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The King's Favorite: A Novel of Nell Gwyn and King Charles II
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The King's Favorite: A Novel of Nell Gwyn and King Charles II

3.77  ·  Rating Details  ·  481 Ratings  ·  35 Reviews
The acclaimed author of Duchess and Royal Harlot returns with the unforgettable story of a king?s last love and London?s darling?
BR>Nell Gwyn has never been a lady, nor does she pretend to be. Blessed with impudent wit and saucy beauty, she swiftly rises from the poverty of Covent Garden to become a sensation in the theater. Still in her teens, she catches the eye of Ki
Kindle Edition, 452 pages
Published (first published July 1st 2008)
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As a fan of Susan Holloway Scott’s "Dutchess" and “Royal Harlot”; it was nice to give my favorite mistress, Nell, a chance in Scott’s “The King’s Favorite”. Nell is spunky yet smart, humorous and yet with a touch of sadness. Does Scott bring this to life?

Susan Holloway Scott’s “The King’s Favorite” lacks a proper introduction to Nell. Although this successfully “gets the story moving”; it prevents a character arc or the building of a relationship with the reader. Furthermore, Scott’s portrayal o
Mandy Moody
The King's Favorite is Susan Holloway Scott's 3rd novel (although I recently discovered that she's written several historical romances under the name Miranda Jarrett.)
I liked this book, but not nearly as much as her previous two, Duchess and Royal Harlot.
Nell Gwyn is an endearing character to be sure, but I found her less relateable than I would have liked. She genuinely loved King Charles II, but they were so far from equal that it was hard for me to consider their relationship real or importan
Jun 12, 2011 Lauren rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2011
I really like Susan Holloway Scott's writing style and I love that she pays close attention to historical detail. I read Royal Harlot and I loved it. Barbara Villiers Palmer (aka Lady Castlemaine) was not a very nice person, nor is she looked at positively throughout history. However, Scott makes her seem human, and almost likable.
Because I read Royal Harlot first, I had high hopes for The King's Favorite. I love the Cinderella story of Nell Gwynn, born the daughter of a prostitute, raised in a
Elizabeth Parsons
A pretty good read, although the ending felt somewhat inconclusive. I guess that can be the case with historical novels about real people; lives do not always follow a tidy story arc! I liked Nell's character, but she did seem a little under-developed to me--actually, most of the characters did. Nell is supposedly an observer of court life, but there are many aspects of that life that are merely hinted at because she doesn't actually have the opportunity to see them first-hand. Also, the way the ...more
Tom Landry
I did enjoy this book more than three stars but not quite four. It was cool to read this after The Royal Harlot to see some of the same stories from a different perspective. Nell was also a likable person in the book and most likely in real life. I did feel too much of the first half of the book was spent in the playhouse. It seemed to drag a bit there. Also somewhere along the way Nell started using the phrase Od's blood way too often for my taste. I mean she said it a lot. Other than that I wa ...more
Elis Madison
This is the story of Nell Gwynn

…a little, teenaged nobody from nowhere, three centuries ago, who is remembered to this day not only as one of Charles II's mistresses, but as a great wit of her time. Even the most casual history buff will instantly recognize her various portraits (most of which are not appropriate for general audiences). Nelly might have crawled out of the gutters to the bed of the king, but she was famously funny and well-loved—not only by her lovers but by all but the most prig
Monica Burns
Sep 26, 2010 Monica Burns rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed Nell Gwyn's story. It ended on an upbeat note, although I knew without reading the author's note that there could only be one ending for Nell. Poverty. The writing was excellent. The narrative well done and the dialogue was authentically natural. I think was appealed to me the most was how ordinary Nell was. It was easy to identify with her because of the fact that she was a commoner. That she was able to hold the attentions of the King for all the years she did is extraordi ...more
Bree T
Nell Gwyn was born poor and a commoner. Her mother and older sister were both prostitutes and Nell herself worked in the brothel at barely fourteen, singing for the punters to earn her coin. Despite the location, Nell held onto her virginity until her mother sought to auction it off – Nell was bought and paid for and went to become the mistress of a tailor.

Whilst she was his mistress, he took her to the theatre and Nell became enthralled with the acting, the stories, even the beautiful girls tha
Rio (Lynne)
This book did not hold my attention and was not as page turning as Royal Harlot: A Novel of the Countess Castlemaine and King Charles II which comes before this book. Royal Harlot is about Barbara Villiers (mistress #1.) This book covers Nell Gwyn (mistress #2's) story. I've also read Diane Haeger's book of Mrs. Gywn The Perfect Royal Mistress and even though her version was very different from this one (on Nell's early life) I felt she told the story better. For whatever reason Nell wasn't very ...more
Mar 19, 2011 Amanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After thoroughly enjoying Susan Holloway Scott's Royal Harlot, I was eager to jump into another of her wonderful Restoration-era novels. I, was, however, curious has to how this one would measure up. I'd already read about the Countess of Castlemaine, Sarah Churchill and the Duchess of Portsmouth in previous novels, so I was a little concerned about reading practically the same story yet again, only through the eyes of another character. Plus there's the fact that I read Diane Haeger's The Perfe ...more
Mar 29, 2012 Brooke rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It has been awhile since I have enjoyed a book as much as I enjoyed this one. I love reading about the times of the kings and queens, but good stories like this one really captivate me, especially the fact that these people actually did live at once.
I did sneak and look at the Author's Note about halfway through the book. I'm glad that the author put these notes in the book, it helps me understand a lot more about the characters.
There were times were there were some slow parts in the book, but
Sep 15, 2010 Theresa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I stumbled upon this author while doing a review for another site. She definitely rivals Philippa Gregory in her historical fiction. Her detail and life she brings to her novels are fantastic. This story is about Nell Gwyn, the mistress to King Charles II. I thought the author put a lot of heart and soul into her characters. I could feel the love shared between the King and "his Nelly". This was a work of fiction but the fact was Nell was his mistress and this could of been what her life was lik ...more
Jul 01, 2009 Linda rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I read this intermittently with Snow to help me through the pathos: pathos/fluff/pathos/fluff,etc. It certainly did the trick being much fluffier than Snow which I am still wading through (moments of brilliance and much of convoluted tedium). This book just finished dealt with Charles II England which was the backdrop of others I have read that dealt with the king and court more peripherally. This part (the history) I enjoyed. However, there was no big conflict driving this novel: Just a witty, ...more
I appreciated the glimpse into the life of Nell Gwyn.
Laura Finger
I honestly don't know what the deal was with this book. I loved Scott's noel of Barbara Villers. I also have the one she wrote about the Duchess of Portsmouth on my to read shelf.

Maybe it's just that don't care for Nell Gwyn. It's hard to trail in Viller's shadow, even in book form.

I might pick this one up later and give it a second chance. But the first try just didn't work too well for me.

Sorry, Susan- it's not you, it's me!
Rebecca Huston
Telling the story of Nell Gwynn and King Charles II, I really did enjoy this one. Nell Gwynn is the most vibrant of the Merry Monarch's mistresses, and Ms. Scott tells her story with plenty of verve and zest. You can't help but love Nell Gwynn in this one. Very much recommended.

For the complete review, please go here:
Feb 16, 2009 Mlg rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting account of Charles II and his mistress, Nell Gwyn.
The language can be a bit rough at times, but the spirit of the court is captured quite well. I thought some of the most interesting details were in the afterward, which I would have included as part of the book.
Charles II's horrific end along with Nell's deserved to be part of the story.
Jan 28, 2009 Rebecca rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This was on the "Book Club" shelf at the library alongside The Constant Princess, which I had enjoyed. Man, this was bad. I think it was the first person narrator speaking in "historical" jargon that did me in. Also the absence of likable characters. But I will say the author seems to have done some really thorough research, which I guess is laudable.
Sep 13, 2009 Sherrey rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Having read Scott's The Royal Harlot, I picked this one up expecting the same great read -- not so. I pushed myself to finish this one simply because I was interested in the historical facts. The author's note at the end was by far better written than some parts of the book. Not completely sorry I read it, but I'll be more discerning next time.
Sep 26, 2010 Gaile rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 17th-century
The verile Charles II allowed many women to better themselves and Nell Gwyn, a child of the London streets took full advantage of this. Although the court was a treacherous place, Nell got herself off the London stage and into her own apartments at court where with the full protection of the King, she never bothered to be anyone but herself.
May 28, 2011 Slim rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This story was not nearly as engaging as The Royal Harlot. At many points throughout this book I found myself wondering if it would ever end. Then when the ending finally came it felt so unresolved. All of that wasted time reading all those boring details lead to what? Nothing! Certainly not her best novel.
Elisha (lishie)
I enjoyed this book enough that Nell Gwyn kept my attention but it was not as juicy a story as I thought it would be. It was more just "Nell loves Charles" than scandelous...Quite boring!... which was a bit odd since she was a brothel girl turned mistress to the king...
Aug 18, 2011 Judy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Historical fiction of Nell Gwyn, an actress, and King Charles II. She bore him 2 sons and according to him made him laugh a lot. If you're into the history of England this is a informative book about how everyone seemed to have mistresses, etc. And living at court.
Stephanie Lee
This book started out sooooooo good and stayed that way for about 3/4ths of the way but the end just seemed to drag on. It seemed like the last quarter was the same chapter over and over and that was extremely disappointing, since it started out so great.
Jul 29, 2011 Gayla rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this right after my first book on Nell and Charles II ; The Perfect Royal Mistress by D. Haeger(see review ). This version made me appreciate a courser view. Very good introduction to these historical figures without being stuffy.
Nov 30, 2011 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm going through a 17th century Historical Fiction/nonfiction phase and I Loved the King's Favorite featuring one of my favorite mistresses of King Charles II--Nell Gwynn.
Wendy Lewis
I would say this is more 3 1/2 stars. I had a hard time getting into it, but quite enjoyed it by the end. Nelly Gywn was a fascinating strong woman, particularly for her time.
Oct 23, 2009 Shera rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was interesting. I've heard a lot of Nell but this book made me more interested in her life and that of King Charles.
Roseanne Coccaro
I loved this book. I am interested in anything about the Restoration period and King Charles II of England.
Another novel about Nell Gwyn (a historical figure I adore) that doesn't disappoint.
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Aka Miranda Jarrett
Aka Isabella Bradford

Susan Holloway Scott is the author of over forty historical novels and novellas. Writing under her own name as well as Miranda Jarrett, her bestselling books have received numerous awards and honors. With more than three million copies of her books in print, she has been published in nineteen foreign countries around the world. Her most recent historical nov
More about Susan Holloway Scott...

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