The Point of the Plot
Emily Townsend is determined to serve her eccentric, rich mistress in dignity, while her eccentric, rich mistress is determined to find her beautiful companion a rich husband. And to make matters worse, the old lady's grandson discovers he's in love with Emily only after he's hastily engaged himself to someone else.
Basically Believable: ****
Okay, I'll admit it; it's probably nigh impossible to earn five stars with me on believability. Ms. Hern knows regency. In fact, I didn't give her five stars only because it's a bit too believable. Too believable, you say. How can it be too believable? The story goes into too much detail, and perhaps I don't read enough regency romance--no, that can't be true--but many of the descriptions simply lost me and slowed down the story. And as with any good story worth reading, I was engrossed enough to only notice one or two times when the characters slipped out of their otherwise thoroughly regency speech.
Charismatic Characters: *****
I adore romance heroines who don't fall to tears every thirty seconds, and especially ones who don't lap up the obvious "havey-cavey" advances of dirty villains just for a good twist in the story. Emily is definitely good for that. And although Lady Bradleigh's roguish grandson Robert is your typical reformed rake, he's still so well done that it hardly manners. And Lady Bradleigh herself is just a jewel, even if a bit stereotypical herself.
Yay or Yuck? (The Final Word): ***
On one hand there's far, far too much telling. On the other hand, it's still worth reading. One of the issues is that in too many cases, Emily or Robert recount scenes after they've happened, as they're sitting in their bedroom after ball or while one of them stares at the other across the room. In addition, the story didn't really get rolling until just over halfway through. Big chunks of the beginning, while Emily, Lady Bradleigh, and Robert are in Bath, could definitely be cut, as well as scenes where either Emily or Robert recount a scene from their point of view that we've already seen from the other point of view. However, if you like regency romance, you will like this story. I certainly did!
A Cautionary Tale: This is definitely a sweet romance, but there are a couple mere moments of "spice."
Favorite quote--"If [Augusta] meant to make him jealous, Robert thought, she was far off the mark. He would have to care first." and "...his mouth plundered hers."
Buy "A Proper Companion" here.