Can a 19th century finishing school be brought into the 21st century? Betsy is about to find out.
On Sale: June 9, 2009
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In New York Times bestselling author Hester
Browne's delightful new novel, a fading English finishing
school is about to get a twenty-first-century makeover. Out
with white gloves and flower arranging, in with managing
mortgagesand do-it-yourself manicures! Behind this
remarkable transformation is business-savvy Betsy
Phillimore, with her own unique connection to London's
esteemed Phillimore Academy for Young
Twenty-seven years ago, an infant turned
up on the Academy's doorstep, with a note tacked to her
blanket by an elegant golden brooch -- Please take care
of my baby. I want her to grow up to be a proper lady.
Loved by Lady Frances Phillimore and her kindhearted staff,
Betsy grew up aspiring to be an Academy girl. But when
Franny and her husband, Lord Phillimore, advise Betsy to
instead hone her considerable math skills at college, she
brokenheartedly leaves behind the only family she's
Now, on the sad occasion of Lady Frances's
memorial service, Betsy comes back to find the school in
disrepair, the enrollment down, and Lord P. desperate to
save his legacy. Enter Betsy, the numbers genius, and her
business plan -- to replace dusty protocol with the
essentials girls need today: cell phone etiquette,
eating sushi properly, handling credit cards, choosing the
perfect little black dress, negotiating a pre-nup, and
other lessons in independent living.
But Betsy may have
bitten off more than she can chew. Can she win over the
school's snobby headmistress and its handsome but risk-
averse treasurer? Returning to London also means facing her
own unfinished business, as she crosses paths with her sexy
girlhood crush...and blowing the dust off clues to a
lifelong mystery: who were her parents, and why did they
abandon her? If knowledge is power, Betsy is on the brink
of truly becoming her own woman, and embracing the one
thing she's wanted all along: a place to call home.
bittersweet journey of laughter and tears, The Finishing
Touches will have you gleefully turning pages through
dinner with elbows on the table -- bad manners, perhaps,
but excusable for one utterly irresistible read.
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