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The Little Lady Agency Hardcover – February 7, 2006


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket (February 7, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416514929
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416514923
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 1.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #591,208 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Sensible Melissa Romney-Jones proclaims to her enamored American client, Jonathan Riley, "I like to think I'm a vintage girl. A proper 1950s woman's woman," to which Riley responds: "A proper 1950s man's woman." Crackling with Brit chick wit, Browne's first novel stars a spunky whirlwind in search of love and money. Melissa, after losing her job as a London estate agent, starts the Little Lady Agency to attend to the social needs of single men. This requires Melissa to don a blonde wig and become Honey Blennerhesket, a posh "Mary Poppins in silk stockings." Running the new agency leads to the successful channeling of her inner glamour goddess and romance with Jonathan, but then she wonders, does he love Honey or Melissa? "Little lady" is a term that sounds as retro as Melissa's yearning for old-style romance, but her struggle to empower herself and deal with her feelings regarding the men in her life is as satisfying as free champagne. Browne's dead-on take revitalizes a genre already littered with worn-out Jimmy Choos and tattered miniskirts.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Brown's charming debut finds Melissa -Romney--Jones losing yet another job, this time to layoffs due to a company merger. Out on the town with friends, Melissa runs into an old school acquaintance who is working for their old etiquette teacher as a companion for wealthy men. Melissa looks up the teacher and begins to schedule dates, but she's horrified to discover her old teacher is in fact running an escort service. Melissa quickly gets out of the business, but she's taken with the idea of a chaste version of it, and starts the Little Lady Agency to help socially clueless men and those merely in need of dates. Using the name Honey, Melissa accompanies one man to a family party, and helps another dump his girlfriend. She lands her biggest client in handsome American Jonathan, who just happens to be running the company she used to work for; but Melissa starts to wonder if she's losing her objectivity when she finds herself falling for Jonathan. A warm, winning tale. Kristine Huntley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

Part of that may be how well I identified with the main character.
K. Williams
While I liked the main character Melissa very much, there were times when I just wanted to slap her and scream: "get with it sister!"
Julieosis
If you want a fun beach read or a feel good girly book, then I think you will love this.
Onie Wheeler

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By K. Williams on April 4, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I really enjoyed reading this book. It's been a while since I've found a book that I couldn't put down. Part of that may be how well I identified with the main character. The most pleasant surprise for me was how clean the story was. I enjoy reading the chick-lit beach books, but I don't like all of the sex that a lot of them have. This one was fantastic. I can't wait to read her next one; I hope it's an equally fun, clean read.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By G. Greene on April 22, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This is a very good freshman effort from a new writer, who manages to make a novel interesting and readable without resorting to steamy sex scenes (not that there's anything wrong with those). The book has a dry with about it, and the characters are nicely drawn. The most engaging bit about this novel is that the heroine assumes a different persona -- a stronger, smarter, more attractive version of herself -- and who amongst us would not like to do that successfully from time to time? It's enjoyable to watch her integrate the different facets of her personality and resolve her assertiveness issues.

The ending could have been a tad stronger, but all in all, this is a very pleasant way to while away an afternoon.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Onie Wheeler on April 4, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book on impulse at the airport due to its cute cover and the synopsis of the book and the book's author on the back of the book.

I know this statement is very puerile and vapid, but like the book's author, I collect red lipstick and etiquette books.

When I got back from my trip, I put it on my novel shelf since at the time, I was reading more "disturbing and deep" biographies and poetry that left me depressed.

Due to my reading too many depressing books (Sylvia Plath's books and poems are hardly high comedy), I decided to pick up this book in order to cheer myself up.

I found the book to be charming and I was also glad to find a contemporary book that was not full of graphic sex or violence.

I just love Melissa and her alter ego, Honey.

I was rooting for Jonathan and Melissa through the entire book.

And her father! What a jerk! I think his character is a great antagonist for poor Melissa!

I love the descriptions of Melissa's sisters. Allegra, the wilder sister and Emery, the vapid and shallow younger sister.

I do wish that Melissa's mother's character would be more developed, but I suppose that might stray from the author's intent.

I won't spoil the book's end, but it was cute and a paradox in all the right ways.

OK, this is not supposed to be "War and Peace" or even a Jacqueline Susann novel (Susann's novels are great, but always depress me).

The only "down side" I found at all is I do not like the title at all -- it gives the book a Old Lady flavor and it is far from that!

"The Little Lady Agency" it is just girly lit and fluffy as clouds on a beautiful summer day!

If you want a fun beach read or a feel good girly book, then I think you will love this.

Now I am off to order the sequel from Amazon: "Little Lady Big Apple"!

Oh yes, how about that Roger Trumpet's foul breath?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By kellytwo on December 9, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Who among us hasn't wished for the opportunity to be someone else--just for one day, or one evening? It's not an easy trick to pull off, however, so full kudos to Melissa Romney-Jones for her successful transformation to Honey Blennerhesket, the woman she's always wanted to be. Honey has plenty of principles, but she is also full of vim, vigor and vitality, qualities that have somehow managed to evade Melissa--at least in her own mind. Fortunately, they're both upper-class Englishwomen with mostly marvelous breeding and manners instilled into them for centuries!

In spite of Melissa's best efforts, the two get all mixed up because of Honey's business--The Little Lady Agency--a sort of nanny service for grown men who have trouble remembering those pesky details that tend to trip one up now and then. Birthdays, anniversaries, etc., are a common problem. As are knowing the right clothing to wear on any occasion, how to find a `date', and the best place to acquire exactly the perfect gift for that someone special. We could all use a bit of that knowledge, from time to time.

Honey's best--and favorite--client is the newly-transplanted American real estate agent, Jonathan Riley, in one of those funny little twists that life all too often flings in everyone's way. It's his company that has bought out Melissa's employer, thus making her redundant.

Through a fortuitous chain of circumstance, Melissa discovers Honey hiding within herself, and not quite knowing how else to support herself, embarks on a career as a super-organizational whiz. Both Melissa and Honey are confused about themselves, their families, their careers and even the men in their lives. It all gets sorted out, however, in a hilarious, nearly-slapstick finale.

All of this is told in a wonderfully subtle, British-ly literate and dryly witty fashion. Until nearly the last page, the reader cannot predict the ending. Brava, Little Ladies!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Love To Shop on November 1, 2006
Format: Paperback
I normally do not like to read first person books, however, the way this author wrote this book captures your attention right away. I enjoyed it from beginning to end and was not ready to put it down. The characters are very realistic, I could relate to the main character and found myself laughing at some of the thoughts and dilemmas she was having because they made me think of myself at times. :0) I highly recommend you read this book, I do not think you will be disappointed in the least!!! I look forward to her next book Little Lady, Big Apple.
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