Book Review

Book Review: A Lady in Attendance by Rachel Fordham

Rating: ☆☆ 1/2
Audience: Historical Romance
Length: 352 pages
Author: Rachel Fordham
Publisher: Fleming H. Revell Company
Release Date: June 1st, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


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.


Ugh. I loved the first book by Fordham I read, this one though…going to have to say, hard pass.

The premise is interesting. I liked the exploration of dentists at the time and how a lady in attendance assisted them in the day to day. I honestly wish there was more of this than where the story went. Gilbert and Hazel were mostly cute. I felt like poor Gilbert kept throwing his heart out there and even though Hazel wasn’t as terrible as she used to be, that she STILL dragged him along a bit too long.

What bothered me the most was the pacing. In 100 pages we already had our couple confirmed, no angst, just them. With 200+ more pages I wondered where in the world this was headed. Turns out, everyone decided to become detectives to clear Hazel’s name. A noble cause for sure, but I don’t know, I just didn’t like this turn. It took too long and I didn’t need the long dramatic story from it. Not to mention that the story also focused way too heavily on Hazel’s friend, Ina. Lots of confirmations about HER relationship, and HER struggles and what INA would do next. The story was about Hazel and Gilbert?!?!

Before I burst with more things that didn’t work, I’m going to stop here. I know this is just one review so if the synopsis intrigues you, check it out! It could be way more for you than it was for me.

Overall audience notes:

  • Historical fiction romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: gun violence, murder, wrongful imprisonment, drug smuggling, parental abandonment

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