Tuesday, June 1, 2021

A LADY IN ATTENDANCE by Rachel Fordham, Reviewed by Paula, Winnie, and Rebecca! #ReleaseDay

June 1 Release Day!

“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.
*I give this 4 stars and a Strong faith thread.

Set in New York in the late 1890s, Rachel Fordham’s new book, A Lady in Attendance is a lovely story of redemption, forgiveness, and overcoming life’s obstacles. After spending time in a reformatory for a crime she didn’t commit, Hazel has almost given up finding a way to support herself when she is offered a job as a lady in attendance to a kind, quiet dentist named Gilbert. Determined to prove herself and make her own way in the world, she soon makes herself indispensable with her rapport with the dental patients. I enjoyed the amusing banter between Hazel and Gilbert, and the way Hazel draws him out. It was fun to see a more playful side to Gilbert and to see their relationship progress and grow.

I liked the way Hazel could look back and see that her former behavior contributed to the situation she found herself in, and she was could change and become a better person. Some of the story was rather predictable, although there were some twists and turns toward the end that added some suspense and intrigue. I also enjoyed the side story about Hazel’s friend Ina, and the insight into dental practices during this time period. This is a sweet, clean, and charming historical romance that is an engaging read. I’m looking forward to more stories from this author.
*I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from Revell through LibraryThing. All opinions are my own.
4.5 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.  3.5 Stars

BackCover Blurb: 
 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.
Revell Publishing, June 1, 2021
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover and audiobook:


  1. Thanks for the reviews, it really is a beautifully written book, 5 stars! I read an early copy! Highly recommended!

  2. Thanks for the reviews, it really is a beautifully written book, 5 stars! I read an early copy! Highly recommended!


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