The Earl of Spenborough has always been noted for his eccentricity. Leaving a widow younger than his own daughter Serena is one thing, but quite another is leaving Serena's fortune to the trusteeship of the Marquis of Rotherham -- a man whom Serena once jilted and who now has the power to give or withhold his consent to any marriage she might contemplate. When Serena and her lovely young stepmother Fanny decide to move to Bath, Serena makes an odd new friend and discovers an old love, Major Hector Kirkby. Before long, Serena, Fanny, Kirkby, and Rotherham are entangled in a welter of marriage and manners the like of which even Regency Bath has rarely seen.
Dashing, funny, romantic - a novel by one of our best-known and most beloved historical novelists who has captured a whole new generation's heart.
©2009 Georgette Heyer; (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
"Lady Serena Carlow is an acknowledged beauty, but she's got a temper as fiery as her head of red hair. When her father dies unexpectedly, Serena discovers to her horror that she has been left a ward of Ivo Barrasford, marquis of Rotherham, a man whom Serena once jilted and who now has the power to give or withhold his consent to any marriage she might contemplate. With her father's heir eager to take over his inheritance--and Serena's lifelong home--she and her lovely young stepmother, Fanny, decide to move to Bath, where Serena makes an odd new friend and discovers an old love, Major Hector Kirkby. Before long, Serena, Fanny, Kirkby, and Rotherham are entangled in a welter of misunderstood emotions, mistaken engagements, and misdirected love." (Amazon.com review)
A delightful entangled plot that Heyer easily unravels never letting the reader/listener feel the story is being overly contrived.
Unlike previous reviewers I was quite dismayed by Sian Phillips narration. I'm sure Sian Phillips does her best but her voice is quite hoarse. It is a great pity as Sian tries to ensure the various characters have individual voices for the listener but she is hampered by her damaged vocal folds. Serena is described as having a low pitched muscial voice but instead sounds like she should be auditioning for one of the witches in Macbeth!
I suggest that prospective buyers of this book listen very closely to the sample & decide for themselves.
This audiobook was just a delight. I listened in joyful anticipation as the plot developed and I broke out in smiles too many times to count. Sean Phillips narration is one of the best I have ever experienced and the chemistry between the two leads is quite wonderful. I found it completely charming and absorbing.
I LOVE GEORGETTE HEYER AND THIS IS ONE OF HER BETTER BOOKS. FOR THOSE WHO HAVE NOT READ GEORGETTE HEYER, I HIGHLY RECCOMEND HER HISTORICAL ROMANCES. SHE IS LIKE A "FUNNY" JANE AUSTEN. I AM SO TICKLED THAT AUDIBLE.COM IS INCLUDING HER BOOKS IN THEIR CATALOG. I HOPE THAT THEY WILL CONTINUE TO DO SO. SIAN PHILLIPS IS ONE OF MY FAVORITE NARATORS. HER VOICE CHARMING. THERE IS NOTHING LIKE A GOOD BRITISH ACCENT.
Not every book can be a winner and this one just didn't hit the sweet spot for me. Heyer, as always, has an excellent writing style but the heroine was a little too temperamental and hard to like for me to care who she ended up with. It may read better the second time round but it is just too long a read with too little investment in the characters for me to do that soon. The narrator was excellent, as she always is, though her smoky voice sometimes doesn't have the youthful ring to it for some characters. If temperamental heroines are your thing then give this a listen otherwise look to some of Heyer's other books for better characters.
classic film addict
In the book, Serena is described two or three times as having a "musical" voice, but Sian Phillips gave her a voice like Rosalind Russell. Yes, she is an outspoken tomboy, but is also described as graceful and I never got that impression of her from the narrator's reading.
It's very frustrating when the narrator doesn't read the parts as the author describes each character.
Great (feisty) heroine and very well read. The story and characters are well developed and believable. The narrator does a good job distinguishing characters and giving them strong personalities. Highly recommended!
I'm sorry to say that the lightness and humor of the story was somewhat crushed by the narrator's over-acting. A dry, understated tone would have better allowed the farcical nature of the story to shine.
Estate planning lawyer and mom to two boys. My older son liked audiobooks as an infant, and I've listened to a lot since then.
Not one of my favorite Heyers, though I enjoyed it on audio more than ever before. I just couldn’t warm to the heroine and I liked the B story couple better. The hero is a typical Heyer type and I liked him a lot, but he is offstage for much of the story.
One aspect I really liked is the closeness between the heroine and her younger stepmother. It upended the convention of the young gold-digger marrying the older man; here, the stepmother is the sweetest character in the story, and gets her own happy ending.
In listening to this audio, I liked the story much more than I had when I had read the print version in the past. The heroine (Serena) had been raised by her father to enjoy his pursuits and to be unconcerned about conventional behavior. There’s a touch of Orlando, in that she is depicted as the better heir to her father’s estate, but for being female. When her father dies unexpectedly, a cousin inherits and she is forced to remove with her stepmother to the dower house, and in essence to lose the position she had been groomed for and enjoyed. Her stepmother is happy to leave behind the world of grand parties, hunting and the like, but for Serena, it chafes terribly. While I never like Serena all that much, I could certainly sympathize with her situation.
Of course, complications ensue, when a couple of ill-advised engagements threaten to imperil the happiness of the 6 main characters. One things I liked best about the story is that is clear who does and doesn’t suit without making anyone a villain. The two central couples belong with their partners but are all characters worthy of a happy resolution. The only downside to me was in making that happen, Heyer emphasizes the class differences between the nobility and mere gentlemen, as a shorthand of lack of suitability. My guess is that’s more realistic than current novels in which everyone is a Duke, but it was a bit jarring to modern ears.
"georgette heyer is brilliant, narrated brilliantly"
its a fantastic book when read or listened to . just a great book for a journey
In her usual style of romantic comedy Miss Georgette Heyer has once again Excellent entertainment in prose. This Book is very well narrated and was most enjoyable
"Tangled lovers ever likely to sort things out?"
I enjoyed this book. Strictly night tome listening with no unexpected events. pure undiluted romance.
"One of Heyer's feisty female heroines."
Georgette Heyer books are always a glorious - and somewhat luxurious - read. Her use of the English Language and research into period cant is second to none, which explains why the audio editions are also glorious.
Its golden era Georgette Heyer. No-one else has ever managed to produce the period so well - because no-one else has applied such a mind to research the period so completely and then go on to create a whole cast of characters who are believable within the real history of Bath, London, Brighton and the provinces.
I think you would need to ask Miss Phillips who she enjoyed reading most - she is not only a wonderful actress but has a feel for words. But Mrs Broome was the most fun to hear interpreted.
There were several points when the writing and performance made me laugh out loud.
"A good story"
I particularly like this story by Georgette Heyer, and I love Sian Phillips, but the narration seemed to me very slow that to begin with I thought there was something wrong with my IPod. However, in the end it didn't spoil it too much, I just had to keep getting my ear tuned to the slow pace.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.