Anne and Louis: Rulers and Lovers (Anne of Brittany Series)
In Renaissance Europe, marriages determine the fate of nations. Thanks to careful planning by her mother, young Claude, daughter of Anne of Brittany and Louis XII, is poised to become the most powerful woman in Europe when she comes of age and marries the future Holy Roman Emperor. But before that can happen, her father decides it is better to have her marry his successor, as he is planning to unite France and southern Italy under his crown. Outraged and betrayed, Anne forms a secret alliance with Ferdinand of Spain that would carve up Italy between them, going against her husband’s wishes. Though they are united in love, they are polar opposites in politics, hatching a public and private war that could tear apart Europe and change the fate of nations.
Anne and Louis is the third book in a series. If you’re familiar with the period or have read the first two books, you’ll enjoy this well-researched, entertaining tale. However, if you’re new to this series/period, it may take time to get adjusted, especially with multiple point of view shifts that aren’t always clear. But the characters and plot will easily draw you in. In addition to bringing to life the political machinations of the time, the author does a fine job of taking the reader beyond the throne room into the privy chambers and personal lives of Anne and Louis. They may love fiercely, but they are both strong-willed, opinionated leaders who are often on opposite sides of the political chessboard. No matter who holds check, their love remains strong, lending hope that their differences can be resolved without bringing disaster to Europe.