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Beggars May Sing

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Gina and her brother Sebastian weren't literally beggars - but they were financially dependent on Mark Proctor though he was no relation to them, merely their stepmother's brother. Sebastian, at 18 well on his way to becoming a charming waster, saw nothing amiss in the situation, but Gina found her dependence galling and worrying. Particularly when she realized that she was in love with Mark.


First published January 1, 1932

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About the author

Sara Seale

60 books17 followers
Sara Seale was the pseudonym used by Mary Jane MacPherson (d. 11 March 1974) and/or A.D.L. MacPherson (d. 30 October 1978), a British writing team who published over 45 romance novels from 1932 to 1971. Seale was one of the first Mills & Boon's authors published in Germany and the Netherlands, and reached the pinnacle of her career in the 1940s and 1950s, when they earning over £3,000/year. Many of Seale's novels revisited a theme of an orphaned heroine who finds happiness, and also employed blind or disfigured (but still handsome) heroes as standard characters.

Mary Jane MacPherson began writing at an early age while still in her convent school. Besides being a writer, MacPherson was also a leading authority on Alsatian dogs, and was a judge at Crufts.

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Displaying 1 - 6 of 6 reviews
Profile Image for Kay.
1,783 reviews98 followers
May 18, 2014
3 Stars ~ When Gina's father died, she and her brother were brought from Ireland by her step-mother to live in England. Their father had left them penniless and so it was Julia's brother, Mark, who set them up in a house in a small village outside of London. Gina, a year older than Sebastian, is now 19 and worrying about her future. Sebastian is studying for scholarship exams for Oxford, though he is loath to go as he'd prefer to pursue a career as a musician. Mark is a busy London attorney, totally self-made, and while not rich he can support them all comfortably. Recognizing that her brother is a moocher just like her father, Gina worries that Mark will always be supporting them and she hates being a financial burden. As Gina begins to find her wings as a young woman she's noticed not only by the young man living next door but by Julie's boyfriend, who makes her skin crawl. And watching her blossom is Mark, who has always been enchanted by her.

This is a sweet coming of age love story. While Harlequin published it in the 60's this was actually Sara Seale's first book published in the 30's. Though it is dated, with society looking upon women as needing to be taken care of, I still found Gina a relatable young woman with a strong sense for independence. She's rather mature for her 19, and Mark at 35, doesn't seem so out of her reach. Ms. Seale loves to write May-December romances, with feisty heroines fighting their way into womanhood and patient heroes wanting to protect them. This one has a few twists, for as Mark and Gina love each other very much, Ms. Seale gives them a few obstacles and then solves them most dramatically.
Profile Image for Macthekit.
4 reviews
June 11, 2017
I've read this book 10 times at least over the years, it's a comforting old friend! it's such a lovely story and a good book - not "just a harlequin"

I love stories where the H & h have known each other a long time, seems more believable than love after 3 weeks. Mark was always enchanted by Gina, and she slowly came around to seeing his worth and to feel a profound sweet love for him. I would have wished for a different ending for her brother Sebastien, but all in all everything works. it's sweetly sad at times, and it makes the true love they find together all the sweeter. Can't recommend highly enough!

Profile Image for Karen.
278 reviews3 followers
April 15, 2019
A terribly sweet, gentle old-fashioned romance set chiefly in Sussex. Quite a rambling coming of age story, with an evil stepmother and her awful beau. It has a really lovely older hero, who acts as their guardian.
Profile Image for Mary.
14 reviews
January 28, 2020
Loved it. Such a beautiful story and a bittersweet ending. The hero was perfect as all Sara Seals heroes are.
548 reviews11 followers
November 13, 2020
Sara Seale is a favourite of mine. But I got the feeling she was in an uncharitable , rebellious mood while penning this one. The story is loveless, too prosaic, somewhat cruel even.

The basic premise in her stories is always the same. The girl is a bubbly 19 year old with good integrity and naïve charm. The guy is a man of the world, 35 year old. In her other stories, the age difference only adds to the piquancy in their relationship. The guy becomes young and naughty under her influence. Or the girl becomes sagely and wise in his company. But its always a meeting of equals.

In this story, however, the girl is his sister's ward. The guy is virtually her guardian. That wouldn't have bothered me if he didn't act like one all the time. In the author's own words, the hero comes across as "elderly and avuncular" !!! Now, that is not hero material at all. In fact, that makes it down right sleazy.

If the guy who feels and acts like a protective guardian, claims to be in love with his ward, then what sort of a sanctity does the relationship have? And he makes statements like "I have been in love with you for long, I cant even remember since when !!!" Yuck, how can a 30 something be in love with a teenager all along!? Sorry, that didn't sit well with me.

The guy's sister is the so called problem in the story. And the poor lady gets to marry an absolute sleaze bag, and she does it willingly ! That's how her plotline ends !!!

The girl's brother, a sprightly 18 year old is the second problem in the story. He loves the idea of living eternally on the hero's charity! He is just an irresponsible bounder. But how does the author deal with the fellow at the end ? She simply kills the poor kid, he falls off a cliff !!!

So the so called 2 obstacle characters to the lead's love story are both given cruel, stark endings.

I did not enjoy this story much. A well written story, but has no charm, no romance, no warmth. 2 stars.
Profile Image for Elizabeth.
1,559 reviews7 followers
April 2, 2021
Sarah Seale brings all her characters to life with the telling exception of the quiet H who remains largely unknown. All we really know is that he loves the h. That’s the way it usually is in Harlequins but I think he was worth knowing better.
Displaying 1 - 6 of 6 reviews

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