Book Review: Royal Mistress by Anne Easter Smith

LONFrom the author of A Rose for the Crown and Daughter of York comes another engrossing historical novel of the York family in the Wars of the Roses, telling the fascinating story of the rise and fall of the final and favorite mistress of Edward IV.

Jane Lambert, the quick-witted and alluring daughter of a silk merchant, is twenty-two and still unmarried. When Jane’s father finally finds her a match, she’s married off to the dull, older silk merchant William Shore—but her heart belongs to another. Marriage doesn’t stop Jane Shore from flirtation, however, and when the king’s chamberlain and friend, Will Hastings, comes to her husband’s shop, Will knows his King will find her irresistible.

Edward IV has everything: power, majestic bearing, superior military leadership, a sensual nature, and charisma. And with Jane as his mistress, he also finds true happiness. But when his hedonistic tendencies get in the way of being the strong leader England needs, his life, as well as that of Jane Shore and Will Hastings, hang in the balance.

This dramatic tale has been an inspiration to poets and playwrights for 500 years, and told through the unique perspective of a woman plucked from obscurity and thrust into a life of notoriety, Royal Mistress is sure to enthrall today’s historical fiction lovers as well.

My Thoughts:

I have read quite a few of Anne Easter Smith’s books. I have enjoyed them and I will probably try again at some point. This book however, yikes. The start on this one was an absolute slog. It really just goes on and on for so long about a fictional romance between Jane Shore and Tom Grey. I mean yes Jane is key to this story of course, being that she is perhaps the most well known Mistress of Edward VI, but wow that slog was just to much. Even for me, and I can respect a slow burn sometimes. I can. Not this time though, frankly I found it unforgiveable.

Follow up the next sin of Jane just not growing at all as a character. She spends the whole book just needing and getting the attention of every man she comes across. It is just like, wow. Okay, doesn’t she learn from anything? I understand she ends up being a royal Mistress and all of that but honestly I expected more. There was so much material to work with that could have given us a better understanding of Jane. Or at least made her somewhat likeable. In the end she just wasn’t and for me when I read a book and cannot connect with the main character, it becomes a misery for me. This one gets a skip from me.


My Star Rating:

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