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Five years in a New York state reformatory have left a blemish on Hazel's real name. So when she takes a job as Doctor Gilbert Watts's lady in attendance in 1898, she does so under an alias. In the presence of her quiet and pious employer, Hazel finds more than an income. She finds a friend and a hope that if she can set her tarnished past in order, she might have a future Five years in a New York state reformatory have left a blemish on Hazel's real name. So when she takes a job as Doctor Gilbert Watts's lady in attendance in 1898, she does so under an alias. In the presence of her quiet and pious employer, Hazel finds more than an income. She finds a friend and a hope that if she can set her tarnished past in order, she might have a future after all. As Gilbert becomes accustomed to the pleasant chatter of his new dental assistant, he can't help but sense something secretive about her. Perhaps there is more to this woman than meets the eye. Can the questions that loom between them ever be answered? Or will the deeds of days gone by forever rob the future of its possibilities? Rachel Fordham pens a tender tale of a soft-spoken man, a hardened woman, and the friends that stand by them as they work toward a common purpose--to expunge the record of someone society deemed beyond saving--and perhaps find love along the way.


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Five years in a New York state reformatory have left a blemish on Hazel's real name. So when she takes a job as Doctor Gilbert Watts's lady in attendance in 1898, she does so under an alias. In the presence of her quiet and pious employer, Hazel finds more than an income. She finds a friend and a hope that if she can set her tarnished past in order, she might have a future Five years in a New York state reformatory have left a blemish on Hazel's real name. So when she takes a job as Doctor Gilbert Watts's lady in attendance in 1898, she does so under an alias. In the presence of her quiet and pious employer, Hazel finds more than an income. She finds a friend and a hope that if she can set her tarnished past in order, she might have a future after all. As Gilbert becomes accustomed to the pleasant chatter of his new dental assistant, he can't help but sense something secretive about her. Perhaps there is more to this woman than meets the eye. Can the questions that loom between them ever be answered? Or will the deeds of days gone by forever rob the future of its possibilities? Rachel Fordham pens a tender tale of a soft-spoken man, a hardened woman, and the friends that stand by them as they work toward a common purpose--to expunge the record of someone society deemed beyond saving--and perhaps find love along the way.

30 review for A Lady in Attendance

  1. 5 out of 5

    Breny and Books

    A Lady in Attendance is everything a book should be. It has adventure, love, friendship goals, imperfect characters- characters from different walks of life that are brought together so they can learn from each other, laugh with each other... cry and love with each other.🥺💓 It’s a story about how your past doesn’t define you and how God can use the most unexpected circumstances to fufill his perfect plan for your life.😭💔💕 @rachel_fordham , thank you for writing such beautiful stories. You have no A Lady in Attendance is everything a book should be. It has adventure, love, friendship goals, imperfect characters- characters from different walks of life that are brought together so they can learn from each other, laugh with each other... cry and love with each other.🥺💓 It’s a story about how your past doesn’t define you and how God can use the most unexpected circumstances to fufill his perfect plan for your life.😭💔💕 @rachel_fordham , thank you for writing such beautiful stories. You have no idea how encouraging and touching they are. You can pre order it from @baker_book_house with 30% off right now!!!😍😍😍😍 Go snag a copy of this beautiful book! 🥰

  2. 5 out of 5

    Emma

    I’ve been anticipating this book ever since I first saw it coming out. I’ve loved every book Rachel Fordham has written and this one was no different! First of all, I found it so interesting how unique Hazel’s profession is for historical fiction! I was definitely intrigued when I found out she was a dental assistant (called a lady in attendance at that time.) I’ve contemplated this profession, so reading about what that was like in the late 1800s was so neat! I loved Hazel and her story. It was i I’ve been anticipating this book ever since I first saw it coming out. I’ve loved every book Rachel Fordham has written and this one was no different! First of all, I found it so interesting how unique Hazel’s profession is for historical fiction! I was definitely intrigued when I found out she was a dental assistant (called a lady in attendance at that time.) I’ve contemplated this profession, so reading about what that was like in the late 1800s was so neat! I loved Hazel and her story. It was inspiring and gripped me. I wanted to know all of it. I felt for her in so many ways and was rooting for her the whole time. Her past was written so well. I was so intrigued by it, and I felt so much emotion behind it. I really love how her past unfolded throughout the novel instead of having an info-dump at the beginning. It left me wanting to read and more to find out what had happened. Gilbert was an amazing male lead. I’m sure I sighed several times throughout because he was so romantic! Yes, Rachel Fordham successfully made a 1800s dentist romantic. ☺️ I just loved him! He was awkward and shy and adorable! (I feel weird calling him adorable but he really was... in a manly way.)😉 As an introvert, I felt for the poor guy! I loved and admired his loyalty to Hazel. He was just really sweet! I also love the secondary characters, especially Ina. Her and Duncan made my heart so happy! I even liked Eddie in the end. The love story was beautiful! It was just the way I like it. It was slow-burn, and wasn’t based merely on looks/ physical attraction. I find so many romance novels focus on the character’s looks and outward appearance when their character and heart is what really matters. Rachel Fordham does a beautiful job at writing a romance with depth. It made me smile and sigh. It made my heart happy! This was more than a romance novel though. There was mystery and suspense that made the book hard to put down. There were themes of forgiveness, both forgiveness towards others and yourself. Themes of moving on from your past and finding peace. The faith woven in is beautiful. Simple and yet profound. I loved the humor. I laughed and smiled so much! The banter was so good.☺️ Also, I just have to point this out because I’m such an Anne of Green Gables fan that even a mention of the name Gilbert brings Gilbert Blythe to mind... but Gilbert and Hazel reminded me slightly of my favorite fictional couple ever, Gilbert and Anne. I think it’s Hazel’s “red” hair that did that.😉 I loved this novel! It had a good love story, wonderful characters, and the right amount of suspense. I couldn’t be more excited for her next release. Her books never fail to inspire me! I recommend to anyone looking for a good historical fiction. A Lady in Attendance releases June 1 and is available for preorder now! *Thanks to the publisher for providing me with an ARC. All opinions are my own.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Mimi Matthews

    Rachel Fordham’s A Lady in Attendance draws you in from the first page and leaves you captivated until the oh-so-romantic conclusion. A poignant and beautifully written story of faith, forgiveness, and the healing power of love.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Lindsey (Books for Christian Girls)

    About this book: “Five years in a New York state reformatory have left a blemish on Hazel's real name. So when she takes a job as Doctor Gilbert Watts's lady in attendance in 1898, she does so under an alias. In the presence of her quiet and pious employer, Hazel finds more than an income. She finds a friend and a hope that if she can set her tarnished past in order, she might have a future after all. As Gilbert becomes accustomed to the pleasant chatter of his new dental assistant, he can't hel About this book: “Five years in a New York state reformatory have left a blemish on Hazel's real name. So when she takes a job as Doctor Gilbert Watts's lady in attendance in 1898, she does so under an alias. In the presence of her quiet and pious employer, Hazel finds more than an income. She finds a friend and a hope that if she can set her tarnished past in order, she might have a future after all. As Gilbert becomes accustomed to the pleasant chatter of his new dental assistant, he can't help but sense something secretive about her. Perhaps there is more to this woman than meets the eye. Can the questions that loom between them ever be answered? Or will the deeds of days gone by forever rob the future of its possibilities? Rachel Fordham pens a tender tale of a soft-spoken man, a hardened woman, and the friends that stand by them as they work toward a common purpose--to expunge the record of someone society deemed beyond saving--and perhaps find love along the way.” Series: No. Spiritual Content- Talks about God; ‘H’s are not capitalized when referring to God; Mentions of God, forgiveness, & justice; Mentions of prayers & praying; Mentions of churches, church going, pastors, preaching, & sermons; A few mentions of Christians & their duty; A few mentions of blessings & being blessed; A few mentions of sins; A couple mentions of Scriptures. Negative Content- Minor cussing including: a form of ‘shut up’, a ‘what in tarnation’, and two ‘drat’s; A mention of a curse (said, not written); A bit of eye rolling & sarcasm; Pain & Blood/Bleeding, & Being held at knifepoint (up to semi-detailed); Hazel lies about her name & keeps her past a secret because of social prejudices; Nightmares (including one seeing someone die, up to semi-detailed); Many mentions of blood/bleeding, things that could be deemed gross (puss, infection, etc.), & pain (up to semi-detailed); Many mentions of lies, lying, & deception; Mentions of a murder & the body (up to semi-detailed); Mentions of a man hitting & abusing a young woman (up to semi-detailed); Mentions of violence, brawls, fighting, punches, shooting, blood, injuries, & a death (up to semi-detailed); Mentions of a prison/reformatory, convicts/inmates, & prejudice; Mentions of burglary, stealing, stolen items, thieves/criminals, & being accused; Mentions of opium & smuggling; Mentions of alcohol, drinking, & drunks; Mentions of cigars & smoking; Mentions of nightmares; Mentions of hatred; Mentions of gossip & rumors; A few mentions of threats; A mention of a fire; *Note: A couple mentions of Jane Eyre; A mention of a damning confession. Sexual Content- Two fingers/hand kisses, two head/hair kisses, six cheek kisses (two being semi-detailed), an almost kiss, and three semi-detailed kisses; Remembering a kiss (up to semi-detailed); Dreaming of an almost kiss (up to semi-detailed); Touches, Embraces, & Warmth (up to semi-detailed); Wanting to touch & embrace (barely-above-not-detailed); Blushes & Winks; Noticing (including muscles, barely-above-not-detailed) & Smelling; Being alone with a man in a bedroom (nothing happens); Many mentions of kisses, kissing, seeing others kissing, & winners’ kisses; Many mentions of heartbreakers, flirts, flirting, & sneaking off with a man; Mentions of brothels & prostitutes (the title is never said, but there are a few mentions of women who sell their bodies to be able to eat, fallen women, & women of the night); Mentions of jealousy; Mentions of giggly girls staring at a handsome man; A few mentions of (somewhat awkward) moments of Gilbert saying that Hazel will not be giving extra affection to patients and they will be professional in their relationship; A few mentions of chaperones & being ruined; A couple mentions of a warning from a woman to another that men want to take women to dark places; A couple mentions of women in the reformatory being there after running around with a married man; A couple mentions of couples holding hands; A mention of police being called on a couple in the park (it’s implied it was indecent, though it never happened); A mention of wondering if an affair is happening; Love, falling in love, & the emotions; *Note: A couple mentions of Hazel noticing her curves in a dress; A mention of a wife dying in childbirth. -Hazel McDowell, age 25 -Gilbert Watts, age 30 P.O.V. switches between them 1898 (Prologue in 1893) 326 pages ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* Pre Teens- One Star New Teens- One Star Early High School Teens- Three Stars Older High School Teens- Four Stars My personal Rating- Three Stars I liked this book, but unfortunately, not as much as I was expecting. Hazel and Gilbert were both fine characters. I think my main struggle with this novel was that so many happens and so much information is given in large doses. When Hazel told her past to Gilbert, I had to re-read that section three times to take everything in. They quickly liked each other and while I don’t typically like anything near insta-love, they were cute together, so it was easy to overlook that. (I don’t consider this to be insta-love (when the main couple falls in love with each other instantly or very quickly), but it was sooner than I was expecting because of the author’s previous books having slower feelings and reactions when it comes to love.) I’m pretty sure their feelings happened in the first third of the book, though, so the main couple can band together to prove Hazel’s innocence and weather the storm. 😉 Because of this, “A Lady in Attendance” did have more kisses (or thinking about kisses) than her prior books—and lots more flirting—but I wouldn’t consider it over the top for older girls. I give this book 3 stars for my personal rating, because of these different elements and because I liked it, but didn’t really like it compared to the authors other books. I will definitely be trying out her next release, though. Link to review: https://booksforchristiangirls.blogsp... *BFCG may (Read the review to see) recommend this book by this author. It does not mean I recommend all the books by this author. *I received this book for free from the Publisher (Revell) for this honest review.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Grace Johnson

    *Warnings* #1 This is a long review, so pull up a chair and grab a bowl of popcorn. You’ll be here awhile. #2 When I read a review, I want substantial information. So I will not skimp on the details. Which may mean some spoilers, so watch out. Stars: 3.5 Synopsis: Wrongful charges have put Hazel in a precarious position—ostracized from her family, disowned from polite society, and unable to live the life she was raised for. So, armed with a false name and no small amount of baggage, she heads to A *Warnings* #1 This is a long review, so pull up a chair and grab a bowl of popcorn. You’ll be here awhile. #2 When I read a review, I want substantial information. So I will not skimp on the details. Which may mean some spoilers, so watch out. Stars: 3.5 Synopsis: Wrongful charges have put Hazel in a precarious position—ostracized from her family, disowned from polite society, and unable to live the life she was raised for. So, armed with a false name and no small amount of baggage, she heads to Amherst to start a new life as a lady in attendance to the local dentist, Dr. Gilbert Watts. Will an unlikely friendship between the fiery redhead and quiet dentist unlock her heart and her secrets, giving her the key to freedom? Favorite Quote: “Only God knows our true worth.” I have heard tremendously great things about Rachel Fordham and the reviews I’ve read for A Lady in Attendance have all been extremely positive. So, yeah, I came into this with really high expectations. And, unfortunately, they weren’t necessarily met. Now, instead of rattling off all of my personal pet peeves with this story—of which there were many—I’m going to focus on the legitimate qualms I had with ALIA...but first, let’s talk about the good things, shall we? In spite of it all, I had fun reading this story. It started off kind of boring, slow and yet spotty in some ways, you know? Kind of like a movie that skips from scene to scene as if it’s trying to move on to something important or interesting...without actually moving on to anything at all. But, about a third of the way through, it started picking up and, in between my cringing, I laughed a few times and thoroughly enjoyed myself. It wasn’t one of those reads that depresses you or makes you think long and hard—it was light and quick, so I got through it pretty fast and didn’t feel myself nodding off too bad. After a while, it began flowing much more smoothly and, of course, things started happening. I was honestly terrified that it was going to be one of those plot-less, flimsy little stories that could’ve easily been a novella but just...weren’t...but it wasn’t! There was a smidge of suspense and mystery, what with finding out who framed Hazel for burglary and why. I think it was that bit of mystery that kept me reading the whole way through, since I never really connected with the characters. At all. Hazel was nice and she certainly wasn’t an obnoxious heroine—quite the opposite, in fact. I’d say she was kind of bland, to be honest, and I think she had the potential to have a strong personality and connection with readers, but I never saw it come out. A lot of books are simply like that—distant and detached—and although it worked for the classics, nowadays stories that are meant to inspire should have characters that are inspired, if that makes sense. (It probably doesn’t, but you know, that’s me for you.) As for Gilbert? Well, y’all know I prefer bodice-ripping alpha males. Naw, not really! (At least, not all the time…) I can appreciate an upstanding, God-fearing beta male, trust me. Probably more than half of my own heroes are godly beta males (and are secretly teddy bears on the inside). But Gil? He just seemed a little lackluster, mainly in the same way Hazel did—but, for once, I think I preferred Hazel to Gilbert. She was more real, more confident, and more personable—which makes for both a better person and a better character. Gilbert was so awkward, and even though I guess that was part of his character, it made him kinda cringe-worthy. There’s a way to do awkward, not-so-quiet quite dentists, and there’s a way not to do them. Somewhere, Fordham crossed the line and Gilbert was made into a dork. Come to think of it, it was less his character itself and more the situations he was put in, the way they were described, and how he and Hazel just kept cracking jokes about him being a quiet dentist. Seriously. The single best way to make a character well-defined and their personality clear to the reader is to not mention it. See Section 4, Page 52 of the Writer’s Code, where the show-don’t-tell rule is explained. Don’t ever describe the character’s personality unless it’s already obvious how they act, and don’t bring it up in dialogue. Show us how quiet Gil is, then mention it a few chapters later. I don’t know, maybe that was just me. Like I said, my tastes run a little differently. Along the lines of Irish Catholic womanizers, to be exact. But enough about that. I think there was a lot of potential for there to be a great theme of redemption and forgiveness (and, in a way, there was with Eddie and Hazel), but the theme and some of the Christian content in general was fairly subtle. Which was partially due to the fact that Gil seemed to take Hazel’s confession pretty well—which I’m not upset about at all. Eventually you start to get tired of the drama and are glad when a hero just nods and continues on, you know? As for Fordham’s writing style, I was very disappointed. That was probably the main thing that made me lift my eyebrows. I’ve heard so much good about Fordham’s novels, and either A Lady in Attendance just didn’t deliver this time, or Fordham’s writing isn’t really as good as it could be. There were some sentences that were stilted or unclear, and some scenes that were just strangely written. Nothing about her style or prose stuck out to me as being unique or captivating. To be honest, the best part of A Lady in Attendance was the mystery surrounding Hazel’s false charges, and that was very interesting to see play out. The characters were pretty two-dimensional and the romance aspect of the plot was kind of cheesy. Come to think of it, it’d make a great Hallmark movie! Long story short, there were good parts to this story and some eh parts, but it was a welcome respite from a lot of depressing dramas and Christian fiction with not-so-Christian content, you know? Fordham’s writing was kind of bland and the beginning of the story was very slow, but once I got into it, I did in fact enjoy myself. Disclaimer: A complimentary copy of this book was provided by the publisher, publicist, or author, including NetGalley. All opinions expressed are my own.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ibjoy1953

    MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK When I first started this book, I didn’t realize what ‘A Lady in Attendance’ was all about. This is a fun, interesting historical read that I hated to see end. I kept going back re-reading parts just to prolong the story. Hazel was in a bit of trouble, and spent several years in a New York state reformatory, but she was innocent. But aside from this, she had to make her way in the world and find a job. She nailed one with a dentist, being his assistant, but not before she MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK When I first started this book, I didn’t realize what ‘A Lady in Attendance’ was all about. This is a fun, interesting historical read that I hated to see end. I kept going back re-reading parts just to prolong the story. Hazel was in a bit of trouble, and spent several years in a New York state reformatory, but she was innocent. But aside from this, she had to make her way in the world and find a job. She nailed one with a dentist, being his assistant, but not before she changed her name to cover her past issues. Will her past meet up with her before she can come clean and clear her name once and for all? I loved this historical fiction. Author Rachel Fordham does and excellent job of creating beautiful characters that I grew to love. Hazel was a beautiful character inside and out and everyone loved her, and her personality made a nice change in the dentist office. And her name is adorable, but I could be bias since this is my new granddaughters name. It was difficult for Hazel to trust anyone, but finally she was able to trust a few people and tell her story and find help. Fordham does an amazing job with this story, the historical details show the deep research she does before writing the story and her writing is phenomenal. I can’t wait to read what Rachel Fordham has next for us, her readers. If you love historical fiction, with a bit of whodunit mystery, you will love this story. This one is a Five Star all the way for me. A special thanks to the author/publisher for a copy of this book. I am not required to write a positive review, the opinions here are mine alone. I am disclosing this with my review in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Maureen Timerman

    I have loved all of Rachel Fordham's books, and this is no exception, it was a wonderful gift. A young woman who made a lot of wrong choices, and she paid dearly for them. She ended up in a Reformatory, and lost her family. Now what? She was framed, but why? Answers are forthcoming, and we are along for the ride. After leaving her confinement she moves to Amhurst NY and takes a job as a dental assistant, only this is the 1890's and having a woman work in the dental office is new and they are calle I have loved all of Rachel Fordham's books, and this is no exception, it was a wonderful gift. A young woman who made a lot of wrong choices, and she paid dearly for them. She ended up in a Reformatory, and lost her family. Now what? She was framed, but why? Answers are forthcoming, and we are along for the ride. After leaving her confinement she moves to Amhurst NY and takes a job as a dental assistant, only this is the 1890's and having a woman work in the dental office is new and they are called a Lady in Attendance. What she doesn't expect is begin caring about the dentist, Gilbert. You are going to love the banter between the two, and the big heart Hazel has and how she helps her friend Inz, wonderful.. This read just kept getting better and better, and the pages flew, you never see what was coming! Surprises abound, and it is beautifully written! I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher Revell, and was not required to give a positive review.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Erin Laramore

    Rachel Fordham has penned another historical romance with wonderful characters, an intriguing mystery and a sweet romance. This one has a fiery heroine in Hazel and a quiet, but steadfast hero in Gilbert. I related well to Hazel and her spitfire personality. And I loved to see the character growth as the book went on. There was a dominant theme of forgiveness throughout the book - both forgiving others and forgiving oneself. I enjoyed how the characters related and the humor throughout. The fait Rachel Fordham has penned another historical romance with wonderful characters, an intriguing mystery and a sweet romance. This one has a fiery heroine in Hazel and a quiet, but steadfast hero in Gilbert. I related well to Hazel and her spitfire personality. And I loved to see the character growth as the book went on. There was a dominant theme of forgiveness throughout the book - both forgiving others and forgiving oneself. I enjoyed how the characters related and the humor throughout. The faith thread was subtle, but very present, paricularly in the forgivenss theme. I enjoyed the unique qualities of the characters - Gilbert was a dentist, Hazel had been to a "reformatory", and later obtained a job I'd never heard of, though it's like a modern "dental assistant". Ina had a rare birthmark that placed an unfair stigma on her and Duncan was a single father. All of these are rare to find in historical novels, but give everyone someone to relate to. The mystery in this one - about Hazel's past and what could clear her name - was intriguing and had me turning pages. The romance was sweet, though I felt it moved too quickly (but that's always a hang-up for me in romance novels), and I enjoyed the ending and the gift that Hazel gave to Gilbert. All in all, this was a wonderful novel and I would strongly recommend it to fans of historical romance. Special thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for an advance e-copy of this novel. I was under no obligation to provide a review and the thoughts contained herein are my own.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Abigail

    This was such a wholesome, slow burn romance. I honestly want more. This book was not what I excepted when I picked it up. I did not realize how much mystery and suspense there would be. It was a surprise, but a good surprise. It added so much to the story in ways that I did not except. Every time I pick up on of Mrs. Fordham's novels, I always enjoy it. Mrs. Fordham always creates likable characters that you connect with, a plot that keeps you hoked, and a story that overall just makes you very This was such a wholesome, slow burn romance. I honestly want more. This book was not what I excepted when I picked it up. I did not realize how much mystery and suspense there would be. It was a surprise, but a good surprise. It added so much to the story in ways that I did not except. Every time I pick up on of Mrs. Fordham's novels, I always enjoy it. Mrs. Fordham always creates likable characters that you connect with, a plot that keeps you hoked, and a story that overall just makes you very engaged. I really enjoyed this book. Every single character grew on my very quickly and were so enduring, especially Gilbert! He was so sweet and he was just the most adorable male character ever (in the most manly way). I am so happy that I finally picked this book up! I cannot wait to read what Mrs. Fordham has written for us in her next book!! *I received this book from Revell in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts are my own. I was NOT required to write a positive review.*

  10. 4 out of 5

    Staci

    1898 Amherst, New York Lovely. This fourth novel by Rachel Fordham delivers the sweet romance I've come to expect from her writing style. In addition, A Lady in Attendance has a bit of mystery too. Hazel spent five years in a reformatory for a crime she didn't commit. With the stigma associated to her conviction and time served, her family doesn't want her to return home to Buffalo and she has a difficult time finding a job. She feels fortunate to find a job as a lady in attendance (dental assista 1898 Amherst, New York Lovely. This fourth novel by Rachel Fordham delivers the sweet romance I've come to expect from her writing style. In addition, A Lady in Attendance has a bit of mystery too. Hazel spent five years in a reformatory for a crime she didn't commit. With the stigma associated to her conviction and time served, her family doesn't want her to return home to Buffalo and she has a difficult time finding a job. She feels fortunate to find a job as a lady in attendance (dental assistant) in Amherst. Hazel has no desire for romance, but finds herself drawn to Gilbert. A delightful slow burning romance.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Tamara

    Hazel is hoping for a new beginning when she takes the job as a Lady in Attendance for Gilbert Watts. She has just served five years in a New York State reformatory for a burglary that she didn’t do. This was a sweet story about second chances for Hazel who has lost the support of her family, and how she works hard to regain the family she lost but also gains friends she didn’t think she deserved. A Lady in Attendance didn’t quite hit the mark for me like Rachel Fordham’s previous novel that I hav Hazel is hoping for a new beginning when she takes the job as a Lady in Attendance for Gilbert Watts. She has just served five years in a New York State reformatory for a burglary that she didn’t do. This was a sweet story about second chances for Hazel who has lost the support of her family, and how she works hard to regain the family she lost but also gains friends she didn’t think she deserved. A Lady in Attendance didn’t quite hit the mark for me like Rachel Fordham’s previous novel that I have read. I liked the characters but I didn’t connect with any of them. My gratitude to Thomas Nelson and Netgalley. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Brooklyne E.

    A Lady in Attendance was such a fun read with likable/sweet characters and a exciting lil' mystery to go along with it! I really enjoyed reading this book, and I have to say, it grew on me towards the end! I love the uniqueness of having this book centered around dentistry and I immediately felt more connected to the book. Also, can I just say that I LOVE the cover!? The book started off slower than I'm used to reading and it honestly didn't grab my attention until I got over half way into it. B A Lady in Attendance was such a fun read with likable/sweet characters and a exciting lil' mystery to go along with it! I really enjoyed reading this book, and I have to say, it grew on me towards the end! I love the uniqueness of having this book centered around dentistry and I immediately felt more connected to the book. Also, can I just say that I LOVE the cover!? The book started off slower than I'm used to reading and it honestly didn't grab my attention until I got over half way into it. But nothing was really wrong with the first half, I just needed to get into the characters head more and adjust to the writing style. After I let myself really enjoy it, (at first I was way too critical about small details that seemed unbelievable like dancing with blistered feet after they made such a big deal about it...) but then, I started to really enjoy the storyline and the love story was cute too. There was a big backstory dump that disrupted the flow of the reading but thats a small little nitpick as well. The characters: Hazel. She was such a fun character and so unpredictable! As a "redhead" I thought I'd see more of a feisty side to her character but this side only came out once or twice, (that slap tho!) mostly she was kind-hearted and somewhat sensitive. Her past seemed so out of character for her, but then again, people can make drastic changes and that seems to be her story. I loved seeing how she overcame those past mistakes and learned from them. I love how she was honest with her past and the themes of forgiving herself towards the end were spot on. Gilbert. OK, yes, I'm a Anne of Green Gables fan so having a main character named Gil really added to the story. He was just perfect for Hazel! (Always knew what to say) I loved that he was a dentist and I loved their jokes and wit with each other. I was expecting him to be more quiet, but no, he was definitely more bold and a not-so-quiet dentist after all. I also appreciate how he respected Hazel so much to give her space to make up her mind and adjust to a free life, but he also made it clear how he felt (Honesty is such a good thing!) I also liked that he painted... He honestly didn't have many faults besides his horrible thoughts towards Alberta, lol. I will mention the side characters, Ina and Duncan. They were so sweet and made for a perfect side character romance/friend group! Also, Eddie rubbed me the wrong way but the other difficult character, Alberta, was quite comical. (A side note. I didn't respect her parents at all for shunning her like they did.) Concluding thoughts: This story started out slow but ended so so sweet and I liked the last half of the book more than I thought I would. The themes of forgiveness and overcoming the past were done really well but I would have liked to see more Christian content especially with the forgiveness message (that would have been a perfect opportunity!) There was also a neat spin on being different and not accepted into society. Well done on balancing the deeper themes with the fun banter. It's a solid 4 star and I'd definitely recommend this to any historical romance fans! *Thanks Revell Reads for a complementary copy of this new release! All thoughts are my own.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    3.5 stars "There was a time when Hazel felt irreplaceable and important. But now she was merely a rent payment. A wayward soul with no real place, and the reminder was humbling." Sometimes life had a way of dismantling one's sense of importance; thus Hazel McDowell had been demoted into a life of humility through no fault, or even every fault, of her own. Five years of reformatory had left her nearly penniless and unable to return home dragging the heavy burden of a tainted reputation. Thrilled to 3.5 stars "There was a time when Hazel felt irreplaceable and important. But now she was merely a rent payment. A wayward soul with no real place, and the reminder was humbling." Sometimes life had a way of dismantling one's sense of importance; thus Hazel McDowell had been demoted into a life of humility through no fault, or even every fault, of her own. Five years of reformatory had left her nearly penniless and unable to return home dragging the heavy burden of a tainted reputation. Thrilled to secure a position as a "lady in attendance" to Doctor Gilbert Watts, a local dental physician in a small New York town, Hazel never imagined that this particular employment might provide the opportunity to re-discover herself, begin to atone for her mistakes, and possibly discover love in the process. "Women were a mystery, that was for certain. And Hazel was no exception. " Gilbert Watts was content with his life as a dentist, following in his beloved father's footsteps, serving the citizens of Amherst. Now second guessing his decision to hire a lady in attendance, he reluctantly supposed that he could at least allow Hazel McDowell an opportunity to prove her worth. The fact that she didn't bat her eyes at him all the time (like some of the applicants)bode well, and she had readily accepted his terms of firm profession boundaries without question. But before long, it turned out to be Gilbert that actually looked forward to Hazel's lively presence in his office, admiring how she managed difficult tasks with efficiency and appreciating her ability to calm difficult patients with ease. But she's hiding something, he's sure of it. He just had no idea how big. What a lovely story! With precision plot balance, the author penned a picture of life after . . . navigating the results of grave errors which most would agree could potentially breed anger, resentment, and revenge but had produced humility, kindness, and compassion instead. The blend of character traits in both hero and heroine served them well, painting a picture of grace . . . lived without and within, some very difficult circumstances. And of course the combination of romance and intrigue added to the overall ambiance . . . . . repeat after me, "a red ear of corn". I received a copy of this book from the Baker Publishing Group through Interviews and Reviews.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    I am such a fan of Rachel Fordham. I’ve read all of her novels up to this point, and when I pick up one of her books I know I’m about to indulge in a sweet, slow-burning romantic historical. A Lady in Attendance is just such a romance that features one of the more interesting main characters that I’ve read about this year. Actually, both of the leads in this story are intriguing. Gilbert is a dentist, and Hazel is his lady in attendance, which is what dental assistants were called then. This sto I am such a fan of Rachel Fordham. I’ve read all of her novels up to this point, and when I pick up one of her books I know I’m about to indulge in a sweet, slow-burning romantic historical. A Lady in Attendance is just such a romance that features one of the more interesting main characters that I’ve read about this year. Actually, both of the leads in this story are intriguing. Gilbert is a dentist, and Hazel is his lady in attendance, which is what dental assistants were called then. This story also turned out to be more of a mystery than I realized, with a touch of suspense thrown in for good measure. Hazel spent time in a women’s reformatory after being framed for a crime, and she faces a lot of shame and judgement from others. Grateful to have the job as a dental assistant, she realizes that in Gilbert she may have found someone who believes in her. An unexpected connection from her past has Hazel wondering if she can ever truly put the past behind her. Gilbert is a shy but noble lead who wants to prove that Hazel can depend on him. I enjoyed the secondary characters – Ina is especially endearing, and I loved the staunch support that Hazel and Ina provide each other. There are some fun scenes, too, my favorite being the corn shucking event with a special red ear of corn. Fans of sweet historical romances will not want to miss this lovely book! I’m already looking forward to what Fordham pens next. I received a complimentary copy of this novel from the publisher. A positive review was not require, and these are my honest thoughts and opinions.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Keren Herrera-Lyles

    Once again Author Rachel Fordham has not let me down. Every story that I read of hers I have enjoyed and once again I have enjoyed this one more. She has mastered an exquisite story in A Lady On Attendance. From the unique touch she has created these wonderful characters full of Beauty and Strength within each of them and the detailed throughout the storyline. This story captures the Loss, the hurt, the betrayal, the true friendship that doesn't ask for anything in return and the Forgiveness and Once again Author Rachel Fordham has not let me down. Every story that I read of hers I have enjoyed and once again I have enjoyed this one more. She has mastered an exquisite story in A Lady On Attendance. From the unique touch she has created these wonderful characters full of Beauty and Strength within each of them and the detailed throughout the storyline. This story captures the Loss, the hurt, the betrayal, the true friendship that doesn't ask for anything in return and the Forgiveness and Acceptance of oneself with God's love. Set in 1898, where you hardly hear about a Dentist, yet a Lady in Attendance, which today that will be a Assistant in our time. We are introduced to Hazel, a high class young woman, with a past that let her to the hurtful present. Now being a Lady in Attendance at a dentist office of a quiet single young doctor named Gilbert. Who not only opens his doors for her but his heart and gives her a hope for a happier and better future. He helps her learn about Dentistry when he shows her his "art room" where he creates what most won't label art. This story was written in such a beautiful way that it had all the right amount of each element along the whole story. It kept you glued in with each page a unique surprise inside. The way Hazel and Gilbert talked to each other made you smile as you read. Author Rachel Fordham has once again created the right characters to go along with the main characters. I loved Ina's character, a quiet, romantic young lady that dreams of a fairytale romance with a prince, as she helps her dear friend Hazel go through her ordeals. This story I highly recommend. You won't be disappointed, as Author Rachel Fordham creates each story more unique. Loved it. I received an ARC from the publisher/author. My thoughts are my own and I was not obligated to leave a Review.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    Oh My Goodness! I have been highly anticipating the release of this book since the announcement that it was coming. I have loved every one of Rachel Fordham's books, and this was no exception! I really enjoyed the uniqueness of the main characters' professions. Gilbert as a dentist and Hazel as a dental assistant, or lady in attendance, as they were called in that day. Hazel finds herself in a world of trouble after having spent the last 5 years in a reformatory for stealing, which she is adaman Oh My Goodness! I have been highly anticipating the release of this book since the announcement that it was coming. I have loved every one of Rachel Fordham's books, and this was no exception! I really enjoyed the uniqueness of the main characters' professions. Gilbert as a dentist and Hazel as a dental assistant, or lady in attendance, as they were called in that day. Hazel finds herself in a world of trouble after having spent the last 5 years in a reformatory for stealing, which she is adamant she is innocent of. In order to make money she lies about her name and doesn't tell Gilbert the truth of where she's been. But as their friendship grows so does Hazel's guilt over lying. So, she decides she's going to be honest about her past and tell Gilbert her entire story. Gil, as Hazel calls him, is absolutely scrumptious! As he begins to come out of his shell, we see his inner self and it was so genuine. He's quirky and shy and loyal and a wonderful friend! I absolutely fell in love with him! The relationship between these two was absolutely perfect! I loved how they took things slow and Hazel kept having to redraw lines. It's a slow burn type of friendship-to-more that was exceptionally well written. This story will leave you completely satisfied at the end...and leave you wanting more at the same time! I cannot wait to see what Rachel Fordham will deliver to us next! I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. all opinions expressed are my own.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Faye

    As a dental assistant myself, I knew I had to read this book once I read that it featured someone who shared my profession. This book is part sweet romance and another part compelling mystery as Hazel fights to clear her name with faithful friends by her side. I loved that this book featured relatable situations with difficult patients that brought a smile to my face. Gilbert is a dashingly earnest hero, he is more reserved, always respectful, thoughtful, but says what he means. He is endearingl As a dental assistant myself, I knew I had to read this book once I read that it featured someone who shared my profession. This book is part sweet romance and another part compelling mystery as Hazel fights to clear her name with faithful friends by her side. I loved that this book featured relatable situations with difficult patients that brought a smile to my face. Gilbert is a dashingly earnest hero, he is more reserved, always respectful, thoughtful, but says what he means. He is endearingly a rule follower, I liked his slow to speak demeanor and his easy relationship with Hazel. Hazel is hardworking, and a faithful friend to Ina. I adored Ina and Duncan's story, they are both wonderful friends to Hazel and Gilbert, standing by them through it all. Overall, this was an compelling, tender romance, and redemption story. I loved the interaction between Gil and Hazel, as well as the mysterious backstory woven in as we delve into Hazel's past. Gilbert has got to be one of my favorite heroes, because he takes time to take in the details, thinking through things for solutions rather than reactions, as well as his loyalty as a friend. A captivating read from beginning to end, with charmingly well crafted characters. I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Becky Lewis

    Reading the author’s “why” behind one of the main characters made me love this story all the more. Rachel Fordham certainly accomplishes what she set out to do… make a quiet, unassuming, often brunt-of-jokes character into a sympathetic, greatly caring, and deep personality! How I loved him, and I believe most readers will connect well with Gil as he slowly emerges from his self-made cocoon. The leading lady that is so opposite Gil and draws him out? Readers won’t be able to help but love Hazel, Reading the author’s “why” behind one of the main characters made me love this story all the more. Rachel Fordham certainly accomplishes what she set out to do… make a quiet, unassuming, often brunt-of-jokes character into a sympathetic, greatly caring, and deep personality! How I loved him, and I believe most readers will connect well with Gil as he slowly emerges from his self-made cocoon. The leading lady that is so opposite Gil and draws him out? Readers won’t be able to help but love Hazel, either, as we gradually are able to compare the amazing person she is, with the persona she exhibited for so many years. Fordham fleshes out the story with some friends of Gil and Hazel I grew to love. They showed more depth than I would have credited them. Which, by the way, was one of the major themes of the novel- judging people based on looks, their pasts, or societal relegations. And, oh, that we could all learn the forgiveness that would set us free. Several characters must choose what degree of forgiveness they will offer-or receive- and that will make ALL the difference. Loved the inclusion of art, corn harvest, dental practice, reformatory life, and more. Just a powerful story. I received a copy of the book through Revell Reads. I was not obligated to leave a positive review. All opinions are my own, voluntarily submitted.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Erin Cataldi

    Hazel is looking for a fresh start after serving five years in a reformatory. She paid for a crime she didn't commit and as such has lost the warm embrace of her parents, siblings, and friends, and must make a new life for herself where no one knows her past. She miraculously finds lodging in a boarding house and work as a lady in attendance for a local dentist. Gilbert is a quiet, hardworking man and he's looking for someone to help him in the office. They quickly fall into a routine and become Hazel is looking for a fresh start after serving five years in a reformatory. She paid for a crime she didn't commit and as such has lost the warm embrace of her parents, siblings, and friends, and must make a new life for herself where no one knows her past. She miraculously finds lodging in a boarding house and work as a lady in attendance for a local dentist. Gilbert is a quiet, hardworking man and he's looking for someone to help him in the office. They quickly fall into a routine and become fast friends. But what if there is more than friendship at stake? How will Gilbert react when h discovers the truth behind Hazel's shameful past? The entire cast of characters is delightful and I really enjoyed the slow burn romance between Hazel and Gilbert as well as Ina and Duncan (their friends). A clean, enjoyable read that shows the power of faith, friendship, and redemption.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Karen R

    A refreshing historical read, full of inspiration, genuine friendships, and tender romance. Sure to appeal to fans of Janette Oke, Tracie Peterson, and Lauraine Snelling. Set in New York in the late 1800's featuring a young woman with a past and a kind dentist who gives her a second chance. This was a good, gentle read with a bit of mystery and action towards the second half. I loved Hazel's repentant heart and her sincere desire to overcome her past with faith and hard work. She was a lovely exa A refreshing historical read, full of inspiration, genuine friendships, and tender romance. Sure to appeal to fans of Janette Oke, Tracie Peterson, and Lauraine Snelling. Set in New York in the late 1800's featuring a young woman with a past and a kind dentist who gives her a second chance. This was a good, gentle read with a bit of mystery and action towards the second half. I loved Hazel's repentant heart and her sincere desire to overcome her past with faith and hard work. She was a lovely example of a life redeemed by God's grace. Her willingness to extend that grace to others was beautiful, forgiving wrongs and the people who misjudged her. Forgiving ourselves can sometimes be the hardest of all. The themes of reconciliation and redemption were uplifting. I loved her encouraging friendship with Ina and also the tender bond that she developed with shy Gilbert. He was a terrific guy! A satisfying read overall. Recommend for older teens and up. 4.5 stars (An ebook was provided by the publisher via NetGalley. All opinions expressed are my own.)

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    Dear Mrs. Fordham, Oh, my heart has been so touched by this beautiful story! I think it would be impossible not to be changed by this heartwarming and incredible story. I loved the history you brought to life, the beautiful landscapes and settings, and the charater’s stories filled with so much depth and heart. I have truly felt so moved. I finished this book with a smile on my face and my heart feeling so warm and uplifted. Thank you so much for giving us this beautiful story. Hazel and Gilbert Dear Mrs. Fordham, Oh, my heart has been so touched by this beautiful story! I think it would be impossible not to be changed by this heartwarming and incredible story. I loved the history you brought to life, the beautiful landscapes and settings, and the charater’s stories filled with so much depth and heart. I have truly felt so moved. I finished this book with a smile on my face and my heart feeling so warm and uplifted. Thank you so much for giving us this beautiful story. Hazel and Gilbert are both characters I fell in love with quite instantly. I love Hazel’s fiery and determined nature, complimented so well by Gilbert’s quiet strength and his charming wit. I loved their banter and the natural way they became first friends and then more. Is it possible to use the word beautiful too many times in one letter? I fear it is, but the word suits so well because these two characters wer truly beautiful. And isn’t is wonderful when supporting characters also play an equally important part in the story? I think Hazel could not have been who she was—who we get to know—if it had not been for Ina and her unwavering, frank, courageous friendship. And of course Duncan is sweet. Can I tell you how much I loved that he was not necessarily a dashing and physically perfect specimen of the male species? I loved his balding head and rounding belly and his generous spirit. It made him more perfect. Mrs. Northly and Alberta were quite funny! I liked their antics. I never knew what would come out of their mouths. I almost feel that Alberta needs a story of her own. Perhaps one where she falls madly in love with a man well over thirty. Haha! And while I did not like Eddie much at first, I grew to like him and I feel as though that is the point. This part-mystery, part-romance, wholly redemption story was so well written and executed. You have such a way with words and I found myself touched by various passages many times throughout. The entire character and story arc was perfectly constructed and all of it was, in a word, beautiful. Thank you again for the opportunity to read this book. It was an experience I am so glad I got to have. Your grateful fan, Jessica Quotes I loved: In Hazel’s first night at the boardinghouse, Ina asked Hazel to go for a walk with her and they talked without ceasing, proving that the bonds of friendship did not require excessive time to cure. “At lest we know how to make our own joy. You have your flute and I have my books, and we can find comfort in our ability to care for ourselves.” When Anthony Pewter was in, she’d told him if he’d been dating Ramona for so many months already, he ought to either marry her or let her find someone who would. “What I mean is, are we not, as humans, meant to look after one another? Not only when it affects business but at all times. To mourn, to comfort, and to aid?” “Real romance is thoughtful and kind, and it makes your heart feel like it’s alive within you.” “She’s not old. She’s simply not s as young as she was a few years ago.” “I would not have guessed that a dentist would outlast them all.” “I think there are a lot of things people wouldn’t expect about dentists.” He wasn’t jealous, of course he wasn’t, but he did have to instruct himself not to scowl as he watched. “Life has a way of changing when you least expect it.” Gilbert nodded. “I’ve heard everyone wishes for romance.” “No. Not everyone. I’m told that some people intend to remain unattached, always,” Hazel said with only a hint of mischief in her voice. “I’ve been told that those are the famous last words of many a married man.” Gilbert’s voice matched hers despite the fact that his palms were swearing. “Even the most stalwart fall to the right foe.” “A quiet man is well suited for a quiet meal.” “Meals around a table are a treasure far too few cherish.” “When you’ve found someone to fill the quiet, you never feel so peaceful alone again. But that new noise you’ve found is a tune you’ll be forever grateful for. There’s nothing like the music of companionship.” “One never knows when they will be in need of a crime-fighting dentist.” “You paint your heart in your brushstrokes, and I play my heart into my music. Or, rather, I did. I haven’t played in a very long time.” She set the crust aside and went back to the apples. “Will you play it now?” Gilbert asked, holding the delicate instrument in his hand. “Let my hear what your heart sounds like.” If only she could slow down this night, stretch it out, and make it big enough that she could climb inside it and never leave. “I don’t bring any verse of Scripture says to help only those who are perfect when none of us are.” “I’ve not pried into your post because it’s your past. But don’t you think that at some point you ought to forgive yourself for whatever happened and allow yourself to go on with your past?” “It’s not a pretty tale, is it?” “No, it’s not. But I still believe there is a way for you to write a new chapter and then another and another and give them a happy ending. Don’t you think that’s what writers do? If they can’t get their characters to end on a happy note, they write more.” Life has taught her that she could control how she faced each day. “It’ll be a good week. You’ll make it so.” Ina said. “I can feel it in the air.” “That snow you feel.” Hazel smiled at her friend. She shook her head. “No, it’s not just snow. It’s hope. We both have bright futures ahead.” “We’re had very different preferences, but in the end the house will be a strange compilation of her tastes. But perhaps all homes are the reflection of two lost souls merging together.” “Married life, I have come to believe, I’d like being on a boat in the middle of a storm. One moment the gray and livid sky is threatening, and the next it’s overwhelmingly beautiful.” “I’ve watched you fight to stay angry, and from my vantage point, I’d say bridges are not simple. They require endless feeding. Forgiving May in fact be the easier route, and there’s no doubt it’s the better one.” “I’ve been thinking, and maybe romance is not a game of chess.” “More like a three-legged race. You can only win if you work together,” Ina whispered with a smile on her face. “And its full of exhilarating bursts of speed and stumbles and joy when you cross the finish line.” “... you are the kindest man I’ve ever met. I knew it from the start. I felt safe around you. You’ve given me wings.” When life and death wrestled, everything else fell away, leaving only the most important things in their wake. Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  22. 4 out of 5

    Rebekah Lewis

    I absolutely love Rachel Fordham's books. I love that she goes out of the norm. Instead of the perfectly symmetrical, no flaws characters you so often find, she writes completely original characters. Which I think makes her stories so much more relatable and realistic. I have to admit, I was slightly weary to start this story. Gilbert isn't your usual hero. And I do love me a good hero. But I fell so in love with this guy! He was so caring and sweet. He instantly had my heart. He's a quiet, gen I absolutely love Rachel Fordham's books. I love that she goes out of the norm. Instead of the perfectly symmetrical, no flaws characters you so often find, she writes completely original characters. Which I think makes her stories so much more relatable and realistic. I have to admit, I was slightly weary to start this story. Gilbert isn't your usual hero. And I do love me a good hero. But I fell so in love with this guy! He was so caring and sweet. He instantly had my heart. He's a quiet, gentle protector. And I think those types of heros are so important and underrated. (also I'm afraid of going to the dentist and I think that should be noted. LOL😂) As for Hazel, I quickly fell in love with her as well. I loved that even as a woman of the late 1800s she wasn't afraid to speak her mind and stand up for herself. I love, love, love characters with a complicated back story. I adore seeing their growth from the person they once were. And Hazel had major, and satisfying growth. I loved the gentle love story, of not only lovers but of friends. A Lady in Attendance is filled with sweet friendships, quick wit and near kisses. I truly never wanted it to end. I look forward to more of Rachel Fordham's books! **I was given a free copy of the book by the publisher. I was in no way obligated to leave a positive review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are completely my own.**

  23. 5 out of 5

    Paula Shreckhise

    “Forgive yourself. Take the forgiveness that is yours.” Hazel is looking to God to repair the years that injustice has taken away. Gilbert is kind enough to give her a job attending him in his dental practice, a new concept. This is a story of hope and making the best of a bad situation with God’s help. “Her father had called Hazel stubborn as a child, and that trait had stuck. She determined now was the time to make that weakness her strength.” Ms. Fordham conveys the misgivings of Hazel, the f “Forgive yourself. Take the forgiveness that is yours.” Hazel is looking to God to repair the years that injustice has taken away. Gilbert is kind enough to give her a job attending him in his dental practice, a new concept. This is a story of hope and making the best of a bad situation with God’s help. “Her father had called Hazel stubborn as a child, and that trait had stuck. She determined now was the time to make that weakness her strength.” Ms. Fordham conveys the misgivings of Hazel, the friendship bond with Ida and a growing fondness with Gil. Add in a search for unscrupulous bad guys and this story is brimming with adventure. There are elements of faithful steadfastness, reconciliation and setting things right. The romance is sweet and contains two match ups! A great historical book. *A complimentary copy of this book was provided by Revell through Interviews and Reviews. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*

  24. 5 out of 5

    Becky

    A Lady in Attendance is such an enjoyable read! The plot and characters are unique (I mean, have you ever read a book where the hero was a dentist?), and the entire book ended up being nothing like I'd anticipated - in a very good way! Some things I loved: *Gilbert. Need I say more? He is simply wonderful! *Hazel's secret isn't drawn out for too long, and she tells about it on her own terms. *The "will they or won't they" doesn't drag through the whole book. Feelings are acknowledged fairly early o A Lady in Attendance is such an enjoyable read! The plot and characters are unique (I mean, have you ever read a book where the hero was a dentist?), and the entire book ended up being nothing like I'd anticipated - in a very good way! Some things I loved: *Gilbert. Need I say more? He is simply wonderful! *Hazel's secret isn't drawn out for too long, and she tells about it on her own terms. *The "will they or won't they" doesn't drag through the whole book. Feelings are acknowledged fairly early on; the question of whether Gilbert and Hazel actually CAN be together continues, so there's still a little mystery to the romance. *The supporting characters are fantastic, especially Hazel's friend Ina. *The bulk of the story is about clearing Hazel's name so that she can return to her family, and she has a great crew of friends/frenemies (you'll see what I mean when you read the book) to help her. *Fordham chooses to slowly reveal the truth of Hazel's past to the reader. I had made some assumptions that were way off, and Fordham's version turned out to be much better than I imagined. I've read other novels by Fordham in the past, and I thought they were enjoyable but not too memorable. But A Lady in Attendance is a book that I simply couldn't put down because I was so invested! It's definitely one of the best historical romances I've read this year. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, and the opinions expressed are my own.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Brenda

    Talk about a lovely, lovely book, even before you open it. The cover is pure sweetness and the way Rachel Fordham strings words together is breathtaking. As you will read, she pulls her inspiration from various sources. The originality really shows! Set in New York in 1898, Hazel is so desperate for a job that she fibs during her lady in attendance job interview with Dr. Gilbert Watts, a dentist. She is hired and both are keen to maintain professional boundaries and propriety. Hazel doesn't give Talk about a lovely, lovely book, even before you open it. The cover is pure sweetness and the way Rachel Fordham strings words together is breathtaking. As you will read, she pulls her inspiration from various sources. The originality really shows! Set in New York in 1898, Hazel is so desperate for a job that she fibs during her lady in attendance job interview with Dr. Gilbert Watts, a dentist. She is hired and both are keen to maintain professional boundaries and propriety. Hazel doesn't give her true name as she is worried sick about her past catching up with her, particularly her five-year stint in a reformatory. She is ashamed though repentant and desperate to clear her name. Meanwhile, she and her friend, Ina, dip their toes into matchmaking. So much to enjoy about this book from the fascinating daily dental work details to banter between Hazel and Gilbert to beautiful shows of respect and honour to historical bits. Gilbert is quiet and Hazel is outgoing, very different personalities, but their companionship creates a complementary workplace for them and their patients. Gilbert could not be more romantic....ahhhh! However, there are hardships as there are in real life. And I love that despite blemishes, physical and mental, people deserve to be loved. God's grace is a remarkable thing. This gentle but not saccharine book is about dealing with one's past and looking ahead to the future, loss, love, trust and forgiveness. Historical Fiction, General Fiction and Christian Fiction readers ought to pick this up. My sincere thank you to Revell and NetGalley for the privilege of reading this inspiring book. It brought me a lot of joy!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Rosalyn

    The unique storyline of this one caught my attention! How many historical fiction novels have you read about a heroine that spent time in a reformatory? Well, I sure haven't read many! This gal is a sweet one, and I loved reading about and getting to know her. Hazel has to start a new life in a strange town. It's the only way she can think about going on with life and a semblance of normal. She takes a job as a dentist's assistant (which was very rare back in the day) to the quiet but handsome Dr. Gi The unique storyline of this one caught my attention! How many historical fiction novels have you read about a heroine that spent time in a reformatory? Well, I sure haven't read many! This gal is a sweet one, and I loved reading about and getting to know her. Hazel has to start a new life in a strange town. It's the only way she can think about going on with life and a semblance of normal. She takes a job as a dentist's assistant (which was very rare back in the day) to the quiet but handsome Dr. Gilbert. This is a sweet story with romance and a hint of mystery mixed in. If you enjoy historical novels, be sure and read this one soon! Disclaimer: I receive complimentary books from various sources, including, publishers, publicists, authors, and/or NetGalley. I am not required to write a positive review, and have not received any compensation. The opinions shared here are my own entirely. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

  27. 4 out of 5

    Nora St Laurent

    This was a delightful, heart-warming read you will not soon forget. The author is a remarkable, insightful storyteller, who creates full-bodied characters whose dialogue rings true of her memorable characters. I enjoyed how this story took some surprising twists and turns. I liked how the author left readers wanting more. This is an entertaining read and one that would work well for your next book club pick. Disclosure of Material Connection: I have received a complimentary copy of this book by This was a delightful, heart-warming read you will not soon forget. The author is a remarkable, insightful storyteller, who creates full-bodied characters whose dialogue rings true of her memorable characters. I enjoyed how this story took some surprising twists and turns. I liked how the author left readers wanting more. This is an entertaining read and one that would work well for your next book club pick. Disclosure of Material Connection: I have received a complimentary copy of this book by the publisher through NetGalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising” Nora St. Laurent TBCN Where Book Fun Begins! The Book Club Network blog www.bookfun.org

  28. 5 out of 5

    Abby

    You know that feeling you get when you read a classic? They make me long to drink tea, write long, beautiful letters, use elegant words-basically just act like the heroine of a classic novel.  . I get that same feeling when reading a Rachel Fordham book. There is something about her novels that feels like a cozy classic.  . I absolutely adored A Lady In Attendance.  What a magical read full of amazing characters, mystery, adventure, danger, and romance. It was so beautiful and written so well.  . I'm You know that feeling you get when you read a classic? They make me long to drink tea, write long, beautiful letters, use elegant words-basically just act like the heroine of a classic novel.  . I get that same feeling when reading a Rachel Fordham book. There is something about her novels that feels like a cozy classic.  . I absolutely adored A Lady In Attendance.  What a magical read full of amazing characters, mystery, adventure, danger, and romance. It was so beautiful and written so well.  . I'm very excited for the day when I can get lost among the pages of another Rachel Fordham book. 

  29. 5 out of 5

    Dana Michael

    If you love a sweet historical that has some romance and some mystery to it then I think will enjoy A Lady In Attendance. This book featured a dentist in 1898 and his new Lady In attending. I guess that was the early name for dental assistants. I love learning things like that from history and fictional stories makes history come alive. The heroine is trying to clear her name from a burglary that she didn't commit, and her handsome employer helps her. I think this book would be appropriate for a If you love a sweet historical that has some romance and some mystery to it then I think will enjoy A Lady In Attendance. This book featured a dentist in 1898 and his new Lady In attending. I guess that was the early name for dental assistants. I love learning things like that from history and fictional stories makes history come alive. The heroine is trying to clear her name from a burglary that she didn't commit, and her handsome employer helps her. I think this book would be appropriate for any age, particularly middle schoolers on up. *I was given a copy of this book by the publisher and this is my honest opinion

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kaycee

    Once again, Rachel Fordham knocked it out of the park with her fourth book, A Lady in Attendance. This story about Hazel and Gilbert had a delightfully sweet romance, surprises, and even a bit of mystery. Fordham has this gift of crafting her characters with multiple layers and as we read deeper, the more layers we unravel. I appreciate that each of the main characters are somewhat flawed and grow throughout the book. There were a few elements of surprise that kept me engaged-- so much so that I Once again, Rachel Fordham knocked it out of the park with her fourth book, A Lady in Attendance. This story about Hazel and Gilbert had a delightfully sweet romance, surprises, and even a bit of mystery. Fordham has this gift of crafting her characters with multiple layers and as we read deeper, the more layers we unravel. I appreciate that each of the main characters are somewhat flawed and grow throughout the book. There were a few elements of surprise that kept me engaged-- so much so that I read this book in one sitting. Looking forward to Fordham's next book!

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