I received this book for free from the library in exchange for my honest opinions/ review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.The French Mistress: A Novel of the Duchess of Portsmouth and King Charles II by Susan Holloway Scott
Published by NAL on July 7th 2009
Genres: historical fiction
Source: the library
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From the author of The King's Favorite-a new novel based on a dazzling and decadent true story of Restoration England.
The daughter of a poor nobleman, Louise leaves the French countryside for the court of King Louis XIV, where she must not only please the tastes of the jaded king, but serve as a spy for France. With few friends, many rivals, and ever-shifting loyalties, Louise learns the perils of her new role. Yet she is too ambitious to be a pawn in the intrigues of others. With the promise of riches, power, and even the love of a king, Louise creates her own destiny in a dance of intrigue between two monarchs-and two countries.
|I picked up this book to read following the only other Scott book I’ve ever read, Royal Harlot, and in preparation for the Royal Mistress challenge that I am doing next year (library copy). I greatly enjoyed the first book, finding it well written, paced well, though I couldn’t attest to how historically accurate it was, not knowing much about the time period.
This book is written about much the same time as Royal Harlot, being about another of King Charles II’s mistresses, Louise de Keroualle. Some historical events actually take place during both books (most significantly the meeting between Charles & his beloved sister, who lived in France), but are told from two very different point of views. The book starts with Louise’s life long before she ever meets the King of England; in fact, she doesn’t officially become his mistress until page 278. I think for this reason, the book really drags. Louise does seem to really love the King, so she does have that going for her. I couldn’t get into Louise’s character at all, even at the end of the book I just couldn’t like her.
So this is another one of those books that I will only give 4 stars, because though I greatly *liked* the book, I didn’t love it.