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Friday, October 14, 2011

Friday's Short Review: The King’s Courtesan by Judith James

Title: The King’s Courtesan
Author: Judith James
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Harlequin
Source: Review copy from publisher
Format: E-book
“Her body is the battleground
 Sensuous, beautiful and determined, Hope Matthews is a favored mistress of the king. Her many charms have helped her rise from the gutter to the king's bed. But with the new queen's impending arrival, her nights in the royal chamber— and her hopes for security—will swiftly come to an end. 
His honor a distant memory 
Haunted by his past, hardened by the recent civil war, Captain Robert Nichols lives only for revenge. When told he must marry the king's courtesan to provide a cover for their affair, he's faced with a new low. Both are pawns of a great man, but married to their dreams of independence, their clash is inevitable. Can these two wounded souls realize the answer to all their dreams might lie in each other's arms?”
The King’s Courtesan is the second book in a nameless series. I just know that the previous book is Libertine’s Kiss.

Hope Mathews hasn’t had an easy life. She grew up in her mother’s brothel and at the age of fourteen she was sold in an auction by her own mother. Since that day and for couple of years she was the young mistress of an old man. Instead of succumbing to dark thoughts Hope forced herself to study and learn, to be a better courtesan and to find better protectors, until the day she became the King Charles II courtesan.
King Charles II is getting married; because Hope doesn’t have any title or lineage he cannot keep her as his mistress in the palace, but Charles is besotted with her and doesn’t want to let her go. For that reason he schemes a way for her to become a lady so that she can continue being his mistress.
Captain Robert Nichols lives for revenge against the men who killed his sister but when he receives an ultimatum from the King and is forced to marry Hope his life changes drastically.
Charles deceived Hope in the cruelest way, she just wanted to retire to the country and live a tranquil life and now, without her knowledge, she is married to a man she doesn’t know. 

Sometimes it’s difficult to like or connect with characters when they are prostitutes or courtesans, but that was not the case with Hope. She is a woman with no options that has done the best possible with her life, using the little good things that have come her way. Everybody she has loved or trusted have used her and abused her in one manner or other, but she is smart and strong and has thrived.

Robert is a hard man haunted by demons from his past. He’s riddled with revenge and feelings of blame for his sister’s death. And now he has sold his soul to the king and has married a woman of ill renown, still he is respectful and gentlemanly, the perfect tortured hero.

The romance though predictable (as with any historical romance) was sweet and sexy. They were just what each other needed in their lives.

My final thought: The King’s Courtesan is a book about survival and forgiveness. I found Mrs. James writing fluid and engaging. The historical facts were accurate and realistic. Mrs. James took in consideration the political turmoil of the time. The characters were interesting and well developed. In general The King’s Courtesan was a nice and enjoyable read. 
The King’s Courtesan was my first book by Judith James and I’m sure it won’t be my last.

My Verdict: 4 Paws

Other books in the series
Libertine’s Kiss
The King’s Courtesan

Other reviews Goodreads


  1. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this book! I loved how it included the politics of the time, but didn't let them overpower the story.

  2. A Buckeye Girl, I agree completely with you. I also checked the historical facts and found them very accurate.

  3. This sounds like a very interesting read. I do enjoy historical romances but I haven't been able to read one recently. I'm going to have to pick one up sooner then later or I'm ganna start pulling my hair out! LOL. :-P


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