Customer Reviews for

The Finishing Touches

Average Rating 4
( 54 )
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(17)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

A touch of polite, a dash of common sense

I had been delighted to spot this Hester Browne book on the shelf since I had loved The Little Lady Agency series and despaired that it had ended a few years ago! While The Finishing Touches holds a completely different story with new characters, Ms. Browne's writing st...
I had been delighted to spot this Hester Browne book on the shelf since I had loved The Little Lady Agency series and despaired that it had ended a few years ago! While The Finishing Touches holds a completely different story with new characters, Ms. Browne's writing still sparkles with the same delightful fun I have come to adore! I enjoyed Betsy and many Franny-isms that she shared and tweaked to fit the modern times! Manners, once learned and mastered, are definitely timeless - and I would have definitely loved to attend the Phillimore Academy for Young Ladies!

posted by epicrat on March 20, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Original Concept

When I opened the book I was excited about the idea of a "finishing school" for girls. But this book started off slow and lost my interest a few times. However, once it got going, I enjoyed the central characters and found myself rooting for the Jamie - Betsy hookup.
...
When I opened the book I was excited about the idea of a "finishing school" for girls. But this book started off slow and lost my interest a few times. However, once it got going, I enjoyed the central characters and found myself rooting for the Jamie - Betsy hookup.

I do think that some of the characters and side plots were unnecessary and convoluted - Venetia? really? - and I thought some were unfinished or wrapped up to quickly.

I want to read more by this author because I think she something more to offer. Her writing style is clever and has a great sense of humor to it. I just felt that this book was good, not great.

posted by knicmo on April 26, 2010

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  • Posted June 18, 2010

    Really enjoyed this!

    I'm looking forward to buying any other books that Hester Brown does! Witty, funny and just a very good read! It was a fabby beach vacation book! :)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 18, 2010

    Sign me up!

    "The Finishing Touch" by Hester Browne is part romance, part mystery, part chick-lit and all fun. This is the kind of book that will make you want to curl up in a comfy chair with a cup of tea and a biscuit or tuck into your vacation bag.

    Betsy Phillimore is an infant when she is left on the doorstep of the prestigious Phillimore Academy, an elite London finishing school for young ladies. She is adopted by its' owners and raised amidst lessons in a school who prides itself on "taking the girl and handing back a lady who can comport herself with style and grace in the highest echelons of society".

    When a grown up Betsy returns for her mother's funeral, she finds the school and its' classes out of date, out of funds and almost out of students. Determined to save the school, she attempts to modernize the curriculum, while still imparting the timeless wisdom passed along by her mother (I loved the description of the class on walking/running in high heels and thought of trying it for myself to see if it works...). In the midst of this, she is also busy trying to solve the mystery of her parentage.

    This is simple, well-plotted story along with likable characters and a romance or two that will keep you well entertained. A fun read, I guarantee by the end of the book you'll want to sign up for a class or two yourself!"

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 19, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Browne does it again.

    Hester Browne takes a different approach than in her Little Lady books. This novel is less dramatic, but the characters continue to provide excitement and insight into a small slice of English life. This novel reminds modern women that you can be both a Lady and a bold go-getter. A back-story provides the romance many love to have. Finishing Touches is great escape!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 5, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    This is an entertaining chick lit tale

    Almost three decades ago in London, a mom left her baby in front of the exclusive finishing school, the Phillimore Academy. An expensive golden brooch contained a pleading note to care for her baby. The owners Lord and Lady Phillimore and the staff raised Betsy Cooper Phillimore. Over time Betsy wanted only to become an Academy girl. However, her mentors told her to study math as her skills are super. Heartbroken, she left her "family" behind.------------------

    When Lady Franny passes away, Betsy returns to the school that was her home for her "mom's" memorable service; having not been back since she left. Betsy is stunned as the once elegant facility is in state of shabby condition, its reputation gone and the enrollment not just down but no longer attracting the elite. Lord P is despondent over what has happened to what he and his late spouse cherished even as he grieves; he turns to Betsy who has a degree in math to save the school as he believes she is a business consultant instead of running a shoe store in Edinburgh which she actually is. Betsy agrees, but also looks forward to seeing the man she likes while a shy employee likes her. -----------

    This is an entertaining chick lit tale starring a strong female who sees saving the academy as a way of thanking the Phillimore's and as a chance to perhaps learn who her biological mother is. Betsy is terrific as she holds the story line together while proving London swings like a pendulum as her emotions do likewise. Fans will enjoy reading about her efforts to save the school while actually finding herself.-----------

    Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 4, 2012

    Highly Recommend!

    Loved this book, great characters!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Amazing!

    I love this book and highly recommend it to anyone. I've read the author's previous three books and enjoyed them as well, but this one took the cake. I'm praying there's a sequel in the works

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2009

    Makes you long for more..

    The story begins with a flashback of a baby being found on a doorstep of a finishing school. The Phillimore Academy is definitely something original and uncommon as a place holder in the story. The setting and story of Betsy Phillimore fixing up the old-fashioned finishing school and turning it into something extroardinary and dead useful while facing fears of unemployment as well as romance is very creative and makes you really want to read more. The tips handed out with each chapter are really quite interesting and useful as well! Def an A.

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