Bianka (USA: VA) (2011/05/17):
This is the story of Catherine of Braganza, the Portuguese princess who married the merry monarch, Charles II of England. It was a political alliance that the Portuguese made in hopes that the marriage would keep Spain from Portugal's shores. In return, Charles II was promised a large sum of ready money. The fact that Catherine was Catholic and Charles was a Protestant in a Protestant country was not a bar to their marriage,
This was no storybook marriage, as Charles II was a notorious philanderer noted for his long term affair with Lady Barbara Castelmaine, a woman with whom he had a number of out of wedlock children. This would cause Catherine great heartache, especially as she would ultimately prove to be barren. Still, Charles II and Catherine were eventually to achieve an affection and respect for each other that would enable Charles II to disregard the importuning of his advisers to set aside his barren, Catholic, Portuguese wife and marry another.
This is an interesting account of the relationship of Charles II and Catherine of Braganza, set across the backdrop of the Restoration, as well as the religious strife and political upheavals of the day. Although primarily historical fiction, there is an element of romance to the book. Those who like romantic historical fiction will certainly enjoy this book.