"A historical romp"
Alice Jessup, daughter of a vicar, is a paid companion to
Lady Clara Langly, a spoiled, selfish society bitch. At her
mistress's insistence, Alice switches places with Clara and
attends the masquerade on her behalf, where she meets the
man to whom Clara was supposed to be introduced--Nigel
Farnham, Earl of Romney, the man Alice couldn't help but be
Meanwhile, Nigel is also captivated by the woman he thought
was Lady Clara, especially by her unusual green eyes.
Though Alice repeatedly asserts that she isn't Lady Clara
Langly, he wouldn't believe her, until the day Clara and
her aunt reveals the truth and heaps all blame upon Alice's
head. But by that time, Alice is gone from London...
Counterfeit Lady promises to be a fun historical
romp, as evidenced by the back cover summary, and I
expected a lot of delicious misunderstandings to arise
between the main characters due to the situation. But
sadly, it didn't quite live up to its promise.
Owing to her upbringing, where her mother died early and
her father is a non-understanding, stern, strict vicar,
Alice pretty much had it hard in her life. When her father
offered her a choice between marrying one of his
parishioners, a much older man who was looking for a
helpmate to take care of his sheep farm, and being paid
companion to Clara, Alice chose the lesser of two evils.
However, Clara is a bitch and didn't make Alice's life easy
by eloping with a womanizer and leaving her to face the
It should have been easy to be sympathetic with Alice,
given her situation. She kept a cool head all throughout
Clara's disappearance and gave the servants directions on
how to proceed. Yet, it was hard to feel connected to her
and empathize with her, even before she was being such a
When Clara finally returned, obviously ravished by a
womanizing lord, Alice voluntarily decided to leave her
employ. However, it was what she said next that
flabbergasted me. Alice delivered herself up to be a
scapegoat for Clara's mistakes, even teaching Clara what
she needed to do and say so that she wouldn't need to reap
the consequences of her behavior.
If Clara were a beloved sister who had been led astray, I
can understand Alice's actions and even empathize with her.
But no, Clara has brought her nothing but misery, and since
Alice has decided to leave anyway, she should just have
left Clara to her own devices. After all, she didn't owe
I like kindness in a heroine, but this is too much.
The story's saving grace is probably Nigel Farnham, who was
steadfast in his love for Alice, despite the discovery of
her real station and despite her many refusals to let him
into her life. He pursued her back to her hometown and even
allowed himself to be shot at by her father. His
persistence should have touched her, yet it only raised
more questions and doubts in her as to his real intention.
The author really put the characters through all sorts of
hell before she lets them have their happy-ever-after.
Reviewed by Silver Winters
Posted December 17, 2009
“NO, MY LADY, I COULDN’T—”
But Alice could—and did. Against her better judgment, she allowed herself one night at a masquerade ball, playing the role of her mistress. When else might she, daughter of an austere Methodist minister and a servant, sample the pleasures of the ton? She had but one obligation: deter the coxcomb and would-be suitor, Nigel Farnham.
“WHEN HAS ‘NO’ EVER STOPPED ME?”
She vanished in a swish of buttery silk and left behind the scent of sweet clover and violets. Mischievous and bold, Lady Clara Langly was a chit who desperately needed to be taken in hand—but she had left Nigel abruptly, fled into the night, and he’d had no chance to see her pretty face unmasked. If he was right, and dancing was nothing but making love to music, their quadrille was just the beginning….
Genre: Historical Romance, Regency