Title: Mrs. Budley Falls from Grace (The Poor Relations #3)
Author: Marion Chesney
Reader: Davina Porter
Category: Romance- Historical
Audio Published: June 1, 2012 by AudioGo (First published 1993)
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Lucy Budley, one of the indigent gentlefolk who pooled their resources to create the Poor Relation Hotel, is prompted by her co-proprietors to travel to Delacourt Castle in Warwickshire. Once there, they plan, she will pretend to be a distant relative and relieve the dotty old Marquess of Peterhouse of enough trinkets to support herself back in London. The plot is foiled, however, when the old Marquess dies and is replaced by his sharp-witted and darkly handsome nephew. Exposed as a liar, the widow Budley tells all and begs his forgiveness, only to discover that the new Marquess may have plans for her; he needs a wife to keep both prying neighbors and ambitious London mothers at bay.
In Mrs. Budley Falls from Grace by Marion Chesney, the proprietors of The Poor Relation hotel are, once again, in need of funds and this time it’s Mrs. Budley’s turn. However, since she has no relations who will welcome her to their home, Sir Philip sends her off to a stranger’s home, Delacourt Castle, but the plan immediately falls apart and Mrs. Budley tells the whole story to the Marquess.
That’s our couple, Mrs. Budley and Peterhouse. Mrs.Budley is not an entirely inappropriate match for him. She does have a family pedigree, even though she’s now “in trade,” but it actually takes him a while to decide he’s in love with her. He forgets about her, more or less, after her visit but then meets her again in London. Of course, they are attracted, but society and people keep them apart. I do have to say I liked Sir Philip in this one, until the end at least. He may have his own selfish reasons but he does everything in his power to promote the romance between Mrs. Budley and Peterhouse.
There is also a side plot regarding the well-known French chef at the restaurant and some typical shenanigans. It’s an enjoyable read, although I perhaps liked this one a little less than the first two. The story was fine and the romance sweet, but there too many moments when the author stepped out of the story to give us a pointed remark about society at that time. I can’t think of any specific examples, but it was something like: “Mrs. Budley was _______________, as were so many women of the time,” and it rather annoyed me.
The Poor Relation Series