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4.3 out of 5 stars
Lady Fortescue Steps Out (The Poor Relation series)
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Lady Fortescue's only asset is a decrepit house in a fashionable area of London. She is a poor relation with very little income and life for poor relations in the Regency period is very difficult. It is beneath them to go into trade and they face a lifetime of wishing themselves onto their wealthier relations for extended stays. But Lady Fortescue teams up with several people in a similar situation and goes into trade by turning her only asset into London's latest fashionable hotel called `The Poor Relation'.

What happens when the handsome and fashionable Duke of Rowcester comes to stay makes amusing reading. He is determined the close the hotel down because he feels it discredits his family name - Lady Fortescue is a distant relation. The hotel however is more than a match for him and it seems to have taken on a life of its own.

I enjoyed this story and it is a little different from many Regency romances as it doesn't just focus on a hero and heroine but on a whole cast of characters - both high and low in the social scale. It is the first book in a short series of stories featuring the goings on at The Poor Relation.
3 people found this helpful
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I enjoyed this book - which is one of the latest of the re-releases of M C Beaton's early regencies, originally published under one of her other pen names (Marion Chesney). Having read the Travelling Matchmaker series and (more particularly in this case) the School for Manners series, the tropes are now very familiar to me, but this still held my attention and entertained me. I bought it on pre-order for about £2.74 - and think that was slightly too much too pay - but as I write this it's down to 79p which I think is about right for it's length (gosh I wish Amazon did pre-order price guarantee on Kindle books...). It is the first in a series, but unless the prices for the rest of the series drop, I don't think I'll be buying them because I think £2.50+ is too much for a book that I can rattle through in around 90 minutes...
3 people found this helpful
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on 8 July 2015
I don't feel I can give five stars to M.C. Beaton's books because they are not great literature, but my goodness they are fun. The Poor Relation idea is an excellent one and the characters are very engaging. M.C. Beaton always manages to make us sympathise a lot more with the ageing eccentrics that she puts into her novels than with the dewy-eyed heroines (or is that just because I am an AE myself?) and here we have a whole bunch of them.
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on 26 October 2013
I have so far enjoyed reading the Poor Relation Series as usual M.C.Beaton never disappoints me. She gets
right down to the story right away without too much lengthy descriptions. I feel I am in the book right away. I
never have to go back to recap any scenes or information. I warm to all the characters and I like a satisfactory
ending and I look forward to moving on to the next book of the series. I am without doubt an M.C. Beaton enthusiast.
My only regret is when I will come to the end of her writings.
3 people found this helpful
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on 18 February 2015
This is a light story of frothy nonsense perfect for when you need something entertainingly mindless. For all the absurdities of the plot, the characters are warm and the writing witty – and there’s a lovely romance at the heart of the book between a charming heroine and the obligatory handsome and rich duke.

Easy, cosy, switch-off reading.
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on 30 December 2017
I love all of MC Beaton's books. The characters are always so varied and such great fun.
If you want a few hours of pleasurable excitement with a few interesting historical insights, this will suit you well.
I have read every one of her books I can lay hands on and am thrilled when I find a new one.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 22 March 2015
The first in the series that sets up the premise for romantic, heartwarming stories centred around the characters who live in an unusual hotel. In this book an indigent widow finds a solution to her difficulties and gathers around her a charming set of characters one of whom ultimately finds happiness with a tetchy peer. A fast-paced, witty story from an accomplished writer.
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on 18 January 2018
This whole series of books is very enjoyable. As well as a good story, the insights into the life at that time is very interesting.
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on 7 May 2015
I really enjoy all of MC Beaton's books. Having gone through all the Hamish Macbeth (on Audible as well!) and Agatha Raisin I decided to start on her Regency and Edwardian novels. Yes, there are quite a few typos but nothing to detract from the storyline. I like a bit of escapism and these books fit the bill.
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on 13 April 2018
The end was a bit of a letdown I thought. But readability and need to keep finding out what happened was high!
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