The French Mistress
by Susan Holloway Scott

New American Library, 2009. ISBN 978-0-451-22694-5.
Reviewed by Jennifer Melville
Posted on 07/24/2009

Fiction: Historical

I did not expect to like Louise de Keroualle. She was, after all, one of the Engligh King Charles II's mistresses and one of the most hated women of her time. In fact, I only chose this book because it is a historical romance, one of my true loves. The French Mistress by Susan Holloway Scott grabbed my interest from page one and held it through to the end. Scott does a phenomenal job of humanizing Louise de Keroualle, showing her as a likable, believable, and sympathetic character. No, I didn't expect to like The French Mistress. Instead, I loved it.

Louise was the daughter of a poor French nobleman, and she went to court at the age of 18 to serve as a lady-in-waiting to Princess Margaret. She quickly becomes Margaret's favorite companion, although she is unnoticed at court. She joins Margaret on a trip to England and catches the eye of King Charles II. After Margaret's suspicious death, King Louis realizes Louise's value and sends her to Charles II as a gift to smooth tensions. Louise is expected to please King Charles at all costs, as well as be a spy for France.

The French Mistress is an enjoyable and exhilarating portrayal of Restoration England as well as the flamboyant French court. It should not be missed.

Susan Holloway Scott is the author of more than 40 historical novels. She's a graduate of Brown University and lives with her family in Pennsylvania. Visit her website.

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