The King's Courtesan Mass Market Paperback – Aug 23 2011
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"Fueled by sizzling sensuality and sharp wit James' refreshingly different historical deftly re-creates the glittering, colorful court of Charles II while also delivering an unforgettable love story."
--Booklist starred review on Libertine's Kiss
"Judith James fearlessly bursts through the ceiling of the historical romance genre and soars to astounding heights. Her writing is intriguing, daring, exquisitely dark, and emotionally riveting."
--USA TODAY bestselling author Julianne MacLean
"Sarah and Gabriel's heart-wrenching struggle to keep their love alive...will really keep readers entranced throughout this epic read."
--Publishers Weekly on Broken Wing
"This emotional, well-written novel has characters that are far from conventional; they're complex, heartbreaking and endearing. Readers will be enthralled."
--RT Book Review on Broken Wing
About the Author
Judith James has worked as a legal assistant, trail guide, and for fifteen years as a psychologist. Her personal journey has taken her from the Arctic to the West Coast and she\u2019s finally found her home beside the Atlantic Ocean. An avid reader and history buff, she loves music, adventure, and traveling to new places. Her writing combines a love of history, romance, and adventure, with her keen interest in the complexities of human nature and the heart\u2019s capacity to heal.See all Product Description
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Through her (dare I dub it Restoration Trilogy?!) she has introduced me to a period that before "Libertine's Kiss" I knew very little, and thanks to her wonderful writing, I now am eager to learn more about.
The hero of this tale is none other than Captain Sir Robert Nichols, who we've met in the previous book. In that story, I've thought him cool, subdued, calm and a bit opinionated. Oh, how I loved getting to know him better in this story. The author has allowed our heroine Hope Mathews to slowly peel off our heroes layers and as the last layer fell away, I found myself enchanted with the Captain.
This story opens in 1651 London as young but not so innocent to the world, Hope Mathews is rescued by a young soldier from being trampled by other soldiers who were in a parade. She feels that maybe, just maybe her dreams might come true and her knight in shining armor could rescue her from the life she's known all her life. Alas, it wouldn't be this man and until that day comes, she's destined to go back to the brothel and her mother who owns it. Little does she know of her mother's plan to auction her off.
It is now 1662 and Captain Sir Robert Nichols hasn't had a decent nights sleep in years. The reason behind this man's nightmares goes way back to his childhood and after years of seeking revenge for the wrong done to his family he is on the verge of finally getting the last man responsible for all his heartache.
Charles Stuart is about to marry his Portuguese bride, and our heroine Hope who against all odds has risen to the rank of Mistress to the King, knows that she needs to move on and that the time has come for her to leave the court. She knows the world is ruled by men, so she feels the pressing need to approach the King in regards to her future.
While Robert is baffled by King's decree to give up all of his wealth and properties one day, the summons to appear in court the next stuns him even more.
As she enjoys her May Day celebration, which Charles asked her to host with him, Hope is full of happiness and pride at her accomplishment. In her wildest dreams, or nightmares for that matter, she would have never imagined herself betrayed and married all at the same time.
Robert is given no choice by the King. In order for him to keep his home from his mortal enemy, who requested it from the King, he must marry the King's whore.
The relationship between these two was electrifying from the get-go. Both exuded sexuality and the attraction they felt for each other even when arguing, was palpable.
In Hope, Ms. James has created a character that's a mix of innocence, sexuality and charm. I was touched by this woman-child who managed to keep her identity and use her own perception of the world to her advantage.
Her life was not an easy one, yet she never lost her humanity. She stayed true to herself, and that is what our hero needed. He couldn't help but be drawn to her sweet and idealistic nature. His tormented soul craved her light and not even a King could stand in the way of these two lovers. The road to their happily ever after is paved with lust, arguments, intrigue, some more arguments, danger and then some more arguments...You get the picture!
Judith James can paint with her words the picture of Restoration period and bring to life King Charlie and his court for me any time! Reading her novels is the closest I can come to living them.
* I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*
There is no better way to spend a slow September weekend, I held off starting the read until the house and laundry was done and dinner was in the crock pot. I knew from my first experience with a James epic historical novel I was going to be busy for quite the while once I cracked the cover of my kindle.
I really enjoy the detail she brings to her books nothing is worse than reading a historical romance novel with no historical data or nuance. I like to submerge in the storyline and become part of the world that the characters are living in. With this author it is not a difficult task to do.. She more than compensates with descriptive narrative and great dialogue. .
Personally I am partial to writers who use the dialogue as a method of giving important back history and subtext to the characters and their relationships and interaction.in other words there is substance to the dialogue and purpose in Author James plotting.
Now to the good stuff romance scenes are tasteful, extremely well written and HOT okay, they are just what the doctored ordered and not just dropped into the scene. Rather she paces and teases the reader equally with the romance as she does the intrigue. I'm here to tell you it's like reading a story by someone who has actually lived it. OMG that's it Judith James is the reincarnation of Hope Matthews, it now makes total sense.
That's why it reads like a well written journal, wonder what her next life is like, just sayin no doubt going to be good I'm can't wait to read it great job Ms. James!
King Charles has an attachment to his young mistress Hope. Living under immense pressure and formalities the King finds Hope enchanting, idealistic, and she is his breath of fresh air is his otherwise demanding life.
However his Queen will not approve of such an affair and with her arrival looming King Charles has to act fast. He must manipulate and outwit both the Queen and Hope in order to have everything that he wants. This is where we meet Captain Robert Nichols.
King Charles confiscated Captain Nichols’ land. When Elizabeth returns to as King Charles to return the land to her friend, King Charles sees an opportunity to make a trade with Captain Nichols. King Charles will arrange for Captain Nichols to marry Hope in exchange for his land back and an appointment to Baron Nichols. Anticipating that Hope’s marriage will give her an appearance of respectability in the Queen’s eye, King Charles sees this as a way that Hope can stay in his life, be available to him, protected in a loveless and manufactured marriage, and not pose a threat to his Queen. However, the King never envisioned Hope falling in love with her Captain Robert Nichols.
James has a solid grasp of her world and brings it fully to life. She will captivate you with this story and the unforgettable characters that inhabit it. The passion and heat between Robert and Hope is inspiring, sensual and endearing. The intertwining of the characters and their lives brings a full embodiment of the era. While you can read this book standalone in the series I was pleasantly surprised to see some of the same characters from Libertine’s Kiss and what they were up to. I highly recommend this book and this author!
The Civil War resulting in Charles being back on the throne has left Captain Robert Nichol landless as he fought on the losing side. He is angry at his misfortune. However, his friend recently married Elizabeth de Veres and her husband Will (see Libertine's Kiss) get Charles to agree to give Robert back his land if he marries his mistress as a front to the royal affair. He accepts the term though he loathes the concept of his wife sleeping with anyone; made even more unbearable when he falls in love with his spouse.
This is an entertaining Restoration romance that is loaded with a rich historical background interwoven with an endearing romance. The lead couple is an engaging pairing of independent flawed souls who fall in love while fearing the day the King demands his favorite lover serendipitously rendezvous with him. Historical romance readers will relish this exciting late seventeenth century tale.
The day Hope Matthews met her true love was the same day her mother sold her. Born to the Madame of a popular brothel, Hope grew up behind its walls, learning the secrets of men and dreaming of a better life. When a chance encounter landed her in the rescuing arms of a Solider riding through the city, her young heart found a dream; a dream that was dashed that same day as her Mother orchestrated an Auction for her virginity. Betrayed and sold, Hope embraced the reality of her situation and used her talents rise higher, eventually landing herself at the side of King Charles II. She was his base born Mistress, the Orange Lady of the stage - one who would not be welcome by the King's new wife whom was set to arrive from Portugal soon. The King, not wanting to lose the lovely, elfish Hope, played his hand and married her off to a gentleman in need of land Restoration; a solider he felt would be docile enough to share his love.
Once again betrayed, Hope is devastated and lost - yet her new husband, Captain Nicols seems kind... and familiar. With old scars burning and intrigue surrounding them, Hope and Robert retire to his estate near Nottingham. There, they grow and learn about each other, all the while mystery build and a promised vengeance is soon at hand.
Well written, engaging and historically fascinating, Judith James has penned a work worthy of admiration. She has made the Restoration period come alive, weaving bits of factual history around whimsical fiction, creating a world you will want to immerse yourself in again and again. Hope is brave, lovely and relatable, while Robert has all the arrogant reservation of the most stalwart of hero's - a man fit to play the lead in a True Love tale. Wonderful!