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An Ideal Companion This was a really good read for me It s like the fourth or fifth book by this author that I ve read, and while I wouldn t say it was my favorite, it certainly made for good reading Ms Ashley has a wonderful writing style and keeps the various aspects of her stories her characters behavior and speech, as well as the events of the story historically appropriate, which makes them a delight to read Her books put me in mind of those written by authors such as Austen, Bronte, and others of their ilk.I ve read reviews where readers have said that Ms Ashley s stories as being unemotional However, I disagree with this assessment at least I didn t find that to be the case with this book or any of Ms Ashley s other books Ms Ashley keeps her characters behavior true to the regency period on which the story is set Consequently, although her characters do experience a gamut of emotions, from fear, anger, and jealousy all the way up to passion and love, they do behave in a formal, somewhat constrained by today s standards manner, which is very much in keeping with Regency England Nonetheless, you should be aware that Ms Ashley tends to heavily employ the use of narrative format where dialogue would normally be used This is a tactic that can be offputting for some readers as a matter of fact, it s a method that I, myself, don t usually enjoy Nevertheless, IMO, Ms Ashley does an outstanding job, thus I never once felt removed from the story.As with all the Ashley novels that I ve read, this book is extremely well written, with wonderfully developed characters, and an extremely interesting storyline Ruth Harrington works as a companion to Lady Beatrice Lindley Lady Beatrice is very fond of Ruth, and for the most part is an easy employer, but she is very much embittered with society and people in general due to her past experiences An unexpected snowstorm results in a mishmash of people arriving on Lady Beatrice s doorstep seeking shelter The hero, a recently retired Army Colonel, Hugo Prentiss, is among those who seeks shelter Ruth is immediately attracted to the physically imposing Colonel, but is aware that in all probability she will never see him again once the roads clear and he is able to resume his journey For his part, Hugo is drawn to Ruth, who brings out his protective instincts.When Lady Beatrice is found dead in her bed the next morning, Hugo initially offers Ruth his aid He is suspicious of the manner by which Lady Beatrice died, which he suspects is not from natural causes However, once Hugo determines that Ruth is Lady Beatrice s heir, his suspicions turn towards her and he decides against his natural inclinations to hold his tongue For her part, Ruth suspects nothing until months later when she discovers that Lady Beatrice was the picture of health and did not, contrary to her claim, suffer from a heart condition At this point, Ruth decides to pursue the issue of Lady Beatrice s death to determine, once and for all, if her death was due to natural causes or foul Being aware of Hugo s initial suspicions regarding Lady Beatrice s manner of death, Ruth seeks him out Once Hugo realizes Ruth is determined to uncover the mystery of Lady Beatrice s death, he decides to help her From there the story progresses.The events of the story begin at the country estate of Lady Beatrice and continues on to London Ruth and Hugo do get to spend a significant amount of time together, and as they get to know each other their feelings for one another do grow and develop into love My only complaint about the story is that the mystery surrounding Lady Beatrice s death is a bit disappointing I was all geared up for some real intrigue and excitement, which never came to pass Instead, the mystery takes a back seat, for the most part, and seems to exist solely to provide a reason for the Hugo and Ruth to connect Nonetheless, this book made for a very entertaining read.Whatever I found lacking with regards to the mystery, is than made up for by the sweetness of the relationship that develops between Hugo and Ruth Pretty early Hugo becomes determined to make the independent beauty his own, but Ruth is reluctant to commit because she suspects that Hugo is still carrying a torch for his late fianc e who died some ten years previous although nothing could be further from the truth So, bottom line, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it as a worthwhile read FYI, this is a squeaky clean romance Happy reading Her quiet world overturnedWhen an unseasonable snowstorm brings an assortment of stranded travelers to Lady Beatrice Lindley s door, companion Miss Ruth Harrington welcomes them in, flustered though she is by the towering presence of Colonel Hugo Prentiss But the next morning, Ruth s quiet existence on the moor is shattered Lady Beatrice is dead Convinced there sto her employer s demise than meets the eye, Ruth seeks the one man who can help her uncover the truth the enigmatic Colonel But in a world where nothing is what it seems, can Ruth and Hugo come to put their trust in each other This was a book with potential but the ending was a bit of a damp squib I wanted there to be a murder, a proper mystery and in the end, nothing Ruth is supposedly sensible, but she comes across as trying to be independent for independence sake I adored the hero and felt he could have done a lot better than Ruth. The set up of this book was really fresh and original with the murder mystery that puts the hero and heroine together A pleasure all the way through

About the Author: Anne Ashley

Anne Ashley was born in Leicester, England, UK, where she was educated She lived for a long time in Scotland, but she now lives in the West Country, England, with her husband, two sons and two cats She writes historical romances for Mills Boon since 1997.

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