The Painted Lady by Maeve Haran
This well written historical novel tells the story of Frances Stuart, the beautiful ingénue who captured the heart of a king.When sixteen year old Frances arrives at the English court, her vulnerability and innocence acts as a magnet to a King who is well adept at getting what he wants from women, and yet he can't accept that this one women is beyond his reach. There was endless speculation at the time about "La Belle Stuart" and her relationship with the King, and the "have they, or haven't they" element to their romance added fuel to 17c gossip mongers.
Beautifully descriptive of the restoration period this book brings to life the glittering court of Charles II. The rivalry that existed between the king's mistresses is expertly captured, and yet it's refreshing to read a restoration romance that doesn't involve graphic descriptions of Charles II's sex life !
I enjoyed it, and hope that Maeve Haran continues to write such good historical fiction.