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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sweet tale that lingers - a pleasure to read
Antonia Mannering knows what she wants. She wants to be a wife. At 24, she's had 8 years to think about it, while effectively cloistered away with her grief-stricken mother and much younger brother. Now, following her mothers death and their year of mourning, Antonia is ready to put her plan in action. Further, she wants to be the wife of her childhood friend, Lord...
Published on 13 Feb 2003 by K. Newman

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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Insufficient romantic tension - book too long for the story
This is another of Laurens' earlier - and thus much better-written - novels. A Comfortable Wife pre-dates the Cynster series by some years, and thus carries much more in the way of an authentic 'feel' about it. It is also far less formulaic than her later work. In that case, it should be much, much better as a novel - and yet it is not.
Antonia Mannering has been...
Published on 21 April 2004 by Dr W. Richards


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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sweet tale that lingers - a pleasure to read, 13 Feb 2003
By 
K. Newman "krazykmcd" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Antonia Mannering knows what she wants. She wants to be a wife. At 24, she's had 8 years to think about it, while effectively cloistered away with her grief-stricken mother and much younger brother. Now, following her mothers death and their year of mourning, Antonia is ready to put her plan in action. Further, she wants to be the wife of her childhood friend, Lord Philip Ruthven, whom she ‘objectively’ considers to be in need of a wife. Antonia knows what is expected of a society wife, and has every intention of being a comfortable wife, one that fits well within the boundaries of their mutual station, one who knows what is expected of her and conforms to them nicely. That's the plan. Until at last Philip and Antonia meet again, and everything begins NOT to work to plan.
This is a glowing, feel good read. The feeling that these two have for each other is established early on, at least for the reader. Each is very honest with the other - they have been friends forever, after all. Yet somehow neither understands what the other thinks about marriage, specifically their own planned marriage. Philip has a well deserved reputation with women, but even Antonia, eight years removed from his circle, knows how he needs a wife. A fact that Philip himself has only recently discovered, following the example of his friends the Lester’s. Each is no young, green thing, their maturity in temperament, even as they are occasionally adrift in confusion, is obvious. Comic moments are sprinkled throughout the book with Laurens customary light yet deft touch. Sometimes it is the conversations the two have, sometimes a bit of physical comedy, sometimes that Antonia and Philip are talking at cross purposes. There are some very poignant moments too - when Antonia discovers she may not be able to be a comfortable wife, after all, for example.
There are no hidden subplots here - the romance between the two and how they sort out their unconventional conventional marriage is the focus of the story. It deserves to be - both these individuals are admirable in themselves and a true force combined. The passion is there, but it is not a sensual tale – they do not consummate their relationship other until close to the end, so if you’re looking for a spicy tale, this isn’t it. What it is a warm, truly Romantic tale with a capital R.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Regency Romance, 20 Mar 2010
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This review is from: A Comfortable Wife (MIRA PB) (Paperback)
This author is very much along the lines of the immortal georgette heyer and has based some of her hero's and heroine's on her characters. The difference here is she has lifted them from the kiss on the finger tips to people with real passions and needs. I am gripped by her books and intend to collect her complete collection. I have georgette heyers complete works and re read them over and over i am sure these will be the same.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An old fashioned Regency romance, 1 Jun 2002
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This book is a continuation of the Lester books, it is not a new Cynster. There are no villians to defeat, no mysteries to solve. In fact, there isn't a lot of plot at all. This is an old-fashioned Regency romance where "veiled eyes" or "sudden stillness" is as close as you will get to an emotional outburst. That said, it's a good example of the genre, and is an excellent way to pass a rainy day.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Laurens's book, 9 Oct 2013
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This review is from: A Comfortable Wife (MIRA PB) (Paperback)
Enjoyable book to round off the Lester series. All in all the series was very entertaining and was a pleasure to read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable, 25 July 2013
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This review is from: A Comfortable Wife (MIRA PB) (Paperback)
Realised I had read this when it was first published, but had forgotten enough to enjoy reading it for the second time.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good classic regency romance, 25 July 2013
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Mrs K B (South East England) - See all my reviews
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A well written story about the interaction between two people - good dialogue and no distractions by way of an unsolved mystery or whatever.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Insufficient romantic tension - book too long for the story, 21 April 2004
By 
Dr W. Richards "wmr-uk" (Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This is another of Laurens' earlier - and thus much better-written - novels. A Comfortable Wife pre-dates the Cynster series by some years, and thus carries much more in the way of an authentic 'feel' about it. It is also far less formulaic than her later work. In that case, it should be much, much better as a novel - and yet it is not.
Antonia Mannering has been shut away in the country taking care of her sick mother for many years; thus, she is in her mid-twenties and still not presented and has not been in Society much at all. Now orphaned, she is visiting her godmother, the Dowager Countess Ruthven - who is stepmother to Antonia's childhood friend Philip, Lord Ruthven (*not* Lord Philip Ruthven, as the cover claims). Years ago, Philip and Antonia used to play together, but will he still remember her when they meet again? Antonia has decided that she would like to marry her old friend, and that she would make him the sort of comfortable wife he needs. In his early 30s now, he is a rake, but he needs to settle down and have an heir for his estate.
Philip, on first seeing Antonia again, is struck by her beauty and remembers how much he enjoyed her company. Reluctantly - for he suspects a plot - he is drawn to spend more and more time with her, and realises that he wants to marry her. (He's fallen in love with her, but - as with many of her other books - Laurens fails to *show* him falling in love, realising he's in love and deciding what to do about it). The proposal comes less than halfway through the book. Result: romantic tension at an end.
Antonia agrees to marry Philip, but only if he will keep their engagement a secret until she's been to London for the Little Season. As she explains, she's been out of Society for so long that she has no idea how to behave. She's worried that she'll be a bad wife to him, that she will somehow disgrace him by not knowing how to behave. Thus we have half a book-full of misunderstandings, mishaps and pointless silliness while Antonia finds her way through the traps of the Polite World. And just as we think the torture is over, yet another pointless misunderstanding occurs.
Laurens would have been better off making this book a novella, lengthening the courtship in the first few chapters and eliminating just about everything after the couple arrives in London - it would have been a far better story that way.
wmr-uk
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars regency romance at its best!!, 9 Oct 2008
By 
Anna (Cheshire, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: A Comfortable Wife (MIRA PB) (Paperback)
regency romance at its best!!
i am so addicted to stephanie laurens at the moment they are un-put-downable!
lovely stories with everything you could possibly want from a romance!
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars ok, but not her best, 14 Oct 2003
I've read quite a few of Stephanie Laurens' books, but I found this one rather disappointing. It doesn't have the same convincing dash about it as her other books. The characters are two dimensional, there's not much plot, and I found the heroine on the irritating side. If you're new to Stephanie Laurens, then don't start with this one, start with one of the Cynster books.
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A Comfortable Wife (MIRA PB)
A Comfortable Wife (MIRA PB) by Stephanie Laurens (Paperback - 20 Jun 2008)
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