September 16, 2011
Warning! Cover rant coming!
Let's get this over with, shall we. The cover has some lovely colors, and some sumptuous clothing. Nice layout. However, what's with the Grace Kelly outfit the woman has on? This outfit is so Edith Head. It could have been worn in Rear Window. This outfit is not something any self-respecting restoration woman would wear. Not even to bed! So, then I looked at the guy - ah, a lace shirt. That's sort of restoration. Wait a minute! It's open down the front! Akkk! Didn't men slip those shirts over their heads because shirts didn't open in the front? I may be wrong, but I think I'm right. Nice try with the lace though, you almost fooled me. And, one more little tiny nit-picking thing. What's with the finger on the red lips? I think I know exactly what it means, because I think I know what scene this is supposed to be from. So, I think she needs to get up and rinse.
Now, to the inside. Judith James is writing some really interesting books, in time periods that are usually overlooked. The King's Courtesan takes place in one of my favorite times, Restoration England. This time in history had so much going on; I'm always surprised that there isn't more out there on it. What a lush time. However, on top of all that lushness was some pretty gritty dirt. And Ms. James does not disappoint in her description of what is going on around the protagonists who inhabit The King's Courtesan. I loved the visions she evoked.
So, you would think with a time period I love, vision evoking, and a king who I've always found fascinating, I'd be happy with this book. You'd think. Well, here's the problem. The couple. By their third fight, I just wanted to reach into those pages and smack them. It was one of those let's-have-wonderful-orgasmic-sex-and-then - what, you like white? How dare you like white! I hate you, I hate you! Blacks better and I'm never going to speak to you again! Oh, let's tumble down this hill. OOH! You're wonderful! Ahhhhh! What, now you like black! You cretin! I'll never speak to you again! And, I'm not going to tell you any of my secrets! So there!
Now, I might have exaggerated just a tad, but you get the point. Our couple, a real whore, not a fake one, and a hero bent on revenge might have been wonderful. At least, the heroine was different and the hero had to deal with the fact that maybe someday in the future his wife would have to go back to the bed of King Charles. So, just that part of the story would have made for some great dynamics. But the constant bickering just got on every one of my nerves, causing many an eye-rolling moment. I do like books that are semi-old school; however, some things are better left with Steve and Ginny (Sweet Savage Love.) I just don't see a HEA with hate you, hate you, couples.
So, in the end, I was disappointed in The King's Courtesan. Maybe I was expecting too much after The Libertine Kiss, which I liked a lot. Even though I was disappointed in this read, I will be keeping my eyes out for the next in the series. I'm not sure when it's coming out, but I think it's about the young boy that Robert rescued.
Time/Place: Restoration England
Sensuality Rating: Hot!