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A Life Renewed: Book Review

A Life Renewed: Secrets of the Queens #1

By Olivia Rae


In 1554, Lady Jane Grey, “The Nine Days’ Queen” was executed for high treason.
But what if, instead of feeling the blade on her neck she secretly survived?

Escaping execution, Lady Jane hides as a peasant girl in a principality in Germany. She loves the simple life and never wants to return to England. But her benefactor, a power-hungry German prince, wants to march on London and place her on the English throne again, thereby increasing his dominance in Europe. If she doesn’t agree with his plan, her beloved childhood nurse will be put to death. Desperate for help, Jane must put her trust in the mysterious spy Asher Hayes.

Asher Hayes is done rounding up Protestants for “Bloody Mary” and wants nothing more than to live a quiet life as a farmer and expunge the blood of many from his hands. Except Queen Mary isn’t done with him yet. She throws his father, mother, and sister into prison on false charges in order to force him to accept one last mission – find and kill Lady Jane Grey. But when Asher discovers Lady Jane isn’t a threat to the throne as he believed her to be, he faces a devastating decision – does he sacrifice his family for the woman who reigns in his heart?

my thoughts

This is the first historical I’ve read by Olivia Rae, but I’ve read and enjoyed her contemporary novel, Joshua’s Prayer. So I thought I’d give this book a shot. I was not disappointed!

While reading this book, I also happened to be reading two other spy novels, as well as binge-watching a revolutionary spy TV show on Netflix. All that to say – spies kind of took up my life there for about a month. The Socialite was my first spy novel read, this would be the 2nd, and I’ll be posting a 3rd book review shortly. 

What a fun read this was. I loved the creative alternative history of this scenario and I loved Jane’s character. I related so much to this beautiful noble-turned-peasant-girl-in-disguise. She was all about wanting to advance the Love of Jesus without violence. I think in that particular time period, that was a huge differentiation in thought. So many “Christians” and other religions as well, advanced their cause through senseless violence and persecution.

It was timely for me, in that her thoughts so well related to my thoughts. Though I don’t wish to die to solve the problems of the cause. I just want to be the love of Christ. I just want to emulate what Christ was and is. 

Historically, it was very well done. Great in depth descriptions, fabulous writing. Nice foreshadowing. High romantic tension and action throughout. If you like historical romance, you’ll enjoy this novel!