Lady Fortescue Steps Out : The Poor Relation

  • by M. C. Beaton
  • Narrated by Davina Porter
  • Series: The Poor Relation
  • 4 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Life is not easy for the poor relations of England’s upper crust, but fate and clever schemes bring them together. Lady Fortescue and Colonel Sandhurst hatch a plan: What if they were to transform her decrepit Bond Street home into a posh hotel, offering their guests the pleasure of being waited upon by nobility? With the help of other down-and-out aristocrats, they do just that, and London’s newest hotel, The Poor Relation, is born.
The establishment is an immediate hit with London’s most illustrious citizens, save the Duke of Rowcester, Lady Fortescue’s nephew. Rowcester believes that his aunt’s entry into the trade will denigrate their family name and is determined to shut the hotel down - until he meets Miss Harriett James, the lovely young woman who accepts Lady Fortescue’s offer to become The Poor Relation’s chef after the death of her parents and the loss of her fortune. Rowcester moves into The Poor Relation for the season - ostensibly to keep an eye on his aunt’s business.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Charming Regency Fun - Romance & Adventure

Set in Regency London it has the trials and tribulations of a group of high and upper class impoverished aristocrats who band together to open a hotel. Some of the characters are oddly appealing, some (Sir Philip) is oddly appalling. There is a romance, but a great deal of time is spent on the other characters, such as the marvellous septuagenarian Lady Fortescue.

On the surface frothy fun, but serious issues often simmer to the top, such as the fate of unmarried impoverished women, or the scenes at Newgate.

This is a Marion Chesney Story (I had to google to see who this MC Beaton was). Good clean fun. If you like Georgette Heyer you will enjoy this book which again shows close attention to historical detail (without it intruding in the flow of the novel)

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- Clare

A sweet story

Would you listen to Lady Fortescue Steps Out again? Why?

Probably not--once was enough.

What did you like best about this story?

It had a charm to it--and promoted ideas that people who are traditionally unseen in society (the old, the poor, etc) have truly creative ways to make their lives "work" (for one thing), but even beyond that, to "work" in ways that are outside the box, so to speak, because to survive they must think that way. The characters each had very well-drawn out personalities, and each was certainly a part of the whole--the idea that together they would do okay--but individually, they might not have, meant that the author had to be certain that each person was made real enough that the reader could see how they each contributed something that brought them all a new way of being safe and even having dignity in life.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?


Any additional comments?

It was charming, my mother and grandmother would have loved it--especially my grandmother who had always loved Dickens--it has a slight hint of that in its story. I liked it, but felt it lacked a little something that all through it I was unable to give a name to. I might listen to another in the series, but I haven't decided yet. I do believe the characters have room to grow and become even more interesting in the future. What I DO believe--and definitely would pay attention to, however, and oddly perhaps--since this is all about books--is that it would make a delightful TV series (possibly a movie). I found myself being quite visually engaged in my mind--seeing a lot of this more than I often do in books.

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- Kathi

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-01-2012
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.