Miss Billings Treads the Boards
by Carla Kelly
Title: Miss Billings Treads the Boards
Author: Carla Kelly
Released: December 1, 2013
Originally Published: 1993
Publisher: Camel Press
Miss Billings Treads the Boards offered enormous promise, but sadly fell short. Henry Tewskbury-Hampton, Fifth Marquis of Grayson, runs into some excitement when he is attacked en route to a party and finds refuge with Bladesworth's Company of Actors.
Katherine Billings, meanwhile, is en route to a new position as a governess, and learns that her new employer is unsavory in the extreme. Katherine disembarks determined not to go through with her new placement when she is also swept up by Bladesworth's Company. Without any other options, she agrees to join them.
Henry is enamored with Katherine and while he connives to stay with the actors as luck would have it some men turn up looking around for the missing Marquis. Henry becomes Hal, a working actor and husband to Katherine, now Kate, as a rouse to continue hiding.
Throughout the novel both Hal and Kate experience emotional growth, but the novel ends with work still needing to be done. Both main characters lacked depth and the plot was far too contrived to be plausible or believable. That being said I found the novel entertaining but not engrossing in the least.
Review as published in the Historical Novels Review, Issue 67, February 2014, Historical Novel Society, online edition, http://historicalnovelsociety.org/reviews/miss-billings-treads-the-boards/.