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)
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.
I love Georgette Heyer books. This story and the characters were so-so. It doesn't have as much of the usual humor of many of her books.
Longtime fan of Miss Heyer, terrific to have audio versions. Excellent performance across the board.
I collect Heyer's books and have reread them many times. This isn't my favorite Heyer and wouldn't recommend it as the first Heyer to read. Serena and Rotherham are almost unlikeable, as if the author wanted to see if she could make us care about them in spite of ourselves. Some reviews said he was missing in too much of the book; however, when he does appear, attention must be paid as we learn important things about him. I enjoyed Sian's reading, because when I read the book I skip a lot. She makes every scene count and brings all the characters to life. As others have said, I couldn't stop listening until the tangle was un-tangled. This is a different kind of heroine and there's much to love for a Heyer fan.
Just when I think I have listened to my favorite Heyer audio book along comes another title to takes its place! This story certainly reminded me of Shakespeare's sharp-tongued lovers Benedick and Beatrice in "Much Ado About Nothing." I absolutely loved it! The narrator put on a truly marvelous performance. Very entertaining, well-written, with vivid characters and outstanding conversation. Great stuff!
An enjoyable listen although this story is not quite as well suited to an auditory format as some of Heyer's other romances - some of the dialogue in this story consists of characters discussing regency politics and gossip which can be skipped if reading from a book but is not so easily skipped when listening to an audio recording. That having been said however, the second half of the recording is a pleasure to listen to. I enjoyed Sian Phillips reading which did not surprise me when I remember her performance on the television series 'I, Claudius'.
So, this being one of my all-time favorite Heyer novels, I was super excited about the audiobook. It's funny and cute and witty. I had one problem and it was a teensy one, but an important one, I think. Now, I love the way the narrator does everybody except Rotherham. I don't know why. And not even in general, just at the end. But its an important scene at the end! But otherwise it's great.
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