It was kind of a muggy, dreary, cloudy, on-again off-again rainy weekend in Wisconsin, which made it a perfect weekend for enjoying a light little history read like Leslie Carroll's Notorious Royal Marriages: A Juicy Journey through Nine Centuries of Dynasty, Destiny, and Desire.
I also enjoyed Carroll's earlier volume, Royal Affairs, although I'm still bothered that these books don't provide indexes. Then again, she doesn't really provide source notes, either, so if you simply approach this type of history as a novel, it can be very enjoyable. I also skipped around and only read the chapters I was interested in, which is always nice too--you can read a couple chapters and then put the book down and go get on with things you should be doing, like laundry. I can never get myself to feel guilty about reading when it's done "just a few chapters" at a time.
Books like this also might be good if you've got a high-schooler (particularly girls, I would think, for this type of volume) who doesn't much care for history OR reading. Carroll's chapters aren't particularly long, but they each provide a rollicking (and yes, "juicy") little narratives of some of the worst marriages of all time--royal marriages. It's easy reading* and you can pick up tidbits like Eleanor of Aquitaine had ten kids and lived to be 82--in the 1100s, mind you--which I still can't get over. (She must have been the healthiest woman ever.) I also enjoyed this paragraph, about when the infamous Henry VIII was searching for someone to marry after #3, Jane Seymour, died:
"Gorgeous sixteen-year-old Christina, the Danish-descended Duchess of Milan, wittily insisted that if God had given her two heads she would willingly risk one to marry the King of England, but as she only had one..." (p. 160.)
Nor is the book only about British monarchs. There's good stuff here about Ferdinand and Isabella, Nicholas and Alexandra of Russia, and even Prince Rainier and Princess Grace. I enjoyed it--and would suggest if you need a "juicy" nonfiction read, this might be a good choice.
*Carroll is also a romance and novel writer, so she knows how to tell a story.