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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enthralling Restoration novel, 10 Oct 2007
This review is from: Royal Harlot: A Novel of the Countess Castlemaine and King Charles II (Paperback)
This book tells the story of Barbara Villiers Palmer, the infamous mistress of Charles II, and what a gripping story it is. Barbara sets out to use her beauty to catch any man who's able to give her power and position. As such, it's typical of the situation most English women were in, and so many English novelists write about. They had to make a good match. Barbara does more than that and is quite shameless about taking lovers whenever it suits her. She discovers early how to use sex to get what she wants. After her early flings, she marries the dull Robert Palmer but through him is sent to visit the banished monarch, the man who will change her life. Their first meeting is charged with electricity. Charles is poor but every inch a king, and one who likes pretty women. Barbara wastes no time in becoming his mistress. It's a role she plays with relish, especially after he is restored to the throne, using all her talents to make the most of her position and ignoring his other paramours and his barren wife while giving him five children. History has been unkind to her. She was also the king's good friend but is usually vilified though she was a woman in a society ruled by men and had to make her own way in, the only way she could. Susan Holloway Scott brings her to life and makes her seem real and genuine, caring for her children and determined to do everything she could for them. This is a marvellous Restoration novel, well-researched and enthralling. Highly recommended.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars THE WAGES OF SIN..., 30 July 2009
By 
Lawyeraau (Balmoral Castle) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Royal Harlot: A Novel of the Countess Castlemaine and King Charles II (Paperback)
Having read "Duchess: A Novel of Sarah Churchill" by this author and having enjoyed it, I decided to give this book by the same author a go. A work of historical fiction about Barbara Villiers, the mistress of King Charles II of England, it was a good choice, as I very much enjoyed it. Written in the first person, it is a good mix of historical fiction with a bit of romance. The characters come to life in this author's capable hands and draw in the reader.

Barbara Villiers, who later became the Countess of Castlemaine, was a strong willed, independent woman. A great beauty, as well as smart and saucy, she was notorious in her day as the favored mistress of the Merry Monarch, Charles II of England. Though married to another man, she bore the King quite a number of children and wielded a great deal of influence in his baudy Restoration court. With her privileged position as the King's mistress came much favor, and Barbara became a very wealthy woman in her own right, as a result of her liaison with the King, which was to last for many years. Alas, all good things must come to an end.

The book details the rise and fall of Barbara Villiers, from her rise as a young beauty with Royalist leanings, to her elevation in Court society when the Charles II returns to England to reclaim his thrown and is smitten with her. The intrigues of the Restoration court are laid bare, as are the religious divisions between Catholic and Protestants. Against this turbulent backdrop, the life and loves of Barbara Villiers are played out. Moreover, the reader should be aware that since this is a book about a royal harlot, there is quite a bit more overt sexual content in the book than one normally finds in most works of historical fiction. Notwithstanding this, those who enjoy the books of Jean Plaidy and Philippa Gregory will, undoubtedly, enjoy this book, as well.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars New favourite author, 6 July 2010
By 
Imelda "Imelda" (a village in Berkshire) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Royal Harlot: A Novel of the Countess Castlemaine and King Charles II (Paperback)
I came across this author whilst on holiday in the US and having read one book, haunted the local bookshops until I got a full set. I don't normally like historical novels by american authors as I find they are not always accurate and perhaps overly romantic with modern phrases and attitudes slipping in.

However, I find this author is well-researched and well-read on all of her books and would thoroughly reccommend her to all my fellow historical novel addicts. I am looking forward to her next book....
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Raunchy!, 3 Nov 2010
This review is from: Royal Harlot: A Novel of the Countess Castlemaine and King Charles II (Paperback)
I really enjoyed reading this book about Barbara Palmer. The author presents her as a modern lady set back in the time of 1600's. It details the story of her life from been a young girl, then as a teen falling in love with two very differing gentlemen, choosing to marry one of them and then her very passionate relationship with the king, Charles II. I loved the romance of this book and there are some very passionate and raunchy parts as well! If its glamour and romance you re after, this book is for you!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars read this book, 17 Mar 2010
This review is from: Royal Harlot: A Novel of the Countess Castlemaine and King Charles II (Paperback)
this has to be 1 of the best books i have read,i fell in love with barbara,shes such fun you cant put her down! i have read it twice....forever amber isnt a patch on this....
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Royal Harlot: A Novel of the Countess Castlemaine and King Charles II
Royal Harlot: A Novel of the Countess Castlemaine and King Charles II by Susan Holloway Scott (Paperback - 3 July 2007)
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