It's giving away nothing when I tell you that the hero of this tale doesn't marry the woman of his dreams, but that to me is what makes this a great book. From what I've read, Heyer wrote this as a sort of anti-romance, to show a different type of companionate love. She succeeds in telling an interesting tale full of well-realized and generally believable people.
While I enjoyed the book very much, and rate it as among the best Heyers I've read so far, I can't recommend it unreservedly. You probably won't like it if you aren't interested in particular details of the history of the period, including the Napoleonic wars. I'm a history buff, however, and I loved it. Heyer apparently wanted to write histories but ended up writing so many romances and mysteries because she needed the money.
Another interesting part of the book to me is the way she shows mature, married love and how it differs from the sparks of young love. This is really her theme, and she is expert at showing the dailyness of love and how it can grow between two caring people.
And as always, another sparkling performance by the narrator, Phyllida Nash. She can do no wrong.
Simply understand before you try it that this is not a typical romance, and in some ways not a typical Heyer. But give it a chance, and you'll be rewarded.
Female and left 39 behind more than two decades ago. Genres I like are procedural mysteries, history and historical fiction, and science fic
Superb performance. This is my favorite He yer Regency romance. It is a wonderful study of marriage, romance, and love. Get this book.
This is the story that actually convinced me to start reading Georgette Heyer's novels -- previously, I had expected them just to be ridiculous modern attempts at Regency works. I was quite mistaken!
What I love about this story is that the two main characters behave as they are supposed to, not as fleeting passions or hormones or selfish desires might dictate. Adam and Jenny's marriage is a civil contract, but they both try so hard to build a real marriage out of it, which is what makes for a unique and interesting story. The tone is a little sad at times, and the pacing moves slower than other stories, but it is really quite lovely and believable.
The narration on the story was well done and makes for a pleasant bit of bedtime reading at night.
Phyllida Nash is so wonderful at voicing multiple characters. She brings them to life. The listener understands so much more clearly the understated humor in the dialogue. She does justice to Georgette Heyer's stories and complex characters.
I don't think I can settle on just one favorite. Of course, Mr. Chawleigh is most apparent. He is forceful, amusing, generous, and infuriating as he is determined to gain and maintain the upper hand. But, Adam, Captain Deveril, the new Viscount, is the perfect hero. He has served his country and now must serve his family and his sense of honor. He sacrifices his dearest wish and his dream to make sure his mother and sisters are taken care of. He marries a woman who not at all appealing to him and is determined to fulfill his side of the marriage contract with honor and giving her all the honor due her as his wife. He has a completely appealing personality.
I have listened to her before and I have enjoyed all of them. I think this completes all of her Georgette Heyer readings and the rest are already in my library, except for The Foundling. I suppose that will be the next one I will have to add based not only on my appreciation of Georgette Heyer, but on the strength of Phyllida Nash's performances. You are drawn into the story and the characters thanks to her voice acting.
The final pages when it all comes together. You see how the main characters have grown. The strength of Adam and Jenny, of his friend Brough, of the relationship between Mr. Chawleigh and Adam. It's so realistic and human.
If you enjoy history and historical fiction, you will enjoy this story set in Britain during the Napoleonic period. It's a window into the past. It is not light reading, but it is worthwhile.
The situation is realistic, the characters complex and endearing (or intentionally aggravating), and the development of Adam and Jenny's relationship is subtle and beautifully evolved.
My favorite character is Jenny, but Phyllida Nash does a splendid performance in every role, from airy-fairy Julia to robust, vulgar, warm-hearted Mr. Chawleigh.
This is among the best audiobooks I've heard. Phyllida Nash was marvelous and the story is the best of Heyer's work.
She's very natural and does a wonderful job of doing each voice - from the coarseness of Mr. Chawleigh to the gentility of Julia Oversley.
I love the theme of friendship being the most important aspect of a successful marriage. As the kindness of Adam to his plain wife and the concern of Jenny toward her husband's habits and history grow them into a loving couple, it's very sweet and very successfully captured in this version of the book.
The development of this plot is quite slow even the ending being a slow climax. The characters are enlivened by the father-in-law. Good book for characterisation
Story: A man has to marry into money to save his ancestral home. The women he marries is an unlikely heroine who proves a better wife than he would have chosen himself. No a great literary work in terms of plot twists but an enjoyable story and likable characters. It was well read by Phyllida Nash.
I found this a very engrossing and unusual Georgette Heyer story. Having very little of the madcap and lively action that characterizes most of her other books, this story unfolds slowly and deliberately as adult characters react and adapt to circumstances and gradually learn their hearts and minds.
I am constantly amazed at how fresh each of Heyer's stories are, even as they all deal with basically the same elements and many of the same themes. But I found this book a real departure from her usual story telling. It provides a much more mature view of love, dealing less with romance, and more with the solid foundation of respect and affection that underpins an abiding love. And by the end of this book, I felt I understood far more about the protagonists in this story than I have about any of her other characters.