The King’s Courtesan
Harlequin HQN, Aug 23 2011, $7.99
Her mother always reminded Hope Matthews that she was a whore just like she was. Still Hope has ambition to use her body to socially climb the ladder rather than just allow her clients to climb on her. She has had a pair of protectors, but by 1662 she has become mistress to recently returned to the throne King Charles Stuart as her lover. However with the Queen coming to Whitehall, King Charles must decide what to do with his favorite lover as she understands she is the sacrifice to the monarch’s wife.
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 if 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.