Review: The French Mistress by Susan Holloway Scott

The French Mistress
by Susan Holloway Scott


The French Mistress is the story of Louise de Keroualle, beloved paramour to King Charles II of England.

Louise’s journey to prominence begins at the court of King Louise XIV where she was sent to serve as Maid of Honor to his sister-in-law, the Duchess d’Orleans. Henrietta, or as she was known at court, Madame, is also sister to the king of England, Charles II. Louise and Madame form a strong friendship over time and Madame comes to depend on Louise almost exclusively.

When Madame travels to England and Louise is of her party, she and Charles meet for the first time. They are infatuated with each other immediately. Really, Louise had already fallen in love with Charles through stories told to her by Madame of his kindness, mercy and honor. Henrietta, or Minette, and Charles have a singularly close relationship, quite an extraordinary thing for Royal siblings. Indeed, it is my belief that the strong bond that was to form a little later between Charles and Louise is strongly based on their equal love and affection of Henrietta.

After Madame mysteriously falls ill and passes away, Louise’s future is uncertain and she is left to await her fate. Louise XIV and his councilors, aware of the monarch’s affection for Louise, commission her to join Charles II’s court with the purpose of becoming his mistress, getting close to him and then pass on vital information to France. Louise readily agrees, but has an agenda of her own.

Nell Gwyn and Barbara Palmer (Lady Castlemaine) are the principal mistresses at the time of Louise’s arrival and although they don’t pose much threat, at least one of them benefits from mocking and ridiculing her mannerisms. Being that Louise is French (mortal enemies of Englishmen since forever) and a Roman Catholic in a Protestant country still hostile towards anyone of the Old Religion, she is not what you would call popular. Nor does she care. Louise is there to love her man and to reap the benefits of that relationship. I’d say she does a good job: when all is said and done, Louise does walk away with more honors than Nell and Barbara combined. With all of these gorgeous women fighting for his time, you can see why Charles II was nicknamed the “Merry Monarch”!

I very much enjoyed Ms. Scott’s portrayal of Louise and style of writing in general. The way she wrote Louise put me in mind of Jean Plaidy in regards to painting the heroine as authentically as possible, letting the reader form their own opinion. I can imagine the difficulty in that – what writer wouldn’t want a perfect heroine and what writer doesn’t form their own opinion over time of said heroine?

The French Mistress is highly recommended by yours truly and you know I would never steer you wrong! Susan Holloway Scott writes one fantastic author, Louise is a fascinating heroine and Charles is as charming as ever, you’ll see why the ladies loved him!

Now I am off to get my hands on Susan’s other novels – The King’s Favorite (A Novel of Charles II and Nell Gwyn) and Royal Harlot (A Novel of the Countess of Castlemaine and Charles II).

A big thanks to NAL/Penguin and Susan Holloway Scott for providing me with hours of reading pleasure!

Click here to read the Passages to the Past interview with Susan Holloway Scott.



  1. This book sounds great. I have yet to get my hands on any of her books, but I have been wanting to read Royal Harlot for awhile.

  2. Another great review, I loved The Royal Harlot, that was my first intro to Susan Holloway Scott!

  3. Sounds like a great book :=)
    I really doesn't know that much about him, I remember watching a BBC series, and liking the queen?

  4. Certainly sounds good! I should read more by Susan Holloway Scott, I have only read Duchess. I think I have another book by her, you have inspired me to go look for it. ;)

  5. This sounds like a great book! I will have to add it to my TBR list :)

  6. Sounds like a winner! Thanks.

  7. This does sound good...I need to run out and get it. Thanks for the review!

  8. I'll have to keep this one in mind. It sounds like a great read.

    Diary of an Eccentric

  9. Amy!! Love this review! As I've mentioned before- I've got to read this! Anything to do with Louis and his Court and CharlesII (such a charmer)...Henriette, who's my favourite- ALL the right reasons for me to read this- It's a MUST.


  10. You've won the Kreative Blogger Award on Book ♥ Soulmates.

    Check it out :)

  11. This looks like a great summer read.

  12. Amy, Amy, THANK YOU for the fabulous review!!! Those five Tudor Roses are quite an honor. :)

  13. Great review Amy! This one is on my TBR.


Related Posts with Thumbnails

Passages to the Past
All rights reserved © 2013

Custom Blog Design by Blogger Boutique

Blogger Boutique