Author: Susan Holloway Scott
Published: NAL Trade, September 2010
Where I Got It: I won it in a giveaway!
First Line: "It is true." (haha..)
I've been slacking on reviews lately, sorry for that. Also, no Top 10 Tuesday for me :(
Historically Obsessed (one of my favorite blogs) for the giveaway that I won this book in! It was my very first time winning something like this! Also a thanks to the author, Susan Holloway Scott, for providing copies of the book! :)
If you read my somewhat recent-ish review of The Secret Bride, you'll know that I've been wanting to read a book about a less than perfect heroine, particularly one whose beauty wasn't gushed over every two pages. I've found that heroine! Katherine Sedley was a mistress to James, Duke of York before he became King. She was very plain and an unlikely candidate for a mistress to royalty. She did however have wit beyond her years and gender that made her a favorite at court.
The Countess and the King chronicles the life of Katherine from a child of about ten years until the time that James becomes King. We follow her through adolescence, heartbreak, scandal, and finally the love that she found with James. I really enjoyed reading about their time together. After reading about Charles II mistresses (the brother of James) and how corrupt and power-hungry those women were, it was refreshing to read about a woman who did not care for titles or jewels (although she got both).
Upon initially finishing the book, I would have rated it somewhere between 4 and 4.5 stars. I then turned a few pages and found an Author's Note. The author filled us in on what historically happened after the book ends; what happened to Katherine, her children, and the monarchy. After reading this, I immediately bumped my rating up to 5 stars. I LOVE when authors do this. When a novel is based on historical events or a real person, I always want to know what happened after the book ends, just a few pages of information is sufficient. A big thumbs up to this!
Overall, I adored this book. As I said before, 5 stars to a beautifully written and interesting story. After reading this and Dark Angels, I am borderline obsessed with the Stuarts and Charles II's reign (I feel like I am cheating on the Tudors!). I am definitely interested in picking up more of Susan Holloway Scott's work.