Perfecting Fiona Paperback
by M. C. Beaton
Part of the School for Manners series
'If you have a Wild, Unruly, or Undisciplined Daugher, two Ladies of Genteel Birth offer to Bring Out said Daughter and Refine what may have seemed Unrefinable.
We can make the Best of the Worst' When Amy and Effie Tribble, two charming but impoverished spinster sisters, lose out on an inheritance, they place this advertisement in The Morning Post and hire themselves out as professional chaperones.
Vowing to prepare even the most difficult misses for marriage, the Tribble sisters will spend a London season on each client, educating them in their School for Manners. Fiona has been sent to them by her guardians as a last resort, for at nineteen, the beautiful and wealthy Scottish heiress still has no prospect of a suitable marriage.
The Tribbles are puzzled, however, by their charge's demure perfection, until they take her to her first ball - and discover she is an incorrigible flirt! And when quizzed by the Tribbles Fiona betrays her real feelings ...so the sisters are forced to confront the truth about her past!
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 192 pages
- Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
- Publication Date: 20/12/2008
- Category: Romance
- ISBN: 9781780333120
Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews.
Review by AdonisGuilfoyle
Another short but sweet story from the School for Manners series. The Tribble sisters are engaged to find a suitable spouse for Miss Fiona Mcleod, a bluntly spoken heiress who fears marriage but finds herself drawn to a handsome rake. What I love about M.C. Beaton's potted Regency romances is that she leans more towards Lauren Willig than Georgette Heyer - and yes, I did get those two authors in the right order! What I mean to say is that Beaton doesn't take herself too seriously - her heroines are adventurous without turning obnoxious, the Tribbles are great comic characters, and she doesn't let witty dialogue get bogged down in Regency slang. The back and forth between the flighty Fiona and Lord Peter Harvard is clever and amusing, and rather stinging in places, as with Fiona's withering condemnation of matrimony: 'You and your friends affect to despise trade. Miss Darsey, aged eighteen, was married amid floods of tears in St George's t'other day to Baron Breadly, aged sixty five. She is pretty and young and has a small dowry. He is old and ugly and rich. Now if that is not trading, what is?' Touche, I thought. Anyway, these novellas are the perfect introduction to Regency romances, and the perfect antidote to Heyer's gurgling moppets.
Review by wyvernfriend
I didn't dislike the book but I also didn't really feel any empathy for any of the characters, it felt like it was being clever for the sake of it and not fleshing out characters in order to make a point. It's more a comedy of manners than a romance and it didn't feel satisfying for me. I may read more in this series but this author doesn't appear to be a good match for my reading preferences.Fiona appears to have driven away a lot of her suitors by one means or another, she doesn't want to marry, she wants her independence. Knowing her relatives I'd want to marry and get away from them and the beatings as soon as possible, and avoid the dependence on them as executors as well. Amy and Effy Tribble take her on to make her more marriagable and bumble their way through. When Lord Peter Havard finds himself attracted he fights his way to her heart. I didn't really feel it though, nearly but not quite.Not really impressed with this quick read, almost had to push myusself to finish it.
Review by Cynical_Ames
While still an easy and amusing read, the last 60 pages or so were aggravating as the Tribbles conspired to keep Fiona and Lord Peter Havard apart, but they don't spend enough time together anyway. However, I did enjoy Beaton's running marriage-as-trade theme as women were sold off to the highest bidder, and Amy's filthy mouth, pragmatic and forthright mannish-for-the-time personality.