Book review: The Finishing Touches

A real long time ago, I found Hester Browne out of nowhere and I could not get enough of her books. I read the Little Browne Agency and hunted down (after considerable difficulties) the rest of the books in the trilogy and completed all of them in less than a week’s time. So it was a no brainer when I saw The Finishing Touches by Hester Browne on the shelves that I made a grab for it ASAP.  

Book Name: The Finishing Touches

Finishing Touches book cover

Author: Hester Browne

Genre: Fiction – Romance

Characters: Betsy Phillimore, Lord Phelam and Lady Frances (Franny) Phillimore, Liv and Jamie O’Hare, Nancy, Kathleen

Setting: LondonThe UK


Returning home to attend her adoptive mother’s funeral, Betsy Phillimore learns that her mother’s beloved finishing school is on the brink of being shut down. Saving the Finishing touches means having to fight the unfriendly headmistress, indifferent students and a former nemesis who is interested in her recently widowed father.

While she attempts to reconstruct their archaic syllabus and teaching methods, she realizes she is closer to finding her biological mother than ever before. Does she even want to open that can of worms? 

Betsy has taken it upon herself to make a financially responsible adult out of her rich and spoilt BFF, Liv when her father absconds from the scene. Enter Liv’s brother and Betsy’s long time crush Jamie, who seems smitten by Betsy as well. Does the boy get the girl? Or will the entry of another handsome bursar distract her? Read The Finishing Touches to find out more.

Hester Browne’s books are usually straight forward love story with a strong female lead and an interesting back story. She didn’t fail this time as well, the plot was new and interesting. 


While I liked Betsy’s feisty and complicated self, I loved Liv and Jamie more. They were witty and charming. The younger students didn’t make a mark but the cook and the housekeeper, Nancy and Kathleen did. Though there were lots of adorable characters none of them had an interesting sub plot except maybe for Liv. 


I love Hester Browne’s writing that ensured The Finishing Touches stayed as a feel good, light hearted chick-lit just like her other novels. Her witty dialogues and funny scenes had me entertained throughout. The pace slacked at times and there were times that I was kinda distracted, as the sub plots didn’t hold my interest. 

Bottom line

If you are looking for a light hearted chick lit set in the UK, you might try The Finishing Touches. Though it is no way as good as the Little Browne Agency trilogy, The Finishing Touches is worth a read. 

Have you read anything from this author? Are you curious like me about a school that teaches etiquette and manners? Or do you find it sexist? Let us chat.

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