Life is not easy for the poor relations of England's upper crust. Periodically they are dusted off and conveyed to some relative's stately home, where they make themselves inconspicuous, hoping the regular meals will last as long as possible. But the day always comes when they are packed up and delivered back to London--and back to their life of genteel cold and hunger. Desperate to keep up appearances, these unfortunates keep their misery to themselves, until one momentous day when Lady Fortescue meets Colonel Sandhurst in Hyde Park. Upon seeing the Colonel's tattered yet dignified appearance, Lady Fortescue immediately realizes that he must be in straits as impoverished as her own, and she invites him to share her roof. A plan emerges: What if they were to transform her decrepit Bond Street home into a posh hotel, offering their guests the pleasure of being waited upon by nobility? With the help of other down-and-out aristocrats, they do just that, and London's newest hotel, The Poor Relation, is born. The establishment is an immediate hit with London's most illustrious citizens, save the Duke of Rowcester, Lady Fortescue's nephew. Rowcester believes that his aunt's entry into the trade will denigrate their family name and is determined to shut the hotel down--until he meets Miss Harriett James, the lovely young woman who accepts Lady Fortescue's offer to become The Poor Relation's chef after the death of her parents and the loss of her fortune. Rowcester moves into The Poor Relation for the season--ostensibly to keep an eye on his aunt's business. Outlandish adventure and delightful romance are the result in this charming and merry debut of Marion Chesney's Regency series.