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A Comfortable Wife Mass Market Paperback – 1 Jan 2002

4.3 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Mass Market Paperback, 1 Jan 2002
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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 297 pages
  • Publisher: Mills & Boon; New edition edition (Jan. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0373834985
  • ISBN-13: 978-0373834983
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2.1 x 17.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,278,446 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Stephanie Laurens' heroines are marvellous tributes to Georgette Heyer." - Cathy Kelly "All I need is her name on the cover to make me pick up the book." - New York Times bestselling author Linda Howard" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Laurens originally began writing as an escape from the dry world of professional science. Her hobby quickly became a career; she has been writing historical romance novels for more than 20 years. Currently living outside Melbourne, Australia with her husband and two cats, she spends most of her days writing new stories in her signature 'Errol Flynn meets Jane Austen" style. Visit her online at www.stephanielaurens.com.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
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.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Although billed as the fourth in the Lester Family Saga, neither the hero nor heroine is part of the Lester family! However, Philip, Lord Ruthven, figures prominently in the third book, An Unwilling Conquest, and is a good friend of Harry Lester, so I will let that pass!

With many of his friends now married, long time and convinced rake Ruthven is feeling his age (34). Returning to his country home, where he lives with his stepmother, he has brought a friend to keep him company - a lowering thought that his life has come to this. However, he finds they will not be alone as Miss Antonia Mannering, his stepmother's niece, is visiting. During her childhood, Antonia stayed each summer, but when her father died eight years previously the visits stopped. Now 24, her mother dead, too, and her year of mourning over, she has taken up her aunt's offer to visit and perhaps also to go to London. As a girl, she had always loved Ruthven. Now, she wondered if she would feel the same, and if his previous warmth and kindness towards her could be turned into an offer of marriage. She knew she was unsophisticated in the ways of the 'ton' and realised that a rake might not change his ways, but, still, a marriage to him was her best chance for happiness. The story recounts their developing relationship, their removal to London for the 'Little Season', and Antonia's realisation that a 'comfortable marriage', where husband and wife live almost separate lives, is not what she can accept.

Stephanie Laurens writes well, and I have enjoyed all four of her books in this series. They are all worth reading. I also wonder if Ms Laurens might consider enlightening us about what happened to Hugo Satterly. I have a soft spot for this gentleman!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
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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Format: Mass Market Paperback
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.
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