Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The King's Courtesan by Judith James

I received a galley of this novel from NetGalley for review. This in no way affected my opinions.

Due to his impending marriage, Charles II marries off his mistress Hope Matthews to Captain Robert Nichols, unless the Captain would like to lose his home and land. Neither have a choice and are wed the day they meet.

Robert is your typical hero haunted by events of his past, while Hope has had not such an easy life before becoming mistress to the king. Both are stuck in this limbo relationship: a farce marriage. Legally bound, but not really belonging to each other.

I really like Libertine's Kiss, which comes before The King's Courtesan, which is why I picked this up. I liked it just as much as Libertine's Kiss, and de Veres and Elizabeth even pop up every now and again, and they are delightful.

The relationship between Robert and Hope was intriguing and was a different scenario that I've never encountered before. Their set-up was complicated. At first, all they did was argue, mostly due to Hope being hurt that Charles deceived her into marrying, but they eventually find a common ground and grow to like each other all with the possibility that Hope could be summoned back to court hanging over their heads.

I definitely recommend both this and the Libertine's Kiss if you're tired of regencies and are looking for something different. The unique storyline and time period had my attention from the beginning. It was a fast read that I finished in a day. I look forward to the next book.