• A Contemporary Asshat at the Court of Henry the VIII

  • By: MaryJanice Davidson
  • Narrated by: Morgan Hallett
  • Length: 12 hrs and 52 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (80 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Time-travel romance meets Tudor-era mayhem in A Contemporary Asshat at the Court of Henry VIII, the latest book from New York Times best-selling author MaryJanice Davidson. 

American expat Joan Howe has a to-do list she loathes: find a new job, buy milk, ask her neurologist friend, Lisa, to cure her migraines. So when Lisa enrolls her in an experimental drug trial, Joan is elated. That is, until she takes the medication and wakes up at the Field of the Cloth of Gold. That's right, Joan wakes up smack-dab in the middle of the court of Henry VIII. 

After realizing this isn't the most elaborate Renaissance festival ever, Joan accidentally spills the beans on how England and France will soon be at war. In spite of her faux pas, Joan returns to present-day Wisconsin, where she's met by the scientists from a secret think tank who accidentally created the time-travel portals. What's worse? They can't control the portals and Joan is the only person who has been able to return. 

Well at least now she has a new job: time-traveler wrangler, and there's plenty of work rescuing those who go missing. Her to-do list is getting shorter every day. But all is not as it seems. Joan discovers a rogue think-tank employee caused the accident that created the portals and has remained in the past to wreak dastardly havoc on the timeline and alter history. 

With stunningly handsome courtier Thomas Wynter by her side and good old-fashioned 21st-century know-how, Joan races against time to catch a culprit bent on destroying history changing the world as they know it forever.

©2020 MaryJanice Davidson (P)2020 Recorded Books

What listeners say about A Contemporary Asshat at the Court of Henry the VIII

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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So happy I stumbled upon this book

I admit I didn’t know what to expect when starting this book. I knew it was risky but I read a review saying it was “worth the credit”.

I am SO happy I took a chance because it is such a fun story. It’s light hearted and hilarious yet jam packed with historical characters, events, information and incredible detail. It’s HIGHLY addictive and I finished it in less than a day. I’m a HUGE royal history fan. I will read everything from Phillipa Gregory novels to non-fiction/educational about British Royal history. Even with all the knowledge I have about the Tudors, this book had me laughing out loud more than once.

Please do yourself a favor and get this book. It’s definitely worth the credit. ENJOY!

7 people found this helpful

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Great for Tudorphiles

You don’t have to be a Tudorphile to enjoy this book but if you are it makes it all the more fun. Enjoyable from beginning to end. Fun and entertaining. I was hesitant to get this book, I’m a Tudorphile and the title kinda turned me off. I thought it might be a sloppy grossly inaccurate attempt at making history funny. I was so wrong, it’s factually accurate and hysterical. I thought I should leave this review for anyone who’s on the fence about spending their credit on this book. Spend it! This is the fun lighthearted listen you’ve been looking for.

5 people found this helpful

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Sparkling writing, fine narration

When I finished this book after a satisfying listen, narrated by Morgan Hallet, I was left with a goofy grin on my face and a hope that a sequel would soon be forthcoming. I haven’t laughed out loud so often since my last binge-watch of “Schitt’s Creek”.

In a new take on the time-travel trope, this book covers several important events as related to Henry VIII during a time period that spans the end of his first marriage to the end of his second. It includes an amalgam of mean girls, a nerdy villain, sketchy scientists, a love interest, lots of headaches, bffs, history, and even decadent descriptions of the culinary delights (yes, delights) to be found in Henry VIII’s court.

The characters are decently fleshed out, even the historical ones. With her writing, Davidson brought a clear-eyed depth to those famous characters, some of whom we’ve learned to hate. Never skimping when describing their faults, she somehow increased their likability and helped show the fragility and humanity in their nature.

Ms. Hallett did a fine job in the narration, but that’s the highest praise I can give. It lacked energy (umph?) and was sometimes seemingly monotone which became even more apparent when sarcasm was needed. Her accents were fine, not stellar, but the lack of differentiation muddied the waters. When the main character repeatedly commented on how well the Boleyn sisters mimicked her Midwest accent (described as hillbillies with head colds) one could rarely hear a difference, let alone a distinct one. I wasn’t thrilled at some of her mispronunciations, e.g., marquess/marquise and blancmange. Cadence and intonation were good, but again, not exceptional. All told, I would still gladly listen to her narrate again. (Note: I listened to this audio book at a speed of 1.5.)

As the main character charmingly paraphrased a famous quote, “...Charisma was like porn; it was hard to quantify but you knew it when you saw it...” Taste in literature for me is also hard to quantify, but I knew a good book when I read it: this one.

3 people found this helpful

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best book I've read in a long time

This was superbly researched and written with finesse and humor. I was giggling the whole time. Fucking love that a fellow migraine sufferer is a heroine. lol

2 people found this helpful

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Wonder as always

Another fantastic fun story from MaryJanice! A little bit of humor a lot of snark! I definitely recommend

2 people found this helpful

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So much fun!!

I loved this book so much! The narration was great, I loved the twists and turns, and for this Tudorphile, it was historically accurate!
Happy listening!

1 person found this helpful

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This was a VERY fun book, I highly recommend it

I really enjoyed the story and the performance. Imagine if you will a somewhat neurotic young woman who accidentally travels in time to the time of Henry the 8th. She gets to interact with interesting characters like Anne Boleyn and William Shakespeare while trying to help people who have accidentally been sucked into a time portal and sent back to that time. She has to deal with things that would be changes to the time line and while she is given a set of rules to follow she manages to break them all. I was drawn to this because of the title and it did not disappoint.

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Bad narration

I enjoyed the story but the narration was terrible. Her accents were awful (including the different American accents).

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Too much going on

Love the writing style and narration, really disliked the story. There were so many side stories going on I had no idea what the center story really was.

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Such a fun romp!

Great for any RenFaire Geeks and who knew migraines would be a superpower???
I hope she writes another in this storyline!