Book Review: The Chocolate Debutante (The Royal Ambition Series #5) by M. C. Beaton

This is the fifth book in M. C. Beaton’s “Royal Ambition Series”. They are all stand-alone novels however, I have chosen to read them in the order they were written and published. To read my review on the first four books in this series, click  “Book Reviews” on the menu tab of the homepage of this blog.

This turned out to be a “buy one get one free” deal as the story birthed two happily ever afters. Miss Harriet Tremayne’s sister has given her the huge responsibility to “Bring Out” her beautiful daughter Susan at the London Season as she claims to be unwell to do it herself. Miss Harriet, who is a bluestocking to the core and does not like the frivolities of society with their balls and excessive fashion has to leave her bluestocking friends and dear books for a while to become a bit fashionable to boost her niece enough to get hitched before the end of the season. What she doesn’t bargain for is Susan’s uncanny love for sweets which she tries to put under control and the discovery that her feelings are becoming tender towards the handsome Lord Dangerfield.

In this book, the author intelligently brings in a little history  lesson about the women known as “bluestockings” in Regency England and how they navigated through British society in those times. The “Blue Stockings Society was a literary society led by Elizabeth Montagu and others in the 1750s in England. Elizabeth Montagu was an anomaly in this society because she took possession of her husband’s property when he died. This allowed her to have impact in her world where she encouraged women to be  more educated and intellectual in their thinking.

Therefore, in this story, Susan and Harriet represented two different types of women, the usual pretty face with no skills or thoughts beyond fashion and the intellectual well read woman. It also showed that even if if it was common in those times for men to be attracted to the former, there were men who were bored with them and preferred women who they could hold meaningful conversations with and take part in decision making. I loved Harriet’s character and found Susan quite funny and surprisingly resourceful in the end. As usual, this story had it’s fair share of mystery, action and humor and it was a delight to read.

I highly recommend it to all romance lovers. It is also a suitable read for teenagers and Christians.

Rating: 4 Stars

Published: October 20th, 2011 by Rosetta Books

Pages: 181

Genre: Regency Romance

Purchase @ www.amazon.com/thechocoloatedebutante

The Author: Marion Chesney was born on 1936 in Glasgow, Scotland, UK, and started her first job as a bookseller in charge of the fiction department in John Smith & Sons Ltd. While bookselling, by chance, she got an offer from the Scottish Daily Mail to review variety shows and quickly rose to be their theatre critic. She left Smith’s to join Scottish Field magazine as a secretary in the advertising department, without any shorthand or typing, but quickly got the job of fashion editor instead. She then moved to the Scottish Daily Express where she reported mostly on crime. This was followed by a move to Fleet Street to the Daily Express where she became chief woman reporter. After marrying Harry Scott Gibbons and having a son, Charles, Marion went to the United States where Harry had been offered the job of editor of the Oyster Bay Guardian. When that didn’t work out, they went to Virginia and Marion worked as a waitress in a greasy spoon on the Jefferson Davies in Alexandria while Harry washed the dishes. Both then got jobs on Rupert Murdoch’s new tabloid, The Star, and moved to New York.

Anxious to spend more time at home with her small son, Marion, urged by her husband, started to write historical romances in 1977. After she had written over 100 of them under her maiden name, Marion Chesney, and under the pseudonyms: Ann Fairfax, Jennie Tremaine, Helen Crampton, Charlotte Ward, and Sarah Chester, she getting fed up with 1714 to 1910, she began to write detectives stories in 1985 under the pseudonym of M. C. Beaton. On a trip from the States to Sutherland on holiday, a course at a fishing school inspired the first Constable Hamish Macbeth story. They returned to Britain and bought a croft house and croft in Sutherland where Harry reared a flock of black sheep. But Charles was at school, in London so when he finished and both tired of the long commute to the north of Scotland, they moved to the Cotswolds where Agatha Raisin was created.

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