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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 9 September 2015
I saved this title for last in The Spymaster Series because chronologically it should be the last in the series; it is set in 1818 around the time of the events of The Black Hawk. Having finished reading it I wish I had not. It is not really part of the series except for the inclusion of Sir Adrian Hawkhurst with a minor role and his inclusion actually spoils the plot if you have read the other books in this series. The writing style is much less assured than the other books, sometimes it's even rather stilted and the holes in the plot are legion. I was so puzzled that I checked the publishing date - it turns out that the first issue was 1983. This must have been the first book JB published. I might have to re-read the others now to remind myself how good her writing became.
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on 7 March 2012
This is an early book from Joanna Bourne, but it shows that even back then she really could write. Her writing style is easy and fluid, and draws the reader into the story. The atmosphere of the looming house in Cornwall and its fractious house party almost jumps off the page.

I loved the gothic atmosphere, and the minor characters were all well drawn, particularly the sharp-as-a-tack Lady Dorothy, the elderly lady who heroine Melissa is hired to be a companion for, and the dreadful teenaged Anna. The snippets of letters at the beginning of each chapter are also great.

I liked Melissa's strong will and sense of humour. I wasn't as interested in the hero, Giles, or in their relationship arc, which didn't feel very real to me: first Melissa dislikes him, then she thinks she's fallen in love with him, then she resists him, then *her body betrays her* and she's melting into his arms. I thought he was far too sure of himself and could have done with having to work harder to win her! Still, it's a gothic, and fragile younger women falling for stoic older men is what you get with the genre.

In a world where historicals are getting sillier and sillier, it's great to read a book where there's a touch of humour, but you feel the characters really could have existed in 1818. Three stars.
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on 15 January 2015
I'm a great fan of Ms Bourne but this isn't anywhere near her best. The heroine stumbled from one error straight into the next and the hero didn't seem to have any depth. I also couldn't understand why the head of British Intelligence (Sir Adrian Hawkhurst) was able to spend weeks on end in the country solving the problems of a friend.
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on 24 April 2017
Have enjoyed all Joanna Bourne's novels to date and this slight story departure which I had to buy on kindle.
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on 21 December 2015
This story has a gothic feel to it, and I enjoyed that atmosphere created by the author. Set in 1818, our heroine, Melissa is a timid, beautiful, new Lady’s Companion. There is a murder mystery, a hulking cold, dark house, miserable wet weather, and a cast of characters to be suspicious over. The hero was truly heroic and worthy of Melissa’s regard.

The intrigue is beautifully woven into the story, and although the villain becomes apparent, the suspense is not diminished; and Melissa’s peril increases for the reader. Such fun!

I found this novel delightful and refreshing. And if you’re looking for a “clean”, heart-thumping read, this is perfect.

This book is labelled on some websites as “0.5” in the “Spymasters Series” - a prequel to “The Forbidden Rose”. Apart from the inclusion of Adrian Hawkhurst (Hawker), a character in every novel published so far by Joanna Bourne, this story has no other connection with the Spymasters Series and is a stand-alone.

I recommend this novel.
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on 21 January 2015
I haven't read this one yet as I'm reading the 5 books preceding it, all one after the other. I read the first 4 books as they came out a few years ago, but it's great to read them for a second time (on my Kindle), all in a row, and become more involved in the stories. It's certainly well worth reading them twice. I anticipate that Her Ladyship's Companion will be every bit as good as the previous ones.
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on 10 June 2009
(From rear cover)Beautiful Melissa Rivenwood was leaving Mrs Brody's Seminary for the Daughters of Gentleman for a new life. But when she accepted the position as companion to the formidable Lady Dorothy, spirited Melissa could not have know that she would soon be caught up in a web of passion and intrique at beautiful and remote Vinton Manor.

Giles Tarsin,her haughty employer, is maddeningly aloof - and irresistibly attractive. Darkly handsome Sir Adrian Hawkhurst admires her undisguisedly with, Melissa suspects, the most impure intentions. Harold Bosworth, a family connection, appears to be ever the gentleman. But why is seven-year-old Robbie, an orphan like Melissa and the futue Earl of Keptford, so terrified? Before long Melissa is struggling to unravel dark family secrets that will lead her suspicions to centre on just one man - the one man she loves.
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