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The Lady's Companion

3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  462 ratings  ·  58 reviews
Miss Susan Hampton was a lady born and bred. She never imagined she would have to make her own way in the world. But that was before her feckless father gamed away the family estate. That was before her odious aunt turned her into an unpaid servant. Now Susan had fled that tyranny- only to wonder if she had leapt out of the frying pan into the fire.

In a remote country mano...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published June 1st 1996 by Signet
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Lord Carew's Bride by Mary BaloghReforming Lord Ragsdale by Carla    KellyThe Temporary Wife by Mary BaloghMrs. Drew Plays Her Hand by Carla    KellySummer Campaign by Carla    Kelly
Traditional Regency
78th out of 460 books — 184 voters
The Leopard Prince by Elizabeth HoytAgain the Magic by Lisa KleypasSeduce Me at Sunrise by Lisa KleypasMarried By Morning by Lisa KleypasAn Offer From a Gentleman by Julia Quinn
Servant Heroes/Heroines In Romance
28th out of 155 books — 120 voters

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Community Reviews

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Loved it! ♥ 5 stars! This is a digital re-issue of a 1996 Signet Regency. I like Carla Kelly for STORY as well as love story, and for including tidbits of history. Plus, she writes well, alternating the light with the dark, employing imagery, vivid descriptions, humor, and flowing dialogue. I have only a few minor gripes, noted at the end.

Not sure how to rate the steam factor, but there's kissing along with explicit caressing of specific hot spots before the love scenes fade to black.

Miss Susan...more
Laura (Kyahgirl)
5/5; 5 stars; A+

To me this is historical romance at its finest and a perfect example of why I love this author.

In the beginning when she was describing the life of the family of a gambling addict I could feel the hopelessness and despair in the air. It was that vivid. As the story progressed, the characters along the way became equally as vivid.
One of the things I admire about this author is her ability to create believable characters and to make the historical setting come to life. She also p...more
It is hard for Carla Kelly not to write a good historical romance. Her characters are believable, there is just the right amount of angst and tension, and her stories contain bits of humor. The hero is never perfect but, oh, what a guy! Simply put, her men are the marrying kind.

THE LADY'S COMPANION has a young noblewomen, Susan Hampton, in dire straits. Her father is a compulsive gambler and childlike in many ways. He eventually gambles away every last possession in their household. Rather than...more
Jane Stewart
Different. Nice. Enjoyable. A comfortable romance.

Susan is a lady. Her father gambles the family into poverty. Susan finds a job as a lady’s companion. She falls in love with the bailiff - below her class. Her relatives are horrified that she would be with anyone of that class. I enjoyed the relationship development. I enjoyed things with the employer. No stupid stuff. No contrived conflicts.

This might be for readers who do not want sex scenes. There is one vaguely referred to, no details. Other...more
Lady Wesley
Another five-star read from Carla Kelly.

Susan Hampton's father, Sir Rodney, is a gambler. Indeed he's such a bad gambler that he's lost everything, including Susan's pearls inherited from her late mother. After Susan and Sir Rodney moved in with his sister, Susan realizes that her future role will be as the unpaid, unappreciated servant to her haughty aunt. Determined to control that future herself, she impulsively gets a job as a companion to the widowed Lady Bushnell and takes herself off to t...more
The words that immediately spring to mind when writing about this book are “charming”, “warm” and “honest”.

The story opens on the twenty-fifth birthday of Susan Hampton, only daughter of inveterate gambler Sir Rodney Hampton. He has lost almost everything of value that they own, and Kelly very skilfully draws a picture of the Hamptons’ impoverished circumstances. Susan’s relationship with her father at the outset reminded me somewhat of that of Amy Dorrit and her father; loving but by no means b...more
Katrina Passick Lumsden
I love this book. Carla Kelly managed to write an engaging story with a satisfying romance that wasn't dependent upon the H&H constantly bickering with each other.
I wanted to slowly read this book – to slowly devour every word. I started the book, had one sleepless night thinking about it and then read the rest of the book the next afternoon. I loved this book!! The hero and heroine are so great – two tortured, abused people who find each other and everything good happens to them!! It was just so romantic and warm!! I just picture them together forever and all their little children. And if I could be a character in a book – I would want to be Susan in thi...more
This is now where I wish I could write reviews like some other reviewers are able too. I just don't have the right words.
Carla Kelly is always a sure thing for me. I know I will get an incredible read, characters I can care for and a quiet understated way of seeing the world she writes about.

And this too is a quiet one. Or so I thought. It is quiet yet substantial. The characters became so very dear to me that I felt everything along with them. So quiet that I didn't notice how deep it went un...more
Trissa White
The first 75% of this book was 5 stars! I can't eloquently explain why but it became 4 stars after they were married. I almost wish it would have ended sooner because of that. I loved the book even with the rating decrease. So many of the characters, no matter how brief their role in the story, were genuinely good and kind. I liked that a lot! I loved the main characters.

All but a few pages (newlyweds) were clean. even those were far from what most would deem inappropriate but I wouldn't want a...more
My goodness, Carla Kelly is a good writer.

The heroine, Susan, is an upper-class girl who has the misfortune to be the daughter of a father who is what we would now refer to as a gambling addict. He eventually loses everything they own - his estate, his daughter's dowry, their townhouse - and they have to throw themselves on her aunt's charity. And it is charity. When Susan realizes that staying there will mean a lifetime of servitude as a resented guest-cum-unpaid-companion, and knowing that wi...more
Ana T.
Carla Kelly is usually a hit and miss author with me but I always grab her books with some expectation. I had no idea what this book was about but I couldn't resist getting it because she usually writes about different characters. This story was no exception...

Susan Hampton is a young lady of a good family. Her father, however, is a gambler of the worst sort and has ruined his family. There is no money for Susan's dowry and eventually they have to go and live with a relative. Seeing as she will...more
Karen (Book Light Graveyard)
Since "With This Ring" is my favorite Carla Kelly book, sometimes I forget how solid her other stories can be. Reading "The Lady's Companion" was actually a reread for me, but since it's been 10 years or so since the last time I read it, I didn't remember much about it. But I was happy to find that it was rather well done. It's a quiet book, all about Susan moving away from her disinterested family and making her own life and finding her own strength. I enjoyed it a lot, especially because David...more
Nice story about an aristocratic woman who has to find a job as a companion or governess because her father has gambled away everything to the point that he and his daughter can no longer maintain a house and have to move in with his sister. The heroine, Susan, finds a position as companion to an old lady who actually wants nothing to do with her, so Susan has her work cut out for her. Fortunately for her, she is a very attractive female and the lady's bailiff, who is in some ways almost a son t...more
Ok, this is probably my favourite book so far. It is a true romance but with such depth. The characters are well-developed, the plot moves along at a good but realistic pace. I think what I loved the most was the slow simmer of Susan & David's growing love. They have a comfort with each other that is realistic. How they talk with one another and have an easy way of teasing each other with humour is lovely. Their confrontation with Susan's family upon their betrothal is gripping. You can real...more
I loved this book. It's a quiet book. And while it's about finding love, it's mostly about personal growth and gaining understanding about people and life. Susan changes and matures as life deals her one difficult and unfair event after another, mostly perpetrated by her own family. When Susan seizes control of her life she finds she's capable of things she never imagined. Definitely recommended.
Lady’s Companion was my little companion on a 3-legged flight from CA to TX. Since I was by myself it was easy to get into, but over-all the book was no grabber.

When I compare Lady’s Companion to so many other Carla Kelly books I really did enjoy, (and I’ve read a bunch) this one ended up just being an average read. Nothing boring. Nothing exciting. Nothing memorable. Just nice.
Miss Susan Hampton is a young lady awaiting her season in London that is postponed year after year until at age 25 she gives up on believing in her fathers promises when he gambles away their family estate. They go to live with her aunt who will turn her into her slave versus expending any personal funds on her having a season and being married off. Susan decides to make her own way by becoming another ladies companion and thus shocks her father and offends her aunt who refuses to take her in wh...more
I was very delighted to find this charming, sweet book by Carla Kelly, a book I know I will be rereading again.
Felicia J.
"He's not here; none of them are. And neither is the army, and the battles are over, and they have all left me behind! How dare they do that?"

Sniff. The above lines are just one of many times this book broke my heart.

It also made me laugh, made me think and left me sighing with satisfaction. Bravo, Carla Kelly. You did it again.

Kelly is the rare writer who does not waste a single page. In The Lady's Companion, she weaves a beautiful, poignant tale of love and devotion between three people: David...more
Janice Liedl
This classic Carla Kelly romance, reissued digitally, is one of the best regencies I've read, full-stop. And it does this without a single duke or marquess in the mix. The heroine, dauntless Susan Hampton, has watched her feckless father gamble away everything, including her family home and her last treasured mementos of her mother. Rather than consign herself to the fringes of a society that will never accept her and a life as an unpaid companion to her self-centered aunt, Susan signs up with a...more
"she indulged in a hearty round of castigating her relatives and wishing them all to hell or Australia - whichever was worse" loc.3123

Author: Carla Kelly
First published: 1996
Length: 4009 locations
Setting: London, rural England, Regency-ish.
Sex: A couple of heated kisses and a marriage night with the door vaguely ajar. Not exactly “clean” but only a whisker away from it.
Hero: was previously, happily "married" (some suggestion she was de facto) to a camp follower. She (and the child) died in child...more
susan was nobility, but her father gambled away the family fortune and home, and they had to be taken in by susan's aunt. the aunt expects susan to wait on her family hand and foot, and susan rebels. she gets a job as a lady's companion for a cantankerous old lady on a farm far from london. there, she meets david, the dowager's bailiff. susan and david don't get off to a great start, as david is late in collecting her, due to some problems at the farm. and then, susan and the dowager ge...more
Milquetoast. The heroine, Susan, was sensible. She had internal monologues that rang true regarding her father, the hero, David, and the changes in her circumstances. David was kind. There was very little conflict. The story rolled along smoothly but was lacking strong emotion. It was good enough to finish but I wish I hadn't bought it.
Carla Kelly writes lovely stories that are such a pleasure to read, and this one is no exception. Also, Willaful had the right if it: I want Joel Steinman's story!
Nothing really happens in this book. It wasn't interesting enough to hold my interest or for me to want to finish it. It wasn't terrible, it just wasn't good. Like oatmeal for breakfast.
A beautifully written and emotional historical romance by Carla Kelly. Loved this story of an impoverished aristocratic heroine who finds love and emotional security across the barriers of social class with a bailiff. The characters (including a wonderful cast of secondary characters) were realistic and endearing. A definite keeper and reread!
Emily Barnes
Enjoyable, well written, not smutty which is always good. It's romantic in all the good ways, though I must say that some of the Americanisms are distracting (ass instead of arse in particular since its not just a spelling issue, but the actual meaning is different).
Beautiful and touching.
Loved Susan, David and stubborn Lady Bushnell :)
One of my all time best heroes
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name.

Although Carla Kelly is well known among her readers as a writer of Regency romance, her main interest (and first writing success) is Western American fiction—more specifically, writing about America's Indian Wars. Although she had sold some of her work before, it was not until Carla began work in the National P...more
More about Carla Kelly...
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