THE COUNTESS AND THE KING: A NOVEL OF THE COUNTESS OF DORCHESTER AND KING JAMES II
SUSAN HOLLOWAY SCOTT
ISBN (10)9780451231155/ (13)9780451231154
September 7, 2010
NAL New American Library
Historical Fiction, Historical Romance
Rating: 4 Cups
Katherine Sedley is the daughter of a madwoman and a decadent baron. When the baron, Lord Sid, takes over the raising of her when her mother is shipped off to live in religious seclusion, Katherine is immersed in a world of playhouses and bawdy talk unfit for a lady. The men around her value wit, and she quickly picks up on many dynamics that most children would never be exposed to nor understand if they were.
Upon reaching adulthood, she falls in love with a soldier who leaves her for a lovely if vapid woman, teaching her that what is truly valuable about her is her mind and ability to speak the truth. However, neither will continue to have value if she is forced to wed and become a woman secluded to the country to do the proper thing and pop out heirs. Her daring and quick mind soon attract the attention of the very married if very attractive Duke of York.
When the king dies and the Duke is promoted to king, Katherine is tossed into a world of intrigue and peril at every step. She must choose between her loyalty to her country or loyalty to her lover. A woman of no great beauty, she is strong and intelligent, and her adventures are a tangled web of highborn and lowborn society.
A fun historical isn’t usually an apt description, but Katherine is the kind of character that makes history far from dry. Katherine is smart and daring and sometimes brash but she is never, ever dull. Although usually I would empathize with the wife, this story had me rooting for the mistress and hoping that she made it through her many trials. An excellent work, and I will look for more of this authors work.
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance