Yay my first Susan Holloway Scott read is finally finished. It is not hard for me to say that I have a new favorite author to add to the pool. I have heard nothing but praise for her previous novels, all of them have been highly recommended to me. Surprisingly I own every single one of her books and regret to say that I have been unable to get to them. Reading Susan’s new release “The Countess and the King” has ignited a fire under my booty to push harder so that I can finally read all of her other novels.
Talk about a wonderful read, I love that Scott focuses on Restoration England. Some of England’s most unique characters lived during this period and that is one of the reasons I love reading about it. The relaxed morals of King Charles II’s court enabled this magical period of bawdiness that encouraged people to be more creative with verse, song, dance and anything else they could think of. Charles’ French influence had such an effect on the court that he enacted many of the French practices. I think Charles' most favorite French practice he applied was his head mistress ruled the court more than his queen did. I love anything related to Charles II because he was extremely charming but I have always been curious about his brother’s story. I always wondered what the duke of York was like and what led up to him loosing the crown. Scott painted the perfect image of Restoration England; she is now in my mind the fore front leading author of this period.
Katherine Sedley, daughter of a notorious Libertine found trauma at a young age when her mother was placed in a convent because of mental illness. Since mama was sick and not in the picture dad was Katherine’s everything. Since dad was a notorious Libertine you can only imagine what she was exposed to at a tender age. She was like her dads mini me, where ever he went she went too, her childhood was far from conventional because her father decided not to pack her off to a governess and instead kept her close to him. Some of her father’s closest friends were two of my all time favorites Nell Gwyn and Jon Wilmot Earl of Rochester. You can just imagine the bawdy jests between them. In the midst’s of all of the exploits of a known Libertine Katherine grew up to possesses a wickedly honest gift of speaking the truth and developed a heart of daring gold that was not held back by anything. Though she was no the prettiest she was the wittiest of all the court ladies. I loved Katherine because she was the under dog who was on a legitimate mission in life to find a true love that was on her level. She was very intelligent and quick as a whip but possessed one thing that doomed King James II’s rein. Katherine had street smarts and for her they were a survival instinct she daringly exposed out of necessity. It was that special spark in her that first drew the attention of the kings’ brother James. The one problem the lovers faced was not that he was already married but what did the future hold for Katherine and the Duke after Charles was gone, could England accept a proclaimed Catholic king? Or were they doomed from the beginning?
5/5 I see why Scott is the best now and she has proclaimed Restoration England as her muse. I loved this one but I am a sucker for anything that rightly portrays the Earl of Rochester. I can not give enough praise the story was the best and let me tell you it has been awhile since I have had a real good Restoration read. If you are in the market for a juicy royal mistress read this one will not be a disappointment.
R-rating, sexual references
FTC, book was sent to me by the publisher.
Be sure, too, to check out her blog with fellow-author Loretta Chase:
The Countess and the King: A Novel of the Countess of Dorchester and King James IIThe French Mistress: A Novel of the Duchess of Portsmouth and King Charles II