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Refining Felicity (The School For Manners, Book 1) by Marion Chesney

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The School for Manners. Amy and Effy Tribble had an impressive address, impeccable breeding, and a talent for matchmaking. But the funds for their School for Manners were frightfully meager when they advertised to "Bring Out a Wild, Unruly or Undisciplined Daughter," for a London Season. Indeed, their first client, Lady Felicity, was as undisciplined as she was beautiful. Felicity was also hopelessly in love with the great catch of the ton, the Marquess of Ravenswood. If Amy and Effy succeed in refining Felicity, they could win her the Lord's proposal. But headstrong Felicity has a plan of her own, one that might lead her to ruin, and the Tribbles to disaster!

Reviews (7)
The Tribble sisters are desperate for money, but as gentlewomen near their fifties they have no options for gainful employment that will allow them to maintain their standard of living. Their dear friend suggests they advertise as chaperones for difficult girls to make their come out in London. The sisters are eccentric, but very good "ton" so they have the right connections for their charges to receive invitations to all the right parties and meet respectable matches.

This 6 volume series suits my sense of humor perfectly! Some reviewers complain that the sisters are too snarky to each other and sometimes they are, but some of these exchanges are laugh out loud funny. Chesney is British, and her books have a very dry sense of humor which I love. And the sisters are fiercely loyal to each other - sort of like the old adage 'I can be mean to my sister but no one else can.' And there are lots of other funny scenes, including a few with a stuffed snake that a friend brought them as a gift from India.

The hero in this book finds the Tribble sisters charming and helps them immeasurably through their first season with Felicity. Felicity and Lord Ravenswood have a hate-at-first-sight relationship that evolves into a love match. Felicity is a hoyden who needs lessons in all forms of lady-like pursuits and deportment. The Tribbles bring in a dancing master, a French seamstress, and other delightful characters to transform Felicity into a beauty. And being a Regency romance, of course there is a HEA.

I've read about 40 of Chesney's books, including all of House for the Season (my second favorite series), Mannerling, Traveling Matchmaker, Six Sisters and many of her other romances. I enjoy the School for Manners series the best, but Chesney/Beaton's style of writing won't be for everyone. The writing is tongue-in-cheek, dry humor and at times irreverent. But if you want to become an expert on Regency customs, these books are a great place to start because the Tribbles are teaching their charges all about proper deportment and what's expected in society. Of course, this is often a case of do as I say, and not as I do, and more funny scenes ensue. If this type of humor appeals to you, I hope you'll enjoy these books as much as I have.

** Clean romance with nothing beyond kissing.
I am a fan of Beaton so my review is biased.

Felicity is a hoyden - there is no two ways about it. Her father had wanted a son, and poor Felicity tried to please him. She rode the hunt, drank and could swear like any of the young bucks. Her father snickered when she wore a gown and tried to behave like a young lady. Her poor mother had no way to bring about a change in her daughter -- the father was of no help.

Her mother sees an ad for help with troublesome girls. The Tribble sisters placed the ad in hopes of making money. They were good ton but poor. Their near relation had led them on with the promise of money upon her death, but left it to another.

Felicity's neighbor is the marquess of Ravenswood. He had taken a disgust of Felicity and had no interest in her, but decides to help the Tribbles. The couple wind up together under the same roof.

The heroine is at first determined to pull as many pranks as possible and escape, but the Tribbles are made of sterner stuff. The hero of course finds himself eventually drawn to the heroine - in spite of him getting engaged to another woman.

The writing is clever and the story is entertaining. There is romance without steamy bedroom scenes.

I recommend this book for a fun filled afternoon.
The Tribble sisters weren't great beauties in their day, nor were they well dowered but they were member of the Ton. The twins maintain their status by selling off possessions and entering into genteel poverty while awaiting the death of an elderly aunt which will bring them great riches. Sadly when it occurs they are left bupkis and are facing old age and real poverty.

Then they stumble upon their only legitimate way to earn money; they will guide difficult girls through the Season; hopefully leading to marriage. Enter Lady Felicity Vane; a character with Lizzy Bennet's wit, Lydia Bennet's high animal spirits and Georgiana Darcy's dowry. The Tribbles will have their hands full; but needing her tuition of £8,000 they can't fail. Luckily they have a few guardian angels in the form of a marquess, and a successful businessman who help the sisters con(vince) their student that they are well to do.

The book is fun, clean, fast paced and has a happy ending for all what more can we ask for?
Amy Tribble is my new hero. I love her character and spicy language in each book of this series. I laugh out loud when she goes on a rant. I don't know if I learned any new words but I did learn some new phrases. Although the word "menopause" is never used I enjoyed the author's characterization. I also found it funny that they were considered "old". I am roughly their age - early 50s - and personally 50 is the new 35. It is a fun perspective.
Fantastic story. As always, M. C. Beaton transports the reader to another era. Ms. Beaton's extensive historical research is apparent in the details of her books. "Refining Felicity " brings the characters to life. It is like stepping through the looking glass into another time. Great fiction.

One of the best things about Ms. Beaton's work is her respect for her readers. Unlike some Romance writers, M.C. Beaton writes with precision, purpose, and dignity. I think Ms. Beaton is underrated. I love her books, and recommend them to my friends.
An enjoyable, page turning, hilarious, laugh out loud farce by the best: M.C. Beaton!!! If you love Regency romances and understand just some of it's nuisances then you will be giving Refining Felicity 5 stars as well. These stories would make a great tv series as well. Now excuse me, I'm off to buy more of this series...
Great author. Detective novel with young woman and her fake beau, if I remember. The story moves along. Her Regency novels (like this one) are well written, charming, and usually low/no sex. Really clean. This author also writes under Marion Chesney, and does detective novels in Scotland about a male and female detective.

ISBN: 0312915853

Rating: 4.5/5

Votes: 837

Other Formats: lrf mbr doc lit

ISBN13: 978-0312915858

Publisher: St. Martin's Press (October 1988)

Subcategory: Genre Fiction

Refining Felicity (The School For Manners, Book 1)
Literature & Fiction
Author: Marion Chesney
Title: Refining Felicity (The School For Manners, Book 1)