The thoughts of a girl...

The thoughts of a girl...

The Paid Companion by Amanda Quick - Review

Posted: 13 Aug 2012 09:03 AM PDT

The Synopsis - The Earl of St. Merryn needs a woman. His intentions are purely practical - he simply wants someone sensible and suitably lovely to pose as his betrothed for a few weeks among polite society. He has his own agenda to pursue, and a false fiancĂ©e will keep the husband-hunters at bay while he goes about his business. The easiest solution is to hire a paid companion.

However, finding the right candidate proves more of a challenge than he expected - until he encounters Miss Elenora Lodge. Her dowdy attire and pinned-up hair cannot hide her fine figure and the fire in her golden eyes. And her unfortunate circumstances, and dreams of a life of independence, make the Earl's generous offer undeniably appealing.

But Elenora is unsure what this masquerade might entail. For St. Merryn is clearly hiding a secret or two, and things seem oddly amiss in his gloomy Rain Street home. She is soon to discover that his secrets are even darker than his decor, and that this lark will be a far more dangerous adventure than she's been led to believe. And Arthur, Earl of St. Merryn, is making a discovery as well: that the meek and mild companion he'd initially envisioned has become, in reality, a partner in his quest to catch a killer - and an outspoken belle of the ball who stirs a wild passion in his practical heart. 

The Cover - I should start by saying that my copy of this book does not look like this! Long story short, I couldn't get a decent sized image of my edition. Mine is pink, and pretty, and this one is just.... hmm. I don't know what to say about it; I just don't like it. No offense intended to whoever designed it, of course. Each to their own, and all that!

The Review - I'm back to reading romance! What can I say, I'm an addict. I seriously have to read at least one or two romances a week these days! I've never read anything by Amanda Quick, suprisingly enough, but I have heard nothing but good things about her books, so I was extremely excited to pick up a whole bunch of her books at a library sale a while back (for 20 cents each. Crazy, I know!). Ms Quick, aka Jayne Krentz, seems to be one of the go-to-authors when it comes to historical romance, and after reading The Paid Companion I can understand why.

This book was a lot of fun! From the start I so admired the feisty Elenora Lodge, and to see her recover from her brush with poverty so quickly, and find love, was fantastic. I loved all of the interaction between her and the Earl, and their witty banter and intelligent discussing are what really made this book great to me. I was also so happy to see Arthur respect Elenora's ideas and listen to her advice, as I always applaud a man who can respect a strong, intelligent woman, especially he lives in the slightly (read: extremely) chauvinistic world of 19th century England. 

Another aspect of this book that I liked a lot was the murder-mystery! I'm not usually one for crime novels or mysteries at all, but this was a pretty cozy mystery without any blood or gore. It added a whole lot of interest to what could have been just another romance, and the thread of suspense that continued throughout the entire novel made it all the more enjoyable. I actually didn't guess who the murderer was until right near the end, so props to Amanda Quick on that as well! 

All in all, The Paid Companion was a smart, intriguing read, and I was absolutely glued to the pages the whole way through. The romance was there, but didn't overpower the plot itself, and the few love scenes were tasteful and over quite quickly. I'm really looking forward to reading another Amanda Quick novel very soon, and this one definitely comes with a great recommendation from me!

Totally charming. 4 Roses!