A Lady in Attendance impressed me with subtle storytelling and a tender, genuine romance. It reminds us that we are not victims of our pasts, yet sometimes we must atone for our mistakes. While it would not appeal to readers that want fast action or sensuality, it is a first-rate example of quality inspirational writing.  


The Description

Publication Date: June 1, 2021

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.

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

The Review

Set at the turn of the century in upstate New York, A Lady in Attendance by Rachel Fordham is a gentle story of love and forgiveness. The heroine, Hazel, has spent five years in a reformatory for a crime she did not commit. She is distanced from her family and in need of an income when she takes a job as a “lady in attendance” (assistant) to a kind, quiet, young dentist. As they work together, Hazel and Doctor Gilbert find common ground between her stronger personality and his quiet life. Both find their lives better because of their relationship.

Hazel cannot move forward when it seems natural for them to progress to a long-term commitment because of her shameful past. After finally confessing her situation to Gilbert, they enlist two good friends to help them solve the mystery of Hazel’s conviction and free her to live a full life.

The story was beautifully written with a slow-developing romance and terrific secondary characters. There is a strong inspirational message about forgiving yourself and others, but it does not overwhelm the flow of the story. The whole book feels sweet and a little understated. I enjoy all kinds of romance stories. Sometimes I am a little hard on Christian romance writing when it is preachy or not well written. A Lady in Attendance impressed me with subtle storytelling and a tender, genuine romance. It reminds us that we are not victims of our pasts, yet sometimes we must atone for our mistakes. While it would not appeal to readers that want fast action or sensuality, it is a first-rate example of quality inspirational writing.

Buy Links

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Add to GoodreadsAbout The Author

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.


Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, October 11
Guest Post at Novels Alive

Tuesday, October 12
Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Wednesday, October 13
Excerpt at I’m Into Books

Thursday, October 14
Review at Library of Clean Reads
Review at Michelle the PA Loves to Read

Friday, October 15
Excerpt at What Is That Book About

Saturday, October 16
Review at Reading Is My SuperPower

Monday, October 18
Review at Novels Alive

Tuesday, October 19
Excerpt at Heidi Reads

Wednesday, October 20
Review at A Chick Who Reads
Excerpt at Books and Benches
Review at Robin Loves Reading

Thursday, October 21
Interview at The Book Club Network

Friday, October 22
Review at Ms. Darcy Reads

Monday, October 25
Review at Jorie Loves a Story

Tuesday, October 26
Excerpt at Reading is My Remedy

Wednesday, October 27
Guest Post at Chicks, Rogues, and Scandals

Thursday, October 28
Review at McCombs on Main

Friday, October 29
Excerpt at The Tea Queen

Monday, November 1
Review at Bookoholiccafe

Tuesday, November 2
Interview at Jorie Loves a Story
Excerpt at Lisa Everyday Reads

Wednesday, November 3
Excerpt at Bookworlder

Friday, November 5
Review at Passages to the Past


Diane Peterson
Diane K. Peterson is a retired school library media specialist that promotes the romance novel industry as an analyst, speaker, and reviewer. She is currently compiling an analytic history of the romance genre. Diane leads classes and workshops for authors and older adults (Osher program). A compulsive “fixer,” she uses her status as a Goodreads librarian to correct and improve book records as well as assisting authors. Diane is a member of RWA and the Missouri RWA chapter.



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