Saturday, September 04, 2010

Book Review: THE COUNTESS AND THE KING by Susan Holloway Scott

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.

For more about Susan and her books, please visit her website & blog:
Be sure, too, to check out her blog with fellow-author Loretta Chase:

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  1. Great review! I'm really ready for this book now!

  2. Thanks for the interesting review. Each one touches on a different aspect of the book. I am looking forward to reading this one.

  3. This was your first Scott book Lizzy? I can't believe it. I love her books and so glad that you enjoyed it too!

  4. Lady Burgley, you will love it and who would not with a to die for cover like that.

    Librarypat, I too have to admit that when this one was in the works I was really hyped up about it. It lives up to the hype.

    Mystica, I have a giveaway coming up soon on the 7th also.

    Dolleygurl, I know I am shame faced about it but yes it was. I have all the other ones I really want to read the Sarah Churchill one next. I did enjoy it and I just knew I would love her.

  5. Many thanks for the great review, Lizzie! I'm so glad that Katherine won you over. *g* Hope you enjoy "Duchess" next - you'll see quite a different version of Sarah Churchill and of Katherine Sedley in that one...

  6. I too find that Susan is the expert on this period in England- Charles II's Court is definitely hers! Welcome aboard to her fan club-she's my favourite author too! Loved your review Lizzy:)

  7. Susan, oooh do not tease me with it. I am hoping to get on it before x-mas this year. I am over flowing with reads at the moment. I can not wait to find out what the differences are.

    Lucy, thank you and your right she is the best. It feels like she just gets that period down so right it just feels good and complete.


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