Book Review (and a Giveaway!): A Lady in Attendance by Rachel Fordham

Posted October 16, 2021 by meezcarrie in Christian, giveaway, historical, Rachel Fordham, romance / 6 Comments

GENRE: Inspirational Historical Romance
RELEASE DATE: June 1, 2021
PAGES: 351

A Lady in Attendance draws you in from the first page and leaves you captivated until the oh-so-romantic conclusion. A poignant and beautifully written story of faith, forgiveness, and the healing power of love.”–Mimi Matthews, USA Today bestselling author

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 and a hardened woman, as well the friends who 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.

“Fordham brings new depth to her signature charm as her characters grapple with questions of self-worth, accountability, and justice.”–Booklist


While I’ve followed Rachel Fordham’s books since her debut novel, and I’ve shared about them here on my blog, sadly I have not read one until A Lady in Attendance – and what a great one to start with! I was captured from the beginning and couldn’t put it down until the end. It’s sweet and charming and brought a smile to my face, despite the fact that it does deal with some heavier topics. The author’s ability to weave joy and tenderness throughout even the tough stuff was heartwarming and uplifting – and don’t we all need to remember that joy can exist even in the yuck of life lately?

Ever since reading Anne of Green Gables, I’ve had a certain affinity for heroes named Gilbert. And, while Gilbert Watts and Gilbert Blythe are quite different from one another, they do both have a great sense of humor, a selfless heart and a thing for redheads. So, needless to say, it didn’t take much for me to fall for Fordham’s shy Gilbert, and his interactions with Hazel are responsible for most of the smiles on my face while reading this book. He’s just a good guy – all the way through – and his respect and affection for Hazel are completely swoonworthy.

Hazel is a heroine who has already gone through a lot of character growth, a lot of growing up, by the time we meet her, even in the prologue. Events out of her control have caused her to mature even more in the years between the prologue and the first chapter and, even though she desperately hopes to find justice & reclaim her name, she carries herself with grace and compassion. Gilbert is exactly the kind of guy she needs to meet, and it was such a pleasure to watch her blossom from the tenderness of his friendship. Her lively spirit and easy banter is good for him, too, and I just can’t say enough how sweetly their relationship warmed my heart. I don’t often swoon or get teary-eyed over a kiss on the cheek but I absolutely did more than once in A Lady in Attendance.

Bottom Line: A dentist’s office might not seem like the most romantic place to fall in love, but maybe it’s just because you haven’t met Gilbert & Hazel yet. I can’t imagine this story in any other setting, and I’m still smiling at how sweet their romance is. The mutual respect and affection, the championing of each other, and the friendship that under-girds it is so tender, even though it’s happening against the backdrop of some difficult obstacles. I haven’t even gotten into the fabulous side characters yet or how, through them, Fordham gently reminds us not to write anyone off as a lost cause. A Lady in Attendance is a definite must-read!

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)

My Rating: 4.5 stars / loved it!

KissingBook Level: 3 / may forget to breathe on occasion

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Rachel Fordham has long been fascinated by all things historical or in the words of her children “old stuff”. Often the historical trivia she discovers is woven into her children’s bedtime tales. Despite her love for good stories she didn’t attempt writing a novel until her husband challenged her to do so (and now she’s so glad he did). Since that time she’s often been found typing or researching while her youngest child naps or frantically writing plot twists while she waits in the school pick-up line. In addition to her passion for storytelling she enjoys reading, being outdoors and seeing new places. Rachel lives with her husband and children on an island in Washington state.

Learn more about current projects at You can also follow Rachel on FacebookInstagramBookBub, and Goodreads.

Enter to win a copy of A Lady in Attendance by Rachel Fordham!

The giveaway is open to the US only and ends on November 5th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

A Lady in Attendance

This giveaway is hosted by HFVBT, not RimSP
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What about you? What makes you want to read A Lady in Attendance by Rachel Fordham?

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6 responses to “Book Review (and a Giveaway!): A Lady in Attendance by Rachel Fordham

  1. Winnie Thomas

    Thanks for the lovely review! I’ve read this book and loved it! Rachel writes such delicious books!

  2. Donna Irvin

    I love, love, love all of Rachel Fordham’s books! This one is terrific, and as am R.N. I am always fascinated with any medical or dental settings/information which are usually not presented so accurately (in my humble opinion) This book is six stars out of five in my opinion.

    READ the book!

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