The house at No 67 Clarges street comes alive for the “season” in London. That particular time of year when the debutantes and their eager mothers parade their beauties in a veritable meat market only dressed up in frippery and constrained by rigid social expectations. This house is available for the season to let, and the story frequently circles about the ‘below stairs’ staff and servants that keep the home and the lives of the seasonal residents running smoothly.
Quite an unusual perspective for a regency romance, this use of the below-stairs characters provides an interesting side note contrast to the real reason the house is occupied: the upcoming season and the two young women being thrust into society. Euphemia, the eldest is beautiful and shallow: Jane is the younger, less attractive physically but sweeter and more attractive of the two. While they are dashing through their romantic adventures, and misadventures, the below-stairs staff is increasingly consuming the story, to the point of nearly becoming the more important characters.
While the romance was sweetly engaging and quite simple, with the usual push-pull of grand gaffes on the part of our Jane, the hero in the form of Rupert is finding himself attracted to, nay in love with the young misfit.
Narration provided by Lindy Nettleton is simply a perfect addition to the story, being neither too affected with acting, nor distracting with speech patterns and tone shifts. She provides a lovely listen as she narrates this novella, and it is a good way to spend a quiet and enjoyable afternoon.
I received an MP3 download of the audiobook from the producer via AudioBook Jukebox for honest review for the Heard Word. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Title: Plain Jane: A Novel of Regency England
Author: Marion Chesney/M.C. Beaton
Narrator: Lindy Nettleton
Format: eBook and AudioBook
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Audio Producer: AudioGo
Length: 5 Hours: 47 minutes
Source: AudioBook Jukebox
Genre: Regency Romance
Series: A House for The Season # 2
Best Read in Order: Not Required
Stars: Overall: 4 Narration: 5 Story: 3
Purchase Now: Amazon § Audible § AudioGo
About the Book:
“Oh to be as beautiful as Euphemia!” plain Jane Hart sighs when she joins her sister Euphemia at Number 67 Clarges Street for the season. Then Lord Tregarthan might notice her, as she had noticed him and forever lost her heart to the most eligible bachelor of the town. But Euphemia’s fate is to flirt through balls and into the arms of a marquis, while Jane’s is to stay home, amusing herself with snooping into the strange death of Miss Clara Vere-Baxton, a former tenant of Number 67 – until the downstairs staff transforms a plain Miss into the season’s sensation and sends her waltzing dangerously close to the secret of Clara’s demise and into a daring liaison with the lord of her dreams.