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Penelope by Marion Chesney

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Penelope, golden-haired, azure-eyed, fresh from the county has stolen the heart of the the most desirable Earl of Hestleton. Rich, startlingly handsome, he is the most eligible lord in the realm. He had planned to toy with her affections then toss her to the bon ton But when the Earl discovers that he is a pawn in Penelope's Aunt Augusta's social-climbing scheme, he begins to doubt Penelope's true love. Can the belle keep her beau or will her aunt's ambitious plans force Penelope to flee?


In this whirlwind series, Marion Chesney brings us spirited, independent women who are at once bewitching, beguiling and determined to have their say and make their mark on both their world and the world at large, be it within their social circle or extending beyond with their arms wide open these women are absolutely original and unforgettable as are the tales in which they are featured. Here is life in all of it's folly and foibles set out for us as we watch on this dizzying place where dreams are both shattered and made.


From 1977 to the early 1990's Marion Chesney wrote over one hundred romance novels. Now writing as M. C. Beaton, she is the bestselling award-winning author of two internationally successful mystery series - HAMISH MACBETH and AGATHA RAISIN. She lives in the United Kingdom.

Reviews (7)
Early Waffle
I really enjoyed this regency romance novel. It is the 3rd or 4th regency novel by M. C. Beaton (aka Marion Chesney) that I have read, and so far it is my least favorite. All the previous novels were, IMO, 5 star reads. This one, however, is only deserving of 4 or maybe 4 1/2 stars. While the book is quite on par with Ms. Beatons others in that it is beautifully written, with an interesting plot, and fully developed characters, there is a part of the story that marred my enjoyment. The heroine, Penelope, is an 18 year old orphan, who works for peanuts as a music teacher at a school for young ladies. Penelope is quite alone in the world as her father's family disowned him when he married Penelope's mother, a woman of a lesser social standing. Penelope's only other relation, her Aunt Augusta, is a mushroom of the first order (not only by birth, but also in behavior!) Aunt Augusta is quite a character, and some of her social gaffs had me laughing out loud (like when she farted out loud at a ball! LOL) Augusta has inherited a fortune through some questionable means. Her greatest desire is to become a society matron. To that end, she decides to finance Penelope's come out into society with the hope that the beautiful, well bred, Penelope will attract an aristocratic husband, which will raise Augusta's social standing. Augusta cares nothing for Penelope. She is an unfeeling, self-serving creature, who is capable of extreme cruelty. Augusta has her eye on the hero, Roger, Earl of Hestleton as a possible groom for Penelope. Through nefarious means, Augusta is able to secure an introduction to the Earl, and an invitation to his home, for herself and Penelope. From there the story develops. At first, Penelope thinks the Earl is a bit too high in the instep and finds his autocratic manner overbearing. The story that unfolds is an unusual one in my experience for this genre. The plot had a few unexpected twists and turns, but ultimately Roger and Penelope do get their HEA. To add a bit of intrigue to the plot there is treason, blackmail, and a death. I really liked Roger and Penelope, however at one point Roger engaged in behavior that I did not like. After that my feels towards him cooled a bit and, although I was happy that he finally got his HEA, I felt like he hadn't suffered quite enough and that Penelope should have called him on his conduct before finally agreeing to marry him. But, that's just me. When it comes to my reading I have a vengeful streak that's a mile wide! LOL I like to see the characters get what they deserve and in this instance it is my opinion that the angst Roger suffered before he finally reconciled with Penelope was nowhere near enough. As a result, I was a bit dissatisfied with the ending of the book, and hence the 4 star rating. I am sure that for many this is/will be a minor issue, but for me, well..... ***SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER*** At one point in the story, at a social gathering, Roger all but calls Penelope a harlot and makes comments that makes it clear to all within hearing distance that he had been intimate with her. Penelope, of course, is upset and embarrassed and runs out. However, I felt like she should have slapped his face before running off. Furthermore, a bit of groveling on his part, before she took him back was definitely in order! ***END OF SPOILER*** Otherwise this is an excellent book, and I would recommend it to anyone who likes this genre. BTW this is a clean romance. There is sex, but with absolutely no details!
I have read many of Marion Chesney's books and find them to cover a wide swath from very traditional regency romance to this crazy, rather naughty romp. While I am a regency devotee and usually very strict that one be in the tradition of Jane Austen or Georgette Heyer (neither of them would have dreamed of mentioning sex), I forgive the author for this one as it can only be considered a regency spoof. This is is a nutty combination of evil aunt, spies, murder, charming but typically annoying Earl and the beautiful niece. Lots of hilarity and action; you never know what Augusta is going to do; what a fine villainess she is! Blackmail? Murder? Yes to all, with rather naughty behavior on the part of Penelope and the Earl thrown in.
Billy Granson
I've read over fourty Chesney/Beaton romances and this is one of the less successful ones. It's not very romantic, the spy plot is farcical and the comedy is vulgar (i.e. multiple jokes about flatulence). Despite being less than thrilled about some of these details, I somewhat enjoyed the book. I liked the main character, Penelope. She's beautiful and sweet natured, but she's not stupid or a doormat. She's forthright and she pulls herself up by her bootstraps when she needs to. This is ok read, but there are many better books by this author.
This was a wonderful regency romance. It has a touch of gothic melodrama that was a little over the top for me but others might find it enjoyable. Very well-written as are all of Ms Chesney' s books.
A little more risqué that other of Ms. Chesney's stories, but no details. The story has twists and turns and is a fun read.
An interesting read. Lots of fun and a few laughs. Very hard to like the hero, though. I wish he would have had a bit of a payback for his obnoxious behaviour. As always, a full cast of colorful characters I recommend.
Am a devoted fan of M. C. Beaton.
When I compare the writing of Marion Chesney as herself and then as Ann Fairfax I find myself wanting to read the regular Chesney books. I did not enjoy this story lines lack of happiness.

ISBN: 0312913621

Rating: 4.5/5

Votes: 745

Other Formats: rtf mbr mobi txt

ISBN13: 978-0312913625

Publisher: St Martins Pr (January 1, 1989)

Language: English

Subcategory: Historical

Author: Marion Chesney
Title: Penelope