Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Blog Tour, Review & Giveaway: Blood Between Queens by Barbara Kyle (CLOSED)

Blood Between Queens by Barbara Kyle
Kensington Publishing
April 2013
Format: ARC Paperback, 448 pages
Source: Publisher via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

Following her perilous fall from a throne she’d scarcely owned to begin with, Mary, Queen of Scots, has fled to England, hoping her cousin, Queen Elizabeth, will grant her asylum. But now Mary has her sights on the English crown, and Elizabeth enlists her most trusted subjects to protect it.

Justine Thornleigh is delighting in the thrill of Queen Elizabeth’s visit to her family’s estate when the festivities are cut short by Mary’s arrival. To Justine’s surprise, the Thornleighs appoint her to serve as a spy in Mary’s court. But bearing the guise of a lady-in-waiting is not Justine’s only secret. The weight of her task is doubled by fears of revealing to her fiancĂ© that she is in truth the daughter of his family’s greatest rival. Duty-bound, Justine must sacrifice love as she navigates a deadly labyrinth of betrayal that could lead to the end of Elizabeth’s fledgling reign…

Compelling and inventive, Blood Between Queens artfully blends history’s most intriguing figures with unforgettable characters, bringing to dazzling life the fascinating Tudor era.

My thoughts: This is the 5th book in Barbara Kyle's Thornleigh series and I was quite excited to read it. I've read all four previous books in this series and love how Barbara Kyle weaves fiction and fact to tell such a compelling tale. I am a huge Tudor fan and this story deals with one of the more famous rivals in European history, that of Elizabeth I, Queen of England and her renowned cousin, Mary, Queen of Scots. I admit that I have not read much about this rivalry, and so I was thrilled that Barbara Kyle decided to tackle it.
Once again, the book centers on the fictional Thornleigh family. Throughout this series, we have gotten to know many of the Thornleigh family members, and this time, we meet Justine, ward of Lord and Lady Thornleigh.  Justine is the daughter of Christopher Grenville, a traitor to the country and rival to the Thornleigh family. Baron Thornleigh took in Justine, giving her not only his name, but protecting her from the treasonous acts of her father. Now, she is given the task of becoming a lady-in-waiting to the imprisoned Mary, acting as a spy for Queen Elizabeth. This becomes a more challenging role as Justine gets to know Mary.

The Thornleigh/Grenville family feud is still going strong and secrets come out throughout the book that cause tension and drive some of the action. Characters from the previous books appear in this latest installment and the emotions and anger that each family member feels towards the other family is quite palpable at times. There's also another story-line involving the Thornleigh's - that of Adam Thornleigh, son of Lord and Lady Thornleigh, as he fights for revenge after his ships were savaged by the Spanish.

Pitting these two rivalries  - that of Elizabeth vs. Mary and the Thornleighs vs. the Grenvilles - against one another  along with a third rivalry - that of England vs. Spain - really helped keep the book moving and I had a hard time putting it down. There is mystery, intrigue, deceit, betrayal, danger, and forced manipulations along with a network of spies that are so good at their job it's hard to tell who's really working for who. 

As much as I love the story that Barbara Kyle writes, I also love the 'Author Notes' that she includes at the end. Here she informs us just where she weaved fiction with fact. What I found particularly surprising was the fact that she mentions that these two queens never met in person.  All their correspondence and interactions were through letters or representatives...quite amazing.

I have really enjoyed this series and was thrilled to learn that this is not the last of the Thornleigh books. According to Barbara Kyle, there are at least two more books in the works!!!

Books in this series:
  1. The Queen's Lady
  2. The King's Daughter
  3. The Queen's Captive
  4. The Queen's Gamble
  5. Blood Between Queens

About the author: Barbara Kyle is the author of the acclaimed Tudor-era “Thornleigh” novels Blood Between Queens, The Queen’s Gamble, The Queen’s Captive, The King’s Daughter and The Queen’s Lady which follow a rising middle-class family through three tumultuous Tudor reigns. She also writes contemporary thrillers. Over 400,000 copies of her books have been sold in seven countries. In July 2013 Barbara will be a speaker at Ontario's world-renowned Stratford Festival with her talk "Elizabeth and Mary, Rival Queens: A Study of Leadership Lost and Won" about the cousin-queens Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scots featured in Blood Between Queens.

Barbara has taught writers at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies and is known for her dynamic workshops for many writers organizations and conferences. Before becoming an author Barbara enjoyed a twenty-year acting career in television, film, and stage productions in Canada and the US.

For more information, please visit Barbara Kyle's WEBSITE.

Be sure to check out all the other stops on the blog tour and follow the tour on Twitter (hashtag: #BloodBetweenQueensTour).

Giveaway Information (CLOSED):
Thanks to Amy at Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours I have one copy of Blood Between Queens to give away to my readers. 

  • Open to US/Canada only
  • Must include email address to enter 
* Mandatory entry - Tell me why you want to read this book. 

* Extra entry #1 - become a follower of Always With a Book - via email, twitter or bloglovin'. If you are already a follower you will automatically receive the bonus entries (just leave the name you follow under and how).  

* Extra entry #2 - please help spread the word by blogging, posting on sidebar, tweeting, pinning onto Pinterest or posting this giveaway on Facebook (each way you share gets you 1 more entry).  

All entries can be in one email - but you MUST include email address or no entry


Good Luck!!!


  1. I want this book because I am loving the series. Currently waiting on The Queen's Captive at the library to come in.

    I follow via bloglovin'

    I tweeted.

    campbellamyd at gmail dot com

  2. This historical is fascinating. Thanks for this great giveaway. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  3. I am an e-mail subscriber. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  4. The era and the characters are compelling and this novel is memorable. Thanks. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

  5. My favorite type of follower Twitter follower@rhondareads.Will tweet.

  6. My favorite type of follower Twitter follower@rhondareads.Will tweet.

  7. The story of Mary, Queen of Scots and Queen Elizabeth I is legendary. I'm always up for a new take on the subject. Thanks for the giveaway.

  8. Pinned:


    email: carlscott(at)prodigy(dot)net(dot)mx

  9. I want to read how Justine handles being a spy. I love historical novels.
    I follow by email

  10. I really love reading about this time period. The historical figures are so interesting! Thanks for the giveaway.

    Email follower: lafra86 at gmail dot com


  11. i want to read this book, as i love reading historical fictions!!!

    i follow via bloglovin' as Cyn209

    i shared on my FB wall:

    cyn209 at juno dot com

  12. Because I love historical fiction and have not read it in a while so I was looking really forward to this one!

    GFC Follower - Lily B

    Pinned it -

  13. Love the historical fiction genre

    sandy (at) thereadingcafe(dot)com

    Twitter: Sandy_Darius


Thank you so much for leaving a comment! I love interacting with other book lovers and appreciate any thoughts or feedback! If you read a book after seeing my review, please let me know. Come back and leave me a link to your review so I can read it. Thank you!!!

Blogger Template Created by pipdig