The Finishing Touches

The Finishing Touches

A fading English finishing school gets a twenty-first-century makeover in this "modern-day fairy tale" (Romantic Times) from New York Times bestselling author Hester Browne, whose sparkling novels are "charming and feel-good" (Cosmopolitan).

Twenty-seven years ago, an infant turned up on the doorstep of London’s esteemed Phillimore Academy for Young Ladies. Now, Betsy Phillimore returns to the place where she was lovingly raised by Lord and Lady Phillimore, only to find the Academy in disrepair and Lord P. desperate to save his legacy. Enter Betsy with a savvy 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 returning to London also means crossing paths with her sexy girlhood crush . . . and stirring up the mystery of who her parents are and why they abandoned her. Will the puzzle pieces of her past fall into place while Betsy races to save the only home she’s ever known?
  • Gallery Books | 
  • 432 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781416540083 | 
  • March 2010
List Price $25.99
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Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for The Finishing Touches includes an introduction, discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author Hester Browne. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.


Following the success of The Little Lady Agency series, Hester Browne introduces us to the charming and lovable Betsy Phillimore in her delightful new book, The Finishing Touches. As a baby, Betsy was left in a box on the steps of a prestigious London finishing school. Nearly three decades later, she is mourning not only the loss of her adoptive mother, the owner of the Phillimore Academy, but also the poor condition she finds the school in upon her return. Betsy is shocked to see only four students are enrolled. From the dusty drapes to the dusty ideas being taught, nothing at the Academy seems to have been updated in years! With the very real possibility of shutting down and selling, the responsibility falls to Betsy to bring The Phillimore Academy back to life and give it a 21st century touch. 


Questions for Discussion

1. Betsy can be at once insecure and socially confident. How do these two aspects of her personality complement and contradict see more

More Books from this Author

Honeymoon Hotel
The Runaway Princess
Swept off Her Feet
The Little Lady Agency and the Prince

About the Author

Hester Browne
Photo Credit:

Hester Browne

Hester Browne is the New York Times bestselling author of numerous novels, including The Little Lady Agency in the Big Apple, The Finishing Touches, and Swept Off Her Feet. She lives in London and Herefordshire with her two Basset hounds Violet and Bonham.