Lizzie's Reviews > Her Ladyship's Companion

Her Ladyship's Companion by Joanna Bourne
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's review
Jul 07, 2012

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bookshelves: historical-romance, read-in-2012, regency, gothic, romantic-suspense

Fascinating to see what has changed (and what remained the same!) since this book was published in 1983. It has all of the clear, striking prose of Joanna Bourne's most recent work. The male characters, in their boldness, wit, and penchant for getting things done, also shine through. It is in the development of the female lead where the contrast between then and now is most striking. Certainly part of this is genre convention, but even old gothics like Nine Coaches Waiting permitted the female lead to be both very mistaken but also very brave, competent, even heroic. Sad to say I found Melissa to be not quite bright, not in control of her sexuality, and far too prone to talking herself into and out of accurate first impressions. She is definitely a 180 from Bourne's current crop of heroines. While The Black Hawk saddened me a bit because I hated to see Justine lose, and lose again, at the hands of the British (men), I did read her as easily the equal or even the superior of Adrian in terms of strength of character: and are both fascinating reads along these lines.
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