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The Companion of Lady Holmeshire by Debra…
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The Companion of Lady Holmeshire

by Debra Brown, Debra Brown

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[bc:The Companion of Lady Holmeshire|11733808|The Companion of Lady Holmeshire|Debra Brown|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1308164063s/11733808.jpg|16682704]
[b:The Companion of Lady Holmeshire|11733808|The Companion of Lady Holmeshire|Debra Brown|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1308164063s/11733808.jpg|16682704]
A copy of this book was provided to me by the author, Debra Brown.

I really, thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. After jumping through some hurdles with Amazon when they never shipped me my copy-- I was beyond frustrated. I was happy to finally receive a copy and looked forward to reading what was described to me as a Austenesque Novel with some clean romance.
The start of the book immediately had me intrigued with a lanky alcoholic man, who, by the way kept the intrigue high until the epilogue! Not an easy feat. It did start a bit slow for me, and it wasn't until I was about 60 pages in that I felt compelled to finish. I even stayed in on a Friday night to read until the wee hours of the morning! It was awesome, I love when Books do that. I was also very surprised by how much mystery this novel had! For whatever reason I missed the memo that it was a mystery novel and was taken aback by that element. However, I love mystery and it's combination with Victorian era fiction was delicious!
I loved the feel of the book. There was a tone to everything that was similar to Austen, or classic English literature. I liked the fact that there were historical elements as well. I thought the theme of poverty and how the rich responded to it was extremely fascinating; it was a unique theme to combine that social response of the human condition and it really made me think. I found myself thinking-- I bet the rich were often bullied into snubbing the poor and most had never ventured into the workhouses where they insisted people work under so-called "fair conditions"! The reaction of the characters was completely plausible and I found myself thinking of this novel as a great historic fiction piece. Emma was endearing as any great heroine needs to be. She was noble, beautiful, and classy. She carried herself with dignity, and, I want to add, she was a very courageous woman. Genevieve was a character I heartily despised at first. Then I grew to love her. Watching her grow up in front of my very eyes, so to speak, was quite enjoyable. Wills was an interesting personality, I pictured him to be extremely handsome and I like his style.
Ok, now to what I think could have been better. The character development was a bit slow. This is to be expected in a new author and it did pick up in the middle. I also wish I could have been given more imagery hints about what the characters looked like. The image of the cover was brilliant and I had a clear picture of Emma and Nicky, but for Wills and Mrs, Holmeshire and Genny, I found myself guessing. Was that the authors intent? To push the reader to fill in the blanks in the physical appearance of these characters? I'm not sure. Perhaps there was explanation and I missed it. The last critique I have is for the mysterious drunkard and his son (I won't reveal who they are because I don't want this review to be hidden because of spoilers). I felt that initially their introduction was a bit forced. For whatever reason I felt that the introduction of these characters was a bit rushed or didn't completely vibe with the natural progression of the book. However, I must say that this was only in the beginning. After their 3rd mention I felt it was smooth and all transitions sat well with me. It was just a little too jarring the first few times.
All that being said; this book is one I give 5 stars to. The ending was pure gold. It kept me guessing the whole time. Rarely have I read a modern day Austenesque novel that includes suspense and mystery and an excellent imaginative plot. I wouldn't categorize it as romance, at all. However I liked the romantic parts. I even laughed out loud numerous times, including the last sentence I laughed so hard I couldn't breathe. My cat gave me a funny look. For all you out there who are considering reading it, i say do it! its an easy, fun read with lots of suspense and victorian goodness. I wonder if there will be a sequel? I definitely eagerly await the authors next books and hope she writes many more! ( )
  Diamond.Dee. | Jul 3, 2015 |
2.5 stars

I think this book may be misclassified as romance - I would say its more historical fiction/mystery with a dash of romance. I also think there was more time spent on the romance between Anne and Simon than on Emma and Wills. Personally, I enjoy the romance part of a book so I was little disappointed that there wasn't a bit more here (especially given that the book is classified as such). And when the hero and heroine finally confess their feelings at the end, the conversation felt a little forced and too formal so I didn't get the closure I was hoping for.

The ending storyline with Nicky caused the book to jump the shark a little bit for me and knocked off a star. I was very engaged throughout the book, but that part kind of left a weird taste in my mouth - and since that's the ending, that's the taste I'm left with unfortunately.

Overall though I think it was well written and entertaining. Impressive first novel. ( )
  emmytuck | Sep 27, 2013 |
Edited to add: this book will be a Kindle freebie on Wednesday February 20 and Saturday February 23.
Highly recommended.
******
I can pay this author no higher compliment than to say that she writes with an Austenesque voice, the most impressive passages being the minor plot involving the feud between the staffs of the Belgrave house and Holmeshire and the romance between the footman and the lady's maid. I hope her next book reveals more of this talent for humor.

Unlike many historical romances, this book did not read like a 21st century text; the language and style sounded authentically 19th century.

The author has an excellent grasp of early Victorian society, and I felt that all of the characters acted true to the period. I saw only one major plot hole. How could the gentle, educated Emma have fallen in love with a stable boy from such a vulgar, uncouth family? And one minor issue: I don't think that little Nicholas, as the son of Lord Breyton's daughter, would have succeeded to his grandfather's title. Not being an expert on English order of succession, however, perhaps I'm wrong.

Careening wildly from comparison to Austen, I'll now say that the ending felt almost Dickensian, as revelation piled upon revelation. It was a little too much for me, but it all fit.

Finally, I appreciated the epilogue, which took the major characters through the next decades and not just a few months, as romance epilogues so often do.

I recommend this book and will definitely be reading Debra Brown's next one.
( )
  LadyWesley | Sep 25, 2013 |
A Regency type of novel with a little mystery is always interesting to behold. It is quickly learned that Emma is more than she seems and the intriguing mystery is nicely developed during the story. The captivating part of the book was trying to solve the mystery of exactly who Emma really was.

All of the history and background made the story fall into more of a slow paced style of book rather than having it incorporated more into the plot as a whole. Overall, it was an enjoyable read and had a good message.

Note: I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  wolfangel87 | Dec 12, 2012 |
Over the last year, I have come to know Debra Brown as a fellow researcher of British History. My favored genre as a writer is the Regency, which takes place a little before the action of Lady Holmeshire. This is the very earliest part of the reign of Victoria, probably the season of 1838. I believe this as Victoria marries in 1840, and we have no presence of Albert about. Victoria is a minor character, very minor, yet she is present in the work, and is used as a device. So too we find the 10th son of George III (He only had nine, but Debra adds in another for a major plot device.)

This part of the story gave rise to the place in which the entire piece was framed. A romantic fantasy. Once I cottoned to that, things became a great deal more clear. My expectations of where the story fit and how Debra played with the characteristics of the genre now made more sense to me. We have a piece that is wrapped up in the era, the end of the Georgian, the beginning of the Victorian, and we see a transition of social mores that leave what was self centered about the Regency, into the Evangelical Socialism of the Victorian.

One of the subplots shows how the hero interacts with what we learn more of in the Victorian Era. We also then have our heroine, from where our book receives its title. Lady Holmeshire's companion is Emma. Left on a doorstep and evolved from orphan to lady's maid before being vaulted into the drawing room as companion to a Countess. Again the fantasy element make themselves known, or we have Ella, brought forth from the Cinders into a place where she can attend the Prince's Bride Finding Ball.

Though there are elements that don't ring true, and a mystery trio looking into our Heroine, all comes together in the end to resolve the story. Debra brings everything to a satisfying conclusion, and we have our heroes made happy and our villains left not so happy. A first effort worth your time if a light Victorian Romance is what you are in the mood for. ( )
  DWWilkin | Nov 14, 2012 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
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Brown, Debramain authorall editionsconfirmed
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