Kelly's Reviews > Sex with Kings: 500 Years of Adultery, Power, Rivalry, and Revenge

Sex with Kings by Eleanor Herman
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May 07, 2009

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If you like history and nonfiction, this is an entertaining read. It's not as graphic as the title might suggest, instead it explores the influence that mistresses have had on kings for centuries. You can read about one mistress at a time, jump to different chapters in the book (it's done by mistress) and not worry about leaving it for long periods of time and returning, since each chapter could stand alone. I think it does a decent job of telling the other side of the story, discussing what a mistress needed to do in order to successfully keep a king's attention long enough to secure a place in society and a decent retirement. It's fun, it's accurate, and it's entertaining. That said, I don't think you could read it cover to cover without getting bored, since the overall impression of many of these relationships between mistress and king are the same. So read a chapter here and there, when you need to feel thankful that your most valuable assets are not declining with each day that you age. (It's also great if you're looking for strategies for keeping powerful men entertained... these mistresses were excellent at it. But I'm not sure any of us are up for the task any more. Can you imagine never yelling at your husband?)
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