The Harlot's Daughter
by: Blythe Gifford
Published by: Harlequin (October)
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Reviewed by Wendy Hines
Based on historical events, this book is a quick and interesting read filled with intrigue, politics and romance. It does not disappoint for action.
Joan, or Solay as she is called, is the daughter of the ex-King and his mistress, or so she thinks. After the King is deposed and another takes her place, she moves with her mother and younger sister to the countryside, basically in exile from the populace. Running low on funds, her mother sends her to court to beg favor from the King that he might give them money annually. The King, meanwhile, answers to Parliament, and is not exactly in charge of the treasury. Solay goes to court, among snickers and rumors of her heritage, and cajoles and lies her way into the King’s favor.
When things are looking in her favor, Justin, the lawyer steps in.
Justin is sick and tired of people and their games and lies. Of course, he has his own, but that is different. Working with Parliament to stop a corrupt King is wearing him out. When he notices Solay attempting to get money from the King, he steps in to figure out what is going on, and let her know she will not get a cent without Parliament’s approval. Solay does everything within her power to gain his favor, but he sees right through her tricks.
In the background of the story is a power-hungry party King and his cronies, married men having affairs, and a Pope annulling his marriage for some reason never given. There is a little sister who wants to be a man, a power-hungry abd loveless mother, and a dead wife.
There is also a power hungry Parliament and clerks, terrified judges, and at the very center of the storm, two people whom say they love each other, but don’t even know themselves.
Each character in this book hoard secrets and lies like a candy stash. Though the characters are believable, none are likeable. I spent the entire book trying to figure out who were the good guys and who were the bad ones. I wanted to root for someone to win, but in the end, I’m not sure which side won because both were good and bad.
Also, we don’t find out enough about the charactgers and their personalities to either like or dislike them. Though the story ran smoothly, I felt let down. It was extremely impersonal.
Armchair Interviews says: Heed this reviewer’s comments.
Author’s Web site: http://www.BlytheGifford.com
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