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Royal Romances: Titillating Tales of Passion and Power in the Palaces of Europe Paperback – November 6, 2012

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Royal Romances: Titillating Tales of Passion and Power in the Palaces of Europe + Notorious Royal Marriages: A Juicy Journey Through Nine Centuries of Dynasty, Destiny,and Desire + Royal Pains: A Rogues' Gallery of Brats, Brutes, and Bad Seeds
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: NAL Trade (November 6, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451238087
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451238085
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.3 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,077,307 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Praise for Leslie Carroll’s Royal Books:

“For those who enjoy reading about the scandals of the noble class, and want to learn more about the darker side of various royal families, this is a thoroughly enjoyable, quick read.” —Booklist

“Carroll writes with verve and wit...[An] irresistible combination of People Magazine and the History Channel.” —Chicago Tribune

About the Author

Leslie Carroll is the author of several works of historical nonfiction, women’s fiction, and, under the pen names Juliet Grey and Amanda Elyot, is a multipublished author of historical fiction. Her works include Royal Romances, Royal Pains, Royal Affairs, and Notorious Royal Marriages. She is also a classically trained professional actress with numerous portrayals of virgins, vixens, and villainesses to her credit, and is an award-winning audio book narrator.

A frequent commentator on royal romances and relationships, Leslie has been interviewed by numerous broadcast, online, and print media, including, USA Today, the Australian Broadcasting Company, NPR, Hearst Television, Inc., and she was a featured royalty historian on CBS nightly news in London during the royal wedding coverage of Prince William and Catherine Middleton. She also appears as an expert on the love lives of Queen Victoria, Marie Antoinette, Catherine the Great, and Napoleon on the Proper Television series “The Secret Life of [fill in the name of famous figure]” for Canada’s History Channel. Leslie and her husband, Scott, divide their time between New York City and Washington, D.C.


More About the Author

I used to tell people that I was born in Manhattan and raised in the Bronx; but the truth is that apart from the stellar education I received at the Fieldston School in Riverdale, much of who I am was shaped by my two grandmothers, who encouraged me to follow my bliss long before it became the sort of catchphrase you find on tee-shirts and new-age tchotchkes. My East Side grandmother took me to FAO Schwarz, the New York City Ballet, and afternoon tea at the Plaza Hotel, where I dreamed of becoming another Eloise. My West Side grandmother took me to the Central Park carousel and the zoo and treated me to colorful paper parasols and gummy, lukewarm pretzels from the vendors whose wares my East Side grandmother deemed too "dirty" for human consumption.

There are writers on both sides of my family, and although I always loved to write, I never anticipated that it would become my profession. I had wanted to be a ballerina; and though my club feet were corrected at birth (from the stilettos I adore now, you'd never know) and my short Achilles tendons made my toes turn in (corrected at the age of 9), I was never going to end up en pointe.

About a year later, I decided to become an actress when (if?) I grew up, and I never looked back. I majored in Theatre at Cornell University, worked in summer stock, and took classes with a couple of acknowledged masters. I performed a lot of Shakespeare and other classics in New York parks, basements, church choir lofts, and the occasional Off-Broadway theatre; then founded and ran my own nonprofit theatre company for several years. And when things got slow, and I found myself working three survival jobs simultaneously (one of them as a journalist and editor), I decided it was time to pursue an additional creative avenue.

Fast forward a decade. I'm now a multi-published author in three genres, as well as a freelance journalist. And I've also adapted a number of classic texts (IVANHOE; THE PRISONER OF ZENDA; THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL; Mark Twain's "The Diaries of Adam and Eve") for the stage. I began writing women's fiction and historical fiction simultaneously, but my first published novel was the urban romantic comedy MISS MATCH in 2002. In 2005, as I continued to write about feisty female New Yorkers, my first historical novel was published under the pen name Amanda Elyot. While keeping those literary plates spinning I made my historical nonfiction debut in the spring of 2008.

In what I laughingly refer to as my spare time, I'm still a professional actress, working when the scripts and the roles excite me.

I'm such a native New Yorker that I still don't have a driver's license, "Big Sky Country" means Central Park, and the farthest I've ever been from the Upper West Side for any great length of time was my four-year stint upstate in Ithaca, at Cornell, known for its rigorous academics and its equally harsh permafrost.

My birthday falls on the same day as two of my heroes--F. Scott Fitzgerald and Jim Henson. So I reread THE GREAT GATSBY every year and number Miss Piggy among the great actresses of her generation. My favorite color is deep hydrangea blue, and it just kills me that it doesn't look good with red hair.

I live in Manhattan with my husband Scott--who is my hero and everything I ever dreamed of. For the past couple of years we've been considering an addition to the family in the form of a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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See all 12 customer reviews
I received the book in good time and in great shape.
Betty Jo Jurries
You need to add this one to your history book collection- it's a must.
Amazon Customer
Looked forward to my reading time so I could finish it.
reader girl

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Judith Loriente on November 29, 2012
Format: Paperback
Royal Romances is the sort of popular history book that looks as if it's going to be trash and at which it is very easy to sneer, and at which people who have blind faith in the superiority of academic history (perhaps because they haven't read much of it) probably will sneer. Nonetheless, I'm pretty fussy when it comes to history books and don't like reading trash any more than I like reading dull-as-ditchwater academic works, yet I thought Royal Romances was a wonderfully readable work of popular history that appears to have an abnormally low number of factual errors. (I noted four: Henry II of France's stepmother is referred to as "a princess of Portugal" when she was a princess of Austria and Spain who was also Dowager Queen of Portugal; Mary Tudor is referred to as Philip of Spain's "first wife" when she was his second wife, since he had briefly been married to a Portuguese princess as a teenager; Marie Walewska's son by Napoleon is referred to as a "half cousin" of Napoleon III when their fathers were brothers, so that they were full first cousins; and Ludwig I of Bavaria is accidentally referred to as becoming "king of Munich upon the death of his father" when Munich was merely the capital of Bavaria.)

The book profiles the romances of Charles VII of France and Agnes Sorel, Henry II of France and Diane de Poitiers, Louis XIV and Madame de Montespan, Louis XIV and Madame de Maintenon, Sophia Dorothea of Celle and Count Konigsmark, Louis XV and Madame de Pompadour, Louis XV and Madame du Burry, Catherine the Great and Grigory Potemkin, Caroline Mathilde and Johann Struensee, Marie Antoinette and Count von Fersen, Napoleon Bonaparte and Marie Walewska, Ludwig I of Bavaria and Lola Montez, George VI and Elizabeth Bowes Lyon and Prince William and Catherine Middleton.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Tom D. Cyre on December 20, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I did like the book; it's good for anyone who likes history, but isn't too scholarly. The facts were pretty accurate,(as far as I know them), and the writer knows how to tell a good story
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Naomi Jameston on October 10, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Several of the stories made me cry. especially the mistresses of Louis XIV. I couldn't imagine how cold he could be to the women he'd spent so much time loving! But the story of Bertie and Betty absolutely made up for all of the sadness in the rest of the book. Up until the comment about Queen Elizabeth's jubilee and how it was a bittersweet moment for the Queen Mother, who had to realize that because her daughter had reigned for 50 years, the Queen Mother had been without her husband for the same amount of time. Someone pass the tissues!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By K. Leask on December 24, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Being a lover of romance and royalty, this book was a clear winner in my opinion. The author takes you on a journey through the royal houses of Europe and over a span of 600 years, with some of the most romantic tales between paramours. I loved reading of the 30 pages average tales of people falling in love and doing many extravagant things to keep it. The lengths that some people went to to hold onto to their lovers was quite extraordinary, some risking their kingdoms and mortal souls for the one they loved.

I would have given this book five stars, but I found that I disagreed with one of the stories, that being Ludwig I of Bavaria and Lola Montez. I did not agree that this was a true royal romance. Though Ludwig gave up his kingdom for his mistress, I found that it was nothing more than an old man disillusioned about the love he thought he was getting from Lola, who I believe was just a gold digging, immature harlot who cared nothing for her "lover". The woman kept more than one lover in the home he set up for her and was only happy with what she could bleed out of the sovereign into her greedy hands. The story was a tragic circus, not a royal romance. How sad I feel for Ludwig, and the way he was treated by Lola.

Besides that, the book was very good and I will read more from this author in the future. I thought she should have included a few more romantic stories, but looking over her other books, I think she may have it covered just fine.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 7, 2012
Format: Paperback
Leslie Carroll is well on her way to officially becoming THE "notorious Royal" historian when it comes to non-fiction on royal couples of past and present. I quickly became hooked on her series and practically devoured both: Notorious Royal Marriages (my review) and, Royal Pains (my review). Today's release of ROYAL ROMANCES, is no exception. Upbeat, detailed and spot-on, Carroll delivers an excellent account of some of the royal romances that still intrigue us even today.

Meticulously researched, in Royal Romances, Leslie Carroll gives us the scoop on what really happened back in the days. Nothing dry about this history! Filled with quotes and almost upto the minute retelling of events, each story flows right into the juicy stuff that history buffs are dying to know.

The couples chosen for this splendid history lesson are none other than the ones we are most curious about; some very well-known, but many new and fresh ones as well...some of these I personally knew very little about- yet they delighted me the most! The regulars, such as: Marie Antoinette and Count Fersen, Napoleon and Marie Walewka (yep-this time no Josephine), Louis XIV (my favourite king..)and Athenais and la Marquise de Maintenon, Louis XV and la Pompadour and la Du Barry, Sophia Dorothea and Count Konigsmark- too name a few-spilling with romance, secret encounters, despair, dangerous liaisons, and even tragedy. And then to my surprise, I reveled in learning about some very new historical figures such as Caroline Mathilde, Queen of Denmark as well as Charles VII and Agnes Sorel. Finally, the greatest treat of all, was the inclusion of Kate and William- what a finale! No other royal publication (even royal magazines)I've ever read came close to the details I found here.
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