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The Paid Companion (Quick, Amanda) Hardcover – May 3, 2004

4.1 out of 5 stars 136 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

With 41 bestsellers to her credit, Jayne Ann Krentz (aka Quick) still approaches a new project as if novel writing were a just-discovered pleasure she can't wait to share. This late Regency romance offers her signature goodies. Elenora Lodge loses the manor to which she was born and thus becomes the eponymous paid companion. She is, of course, plucky, intellectual, democratic, lovely and unabashedly eager to surrender her virginity to the right man: "Sensation whipped through her; a glorious, heady, dizzying whirlpool of passion. She knew that if she did not explore these thrilling emotions with him she would carry the regret with her for the rest of her life." The source of the whirlpool is Arthur Lancaster, earl of St. Merryn, cranky, quirky, decent to the death, with a sizable fortune and lusty nature to match. Although a happy ending is never in doubt, a murder mystery is threaded through the love story, allowing the besotted couple to sleuth in dark alleyways between tumbles in bed. Quick draws on Regency fascination with science to inform villainous madman Parker, who styles himself "England's second Newton" and terrorizes Elenora with a precursor of the laser. Masked balls, upper-class gambling, women who manage their own affairs and marry for love: if this is familiar territory, it still satisfies. And when Arthur proposes, readers will be right there with Elenora: "The most delicious sense of joy unfurled within her."
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Elenora Lodge is in quite a fix. Her stepfather lost her farm and all of her possessions in a mining venture, and her fiance dumps her faster than the proverbial hot potato. But Elenora is practical and pragmatic. So when Arthur Lancaster, earl of St. Merryn, offers her a position as a paid companion, she accepts. St. Merryn is in a bit of a fix himself. His favorite uncle has been murdered, and he's sworn vengeance on the killer, a mad alchemist intent on perfecting the ultimate weapon of mass destruction. Unfortunately, St. Merryn's fiancee has also dumped him, and his renewed status as one of London's most eligible bachelors is interfering with his quest for justice, hence his paying Elenora to pose as his new fiancee. Once again, the incomparable Quick (Jayne Ann Krentz) has whipped up a delectable Regency romance that mixes humor, suspense, and tantalizing historical detail with all the savory ingredients her fans have come to expect: a feisty, resourceful heroine; a hero with a decidedly dangerous edge; witty repartee; and strongly appealing secondary characters. Another winner from a major romance star. Shelley Mosley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Series: Quick, Amanda
  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam Adult; First Edition edition (May 3, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399151745
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399151743
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.5 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (136 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #788,354 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Elaine C McTyer on May 3, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Wow! I just finished "The Paid Companion" and it is great. This book has all the things you look for in an Amanda Quick novel.
Unlike her last three books, we have a wonderful heroine, Elenora Lodge, who has lost everything because of her step-father. Like the best Quick heroines, she doesn't take it lying down. She has a PLAN.
A little (very little) downcast, she is seeking a new job as a paid companion, when our hero, Arthur, the Earl of St Merryn enters.
He is seeking a lady to play his bethrothed.
Through twists and turns, with humor and wit, we follow the adventures of the merry pair. Arthur is hunting the killer of his uncle, and plans to detour the marriage minded ton away, by introducing Elenora to them as his fiancee.
Both soon discover they are well matched in the brains department and Elenora becomes Arthur's partner in the search for a killer. They not only find adventure, they also find each other.
I really enjoyed this book. From the descriptions of a weary, marital-minded aristocracy, to the passionate love scenes, this is pure Quick.
Thanks Amanda!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I adore Jayne Ann no matter if it is Krentz, Castle or Amanda Q. But sigh, her last few half dozen books have been dull, only the Castle "After Glow" showing Jayne Ann can still razzle-dazzle with the best. This book is not JAK at her best - far from it - but it is a big improvement from the last two Quicks and two JAKs, that you tend to want to rate it higher than it deserves.
I liked the characters - and REALLY wanted to love the book - and after the fire works on "After Glow", I really hoped she would keep that power. It starts out well, but sort of loses steam quickly (no pun intended!). This book is JAK formula all the way. I love the formula, so I don't mind that. But I do mind a rather boring mystery slowing the book down. Since JAK moved from "Romance Writer" to "Mainstream Writer", she has lost "THE ROMANCE" and it's killing her books. She almost rises to the level, but not quite. She needs to rediscover the power of emotional bonds. Her toning down the emotional tension between her leads and making it more a comedy of manners with a week mystery tossed in for diversion is watering down the JAK Magic. The mystery is hardly a mystery, and almost falls into the old trite Who Dun It style of introducing the evil villain at nearly at the last minute.
I thought Eleanor and Arthur quite charming, they engaged my attention to the end, but they just did not sizzle with JAK's witchcraft.
It's a good solid read, just not a great one. Nice book for the beach.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I've been a fan of Amanda Quick novels since her earliest days. Surrender, Deception, Dangerous, Reckless, Mischief are some of my favorite romances.

I really wanted to love this one because it seemed to have all the elements of her previous successes: interesting mystery, commanding Beta hero, take-charge heroine with a believable conflicting setup for the characters. But somewhere along the line Ms. Quick has lost the thread of what makes a romance great.

She has also forgotten the realities of Regency times for women. Her earlier heroines were believable in their modern actions. They were free-thinking and independent, but always respected the realistic circumstances of their day.

Spoilers ahead:

The mystery involving England's "second Newton" had great potential. He was one of her better, most conniving villains. The problem was the threat he posed was never properly transferred to the romance.

The heroine begins this novel being bankrupted and tossed out of her home. Six months later she winds up working as a Paid Companion in London and in need of new position because her "eccentric" and supposedly "generous" employer was leaving for the country and throwing her out on her ear. Enter the hero who's looking for a paid companion to masquerade as his fiancee so he can hunt a killer. Through his employ she ends up an unwitting pawn in the killer's obsessive games.

Right there we have tension for our intrepid heroine. She should be feeling the fear of abandonment and being left penniless. Her growing attraction to the hero should be met with suspicion and worry that he'll cast her aside.
Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
Amanda Quick has come into the realm of Historical Mysteries as of late. I didn't like her last set of novels featuring Tobias and Lavinia but was pleased to see that this was out of that series so I gave "The Paid Companion" a shot.
Now, this book was better than "Don't Look Back" or the rest of the aforementioned series, but it didn't have the sparkle of Quick's earier novels (those characterized by one word titles). I always did feel like her books always (as the quintessential idea of romance novels) were where the lovely virgin meets the "rakish roque" and he wants to ravish her so he marries her. Quick's trademark has always been that one of them is flawed in some way (a scar or a limp or glasses, etc). Later some figure from one of their past comes back to haunt them (usually from her past) and someone is obliged to come in and save the day (sometimes she even saved herself). In this book I can tell that Quick stayed with the typical formula but tried to add more mystery. Her female characters are getting more and more assertive which is a plus. I still, somehow, like the old books better. This sems strange because they were somewhat cookie-cutter, but I still really liked them and re-read them occasionally when I am waiting for her to come out with a new novel.
I cannot put my finger on what exactly abotu this book is lesser than some others, but it is better than her more recent efforts and I did read it in one day - and did enjoy it. It just didn't have the sparkle or chemistry of some of my Quick favorites such as Seduction, Reckless, and Rendezvous. If you really like mystery with your romance you will probably like this book. A warning to romance readers - the romance comes late. If you are a Quick fan you will like this book I think!
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