Book Review

“Libertine’s Kiss” by Judith James

STORY: When William de Veres turns up at Elizabeth’s home late one night, she asks no questions, but instead takes him in, tends his wounds, and gives him one glorious night of passion.

William never knew that Elizabeth’s act of charity cost her greatly. Once Cromwell’s men discover that Elizabeth gave aid to one of Charles’ cavaliers, they seize her family’s estates, thus forcing Elizabeth into an unwanted marriage in order to survive. As a widow, Elizabeth arrives in the Merry Monarch’s court hoping to convince the king to restore her lands.

William, now Earl Rivers and the court’s official poet, knows he must help his old friend. He knows exactly how to repackage Elizabeth so that she can capture the king’s attention, but what this infamous libertine doesn’t expect is that he will fall in love with his new creation instead.

REVIEW: I truly thought that Judith James could not write a better book than her “Broken Wing” one, but I was so wrong. This is one of those books that you CAN NOT put down and then do something else. A reader is compelled to finish it in one heart wrenching swoop…unless this particular reader is so darn lucky to have her husband point to a TV screen and catch an IFC movie with Johnny Depp as he plays “THE LIBERTINE” )!

So, I put the book to the side, and watched this tragic story of 2nd Earl of Rochester, to which the character of William is based.

WOW!!! I have to say that William would make our Rock Stars blush!

We follow his life first as a boy, then as a cavalier, and finally as a courtier in Charles II’s Court. Have you ever read a story that you could literally HEAR the voice of the protagonist? I mean, REALY hear it? Really feel what they feel so as that you’re at the point of going through their emotions? It is a rare thing for me, and I must say that Judith James has done an excellent job of taking me to this point! I FELT William. I HEARD William (Toby Stephens).

Oh, and what a wonderful character Lizzy was. I was there with her on that tree, when she first meets Will, and I was there with her when she sits on the bed with Charlie, and with her as she tries so hard to accept her love of Will as Lord Rivers.

I have so much more to say about it, but I dare not to, as I might give away too much. And I would hate to do that to you.
This story is meant to be savored and enjoyed. I highly recommend it to all readers of historical romance!

The period in which this story develops is just fascinating. This story will capture you from the first page as we meet Will on the run from the Law, keep you turning the pages to find out why he’s so cynical, and keep you rooting for this man to finally come to terms with his Demons. Please do not pass this one up…trust me, you’ll be sorry you did.

Melanie for b2b


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