Lady In Waiting (Warner Forever) Mass Market Paperback – 28 Jan 2005
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"A delightful debut!" "Julia Quinn, New York" Times" bestselling author on Rules of Engagement""
The second novel from Kathryn Caskie is a sexy, funny historical romance that will appeal to the readers of Julia Quinn and Christina Dodd.See all Product Description
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Naturally, playing the part of a lady required dressing like one and luckily the sale of her homemade facial cream, now the infamous "tingle" cream, was the means to an end in affording her passion of paying for her shopping sprees in Bath's most exclusive shops. With the ladies Featherton encouraging her romance with Lord Argyll, it seemed like a dream come true but, it would be only a matter of time before someone slipped and the truth be known - that Jenny Penny was only a `lady in waiting'!
*** While there were some humorous moments... I have to say, I did not like the characterization of the heroine at all. Told in her voice, the reader is exposed to only Jenny's views and motivations, which to me were so very shallow. She was admittedly a shop-aholic, who spent far more than she could ever have earned as a maid, had she not chanced upon her face cream a.k.a. an erotic enhancer. If her employers had been aware of her overdue accounts, she'd have probably been sacked! As a heroine she just was too materialistic, and it was just so hard to warm up to her at all. Additionally, I found very little depth to Callum as well and he came across as rather flat and lifeless, although in the end he finally did redeem himself.
The author does get points for research though and coming up with good historic detail. Unfortunately, the twin Featherton sisters, who were such a total hoot in RULES OF ENGAGEMENT, just didn't draw the laughs I expected and I felt just a tad cheated because of that. --- Marilyn, for [...] ---
Jenny Penny is a lady's maid with a weakness for the finer things in life. When the niece of her employers dresses her up like a lady and drags her before the highlander who stole her breath earlier in the day, Jenny finds herself playing the part of a lady to Callum, Viscount Argyll. Moonlighting as Lady Eros, selling her wildly popular face cream (for which people have found a different use), Jenny's life soon gets wild and crazy.
I don't really know where to begin with my review. This book is written like a chick lit novel, which makes it difficult to review in the style I normally use for a historical romance. Jenny is the center of the story, the entire book being told from her point of view. This might have worked if she'd been a better character. She's what would happen if the Shopaholic and Becky Sharp mated--and not in a good way. She's got all of the surface angst of a real character, but in execution she's shallow and lacks self awareness. There's just no depth to her at all.
I don't feel like I know the hero. In fact, I'm not even sure what he looks like. You can be sure I have no idea why he falls in love with Jenny. The endearing parts of her story and character are only revealed to the readers, not to the hero. Actually, I'm not all that sure why Jenny loves Callum either. The romance, like Jenny, lacks depth.
"Lady in Waiting" just feels like a silly story, and it only gets two stars from me. The characters aren't three dimensional, Jenny's predicaments and shopping addictions are wallpaper, and the hero is a non-entity. This book reminds me of the work of other authors, but falls short because the characters aren't good. I'll try to explain what I mean: Julia Quinn's light-hearted stories work because her characters have soul; you root for Pamela Britton's working class heroines because they feel real, flaws and all; Karen Marie Moning's rompy tales are never a joke because her protagonists have chemistry dripping from every pore; Lisa Kleypas's flawless characterization makes you fall in love with everyone she writes.
I'd like to be clear, Caskie is a capable writer. Her prose has tightened since her debut and she has really trimmed down on the over-the-top gags. I'm glad to see that the horribly irritating match-making Featherton sisters have been reigned in and made more palatable. But in the end this is just a mediocre effort. I have the oddest feeling that the author doesn't have a real understanding of what makes good romance. I can be hard on the genre, but deep down I have deep affection for it. I think the same is true of the greatest romance authors. Somehow, I get the feeling Caskie has a lack of respect for the genre and its readers. If she'd rather be writing literary fiction or maybe even romance's more glamorous cousin, chick lit, that's what she should do.
If you don't mind reading a book from only one angle, than this book would be great. I, personally, like to know what the hero is feeling towards the heroine. It adds the spice I need in a romance novel.
I found Jenny refreshing at first, then I found myself rolling my eyes and slamming the book shut. She was too modern. The book could have been set in 2000 New York without changing any dialogue.
Jenny's shopping madness was ridiculous at best. What shop owner would grant credit to a maid of an amount more than she earned in a year? The cost of dresses would take 100 years of her earnings to pay for. I was asked to suspend belief too many times for this to work for me.
While I can live with a book just in the heroine's POV, it got very tiring. I felt no connection to the hero, the aunts came off as flightly, the other characters as flat. And the use of coincidence was too much in this book. Jenny just "happened" to be the daughter of a noble. Can you see my eyes rolling again?
The aunt's pushing Jenny to act as a lady to "snare" the hero was way over the top. I am supposed to think that the aunts were playing some kind of game for fun. I can't believe they would risk scandal of their granddaughter by passing the maid off as a lady. And the granddaughter would go along with it. Sorry, I don't believe it.
In the Upper Assembly Room dance scene, Jenny promises to "behave" and act with "decorum". Five minutes later she's "enthusiastically" dancing and calling attention to herself. (more eye rolling)
To top it off, the book is not funny. Any "funny" scenes come off as flat and staged. It took me a week to plough through this book, so often did I slam it shut in frustration.
My advice is to read it before buying it.