Mistress to the Crown – Harlequin ARC


3 stars

Read from January 23 to 28, 2014 — I own a copy, read count: 1

Synopsis: The day Lord Hastings came into her husband’s store, Elizabeth saw the opportunity she had waited twelve years for — a way to separate herself once and for all from her dull, impotent husband, William Shore. The handsome stranger presented not only the chance to partake in the dance of desire, but legal counsel to annul her 12-year marriage.

She did not, however, foresee her introduction to the King of England, nor her future at his side…and in his bed. From this unlikely alliance, Elizabeth is granted severance from Shore, and finds herself flourishing in the radiance of the King’s admiration. But she soon finds that her new position comes at a terrible price — her family has shunned her, the people of London have labelled her a harlot and the Queen’s family want her to burn in Hell.

So long as King Edward and Lord Hastings stay close, Elizabeth is safe. However, her beloved Ned falls ill and Lord Hastings falls out of favour.

Can Elizabeth’s wiles keep her out of trouble? Or will they lead her to further trouble…and the hangman’s noose?

Bookish things: 432 pages. The cover is very appropriate for the book. I think it draws the eye even though it’s quite subtle. I don’t like that ‘body with the head cut off’ look that’s a current trend though.

Where to buy: Amazon on kindle for $3.58

My review: 

Elizabeth Lombard, Mistress Shore, Lizbeth, Jane… whatever you want to call this woman, she was still a silly nitwit who spreads her legs for certain men, but not others… shallow, turned on in an instant and while not a complete strumpet, she certainly acted like one at times.I didn’t enjoy the slut shaming that occurred periodically throughout the book, it was unneeded and completely unwanted. I didn’t enjoy the fairly frequent remarks that Elizabeth was always sleeping around, it was hinted at, it was whispered in hushed tones, it was overtly stated and it was even put in a proclamation.

I think the story relied too heavily on the scandal of being the King’s Mistress and the hushed suggestions that women were too liberal with their vajayjays and not smart enough to keep their legs together.

The thing that probably annoyed me most was that Lizbeth kept telling everyone (especially those that she slept with) that she wasn’t that kind of girl, yet still went ahead and slept with them.

I did like the relationship between Lizbeth and Lord Hastings, I felt that it was a very realistic relationship and, despite her being his mistress, I felt that they had a real rapport and I enjoyed the barbs they threw at each other and the mutual respect they each had. I enjoyed too the adult (and non-sexual) discussions Lizbeth had with both Lord Hastings and Ned. They were the highlights.

I think the feel of the history in the story was well done. I got a sense of the 1400s, the way in which people lived and died. That was rather rich – the class system, the intricate path in which a mistress was to ensure she walked upon and the way in which she was to conduct herself all seemed well constructed and fully embellished.

If you’re looking for a nice historical romance, this is not for you. If you want to read about beheadings, hangings, burnings, stoning and all other means of killing or hurting someone, then pick this one up. You might really enjoy it.

**Note: I received this as an ARC from the publisher**


4 thoughts on “Mistress to the Crown – Harlequin ARC

  1. I think the chopping off of the top part of the head is a little odd as well.

    I laughed at your comment “a silly nitwit who spreads her legs for certain men” – what a fantastic explanation of a character! 😉

  2. I wonder at the symbolism of having an Elizabethan woman with a chopped-off head…

    Also, I read somewhere that if you don’t feature the face of a model, they get paid less. And of course, you form your own opinions as to what the character looks like. 🙂

    • I thought of that symbolism too Tony. I think not paying the model as much when you don’t include the head is horrible! They still had to sit there and let them take the photo!

      I do agree though, it does allow for the reader to make their own characters.

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