Saturday, October 4, 2008

Review: The Reluctant Widow by Georgette Heyer

About the Book: A sparkling Regency romance with intrigue and excitement, from the queen of the genre. Eleanor Rochdale finds herself married and widowed within 24 hours, and embroiled in an international spy ring, housebreakers, and murder.
My Review: This past spring, the blogs, in particular the romance blogs, were abuzz with some recent reissues of Georgette Heyer books. It seemed as if everyone thought she was fantastic and I had never heard of her. What can I say? I respond well to buzz and made a note of her name to look her up in the future. A few weeks ago, I was contacted by Sourcebooks and offered the chance to review one of her books. I jumped at it!

When the book (well actually books) arrived, the press materials had a quote in big letters that said "Reading Georgette Heyer is the next best thing to reading Jane Austen" At this point, I started to get nervous. Unlike many of you, I am not a huge Jane Austen fan. In all fairness, I've only tried to read one her books once, but simply couldn't get past the first few pages. I like the movies! (which is another part of the problem...I usually can't read books after I've seen the movies...I like plots I know nothing about)

But I plunged in anyway, and I am SO glad that I did! This book was nothing short of pure delight.

Heyer was a talented writer, indeed. Her characters are so sharply drawn that you know exactly who they are. It is not hard to imagine the scenes unfolding and the reactions of each of the characters. On top of that the dialogue is so funny that I found myself grinning and laughing out loud several times.

The plot is not exactly complex, but I find it doesn't matter in a book like this, in which character and dialogue are king. I think this may well be the first regency romance novel I've read, and I can see why they are so popular.

A couple of hours of reading really doesn't get much better than this.

And lastly, because I know this matters to a lot of my readers, this book is very clean, no explicit sex at all and barely even any kissing.

I so enjoyed this book, that I signed up for Becky's perpetual Georgette Heyer challenge. I have another book in the stack to read already and look forward to reading many more!

Check out The Reluctant Widow on Amazon!


SmilingSally said...

I'm not a Jane Austen fan either.

Thanks for darkening the print. :-)

Wendi said...

I grew up reading some of Georgette Heyer's earlier books! She has some wonderful books out - I don't think there were any I didn't like! You should see if you can get your hands on a copy of Sylvester or The Wicked Uncle by Georgette Heyer - I loved that book!!

Take care ~ Wendi

Anonymous said...

This set of books sounds like a good choice for winter reading - when we're stuck inside with the snow and I'd like to escape to another time/place (can you tell it's starting to get cold here?!). I'll add it to my ever-growing list!

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you liked this book, Amy.

It's in my TBR stack.

I haven't read any Heyer but have heard great things about her. Your comment that character and dialogue are king sealed the deal for me!

Lezlie said...

I read my first Georgette Heyer just a few weeks ago and adored it! Try Cotillion. It's loads of fun!


Carole said...

Georgette Heyer is a classic, Amy. I'm so glad you wrote about her.

I read my first book by her in 1965 - The Grand Sophie - and fell in love. While they're all good, my very favorite is These Old Shades. Devil's Cub follows it; I believe these are the only two that share characters. Enjoy!


Elizabeth said...

Oh, I had quite a period of stealth in high school, keeping these books hidden from my mom. (They were NOT APPROPRIATE for children my age, you know.) This makes me want to go read her books again - great, more for my pile. =)

Ladytink_534 said...

I will read one of her books one day!

Anonymous said...

I received this one as well. I'm glad you liked it, and I'm looking forward to reading it.

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