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Elizabeth Lombard, Mistress Shore, Lizbeth, Jane... whatever you want to call this woman, she was still a silly nitwit who spreads her legs for certain men, but not others... shallow, turned on in an instant and while not a complete strumpet, she certainly acted like one at times.
I didn't enjoy the slut shaming that occurred periodically throughout the book, it was unneeded and completely unwanted. I didn't enjoy the fairly frequent remarks that Elizabeth was always sleeping around, it was hinted at, it was whispered in hushed tones, it was overtly stated and it was even put in a proclamation.
I think the story relied too heavily on the scandal of being the King's Mistress and the hushed suggestions that women were too liberal with their vajayjays and not smart enough to keep their legs together.
The thing that probably annoyed me most was that Lizbeth kept telling everyone (especially those that she slept with) that she wasn't that kind of girl, yet still went ahead and slept with them.
I did like the relationship between Lizbeth and Lord Hastings, I felt that it was a very realistic relationship and, despite her being his mistress, I felt that they had a real rapport and I enjoyed the barbs they threw at each other and the mutual respect they each had. I enjoyed too the adult (and non-sexual) discussions Lizbeth had with both Lord Hastings and Ned. They were the highlights.
I think the feel of the history in the story was well done. I got a sense of the 1400s, the way in which people lived and died. That was rather rich - the class system, the intricate path in which a mistress was to ensure she walked upon and the way in which she was to conduct herself all seemed well constructed and fully embellished.
If you're looking for a nice historical romance, this is not for you. If you want to read about beheadings, hangings, burnings, stoning and all other means of killing or hurting someone, then pick this one up. You might really enjoy it.
**Note: I received this as an ARC from the publisher**