Queen of Always (Stolen Empire Book 3) by Sherry D. Ficklin
**I received an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review**
With her son taken from her, the Empress on the verge of death, and her husband’s madness growing by the day, Catherine maintains her grace and royal demeanor. Her life is not in her hands, but she intends to take it back and rule over Russia – with or without Peter by her side. She is so calculating – but not in a spiteful way, but a way that an Empress should act. The people all love her and see her as the ruler they were meant to have. So when the Empress finally does succumb to her illness, Peter with all his ravings stands up to take his place as the Emperor – but he doesn’t go about it the right ways and Catherine finally sees her opening to take the crown. Along with her, Catherine has the always present Sergei and her guard Grigori, who help her along every step of her journey. But when Peter’s insanity rages so out of control he damages Catherine physically in the middle of a party he hosts, he bolsters her eventual reign.
While this was of course a fictional interpretation of a non-fictional person from history, Ms. Ficklin definitely had a lot of historical accuracy throughout. I loved this series from the beginning, seeing how she when from Sophia to Catherine, and then to the Empress of Russia – so much pain and heartache for such a young lady, but the way she was able to remain so in control and so humble throughout her life; even in her death she is able to tell her children how sorry she wasn’t a better mother, but that she was a great leader. I think that anyone who loves historical romances will be elated by this series – it was a smart series that was impossible to put down once I picked it up. Great job Ms. Ficklin – here’s to many more 🙂