Coffee Pot Book Tour: Vivienne Brereton / Beware the Lizard Lurking

Today on the Books Delight we are thrilled to host Vivienne Brereton's  Beware the Lizard Lurking. Book Two of The House of the Red Duke, an amazing Tudor tale. This post includes my review of her novel. 

The Details:

Book Title: Beware the Lizard Lurking
Series: The House of the Red Duke, Book 2
Author: Vivienne Brereton
Publication Date: 12th February 2021
Publisher: Yuletide Press
Page Length: 302 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction


Author Bio:

Born between historic Winchester and Southampton in the UK, Vivienne has been passionate about the Tudors for as long as she can remember. This led to a degree in Medieval History at university, and the growing desire to write a novel. 

However, life took over somewhat and only after stays, short and long, in six countries she called home did she finally settle down to finish her novel.

 Words have always played an important part in her life, whether it's been writing, editing, teaching English, or just picking up a good book. 

Having three sons came in very handy when she had to write about squabbles between the male characters in her novel. Not so handy when she took her boys to Hampton Court and one of them got lost in the maze! 

Seeing 'A Phoenix Rising', the first book in the series 'The House of the Red Duke' in print for the first time was a moment of great joy for her. She very much hopes that anyone reading ‘Beware the Lizard Lurking’, the second book in the series, will enjoy the end result as much as she enjoyed writing it.


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Welcome to the candlelit courts of Europe! 

Uninvited guests at a secret wedding. 

 A frozen River Thames. 

 May Day celebrations to remember. 

The young Henry VIII, with the aid of his chief advisor, Thomas Wolsey, and against the counsel of Thomas Howard, the Earl of Surrey, is hellbent on a so-called holy war with France. This puts him at odds with his Scottish brother-in-law, James IV of Scotland, and his older sister, Margaret. 

Both Tristan and Nicolas know that time is running out for them before they have to…enter the Church - and into an arranged marriage, respectively. In the meantime, they remain at loggerheads over pretty Ysabeau de Sapincourt, the spoilt young wife of the hapless Robert. 

At La Colombe, near Ardres, in Picardy, spirited little Valentine is still making mischief as she sees fit. 

Across the Narrow Sea, Cecily is perfectly content in her beloved Zennor Castle, in Cornwall. 

None of them know what Dame Fortune has in store for them. Will she allow them to follow their own paths…or has she got other ideas?

My Review:

Thank you to Vivienne for letting me read and review this fantastic tale! 

The plot in brief: Vivienne writes a very complicated narrative full of characters with their own plot lines but they are all tied together in their relationship with Thomas Howard, The Duke of Norfolk, one of the most powerful men in England. Thomas served three Kings, including the young Henry VIII. Like a puppet master, Howard pulls their strings and they dance to his tune. 

The Characters: As I said, there are a lot of characters in this book, some real, some imagined. Brereton does a great job of fleshing them out; giving each an individual personality and voice. From a boyish fickle king in need of constant positive reinforcement to the iron fisted duke who keeps a close eye on his family, to little Valentine, a spunky child who makes her presence felt despite her tender years. I really enjoyed getting to know Vivenne's crew.

The History: Well researched, the author gives us a detailed and delightful description of life in the 16th century, both in England and France. I loved the sleigh ride on the frozen Thames, so colorful and real, I could close my eyes and picture King Henry laughing as he raced across the ice. Drawn into the story is King James of Scotland and his wife, Henry's sister Margaret. It was interesting to see two sides of the story told in the same book. Of course, at the heart of the story is the history of the Howard family, a veritable network of Tudor who's who. 

The Writing: Told in both first and third person with multiple POVs, it took me a short while to settle into the story. Once I figured out who everyone was, which did not take long, I had no problem following the story. The writing is excellent as is the editing. Internal thoughts were given an unusual format which I rather liked. All in all a well written book. 

Overall: I really enjoyed reading Vivienne's book and I look forward to reading many more from her. I highly recommend Beware the Lizard Leaping to lovers of historical fiction. Fans of Tudor England will also appreciate the look at King Henry and England through the lens of Thomas Howard. 

My Rating: I give this book ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐five stars!

Readers, I have included a link to amazon, see below, if you'd like to check out Vivienne's book. Also see my book shelf with links to Book One of The Red Duke. 

For readers in the UK and Australia, below are Amazon buy links.

Amazon UK  • Amazon AU

Vivienne's Tour has just started! Check out all the dates and catch an excerpt or two! 







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