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Endearing Young Charms #6

Those Endearing Young Charms

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I have my pride. I have sworn to marry the girl, and marry her I will.
After ten long years, the Earl of Devenham had returned to wed Mary Anstey, only to find that their feelings for each other had cooled off considerably. Nevertheless, they both put on bright faces for the benefit of family and friends.
But Mary’s younger sister Emily saw through their masquerade. She would sacrifice anything rather than see her retiring sister married to the now haughty earl.
Desperate measure were called for… a sleeping draught in Mary’s wedding-morning chocolate and Emily could don the veil and force an annulment with the trick was discovered.
It was the kind of plot that could – and would – get young Emily into trouble….

167 pages, ebook

First published January 1, 1986

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About the author

Marion Chesney

148 books654 followers
Marion Chesney Gibbons
aka: Ann Fairfax, Jennie Tremaine, Helen Crampton, Charlotte Ward, M.C. Beaton, Sarah Chester.

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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5 stars
66 (20%)
4 stars
101 (31%)
3 stars
106 (33%)
2 stars
35 (10%)
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12 (3%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 30 reviews
Profile Image for Ivy H.
855 reviews
June 20, 2018


The “Hero” in this novel leaves the heroine ( after not consummating their marriage ) to spend Christmas with his mistress !


I AM serious !

I was enjoying this novel until the fucktard “Hero” cheated. And, what’s worse than cheating is the fact that he even implies that his mistress, Cordelia, has a slack or loose vagina. What the F kind of man will actually keep a mistress with a vagina like that?

Damn Cordelia! Her tongue was as loose as her ... never mind.

Those Endearing Young Charms. Marion Chesney (Kindle Location 1515). Kindle Edition.


The best thing about this novel was the heroine’s cat, Peter. He was a stray cat she’d rescued and she took him with her wherever she went:

Peter hated the H and the H was jealous of all the attention the cat received from the heroine:

There was a soft thud as the large cat leaped on the bed. Its fur slowly rose and it green eyes glared. All of a sudden, the earl lost his temper. A male rival was one thing, but he was damned if he was going to compete with a cat.

Those Endearing Young Charms. Marion Chesney (Kindle Locations 1307-1309). Kindle Edition.

Peter the cat scratched and growled at the H !


That wasn’t the only stuff that Peter did to the hero. Peter even urinated on the H’s clean laundry !

"Indeed. Well, when you turned your back, this is the result. Smell this."
The valet moved cautiously forward and then looked at his master in dismay.
"Exactly," said the earl grimly. "Cat's piss. Here and now I want it known that that animal is not to be allowed in my quarters or anywhere near my person."

Those Endearing Young Charms. Marion Chesney (Kindle Locations 1326-1328). Kindle Edition.

Peter probably used his extra strong cat nostrils to sniff out the OW’s skanky loose vagina on the hero ! But Peter was a resolute and brave Cat. He continued to mess with the H all the time until the very end when he was sure that the H had changed:


Other stuff I hated in this novel included:
1. The stupid maid Felice threw Peter outside during a snowstorm and the heroine had to endanger her life to go search for her pet. The maid wasn’t even fired or punished ! And the f*cking H even thought the whole thing was funny:

"Oh, no, my friend," said the earl softly. "I am not going to have a mangy cat as a rival." He scooped the cat up with one quick movement and placed it on the floor. "I must ask Emily not to be too harsh with Felice," he thought sleepily. "It is an eminently throwable cat."

Those Endearing Young Charms. Marion Chesney (Kindle Location 1220-1221). Kindle Edition.

Eminently throwable cat ? This motherf*cking H has an eminently choppable dick !

2. The mistress continued to order clothing at the mantua makers and the dumbf*ck H paid the bill, even after he had dumped her !
I am just gonna put this one down to a fluke failure and continue with my travels into the wonderful world of Marion Chesney’s regency stories. Hopefully, I will not encounter this kind of shit again…
Profile Image for Preeti ♥︎ Her Bookshelves.
1,307 reviews19 followers
August 22, 2019
*Lol* This is as bad as most reviewers are saying but....
It's also mighty farcical but...
The H is a callous, insensitive, cheating toad, a fucktard even but ....
He says and does unpardonable things but ...
Not everyone can love Peter, the cat and his running interference in the H's amorous endeavors but...
Not recommending to anyone (Refer to some great, well written reviews around here.) but ....

I enjoyed it!
Grinned and cringed my way through it!
Profile Image for Wendy Sparrow.
Author 37 books270 followers
May 28, 2015
This officially killed my M.C. Beaton phase at book #34.

I don't think I've ever found a romance "hero" as despicable as I did this one. He returns from war to find himself not in love with the girl who waited for him, but still determined to marry her. Her much younger sister takes her place (because she knows her sister is in love with someone else) but he recognizes the swap prior to marrying her and still goes through with it. She balks a few times early-on about consummating their sudden marriage...and he loses his temper and starts ignoring her. Shortly after that, he starts up with a mistress--where he vents about his marriage. While on these business trips in London, he takes his mistress to society events, despite everyone knowing he's a newlywed--which I know was "done" during that period, but this is supposed to be a romance hero.

Meanwhile, his young wife is busy on his estate learning her way. She recognizes when he comes back from town that he's taken up with another woman and he shuts down the conversation. He sends his young wife home for Christmas and spends it with his mistress. This takes us to about 60% through the story which is where I quit because he was angry with his wife for making him feel guilty for having/visiting/taking up a mistress.

I don't know that I've ever read another Regency where the hero picks up a mistress after marriage, actively visits her, takes her around town (basically spitting in his wife's face), and then blames his wife for his own feelings of shame. I kept thinking that I'd misread something because I didn't see any other reviews mentioning it.

So, technically, I DNFed this one. Normally, I don't post ratings on books I don't finish, but I hated the hero in this book and adultery (especially like this) just icks me out. I'm going to go read some Amanda Quick to purge this one.

*flexes fingers* It was a good run, though. And I read a ton of good M.C. Beaton books. My faves were: A Governess of Distinction, Miss Fiona's Fancy, Lessons in Love, To Dream of Love, and The Scandalous Lady Wright.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for ✨ Gramy ✨ .
1,382 reviews
October 19, 2018

I normally find this author's work intriguing, but this series has not been as compelling to me. However, this one piqued more interest than the first two of this series.

I listened to the audio version of this book through Hoopla. The narrator, Lucy Raynor, did an excellent job!

The characters were distinct and quirky. The plot was odd, the characters never grew in depth, and the romance was not believable in the least.

It was clean, able to stand on its own and delivered a 'PG' rated H.E.A. at the conclusion.
Profile Image for Maquel.
47 reviews
October 17, 2017
I feel like I just spent the last 5 hours angry. The behavior of the Earl was SO ridiculous. Everything he did and thought had no reason or excuse. In the end, he got off way too easily in my opinion. There needed to be a lot more groveling on his side. I went the whole book rooting for Emily to smack him. She deserved so much more than what she got. Poor girl. But the book was better then the others I have read by Chesney
Profile Image for Patrizia Gallo.
Author 4 books3 followers
June 24, 2020
First thing first:
This book should have had a trigger warning!!!

I understand it's a book written in the eighties and I know things have change in the way books were read and written, but, when I pick up a romance, especially a regency romance, what I expect is some light, maybe silly reading, not something with gratuitous animal abusing in it.

This time I had what I think is my worst experience with a romance EVER.

The story started well, a naval officer rejected by the family of the woman he loved, and that loved him in return, come back ten years later with an earldom, with the intention of marrying his lady, very Prersuasion like.

But things have changed, he's not still the young insecure officer Mary loves, he is indeed a harsh, brooding man that intend to honor his promise, even if his feelings where not the same as before.
As is for his lady.

The younger sister of the bride to be tries and failed to convince both to call off the wedding, and to save them take her sister's place.

So this is the thrope of the forced marriage, which is one I particularly like.
And the permises were good and entertaining, so I can say I enjoyed at least 50% of the book.
But then things went south.

The relationship between the newly married couple just not just tense, but soon became non existent, with the earl sending his wife at home to her parents for Christmas, while spending the holidays with his mistress under the nose of all the ton in London!!!
And when his neglected wife asked him for a pet he declare that animals don't belong in the house (and I understand this his a book written in the eighties, but a man that has no compassion can't be my hero. Period).
But the worst happens when returning home in a snow storm she finds a poor starved kitten and decide to take it home with her.
That wretched maid she have trow the poor beast out a windiw in the snow!!!
And she' not even reprimanded for doing it!

Then later in the story a bunch of village kids enthusiastically trys to hang the creature and when it escapes ending in a pond they try to stone it to death.
Reading this kind of thing is very upsetting for me, because I know all to well that this kind of things still happen and I won't read about it when I'm in search of some comfort (which is why I read romance!!!)

Last but not least, in the end husband and wife make peace, but there is no reason truly why they have achieved such a feat, there's no growing or real développent in the relationship, and in the end it's just her loving him even if he is a moron.

The end.
So, not for me, thank you very much.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Becky.
1,588 reviews23 followers
February 19, 2019
I had been enjoying a long string of Marion Chesney "romances" on Audible as part of the romance package. Then I started the Endearing Young Charms series and enjoyment turned to dislike. I didn't like a single one of the books in this so-called series of books in which the only connection is the utter unlikeability of the characters and ridiculousness of the plots. In many of this author's books there is a certain level of cynicism which is rare for romances, but the action is often seen through the eyes of poor relations or servants, so that the narrator's jaundiced view of the world makes sense. In this series, all of the books purport to be straight-forward romances, but the characters are all awful people who dislike each other immensely right until the moment they fall in lurve and all is forgiven. The "hero" in this one mistreats and abuses his wife and her cat while she is so ignorant and childish that it feels like she's about eight years old, which makes the romance triply icky. I have to take a break from this author for a while. I want to go read a Mary Balogh or a Georgette Heyer, or maybe even Stephen King, to spend time with more likeable characters.
Profile Image for Leona.
398 reviews5 followers
August 7, 2021
Having read about fifty of Marion Chesney's romance novels, I have to say this one is just a bunch of crazy. I'm used to the drama, angst, back and forth, does he love me, doesn't he love me, will she kiss me, why won't he kiss me, why does he look at me that way, why won't he ask me to dance, meddling in-laws, what will he do on our wedding night, what am I supposed to do on our wedding night, etc., etc., etc. But all this confusion usually starts around half way in the book. This kind of (usually fun and endearing) insanity starts from the very beginning when Emily, the younger sister, decides to take her older sister's place at her wedding because she knows her older sister doesn't love the now-Earl. The lack of real conversation and communication between Emily and her husband as well as the very annoying cat, Peter, was just too much. I probably would've stopped reading this one around Chapter 6 but I kept going because there wasn't too much left to read. Certainly not one of Marion Chesney's good ones!
Profile Image for Inas..
168 reviews
August 27, 2019
Am shocked, really shocked..

Marion Chesney is by far one of my favorite authors, sometimes her writing goes up and down, but this book by far is the worst of her writings.

The blurb of this book reveal and spoil it up.
Hero as usual amazingly handsome, amazingly tall, amazingly wealthy and kept on writings to his pervious love and intends to marry her, only by wedding day he knows he is not going to marry his long ten-year pen pal, but her sister, he goes along with ceremony just to humiliate her parents because they dared to refuse him before turning titled and filthy rich. So before becoming an Earl, he loved Mary, then after stopped but continued his folly???

Then he cheat with his mistress who has loose tongue and loose other things, while married and continue normal life???

And that idiot of. Heroine sacrifices her self to protect her sister from loveless marriage by drugging Mary and disguise herself as her .????
Its really below Marion Chesney standards, way below.
Profile Image for Louise.
100 reviews7 followers
March 15, 2020
He's an arse who can't admit when he's in the wrong; She's a sheltered teenager with her head in the clouds. Together, they jump to ridiculous conclusions! And eventually, learn to have an actual conversation.

Essentially, this is a series of epic misunderstandings, people being idiots, and not communicating. To be fair, they start off on a bad footing, and continue being arsey / ditzy from there. I found it an amusing, quick read though. Not as good as other books by the same author, but fun to roll my eyes at the idiots nevertheless.

Also, I choose to believe that Peter the Feline Overlord will continue to be in charge, no matter what the Earl thinks.
Profile Image for An EyeYii.
3,562 reviews61 followers
October 6, 2020
Favorite Chesney/Beaton twists and adds to old plots, misunderstandings with real-like people for fresh happy/sad tales. Ten years later, Captain now haughty Duke weds Mary, no, sister Emily, whose kitten Peter warms lonely bed. Typos:
1.12 Wellinton IS Wellington
3.7 you head IS your head
5.24 you pleasure is your pleasure
94 reviews
June 23, 2023
I don't like adultery!

I really didn't like this book, the first book by this author that I haven't liked. I despised the way the earl acted, even his lack of fidelity to Mary during his 10 years away. I was through with him when he spent Christmas with his mistress instead of Emily, his newly married wife. The whole book left me angry.
Profile Image for Amy.
155 reviews
October 8, 2019
I liked the story but the writing was bad. It was a rushed job.
Profile Image for Marlene.
716 reviews
August 26, 2023
I have never encountered such a silly dumb immature such as Emily. The Earl of
Devenham should have consummated the marriage. Not .much romance, except for stupid Emily and her cat Peter.
September 18, 2023

I think this is a book for high school age girls. I did enjoy this book, as I have all other books by M.C. Beaton.
Profile Image for Tasneem.
1,737 reviews
July 19, 2020
Yet another fun read. I really enjoy M.C. Beaton. Her style is so lovely.

second read -
I'm always taken by how much misery is caused by people not being honest and open about their feelings. It is so important to be vulnerable and say the truth. It may hurt, but at least you're not going 'round and 'round in circles. Emily is so in love with The Earl of Devenham but she is just unable to tell him, or he her. All of their problems stem from that, just as all of the drama with Emily taking Mary's place at the wedding stems from Mary being unable to be truthful to the earl.
Profile Image for Nathalie.
999 reviews9 followers
May 5, 2016
This book is the poster child for the fallacy that if someone really loved you, they would know at all times what you are feeling/thinking/intending, etc. Also, don't let the cat/dog come in between the two of you ;> But I still listened to the whole thing...
Profile Image for Anja Calabrese.
54 reviews2 followers
May 6, 2015
I read it as an audio book,the reader was awful and the book was just plain boring
Profile Image for P..
1,458 reviews7 followers
September 23, 2021
Far, far too much about the cat, but otherwise OK.
Profile Image for Rebekah.
552 reviews28 followers
December 2, 2016
Very fluffy, even for Marion Chesney. The cat and the hero were very annoying. It's not unusual for her heroes to have some character flaws. This one had more than most.
Profile Image for cookiemonger.
232 reviews7 followers
February 12, 2018
"It was in the evening, when what little light there was began to fade, that London became a magic place with carriages rolling over the cobbles and houses ablaze with lights. Then the shops came into their own, with many thousands of candles lighting up silverware, engravings, books, clocks, glass, pewter, paintings, women’s finery, gold and precious stones, and endless coffee houses and lottery offices. Each street looked as if it were lit up for a fair. The apothecaries harlequinned the streets with the light from their display glasses filled with spirits, purple, yellow, and verdigris-green. Most dazzling of all were the confectioners with their candelabra and their hanging festoons and Spanish grapes and pineapples, their pyramids of apples and oranges, their rich cakes and tarts, all served by exceptionally pretty girls with silk caps and white arms.”

While other prolific writers have their charms, there is something incredibly comfort-food-like about MC Beaton under any name that will draw me inexorably back forevermore. Her books are like cupcakes. They may not be nutritious, some may not even taste that great. But I consume them in bulk because CUPCAKES.

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This particular cupcake has rather a nice fresh beginning. Mary and Emily are sisters who get along. Mary is awaiting the arrival of her husband to be, once poor Captain Tracey now Earl of Devenham. Her parents disapproved his first proposal ten years previous, and see nothing gauche or vulgar about accepting the same man now that he’s received an unexpected title. To be fair, they’re not the worst parents a Chesney heroine has had.

Unfortunately for Mary, ten years is long enough for the flames of young love to snuff out, and she finds herself returning the ardent regard of the local vicar. In a bid to save her sister from a dutiful marriage she doesn’t want, Emily drugs Mary’s chocolate and marries the earl herself. It’s intimated that Emily reads too many novels.

After the marriage, miscommunication delays consummation. This is much more Emily’s story than Devenham’s. She has the most characterisation, his grievances are downplayed while she is admired as a martyr to his bad behaviour by other characters. Also, she gets a kitten and he is a beast about it. Clearly, she is the superior protagonist.

This book went by in a haze of frosting and sweet prose. I recommend it the same way I have always recommended all MC Beaton books. Get this and five others, have a cup of tea and an evening in.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 30 reviews

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