Royal Harlot: A Novel of the Countess of Castlemaine and King Charles II
Susan Holloway Scott brought to life the racy world of post-Restoration England in her acclaimed novel Duchess. Now she returns to this decadent world with the enthralling story of one of history's most notorious women -- the voluptuous favorite of King Charles II…
Ready to throw off a generation of Puritan rule, all England rejoices when Charles Stuart returns to reclaim the throne. Among those welcoming him is young Barbara Villiers Palmer, a breathtaking Royalist beauty whose sensuality and clever wit instantly captivate the handsome, jaded king.
Though each is promised to another, Barbara soon becomes Charles’s mistress and closest friend, and the uncrowned queen of his bawdy Restoration court. Rewarded with titles, land, and jewels, she is the most envied and desired woman in England––and the most powerful.
But the role of royal mistress is a precarious one, and Barbara’s enemies and rivals are everywhere in the palace. Even kings can lose their heads to treason, and swirling political intrigue brings new threats and danger—until not even Charles himself is safe.
In this world where love is no more than a game, and power the ultimate aphrodisiac, only one woman holds the key to it all: Barbara, Countess of Castlemaine, Duchess of Cleveland, and the royal harlot.