- Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
- Publisher: Berkley; Reprint edition (March 29 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0515138649
- ISBN-13: 978-0515138641
- Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 2.8 x 17.3 cm
- Shipping Weight: 204 g
- Average Customer Review: 30 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #420,650 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Paid Companion Mass Market Paperback – Mar 29 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
With 41 bestsellers to her credit, Jayne Ann Krentz (aka Quick) still approaches a new project as if novel writing were a just-discovered pleasure she can't wait to share. This late Regency romance offers her signature goodies. Elenora Lodge loses the manor to which she was born and thus becomes the eponymous paid companion. She is, of course, plucky, intellectual, democratic, lovely and unabashedly eager to surrender her virginity to the right man: "Sensation whipped through her; a glorious, heady, dizzying whirlpool of passion. She knew that if she did not explore these thrilling emotions with him she would carry the regret with her for the rest of her life." The source of the whirlpool is Arthur Lancaster, earl of St. Merryn, cranky, quirky, decent to the death, with a sizable fortune and lusty nature to match. Although a happy ending is never in doubt, a murder mystery is threaded through the love story, allowing the besotted couple to sleuth in dark alleyways between tumbles in bed. Quick draws on Regency fascination with science to inform villainous madman Parker, who styles himself "England's second Newton" and terrorizes Elenora with a precursor of the laser. Masked balls, upper-class gambling, women who manage their own affairs and marry for love: if this is familiar territory, it still satisfies. And when Arthur proposes, readers will be right there with Elenora: "The most delicious sense of joy unfurled within her."
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Elenora Lodge is in quite a fix. Her stepfather lost her farm and all of her possessions in a mining venture, and her fiance dumps her faster than the proverbial hot potato. But Elenora is practical and pragmatic. So when Arthur Lancaster, earl of St. Merryn, offers her a position as a paid companion, she accepts. St. Merryn is in a bit of a fix himself. His favorite uncle has been murdered, and he's sworn vengeance on the killer, a mad alchemist intent on perfecting the ultimate weapon of mass destruction. Unfortunately, St. Merryn's fiancee has also dumped him, and his renewed status as one of London's most eligible bachelors is interfering with his quest for justice, hence his paying Elenora to pose as his new fiancee. Once again, the incomparable Quick (Jayne Ann Krentz) has whipped up a delectable Regency romance that mixes humor, suspense, and tantalizing historical detail with all the savory ingredients her fans have come to expect: a feisty, resourceful heroine; a hero with a decidedly dangerous edge; witty repartee; and strongly appealing secondary characters. Another winner from a major romance star. Shelley Mosley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
In order to catch a murderer, the Earl of St. Merryn has to move about in society at the height of the Season. And in order to avoid being hunted by matchmaking mamas and their equally predatory daughters, St. Merryn has decided to hire a paid companion -- an impoverished lady who must work for a living -- to pretend to be his fiance. And when, at the employement agency of Goodhew & Willis, he spies the vibrant, intelligent and competent Miss Elenora Lodge, he knows that he has met exactly the kind of lady he needs for his scheme. Reduced to working for a living when her stepfather lost her family estate in a failed venture, and her fiance backed out of their engagement, Elenora has always longed for adventure. And it looks as if she's finally going to have her adventure after all. The one thing she hadn't factored in, however, was the attraction she'd feel for her employer and his feelings for her. But to dream of anything more than an affair with the rich and powerful Earl of St. Merryn would be pure foolishness -- or wouldn't it?
I thoroughly enjoyed "The Paid Companion" and not because of the murder subplot -- to tell the truth I got rather annoyed with this subplot as it kept getting in the way of my enjoying the clever and lively banter between Elenora and St. Merryn. Some readers may get annoyed that Elenora trusts St. Merryn so completely; and truth to tell if he had been any other hero, I might have been too. But because St. Merryn repays the favour by also trusting Elenora completely, even going so far as to ask her for advice and to act on it, it made "The Paid Companion" an all the more romantic read (for me anyway). The novel developed smoothly and briskly, and with plenty of simmering and sensual exchanges to keep every romance reader happy. And if other characters were not so well developed, this really wasn't a detraction since "The Paid Companion" was Elenora's and St. Merryn's story, and what a story it was too.
But the most enjoyable thing for me was the romance. Granted the book was at least 1/2 mystery, but I didn't really expect anything else. Perhaps my lack of expectations caused me to rate it higher than other readers. Certainly expectations have caused me to rate books lower.
Anyway, I really liked Elenora and Arthur. I found them to be well-developed and somewhat unusual characters. Arthur reminded me of Georgette Heyer's heroes. Somehow the book had an older feel to it despite the more modern language. I found it a very compelling combination. Arthur's growing admiration for Elenora is utterly convincing, and her dreams she hesitates to dream are very real, speaking vividly to a woman's heart, as does her determination to be practical.
I liked it so well, I'm headed off to find another Amanda Quick book to read.
Although St. Merryn initially intends to keep Elenora at the outskirts of his plans, she quickly asserts herself, forcing herself into his confidence and, soon enough, into his arms. Neither is particularly good at hiding the attraction they feel for one another although Elenora is convinced that, once the mystery is solved, St. Merryn will get on with her life and that Elenora will be forced to move on with her life. Tracking down the killer is a bit complicated, though, and the interval gives them plenty of time to explore the attraction--and for Elenora to dazzle polite society in Regency England.
Author Amanda Quick always writes a fast-paced and entertaining read and THE PAID COMPANION is no exception. That said, I found Elenora to be quite annoying with her complete lack of respect for St. Merryn's finances, her willingness to simply run over whatever ideas he proposed, and her constant jumping to conclusions when a simple conversation would have avoided the misunderstanding. By constantly giving in to Elenora, St. Merryn comes off as a bit of a wimp. The mystery portion of the book is really a non-starter as we are introduced to no suspects and no clues.
I wanted to like THE PAID COMPANION and Quick's writing is strong enough to keep me reading, but the unlikable characters and weak mystery plot definitely detracted.
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