a charecter from her earlier works and changed the time period. If you are familiar with the Wild Jasmine and Darling Jasmine you will see them in every line of Rosmund. Rosmund is Jasmine revisited, so I don't feel bad about giving the plot away.
To protect herself from family hoping to get their hands on her estate Rosmund goes to court and becomes friends with the eventual Queens of Scotland and England. Prince Henry soon to be King Henry VIII tries to take her virgnity, but is stopped by the timely arrival of a young man who Rosmund eventually marries. She falls in love with this man and then he dies (think Rowan Lindley, from Wild Jasmine). Rosmund goes back to court and this time has an affair with the now King Henry (still reminding you of Wild Jasmine) and along the way she has bitter fights with the man that we know she is destined to be with (still remining you of Ms. Small's Jasmine in her previous books - Jemmie Leslie).
Although the plot is reminds you very very strongly of her other works Ms. Small's writing is excellent, I only wished that she came up with something a little more orginial.
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