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The King's Courtesan (Rakes and Rogues of the Restoration #2)

3.80  ·  Rating Details  ·  338 Ratings  ·  72 Reviews
This edition is no longer available for purchase.

Lady libertine, judgmental lord.

Her Body Is A Battleground

Sensuous, beautiful and determined, Hope Matthews is a favored mistress of the king. Her many charms have helped her rise from the gutter to the king’s bed. But with the new queen’s impending arrival, her nights in the royal chamber—and her hopes for security—will swi
Paperback, 373 pages
Published August 23rd 2011 by HQN Books (first published January 1st 2011)
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A Lot like Love by Julie JamesThe Perfect Play by Jaci BurtonEleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke's Heart by Sarah MacLeanCall Me Irresistible by Susan Elizabeth PhillipsJust Like Heaven by Julia Quinn
2011 Romance
199th out of 393 books — 830 voters
Forever Amber by Kathleen WinsorThe King's Courtesan by Judith JamesLibertine's Kiss by Judith JamesLaird of the Mist by Paula QuinnA Pirate's Love by Johanna Lindsey
17th Century Romance (1601 - 1700)
2nd out of 53 books — 39 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 976)
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Jul 14, 2011 Jill rated it really liked it
In London of 1651, wide-eyed, innocent fourteen year-old Hope Mathews dreams of being more than her mother, a prostitute and brothel owner. When she is rescued from being trampled underfoot during a procession, Hope believes that her dreams are about to come true. Her rescuer is everything she'd hoped, tall, handsome, gallant, a soldier and a true gentleman. But that same day upon returning home to the brothel her mother announces her own plans for Hope's future. Beautiful, young, and virginal, ...more
I was very excited about this book. I wanted it with a passion!
But you know what tends to happen when you have really high hopes?
It never is that spectacular in the end.

I have not read the first book from these series but I have read another book by this author and it was also about a …prostitute. I loved it. When I combined this with the blurb I wanted to be blown away.

I was not.
Do not get me wrong. It was a fairly good book.
It was nicely written.
Sure, the whole adventure of falling in love was
Wow! This review is going to be really tricky to write, because I LOVED this book. Very often (sadly) when I read historical romances, there are one or two niggling little historical inaccuracies. Now, I've learned to tune them out and just enjoy the stories and characters, but every now and then I yearn for a book which has a credible, compelling romance, two interesting, complex characters, set in a period which isn't Regency (nothing wrong with Regency, but it is rather over-populated) and wi ...more
My first JJ's book and was not expecting much, being that it's about the King's mistress. I mean, I was pretty sure that I'll hate the heroine and I was bracing myself for the slutty part. But surprisingly, 30% into the book, I was pulled in and was pretty much blown away.

Captain Nichols was ordered by the King to wed Hope, his favorite mistress. The marriage was just a front for his new Queen and also to bound her to him and nobody else. Little did he expect the Captain to sweep Hope off her fe
Jul 29, 2011 Laura rated it it was amazing
Shelves: scorching-hot
***This book was provided to me via NetGalley***

Hope Matthews has dreamed of being rescued by a knight for as long as she can remember. She fantasizes of a handsome man, galloping in on a horse and taking her away from her tower to live happily ever-after. One day, as she leans out of her mother’s home watching the kings army return from battle in a parade, Hope falls from the window right into the path of the returning soldiers. Certain she has met her death, she curls into a ball only to be sc
Well, it turns out I really liked this book. I have to say that the ending did a lot to satisfy my need for more romance and add an extra half star to my overall rating.

This was an emotional, well-written book with depth and rich background. The characters were very likable, even though Hope was a courtesan and I usually have little love for them, and Robert was a strong, decisive, honorable and tortured hero, the kind I love to read about. Those two got married against their will by the King's
The King's Courtesan was kindly provided to me by Netgalley for Harlequin.

I’ve never read anything by Judith James so I went in to this not sure what to expect. About halfway through I found out that this is actually a follow-up novel to ‘Libertine’s Kiss’ but ‘The Kings Courtesan’ still held its own as a stand-alone novel. I love a good historical romance novel every now and again; however, this one wasn’t as exciting as I had hoped it would be. It took me FOREVER to read because I could not ge
So I had a lot of reserves going into this book because I normally don't like my historical heroines to be 'experienced' so I was hesitant about reading a book where the she was a courtesan. So I guess if you're in that boat then I'd say don't bother with this one, but if you're okay with that then you might like this more than I did cuz that was still the biggest problem for me after finishing it.

The author tried to make her less prostitute-y by telling us she's only been with 3 men faithfully
Just read the blurb. I'll wait.

Lady libertine, judgmental lord.


Sensuous, beautiful and determined, Hope Matthews is a favored mistress of the king. Her many charms have helped her rise from the gutter to the king’s bed. But with the new queen’s impending arrival, her nights in the royal chamber— and her hopes for security—will swiftly come to an end.


Haunted by his past, hardened by the recent civil war, Captain Robert Nichols lives only for
Jen (Red Hot Books)
Sep 01, 2011 Jen (Red Hot Books) rated it really liked it
As a child, Hope had dreams of love and her very own knight in shining armor to sweep her off her feet.

Those dreams died the day her mother forced her sell her virginity to the highest bidder. Since then, Hope has done the best she could with her lot in life. She is a mistress to King Charles, but now that he is getting married, her days at court are numbered.

Charles isn't willing to give up his lover, so he tricks her into marrying Robert. He offers the country gentleman a title and more land
You can also read this review at Reflections on Reading Romance

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

I was excited to receive Judith James’ The King’s Courtesan for review, because I’ve been trying to read more historical romance that isn’t set in Regency England. The King’s Courtesan is set in England during the Restoration of King Charles II, so I was really looking forward to reading it, and Ms. James did not disappoint! I loved the historical setting, which is depicted fairly accurately, as far as I can tell
Germaine Lefebvre
«Vi prego di perdonarmi se dubito della vostra fedeltà, visto che ho appena levato la vostra graziosa manina dal mio membro. Sono un uomo, Hope. E sì, ho fiuto. Non vi posso ignorare quando mi passate accanto. Il vostro aspetto, la vostra voce, il vostro modo di muovervi richiamano la mia attenzione. Donne come voi sono nate per sedurre, ma che vi piaccia o meno, non siete una sgualdrinella qualunque che potrei dimenticare in fretta. Il vostro nome, e quindi il vostro onore, sono ora legati al m ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Caroline The HEA Lover
Sep 28, 2011 Caroline The HEA Lover marked it as to-read
Shelves: arc, romance, historical, 2011
(This review was originally posted on Book Lovers Inc)

Judith James won me over last year with a fantastic Libertine's Kiss. I loved it so much that I've been counting the days 'till the release of The King's Courtesan. To be honest I think this book is responsible for my Netgalley addiction. Why? Because I've been checking the website everyday for the last 5 months in hope of seeing The King's Courtesan up for request. As you can imagine I might have stumbled on a few other books in the process
Hope Matthews has brought herself up from out of the gutter and become the King’s courtesan. She lives lavishly as one of his favored mistresses and enjoys his attentions immensely. However the King is soon to be married and as an unmarried mistress she must be sent away from court to avoid offending the King’s new wife. The King finds Captain Robert Nichols to wed Hope and this begins a sweet love story of a couple who are very much in need of one another.

This is a very romantic and sweet novel
Jan 28, 2012 Kristiej rated it it was amazing
While this one didn’t blow me away like her debut book, Broken Wing did, it’s certainly in the upper levels of books I read in 2011. Robert Nichols, a character in the previous book, Libertine’s Kiss was a rather dour, severe kind of character; of course any one would be after the larger than life persona of William.

I might have worried, but this is Judith James who writes such wonderful, multidimensional characters. And I just adore the setting and time period.

Although it’s England, this book a
Christy B
Due to his impending marriage, Charles II marries off his mistress Hope Matthews to Captain Robert Nichols, unless the Captain would like to lose his home and land. Neither have a choice and are wed the day they meet.

Robert is your typical hero haunted by events of his past, while Hope has had not such an easy life before becoming mistress to the king. Both are stuck in this limbo relationship: a farce marriage. Legally bound, but not really belonging to each other.

I really like Libertine's Ki
I didn't know The King's Courtesan was a sort of sequel to Libertine's Kiss, otherwise I would have read it first, but I guess it doesn't really matter, since I lliked this one so much I'm sure I'll end up reading it soon anyway.

I must admit I wasn't expecting much from The King's Courtesan, I thought it was just a common historical romance, perfect for a summer read. What I didn't anticipate was the deep, charming and unusual cast of characters (I'd never read of a king's courtesan as a heroine
Jul 20, 2011 Terra rated it it was amazing
This is one really hot delicious book that you won't be able to put down. Two characters aching for something they can't have and they both carry enough baggage of hurt and sorrow that your heart can't help but open up for them.

Hope Matthews comes from a poor background but as if that isn't bad enough her mother sells poor Hope to the highest bidder at the tender age of fourteen to live in a life of sexual servitatude that is sure to scar her forever. Will she find a wealthy powerful benefactor?
3 1/2*** ~~ The Kings Courtesan by Judith James is loaded with drama and romance with a rich historical background. It's the year of our lord 1662. Hope Matthews (a whore like her mother) is mistress to King Charles Stuart. The reigning Queen is returning to Whitehall. To hide their affair, the King marries Hope off to Captain Robert Nichols in return for the lands he lost in the War. They both are thrust into the deceit and deception of the King. Just when they start to fall in love, King Charl ...more
May 01, 2015 Mark rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After reading book 1 in this series, I immediately started reading book 2. This series is brilliantly written and it is not often that I find such a gem of a series. Judith James is truly a talented author who creates such a beautiful historical romance.

This book focuses on Captain Robert Nichols, who was first introduced in Libertine's Kiss. Robert isn't very happy and feels that his memory is fading away. He feels that even though he has accomplished so much, it means very little to those arou
Regina Cobb
Apr 19, 2015 Regina Cobb rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The second book, "Soldier of Fortune," of Judith James series, Rakes and Rouges of the Restoration introduces protagonist Hope Matthews, daughter of a woman who owns a brothel in 17th century London where Hope works doing chores and dreams of finding true love.

I fell in love with Hope in the opening scene where while watching a parade and hoping that the man of her dreams will appear, she topples off the balcony and is quickly picked up by a young horseman who carries her to the palace gates.

Nov 14, 2015 Manisha rated it liked it
Shelves: liked-it-rated-3
Haha, as soon as I started it there was so much unrelated info about William and Elizabeth that I instantly wondered if there was a previous book written about them. Sure enough, there was. Anyways, putting aside my spidey senses, this was a pretty good book.

Although it was a romance novel, it didn't feel like romance was the main focus. It was more about our protagonist's hopes and dreams and freedom and future. I really liked Hope's character, and totally supported her in fighting for her f
3.5 stars
Kelly Lynn
Aug 03, 2015 Kelly Lynn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A sad, happy and also great love story n one.

Yet another great fantastic romance novel by this author. I read her first book in the series and was excited to read this one. Although the it wasn't necessary to read the other book first, I was glad to see returning characters as well. My favorite character is Lizzy but Hopes character has now grown on me as well.

It's sort of a sad romance story. It's sad to think the women were once treated like this and auctioned off and/or traded. But the endi
Mary Mans
Jan 02, 2014 Mary Mans rated it it was amazing
I finished my Judith James marathon with this book which I thoroughly enjoyed. This one seemed less hero centric than her others but I found Hope Mathews to be a delight, even I'f her Robert was a little grim and stoic for my taste. What matters is they seemed perfect for each other. Having read all her books in chronological order in just over a week I feel like I've been taken on a tour of the 17th century, from the Highlands to the courts to the backstreets of London. This book takes you to t ...more
Dec 24, 2014 Angela marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
3 October 2014: $0.00 FREE on Kindle
Blodeuedd Finland
I did not see it being mentioned, but this is a series. I tried to read the book before this one and gave up for the moment because it was so jumpy. Then I moved on to this one and it was so much better. It works well as a stand alone novel but the couple from book 1 is around now and again.

I do not know what it was that made me fall for it; I do think it was the story in itself. The king’s courtesan is married off so that she can come back with a title and pick up her duties again. You just hav
☂ ℬrandi
If you enjoy soiled dove heroines perhaps you’ll enjoy Your Scandalous Ways by Loretta Chase.

I loved the first book in this series, Libertine's Kiss and though I don’t remember specifics (it was before I started writing reviews) I do recall sobbing my eyes out and my heart breaking and loving every incredible, miserable second. It's one of my favorite books to date so naturally I anticipated enjoying The King's Courtesan. Comparatively, some aspects of this story are similar to the first book. I
Oct 05, 2011 Melanie rated it it was amazing
I reviewed thi on my blog

I’ve now come to look forward to Ms. James’ books with a sort of nervous anticipation like a child looking forward to digging into its Christmas or Birthday gift. And what a gift it was!

Through her (dare I dub it Restoration Trilogy?!) she has introduced me to a period that before “Libertine’s Kiss” I knew very little, and thanks to her wonderful writing, I now am eager to learn more about.

The hero of this tale is none other than Capta
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Judith James, is an avid reader and history buff who grew up in Montreal Quebec. She is also a bit of an adventure junkie and has travelled, worked and lived many places, including the Arctic and several of the places she writes about. Variously employed as a trail guide, horse trainer, and clinical psychologist, she's had the opportunity to live out many of her dreams. She’s even found the perfec ...more
More about Judith James...

Other Books in the Series

Rakes and Rogues of the Restoration (3 books)
  • Libertine's Kiss (Rakes and Rogues of the Restoration, #1)
  • The Highwayman (Rakes and Rogues of the Restoration, #3)

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