Blythe Gifford The Harlot’s Daughter Reviews

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“The Harlot's Daughter ”


written by Harriet Klausner on 22/09/2007

The Harlot's Daughter
Blythe Gifford
Harlequin Historical, Oct 2007, $5.99
ISBN: 9780373294701

In 1376 with the death of the king, his mistress and her two young daughters from her royal paramour are exiled. Now a decade later, the older illegitimate offspring Lady Joan Weston known as Lady Solay has come to plead with King Richard II for leniency for her impoverished mother and sister and a place at court for her. As everyone watches the Doxy's Daughter step forward. The Parliament Oversight Council lawyer Lord Justin Lamont thinks the mother of Joan the Elder almost destroyed the realm, but he cannot pull his eyes from her.

King Richard assigns Joan to read the stars on his birthday. Meanwhile Lord Justin and the Council struggle with Richard's giving presents to his friends while demanding higher taxes to pay for his gifts. Having been fooled by beautiful eyes before and knowing the damage her mother did, Justin distrusts Lady Joan although he attracted to her especially her violet eyes. To their mutual chagrin, King Richard orders them to wed because his assignment for Joan is to spy on Justin and the Council. Joan knows firsthand how cruel the Council can be and how much her mother and sister need her to pull them out of poverty, so she accepts the royal decree; knowing that she will be betraying the man she loves.

In spite a zillion takes set during the reign of King Richard II, few historical romances contain the late fourteenth century atmosphere of the royal court as THE HARLOT'S DAUGHTER possesses. The story line provides a powerful look at pre Magna Carta intrigue between the youthful monarch and Parliament. Especially insightful is the avaricious hanger-ons that will remind the audience of heavyweight champions' retinues. The romance between the lead couple is deftly designed to provide a beautiful love story of apparent star-crossed lovers caught in a web of domestic spying and vile gossip are the norm.

Harriet Klausner

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