May 1, 2012

Six Georgette Heyer Mini Reviews

In my last term in graduate school, I had little time for recreational blogging but I did make time to read for fun. Over the past few months, I read the below novels from Georgette Heyer - one can always rely on Heyer for amusing and lighthearted prose - and I have provided a few thoughts for each! 

The Unknown Ajax (4.5)
With the heir recently deceased, the Darracott family expect the new heir to be a vulgar person of little means...Major Hugo Darracott is not quite what they expect. The hero, Hugo Darracott, is one of my favorite Heyer heroes. I have difficulty even describing how wonderful this character is. Think how perfect Jane Austen's Darcy is, even though he is arrogant in the beginning. Well Darracott is humble and capable but with an iron will! A perfect foil for the strong-willed and beautiful heroine Anthea. I found myself giggling a lot reading this one. Highly recommended. 

A Civil Contract (4.0)
This story is out of the common way for Heyer, as she actually explores marriage rather than courtship or rollicking adventures. A Civil Contract is really quite wrenching, as you feel for the heroine Jenny Chawleigh, who is plain and plump. Adam Deveril is marrying her because she is an heiress and the family fortune is gone. I recommend for Georgette Heyer fans but I wouldn't recommend as a first Heyer read.

April Lady (4.0)
Similar to A Civil Contract, the main characters, Nell and the Earl of Cardross are already married except the Earl has married Nell by choice, even though members of Nell's family are inveterate gamblers. Nell is keeping secrets from the Earl and finds herself ever deeper in trouble with no seeming happy resolution in sight. Much unhappiness is experienced by the hero and heroine due to poor communication and frequent misunderstandings. There was much more angst in April Lady than in Heyer's other novels, maybe the reason why I did not enjoy this novel as much as I usually enjoy a Heyer novel. 

The Quiet Gentleman  (4.0)
This story follows more the lines of The Reluctant Widow in that it is much more suspenseful, with hints of romance interspersed. A satisfying mystery.

Pistols for Two Short Stories (3.5)
These short stories are quick reads at 20 pages apiece, yet Heyer does well in creating memorable characters and exciting plots in so few pages. Recommended for Heyer fans. 

Sprig Muslin (3.5)
The writing seems to be a bit more hectic in Sprig Muslin than in other Heyer stories. I would have liked more scenes with Lady Hester and Sir Gareth Ludlow. Recommended for Heyer fans but if you are just starting to read Heyer, this is not her best effort. 

I just want to mention how much I love the Sourcebooks Landmark releases of the Georgette Heyer novels and I have almost finished collecting all of the romance titles and some of the historical titles. I would snap them up if you find the print versions, as the bookstores tend to sell out of copies.

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