Saturday, January 26, 2008

BOOK REVIEW: The Little Lady Agency by Hester Browne

Title: The Little Lady Agency
Author: Hester Browne
Published: 2005
First Line: "My name is Melissa Romney-Jones, but you can call me Honey."

Is she really Melissa ... or Honey? This is an entertaining and fast reading British chick lit book about a young lady who is skilled in social etiquette and loves to organize, organize, organize! What Melissa lacks though is confidence in herself. A bit on the shy side, she allows others to use her and is too nice for her own good. After meeting her family, you can see why Melissa prefers to take care of others and deflect attention from herself. Dad is a womanizing Member of Parliament who criticizes Melissa mercilessly; Mom is in denial about her husband's infidelities and mollifies herself through shopping and valium; and the sisters are self-centered.

Her succession of office jobs fail to work out so Melissa decides to market her social and organizational skills, as anything from girlfriend-for-hire to personal wardrobe consultant, through her newly created Little Lady Agency. The problem though is that Melissa doesn't have the confidence to do these things as herself and, therefore, needs to create an alternate persona. Enter Honey ... Melissa's alter ego. The beautiful and buxom honey-blonde Honey draws all eyes to herself through her beauty, social graces and extraordinary competence.

The rest of the book follows Melissa/Honey as she tries to keep her personal life as Melissa and her professional life as Honey separate ... especially from her dashing American client, Jonathan Riley. Melissa finds herself falling in love with Jonathan, but Jonathan doesn't know Melissa and Honey must keep the relationship professional in order to retain the integrity of The Little Lady Agency.

From the beginning of the book it appears that the reader will be treated to a comedic ending as both Melissa and Honey must be present at the same wedding. **SPOILER ALERT**The author does not choose to use this device though and rather disappointingly wraps up the story with a trite little drama between Melissa and her father, which ultimately serves no purpose, and a quick revelation that Jonathan is in love with Melissa, not Honey. Mmchwaa. The end.**END SPOILER ALERT**

Despite having what I thought was a weak ending, I liked The Little Lady Agency and wouldn't hesitate to read future installments. It is full of witty and entertaining dialogue with a British accent. If you're looking for a fun read I highly recommend The Little Lady Agency.


  1. I've actually been meaning to read this - it sounds like a fun Sunday afternoon book.

  2. I've been meaning to read this book, too--it sounds like it might be just right for vacation (provided I ever get time to have one!)

  3. Katherine: Yes, this is a perfect vacation read.

  4. An amazing book and interesting character ! =)