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Sonderbooks Book Review of

The Little Lady Agency

by Hester Browne

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The Little Lady Agency

by Hester Browne

Reviewed August 18, 2007.
Viking, New York, 2006. 378 pages.
Sonderbooks Stand-out 2006: #5 Romance Fiction

About a week after I finished The Cinderella Pact, by Sarah Strohmeyer, I found myself yearning for another dose of feel-good, light-hearted chick lit. The Little Lady Agency was the perfect choice.

Like The Cinderella Pact, The Little Lady Agency involves a woman with a secret identity. In this case, Melissa Romney-Jones runs The Little Lady Agency to help those men who don’t have their own “little lady” to do things like pick out gifts, plan a party, or play a jealous ex-girlfriend to make breaking up simpler.

Melissa didn’t originally plan on this career choice, but after she completely organizes the estate agency where she works, the agency is bought by an American firm, and they have to “let her go.” She refuses to ask for money from her rich MP father, since he’s still hounding her for the money he loaned to her to invest in a deadbeat boyfriend’s business—before he ran off.

In the interests of discretion, Melissa buys a blonde wig and runs her agency as Honey Blennerheskitt. Although Melissa herself is extremely capable, she finds that Honey is outspoken and charming and freely stands up for herself. Honey knows she is attractive and dresses to please. Honey wouldn’t let her family take advantage of her skills by planning her sister’s wedding for no compensation, as Melissa does.

Melissa’s favorite client ends up being Jonathan Riley, the new American manager of Melissa’s former office. He was recently divorced and wants Honey to pose as his girlfriend so that people will stop trying to set him up and stop asking him how he’s holding up. He seems to like Honey, but he doesn’t even know the real Melissa. And is it possible to let a relationship that begins as business change into something else?

This book is lots of fun, heart-warming, and made me smile. The characters have depth and you can’t help but like them (or like to hate them, such as Melissa’s father). Definitely a cheering book.