“Close to 5 stars, but just not quite there. The history was largely accurate and the characters were done well. The protestations of love could get old, though.”see full review » see other reviews »
Didn’t Like It
“I love historical fiction and I've read many books like this but none were so badly written. Her sentences have no flow or rhythym, mostly because she uses too many words to describe things and doesn't let the story carry itself. She is constantly trying to include minor details, that, instead of...”see full review » see other reviews »
“Close to 5 stars, but just not quite there. The history was largely accurate and the characters were done well. The protestations of love could get old, though.”Megan S wrote this review Thursday, October 20, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
1993, Historical Fiction (1500s France)
Pocket, $5.99, 576 pages, Amazon ASIN 0671740652
In the France of olde, Diane de Poitiers returns to the court of Francois I after an informal exile of five years. The two were involved in a scandalous relationship then, and though he'd like to start it up again, she wants to begin anew. She is thirtyone, beautiful, and clever. She is also strong, putting up a brave front when she is shunned, criticized, and then poisoned. Just when she's ready to pack it in, Henri de Valois walks in, and her life is forever changed.
After years in captivity by the King of Spain, the young prince returns to his father's court. He holds a strong grudge against his father, trusts no one, and cannot be "handled." Not quite a man, Henri finds himself with responsibilities to his country. He eventually finds himself responsible for defending the life of a woman nearly twice his age - one Diane de Poitiers. Their relationship will continue throughout his entire life.
Henri and Diane meet as friends initially, then meet and meet, always as friends, until, one day, passion sparks in a kiss. Diane knows it is wrong to have an intimate relationship with someone nearly half her age, but she feels the pull of her soul to his. The love they share is unique. Eventually Henri finds himself married to another woman and the ruler of his country. But he wants Diane by his side. And, Henri must have a legal heir. Although Diane is still shunned at court, she chooses to remain at his side.
Through highs and lows, Henri and Diane's love remains. This is not puppy love or infatuation - this is the once in a lifetime kind of love read about in fairytales, and it is this relationship I have always loved since first reading Courtesan. You will be entralled from start to finish about this romance between a King and "the other woman." The author provides vivid details both of country life and life at court. Because this is based on a true story, the history comes alive. There are laughter and tears found in this book, many, many tears.
Henri, the romantic king, overcome with love for his "uncrowned queen," is a wonderful hero. And Diane is the ever-youthful heroine. Diane and Henri. . . lovers forever. Courtesan will break your heart but will leave you with something to carry on.
“This book is a historical drama and romance based on the raucous court of King Henri II. This second son was an unlikely candidate for king, but when he is introduced into court, he becomes obsessed with the widowed Diane de Poitiers. Diane was of noble blood but the King of France pursued her as his courtesan. Though she swore to never be one, she fell quickly in love with his son Henri, who became king after a series of misfortunes. The book is heartbreaking and frustrating, but absolutely a great read. I suggest reading it in succession with The Other Boleyn Girl.”Genevieve F wrote this review Friday, September 11, 2009. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This book was very well written and I actually liked, which surprised me. I generally hate Diane de Poitiers and tend to support Catherine de Medici. But the author made me like Diane. It was a page turner and I couldn't put it down!!”Mrs. Slocombe wrote this review Friday, June 12, 2009. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“ I love historical fiction and I've read many books like this but none were so badly written. Her sentences have no flow or rhythym, mostly because she uses too many words to describe things and doesn't let the story carry itself. She is constantly trying to include minor details, that, instead of creating more depth to the story, just make it more tedious. I was not surprised when I discovered that it was her first attempt at published writing, I hope that if I read another book of hers that there is more plot development rather then emphasis on the scenery. Although, I definitely won't be buying another book by her; I'll visit the library”Cara B wrote this review Saturday, September 6, 2008. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No