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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 mortgages and 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 Ladies.... 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 known. 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. A 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.
Melissa Romney-Jones can bake a perfect sponge cake, type her little heart out, and plan a party blindfolded. But none of that has helped her get far in life or in love. When she gets sacked -- again -- she decides to market her impeccable social skills to single men. To avoid embarrassing her father, a Member of Parliament, Melissa dons a blonde wig and becomes "Honey," a no-nonsense bombshell who helps clueless bachelors shop, entertain, and navigate social minefields. She even attends parties if a client needs a "date. " But when a dashing American starts to request Honey's services on a regular basis, it's only a matter of time before Honey's and Melissa's worlds collide. . . .
Hester Browne created a unique heroine in Melissa Romney-Jones a.k.a. Honey, London's ultimate freelance girlfriend, who won the hearts of readers on both sides of the Atlantic in her "charming and feel-good"(Cosmopolitan) and "funny and original" (People) earlier adventures. Now her New York Times bestselling series sparkles brighter than ever as irrepressible Melissa is hired to reform a playboy prince -- and finds she could get used to the royal treatment. Making plans for her wedding to American fiancé Jonathan Riley, who now runs a prestigious Parisian real estate company, Melissa agrees to do a favor for her beloved grandmother: transform the notorious Prince Nicolas von Helsing-Alexandros into a proper gentleman for the sake of preserving a family inheritance. Even possessive Jonathan agrees it's a great opportunity to make social connections. But taming a prince might prove too big a professional challenge for Melissa when she's confronting so many seismic changes in her own personal life. Jonathan needs her in Paris. Her sister Emery's newborn son needs a christening ceremony, as well as a proper name. Emery herself needs Melissa -- to protect her from their bulldog nanny who's returned to do much more than babysit. Most unsettling of all, Nelson needs her to find him a new flatmate because she'll be moving out soon. Balancing all this with late-night dinners, polo matches, and a Mediterranean cruise with Prince Nicky, who is as charming as he is exasperating, suddenly has bride-to-be Melissa dreaming of a fairy-tale ending -- and not the one she expected!
Melissa Romney-Jones went from doormat to diva when she donned a blond wig, became Honey, a no-nonsense bombshell, and set up shop providing London's most clueless men with all the basic girlfriend services -- except, of course, for sex and laundry! Now, her business is booming, but when her flat-mate decides to renovate, she has to temporarily find a new place to live. Then Melissa's dashing American boyfriend (and former client) Jonathan Riley gets a promotion that takes him to New York. There's only one solution: an extended holiday for Melissa in the Big Apple. Entrusting care of the Little Lady Agency to her tactless best friend and her melodramatic sister, Melissa crosses the pond and finds herself out of her depth among Jonathan's hard-charging friends and his interfering ex-wife. Although Jonathan works all the time, he asks Melissa not to take on any new clients while she's in his hometown. But when she's presented with a tempting new challenge, Melissa decides to put her expertise to use. Then her project lands her in the tabloids, which sets off a hilarious and heartbreaking chain of events that could force her to choose between the man she loves and the unique business into which she has poured her heart and soul. Irresistibly funny and full of the magic of New York,Little Lady, Big Appleis another triumph that will have you rooting for Melissa all the way!
If Amy Wilde's new boyfriend, Leo, treats her like a queen, that's because he's secretly a prince himself: Leopold William Victor Wolfsburg of Nirona, the ninth most eligible royal bachelor in the world. Amy soon discovers that dating an heir to a throne has many charms--intimate alfresco dinners, glittering galas, and, for a girl who lives in jeans and wellies, a dazzling new wardrobe with tiaras to match. But there are also drawbacks: imagine the anxiety of meeting your boyfriend's parents multiplied by a factor of "riding in a private jet," "staying in a castle," and "discussing the line of succession over lunch." Not to mention the sudden press interest in your very un-royal family. When an unexpected turn of events pushes Leo closer to the throne, the Wolfsburgs decide to step up Amy's transformation from down-to-earth gardener to perfectly polished princess-in-waiting. Amy would do anything for Leo, but is finding her Prince Charming worth the price of losing herself?As the extravagant wedding plans consume the little country, Amy feels increasingly apprehensive and unsure of whether she's the girl Leo thinks she is--especially with a scandal brewing within her own family. But can she run from her true love--and the glitter of royalty--and return to life as a commoner?
The steps of a charmingly complex dance--Scotland's famous reel--are at the heart of Hester Browne's enchanting contemporary novel of two very different sisters whose dreams may come true at a romantic Scottish ball. Evie Nicholson is in love . . . with the past. An antiques appraiser in a London shop, Evie spins fanciful attachments to Victorian picture frames, French champagne glasses, satin evening gloves, and tattered teddy bears--regardless of their monetary value. Alice Nicholson is in love . . . with Fraser Graham, a dashing Scotsman whom Evie secretly desires. As crisply neat and stylish as Evie is cheerfully cluttered, Alice is a professional organizer determined to pull her sister out of her comfort zone--and who presents her with an irresistible offer. As a favor to friends of Fraser's family, Evie jumps at the chance to appraise a Scottish castle full of artifacts and heirlooms. What could be more thrilling than roaming the halls of Kettlesheer and uncovering the McAndrews' family treasures--and dusty secrets? But crossing paths with moody heir Robert McAndrew has Evie assessing what she wants the most . . . and at an upcoming candlelight gala, a traditional dance will set her heart reeling.
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