Another year has passed at the house in Mayfair, and this season brings the young and beautiful (and poor, and naive) Harriet Metcalf. She has inherited (sort of) her late neighbor’s daughters, who are barely younger than she is. In his will, she controls the estate until the girls are of age, and the dad specified in his will that Harriet was to take the girls to London for the season to marry them off.
But here’s the thing. Harriet is beautiful. Too beautiful. And she’s sweet. Too sweet. And the girls are total bitches who hate her because their dad liked her better (because of the whole sweet vs. bitch thing). They treat her with thinly-veiled contempt (well, thinly veiled to her – her friend, and the Mayfair staff, notices). Anyway, in London, two very eligible suitors begin paying court at the Mayfair house, and Harriet thinks that each one is interested in one of the sisters. Oopsie. So that leads to the usual misunderstandings that happen in these books. Someone tries to ruin someone else, dashing young men come to the rescue, lessons are learned.
While all of this is going on, Harriet is also becoming close to the staff. While she was raised gentry, she lives as a genteel poor now, and thus isn’t as bothered by the above and below stairs etiquette. She takes a trip with them to the seaside, teaches the scullery maid to read, and in general improves their lot.
Of course everything works out well in the end, as it always does in these books. The good people have good things happen, the naughty people get their comeuppance, but nothing actually bad happens to anyone. These books are simple little reads (I know I say that every time, but I can’t stress it enough). Simple, quick, light, bright little lagniappes that aren’t going to change the world, but they can take you away from it at least for a little while.