Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Courtly Pleasures (Courtly Love, #1)” as Want to Read:
Courtly Pleasures (Courtly Love, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Courtly Pleasures

(Courtly Love #1)

3.52  ·  Rating details ·  82 ratings  ·  28 reviews
What’s a neglected wife to do when her husband doesn’t know she exists? Create a scandal, of course, in this delightful Elizabethan romp.

After ten years of marriage, Frances LeSieur has faded into her role as a lady wife and mother. She has no idea who she is as a woman. So Frances joins Queen Elizabeth’s glittering court and discovers a part of herself she never knew exis
ebook, 272 pages
Published December 4th 2017 by Crimson Romance
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Courtly Pleasures, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Courtly Pleasures

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.52  · 
Rating details
 ·  82 ratings  ·  28 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Courtly Pleasures (Courtly Love, #1)
The worldbuilding and the heroine really made the book for me.
expected more from the premise but it was really quite a mess, with all that villainy and almost-rapes and lack of communication. the change from doormat to a fancy court lady seemed way too extreme. and henry was a tool.
bonus points for the Good Book That Saves Lives
Dec 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
I have been reading many novels from the Victorian era but I was pleasantly surprised by “Courtly Pleasures” which is set in the Elizabethan era. Ms Kane has presented a romance that is interwoven with the historical events surrounding St Bart’s massacre and has included many characters that were involved in the time period. I often wish that the author’s note actually appeared at the beginning of the novel, as this aspect was a particularly fascinating part of the story. The novel centres aroun ...more
Mari's Struggle is Real
Nov 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really liked Frances. I didn’t like Henry in the beginning for being such a lousy husband, but towards the end he improves a lot. Although I can’t be too mad at Henry, nobody showed him how to be a good husband. It is bittersweet that it took 10 years for them to finally want to get to know each other and confide in one another as a husband and wife should do.

*ARC graciously provided via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!
May 02, 2019 rated it liked it
This book is so mixed I'm not sure how to rate it - there's so much good, the heroine suffering from postpartum depression, sexual discovery after adulthood, second-chance rediscovery romance within a marriage, finding a plot device to make the hero get Suddenly Good at Sex without him having sex with other ladies, and a pretty well-considered historical setting and references to real historical events. But there were irritating problems, like the hero undergoing positive character development f ...more
Raquel Byrnes
Dec 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Courtly Pleasures is a fun, romantic, breathless ride. Taking place during the reign of Elizabeth I, the story of Frances, a young wife and mother struggling to reinvent herself at court is a fresh look at second chance love. When her neglectful husband is forced to get to know her all over again amid palace intrigue and the sumptuous festivities of court life, he realizes that despite his career untangling secrets, he has no understanding of who his young wife truly is. Or what they could truly ...more
Maggie Whitworth
Dec 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing

Set in the reign of Elizabeth 1st , this is a brilliantly written story of a woman , Francis , who after 10years Of marriage and now aged 25 realises she needs to live her life even if only for a while , so she leaves her children and seeks her rarely seen husband in London .
Henry is shocked when his wife arrives at his rooms in Westminster and informs him she wants a separation, that she can’t stand to be used by him anymore and wants to become one of the Queens lady’s at the palac
Dec 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review. The story involves two people who were married at ages 15 & 14 and had no idea what marriage was about except to create children. At age 24 and after losing a second child Frances decides she has done her duty with three live children. She wants a separation to go to court to try and find herself. The book involves danger, attempted murder, flirtation and eventually love. It is a good read and I would recommend it.
Mar 26, 2018 rated it it was ok
I almost dnf because I disliked Henry so much. But then I realized that the whole appeal of a book like this is to watch the H be an a$$ and then change for the better so I gave him another chance. Henry ignores his wife and only comes home when it's time to knock her up again? He has neglected her in the extreme, doesn't even remember the names of his children who have died, and I'm supposed to feel sorry for him because they married so young and he's confused? Well, he's a grown man now, and I ...more
Apr 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A totally immersive read. In a detailed setting rich with details about the politics, morals, and tastes of Elizabeth I's court, Frances struggles through the shoulds, the coulds, and the woulds surrounding duty to husband, family, and self. I enjoyed many of the characters' changes, each revealing more of their true selves--some for the better, some the worse! A nice balance of romance, intrigue, and exploration, I look forward to reading more. ...more
The Researcher
Dec 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Courtly pleasures is a novel that revolves around a depressed, neglected but sensual wife and her husband. Her husband holds a reputed place at the queen's court and has many matters of the state to settle. However, he is slightly amiss in his duties towards his family. So, one day his wife decided to separate from him and make a new life for her at the court where she discovers flirting, passion , lust and more importantly her confidence and happiness. It was interesting to see how her husband ...more
Feb 27, 2018 marked it as dnf  ·  review of another edition
I really wanted to love this, but apparently the fastest way to throw me out of a story is to mention Katherine Howard, Henry VIII's third wife. ...more
Mar 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Courtly Pleasures

This was a good read for me. I needed a light hearted story to just get lost in. It was a good love story with a hint of mystery to it. I enjoyed the book very much.
Erin Spock
Nov 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Warning: this is clearly not an objective review.

This book is about a woman's journey toward self-respect and ownership of her happiness. The fact that she discovers love with her husband along the way is almost incidental, but sweet. It is a historical romance with that element of fantasy and escapism implicit in the genre.

Thank you to the reader that pointed out the glaring historical inaccuracy regarding Henry VIII's wives. It's still amazes me that I wrote it and it got past all the rounds o
Meghan V
Feb 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Such a pleasure!!! As an avid romance reader, I judged this book quickly by the cover and was completely unprepared for the world this book thrust me into. It's political, filled with historical tidbits, and utterly romantic in a very progressive way- ironic for a book set in Elizabethan England. If you like your heroines smart and your heroes willing to learn from past mistakes, read this. Read it now! ...more
Aug 23, 2019 rated it liked it
I’m not a huge fan of historical fiction set during this era but I enjoyed this a lot. The aspect I had the most difficulty with was the lack of focus on the heroine’s role as a mother. Given the serious issues raised directly connected to motherhood, I was surprised that there was no exploration of them.
Mar 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a gem. Every paragraph is perfection.

I read so much that for the sake of the roof over my head, I get almost everything from the library and occasionally indulge in sales. For Erin Kane Spock's next book, I placed a pre-order. Full price. No regrets.
Annette Drake
Mar 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A pleasure to read.

Entertaining. Historically accurate. Relatable characters and strong pacing kept me turning pages. A delightful and satisfying end as well. Fun.
Feb 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance
While mostly a simple enough plot, this book is enlivened by the unusual Elizabethan setting. I am a general fan of married couples working together for their HEA and I am also a big fan of husbands grovelling so this book hit the spot for me.

Basically, the story is that our heroine asks for a separation after losing one of her babies and then goes on a journey of self discovery which includes falling in love with her husband. I found her to be a convincing, strong character who has clearly bee
Sep 03, 2019 rated it liked it
I liked the idea of the book but I could not connect with the characters. I could understand both sides and how they became estranged in the first place but for the times I could not understand why Francis fought Henry so hard when he made a true effort to reconcile. It is strange, I read this book a few months ago and I had a hard time connecting with the h Frances she seemed shallow to me. Yes I understood her wanting her relationship with her husband to change but when her husband realizes hi ...more
Anne Libera
Mar 31, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: romance-novels
The romance and the setting were refreshing and interesting but there was something that kept niggling at me, despite some clear research on the part of the author there was a modernity to both the characters and the drawing of various moments that took me out of the book. As an example,it may well be that the pirate masque and its foods were historically accurate but the description read like a party held at a swank 21st century hotel.
Amanda Richardson
Jan 22, 2018 rated it did not like it
Could not get into "Courtly Pleasures," the main characters had no chemistry and no love lost or found between them. After being married for 10 years, they were still strangers. Seemed unrealistic that these two would fall in love. Did not finish. Received advanced copy from NetGalley. ...more
Susan Sackett
It's hard to enjoy a book written by someone who has an academic background in history who confuses Jane Seymour with Katheryn Howard. The typos were distracting. ...more
Bethany Kok
Unusual and fun to read a historical romance set during the Elizabethan era! The tone is oddly mellow given the subject matter (post-partum depression and attempted regicide).
Jun 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018
It’s not particularly well written but it’s a quick, fun and entertaining read.
Nov 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wow! This was so different from the norm in so many ways. I loved the richness of the setting and the historically accurate marriage. Lovely work. Thank you!
Apr 29, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: deleted
Such a disappointment to see a lovely story line (4 stars) ruined by anachronistic language and a poorly-produced Kindle version (typos, etc.) (0 stars).
Maria Drakidis
rated it it was ok
Dec 09, 2017
rated it liked it
Feb 18, 2018
rated it did not like it
Mar 23, 2018
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Dark Affair (Mad Passions, #3)
  • The Pages of the Mind (The Uncharted Realms, #1)
  • Daughter of the Forest  (Sevenwaters, #1)
  • The Next Always (Inn BoonsBoro Trilogy, #1)
  • The Lion's Den
  • For the Wolf (Wilderwood, #1)
  • Women of the Dunes
  • The Last Duel: A True Story of Crime, Scandal, and Trial by Combat in Medieval France
  • The House Between Tides
  • Someone You Love
  • Beginner's Luck (Chance of a Lifetime, #1)
  • An Offer From a Gentleman (Bridgertons, #3)
  • Flight (The Texas Murder Files, #2)
  • Hidden (The Texas Murder Files, #1)
  • Sworn to Silence (Kate Burkholder, #1)
  • Storm's Heart (Elder Races, #2)
  • Dragon Bound (Elder Races, #1)
  • Serpent's Kiss (Elder Races, #3)
See similar books…
My name is Erin Spock and I am a writer. Well, that is, I write better than I speak and my head full of stories has to have some outlet.

I became fascinated with the Elizabethan era after my high school drama group attended a Renaissance fair. I received my BA from CSU San Marcos with a major in History (I focused on the social history of the Renaissance). When I am not writing, I am a history and

Other books in the series

Courtly Love (3 books)
  • Courtly Scandals (Courtly Love, #2)
  • Courtly Abandon (Courtly Love, #3)

Related Articles

If you've already burned all the way through the Bridgertons series (both the books and the Netflix show) and find yourself still longing for...
95 likes · 15 comments