HelenEdith's Blog

The minutiae of my life, plus website updates and book reviews

Book Review: Amanda Quick – The Paid Companion

Posted by HelenEdith on November 8, 2008

Amanda Quick, a.k.a. Jayne Ann Krentz, writes an enjoyable Regency romance with plenty of skullduggery thrown in to make it more than just a “boy meets girl” story.

This book starts with a prologue for Arthur, The Earl of St. Merryn; and a separate prologue Miss Elenora Lodge. Arthur’s prologue describes the night when his fiancée elopes with another man and he observes that selecting a wife might be more successful if he went about it the same way as he would select a paid companion; while Elenora’s prologue describes the day when her deceased step-father’s creditors evict her from her home with the help of a Bow Street Runner called Mr. Hitchins.

Things move on and Elenora travels to London and finds employment as a paid companion with a rather eccentric lady, but with her employment coming to an end, she has returned to the employment agency who found her the post. She isn’t having much success with the posts they send her to interview for, and arrives back at the agency ready to have it out with them just when Arthur is at the agency looking for a paid companion. He doesn’t tell the agency, but he wants the paid companion to act as his fiancée while he goes about finding out who has murdered his uncle. He needs a fiancée or society’s mamas will be thrusting their daughters under his nose and he won’t have time to go about his murder enquiry.

The agency aren’t very pleased with Elenora, who isn’t as meek as your run-of-the-mill companion, and try to show her the door, but Arthur is impressed by her spirit and decides that she’s just the woman for the job he has in mind. He has already installed a widowed relative in his house to lend propriety to the situation and Elenora moves in.

Elenora locks horns fairly soon with the butler, who is quite a crooked character. She also takes Society by storm, clad in a new wardrobe provided by the discreetly close-lipped dressmaker of her previous employer.

Meanwhile, Arthur pursues his enquiries, only to discover that this uncle’s death isn’t the only recent suspicious death. He and Elenora continue on the trail of the killer. They also fall in love. There’s quite an entertaining passage about a blue garter as a result of that!

This is the sort of book where you expect everything to come out right in the end, and indeed it does, with the killer being unmasked and Arthur and Elenora turning their fictional engagement into a real marriage.

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