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The Lady's Companion

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating Details ·  988 Ratings  ·  101 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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Dec 25, 2012 Kathleen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Lady Wesley
Nov 22, 2012 Lady Wesley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, amz-rev
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
Laura (Kyahgirl)
Feb 25, 2013 Laura (Kyahgirl) rated it it was amazing
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
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
Jane Stewart
Jul 13, 2014 Jane Stewart rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: regency-romance
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
Jun 10, 2016 Dina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Traditional Regency at its best. Loved it!
Mar 12, 2017 kris rated it did not like it
Susan Hampton's father gambles away everything, leaving Susan at the mercy of the rest of her shitty family. So she decides to get a job and ends up lady's companion to a former Colonel's wife. Also working for the lady is a "sexy" Welshman named David Wiggins whose backstory is plum full of tragedy and woe.


1. I have expounded upon my dislike of Kelly's heroes in the past: the Manly Men who are secretly Jesus and therefore will Save the Heroines from their Evil Slatternly Selv
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
Apr 11, 2015 Wollstonecrafthomegirl rated it really liked it
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
Trissa White
Feb 01, 2014 Trissa White rated it really liked it
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
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.
Ƥʋиʏα [Punya Reviews...]
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 20, 2011 Patsyann rated it it was amazing
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
Carla Kelly's books are generally comforting and cozy, and for the most part this one was, too. It didn't wind up being a favorite of the ones I've read, however. It started out pretty strong, but I lost interest toward the end.

There were some descriptions of Jewish characters that seemed very old-fashioned to me and made me feel a little uncomfortable, even though the characters were not described negatively in any way. They just veered into stereotypes at times.

Also, while Kelly is good at wri
Madhulika Liddle
May 27, 2017 Madhulika Liddle rated it liked it
Susan Hampton, beautiful and witty and a lady born and bred, reaches her twenty-fifth birthday still unwed. Still without even having had her Season, her chance at the Marriage Mart—all because of her inveterate gambler of a father, who is certain that the very next throw of the dice will allow him to redeem all his lost fortune. Matters come to a head when he loses their home and is obliged to go, with Susan, to seek shelter with his wealthy sister. Susan, slowly being suffocated by the veiled ...more
Mar 23, 2017 kathie rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars. I read this last year but forgot to rate it or write a review. Just wanted to update my shelves. I enjoyed this story very much.
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
Oct 20, 2013 Cruth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
"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
Ana T.
Aug 07, 2010 Ana T. rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 12, 2013 Karen rated it really liked it
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
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.
Jun 12, 2013 Patti rated it liked it
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.
Jan 01, 2016 Michele rated it it was amazing
Great story. Mrs Kelly has done the unthinkable in Regency romance, she has bridged the social gaps between a woman born into the gentry and a bastard from the workhouse with a dubious background into a believable story of love and understanding. Most other authors attempts at this become ham fisted. Hers does not. The story is exquisitely told in the ethos of the times.
No dukes here just a perfect dark-haired, Welsh, bastard-born war hero (with a superb singing voice). Excellent chemistry between Susan and David.

Slightly more sensual than other Carla Kelly books, but all action happens within the boundaries of marriage and isn't overly descriptive.
Nov 11, 2013 Kati rated it it was amazing
I was very delighted to find this charming, sweet book by Carla Kelly, a book I know I will be rereading again.
Dec 27, 2014 Ririn rated it liked it
Shelves: gr-my-15
3.5 stars

A refreshing read.
Jun 22, 2017 Ceki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I tend to avoid historical romances from the 80s and 90s because they are too rapey for my taste; however, when I started reading this one I had no idea of its original publication date. I was in the mood for a light and interesting read and this book proved to be all of that because I really enjoyed it.

One of the reasons why this book stands out is that the hero is not part of royalty but an ex soldier who now works as a bailiff. He is poor, uneducated and open-spoken, but also charming, intell
I didn't dislike this book, but it was a bit boring. The romance was sweet but underwhelming. I did like both MCs, flawed as they were, but I had a hard time finding it in myself to care. It felt like there were too many themes competing for attention: class differences, the lingering effects of war, lying to protect loved ones, the effects of gambling addiction, etc. that my attention ended up falling on finding another book to read. I appreciate how relatively clean it was and the lack of ow/o ...more
Jun 16, 2017 Ulrike rated it it was ok
Well, as I said when I read "Reforming Lord Ragsdale" (which I enjoyed a lot) I have always difficulties finding another book by the same author which I do enjoy as much.
I haven't found it here.
I liked the characters, but the story itself didn't interest me so much. Somehow her story lines are pretty much the same. Two people where at least one has suffered something traumatic in the past and must get over it. Another big topic in this one was the social class conflict, but I couldn't relate to
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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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