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A Comfortable Wife

(Regencies #8)

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  1,606 ratings  ·  69 reviews
Antonia Mannering refuses to become an old maid. She plans to separate childhood friend Lord Philip Ruthven from his too many frivolous female companions, and settle down. She will prove to him that she is capable of running his home, and will not disgrace him in society. Everything will be reasonable - except their hearts.
Paperback, 304 pages
Published December 25th 2001 by Harlequin (first published 1997)
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Average rating 3.66  · 
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 ·  1,606 ratings  ·  69 reviews

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Katrina Passick Lumsden
To be totally honest, I had a real hard time finishing this one. It's not that it's irritating or badly written, but just sort of dull. In fact, I started it over a month ago and just finally got around to finishing it. The MC's are... Well, they're difficult to relate to. They're both so repressed and depressing. And dull. Antonia is not real likable because she doesn't really have much of a personality. There's also a certain redundancy to the writing that grated on my nerves. I swear, at ...more
Dec 28, 2011 rated it liked it
This is a nice and gentle historical romance. In fact, 'nice' and 'gentle' are the operative words that best describe the story. Philip and Antonia are pleasant and gentle with each other and with the other characters. When the inevitable misunderstanding between the two occurs, they are civil and gentle in their interactions until such time as the conflict is resolved. The resolution itself occurs without any great dramatics. In fact, the carriage chase and the incident with the two coachmen at ...more
Sheila Melo
Nice Couple, Story is Only Pedestrian

"Being Philip's wife was what she wanted to be, had always wanted to be, she had not come to Ruthven Manor seeking love."

THE STORY: Philip Marlowe, Baron Ruthven is thirty-four and knows that it is time to find a wife but hasn't seen any woman who seems suitable. Just at that juncture, Miss Antonia Mannering comes back into his life. Antonia is his stepmother's niece. They haven't seen one another for eight years because after Antonia's father's death, her
Jan 24, 2012 rated it liked it
I was pleasantly surprised! I'm so used to Ms. Laurens' later work, which seems more explicit and which seems to rely heavily on thesauri to state and restate key (and some not so key) thoughts and moments. This story was tender (no sex 'til the end and even that was only alluded to - not graphically described and certainly not prolonged), and the male protagonist was not as high-handed as I'm used to from Ms. Laurens. The female protagonist likewise was no wallflower but wasn't so overly ...more
Feb 03, 2011 rated it liked it
Normally, I enjoy Laurens books more. It was ok, not her best work.
as the last gasp of the Lester duo, a very strong disappointment with Ruthven and Antonia
second plot distracting
First two lesters were a reread down the road, cannot say the same for this rather boring story
Mar 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is fast paced, interesting, and fun. I enjoyed the heroine making our hero crazy time after time. The only thing I didn't like is being left wondering what happened to the two young people trying to out pace and out wit the two moms trying to force a marriage unwanted.
Judith Jones
Nov 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed all the twists and turns of this story and would recommend this book to anyone who really enjoys a romance and a little mystery. ENJOY......
Oct 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
I had read this before! But it's just as good the 2nd time through :-)
joyce ryder
Mar 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Once again I liked this book,comfortable story line,easy on the brain and enjoyable reading ...more
Jun 24, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A comfortable read. The MCs or the story is not very memorable. It is like a small stream flowing somewhere...
Melinda Weprin
Sep 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Easy read!
Nov 05, 2019 added it
Shelves: romance
Ok, but nothing much happened in this story.
Jun 15, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: regency, historical
Author: Stephanie Laurens
First published: 1997
Length: 297 pages
Setting: Regency London
Sex: Frequent interludes with closed door almost-conquests. Basically clean.

A gentle romance without the expected angst and tragic airs. Antonia and Philip do have The Talk, try and understand each other's povs, and work on creating a marriage that will last.

Solidly told showing the growth of Laurens within the Harlequin stable, as well as her understanding of the Regency genre, "A Comfortable Wife" is A Good
Jan 15, 2013 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jess -BeautifullyBookish-
The end of this book saved it for me and prevented it from getting two stars. Most of the book was rather boring and quite slow. Nothing of interest happened and the romance was drawn out much more than necessary. The ending, as I mentioned, was my favourite part and definitely worthy of the extra star. Although the story itself was disappointing, the two main characters were nicely developed. I particularly liked the strength of Antonia, the wit and flirting which took place and their chemistry ...more
Helene Harrison
Review - I did love Philip Lord Ruthven, and Antonia Mannering. They seemed to fit together really well, and their clashes and arguments kept the book alive. Sometimes Laurens's characters are so inspired, and I think this was one of those occasions. I wanted to know more about Miss Dalling and the Marquess, as their story seems to end unresolved. Not the best Lester book. I think the story did let her down, as it dragged out without too much actually going on. A worthy end to the series, but I ...more
Oct 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A delightful romp through Regency expectations and constraints in the social world, this book brings the Regency period to life, at least up to the end when all restrictions are thrown aside and it reads more like a modern romance. The rest of the book is wonderful. The only plot errors that I saw were at the end. Antonia manages to harness two horses to a phaeton in less time than it takes Ruthven to follow her to the stables which is just not possible. He would have had plenty of time to catch ...more
Apr 23, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: romance
Antonia decides she will convince Phillip Ruthven that she will make him a comfortable wife. The problem is, she's not sure she can be the kind of wife the ton expects. So, she holds off their engagement and does her best to act the way she thinks he wants. Phillip's not too sure what's going on with Antonia, but he plays it cool . . . until he realizes Antonia's taking her cues from him. Then he decides he needs to change his tactics.

Sub-plot going on with a young couple whose aunts are trying
Sep 27, 2012 rated it liked it
I was in the middle with this book. I liked the plot. It was a great story. I just didn't like the way it was written. There were several areas that I was completely lost as to what was going on. I had to read it several times. It was too frustrating but yet I wanted to keep reading because I wanted to find out what was going to happen to the characters. Again great story, great characters but crappy writing. I would have finished it sooner if I didn't have to stop so many times to reread ...more
Barbara Blanc
May 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book very much. I have all of Stephanie Laurens books. The first one I read was Devil Cynster's story and I bought all of hers since. This particular was is a favorite. I liked it because Antonia didn't succumb to Phillip's wishes and made her own way in many things. She and Phillip were friends from long ago and their relationship turned into a true love story. Loved the brother Geoffrey. His character was great along with his three friends who were his age in the story and their ...more
Cynthia Miska-bacon
Apr 03, 2015 rated it it was ok
I liked it at first. Fast read for first quarter of book. I got sucked into the budding romance, I felt emotion for the characters, then... It lost steam. The plot was thin. The tension between the characters was not enough to keep me interested. I finished it, hoping it would take a turn for the better, the end was just ok. As far as romance novels go, eh. As far as period piece, eh. As far as storytelling, the writer has skill with words, I wish there was more of a hook, twist or ride. Oh ...more
Jun 20, 2015 rated it liked it
This book was a bit steamy for my taste. I don't mind a little steam if it is integral to the story, but rarely do you really need to explicitly describe what is going on in my personal opinion (I know many don't share this). Enjoyable read regardless though. I like how the female main character grows during the story and the lead male just has utter moments of confusion as to what she's doing but sallies forth anyway.

Rating: R
Rationale: When they do the deed it isn't explicit but all the before
Jul 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: regency
I love Ms Lauren's books. In this one, the heroine doesn't expect much. She has loved Phillip since she was a child and thinks she will make him a comfortable steadfast wife. Thinking he thinks of her as a sister, she accepts his stepmother's invitation to stay with them a while, never dreaming things will be Oh, so different! There is also a sub plot here in which two lovers beg help in getting married. Well written for regency lovers.
Apr 23, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: regency
The first two thirds of the story are very slow-paced . The last third picks up a bit, and there’s some conflict and tension. Philip and Antonia were likable enough, but it’s Antonia’s brother who has real spark. I might have given it 3* if not for the same expressions repeated over and over again.
Brenda Margriet
Mar 27, 2013 rated it liked it
Enjoyable read. Interesting twist on the old friends who fall in love, in that the woman plans to marry the hero even though she doesn't love him, and he falls in love with her first.

I like the hero, because he was willing to let her find her place in society before they got married, even though that was a risk as he didn't know she loved him at the time.
A good read. The hero and heroine are mostly likeable, and the ways they spark against each other are very fun to read. The cast of secondary characters is colourful and balanced -- and Laurens' admiration of Heyer really comes through in that with them, she's basically taken a bunch of Heyer's stock characters and freshened them a bit. I'll call it homage and enjoy it.
Oct 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
Sure I've read this before, but rereading because her books are always enjoyable and it popped up in some other context so I thought why not?

after finishing, I think it took me so long because it got REALLY slow in the middle. No where near a good as the rest.
Jun 02, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: gotten-rid-of
It was ok. I'm not real into Regency romances so I'm not surprised I wasn't too into it. It just seemed like too much was taken for granted that we knew. The hero was always described as looking bored, how are we supposed to know what he really feels if that's the only way he's described?
Sylvia Hopkins-Harris
May 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Different and enjoyeable. An astute gentleman but smart enough to know what was being offered and planned would suit him very well. The interaction between him and his future bride was like a chess move. Each encounter required an evaluation and maybe an adjustment before the next move.
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Stephanie Laurens was born in Sri Lanka, which was at the time the British colony of Ceylon. When she was 5, her family moved to Melbourne, Australia, where she was raised. After continuing through school and earning a Ph.D. in Biochemistry in Australia, Stephanie and her husband moved to Great Britain, taking one of the last true overland journeys from Katmandu to London.

Once in London, Stephanie

Other books in the series

Regencies (8 books)
  • Tangled Reins (Regencies, #1)
  • Four In Hand (Regencies, #2)
  • Impetuous Innocent (Regencies #3)
  • Fair Juno (Regencies, #4)
  • The Reasons For Marriage (Regencies, #5; Lester Family, #1)
  • A Lady Of Expectations (Regencies, #6; Lester Family, #2)
  • An Unwilling Conquest  (Regencies, #7; Lester Family, #3)