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The Lady's Companion

3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  610 ratings  ·  71 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
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    KellyThe Wedding Journey by Carla    Kelly
Traditional Regency
85th out of 474 books — 200 voters
The Leopard Prince by Elizabeth HoytAgain the Magic by Lisa KleypasSeduce Me at Sunrise by Lisa KleypasAn Offer From a Gentleman by Julia QuinnMarried By Morning by Lisa Kleypas
Servant Heroes/Heroines In Romance
29th out of 160 books — 138 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,024)
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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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 love 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. I loved reading about David and Susan. I loved the story - the ending always makes me cry.
One of my favorite Carla Kelly books. Loved the hero, loved the heroine and loved the plot and all th
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
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
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
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
Obviously Carla Kelly is a genius. This book was no exception. Awesome heroine, self-sufficient and optimistic with a personality and wit. Hero full of character with a believable background and he's Welsh! Together they really sparkle. Cannot believe I've used that word but it's true; they have some fantastic interactions. The romance builds slowly and subtly and believably. It's beautiful when they finally acknowledge their feelings. In addition to the central story Kelly has created a cast of ...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
3.5 stars

A refreshing read.
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
This book took too long to get off the ground and has no real center. The tale resides, for the most part, in the thoughts of the heroine who, in the draggy beginning, is at the mercy of her feckless father. She is finally forced to seek honest work, where she finds herself at the mercy of her new employer. She finds love, but is more or less forced to marry him by some aristos. The hero, if one can call him that, was a work house brat but we don't know much more about him, except he fought in m ...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
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
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
I enjoyed this story. 3.5 stars. Loved H/h. I liked that it showed working class people and how they interacted with other, as well as the more deplorable aspects of gentleman's gaming. However, there was an side story about telling the truth to the lady (for whom the h was companion) about how the lady's son died at Waterloo. It really became a central focus near the end of the book, and I didn't understand why it was so important. It detracted from the story and was boring, imo.
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.
Christy G
a backwards regency/Cinderella story. i love stories about hard working people who soften hearts and have an unfailing character- like this one. oh, and a manly man like David Wiggins.
Carla Kelly writes really believable people, people you feel like you could know and probably like. This one didn't make me feel like shaking anyone, which is unusual in a romance.
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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 about Carla Kelly...
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