I have been on a Georgette Heyer kick lately, especially since I found quite a few audio books that I could download from my library's Library2Go service. Georgette Heyer is probably best know for Regency romances and historical fiction. Some of my favorites have been Devil's Cub, Sylvester: or The Wicked Uncle, and The Nonesuch. I love her witty dialogue and fast moving plots.
As I have been reading her books, I have been surprised by the variety of Heyer's writing, which I found in the two following books I recently listened to. The first was The Quiet Gentleman.
Less than a hero's welcome...
Returning to his family seat from Waterloo, Gervase Frant, seventh Earl of St Erth, could have expected more enthusiasm for his homecoming. His quiet cousin, stepmother, and young half-brother seem openly disappointed that he survived the wars. And when he begins to fall for his half-brother's sweetheart, his chilly reception goes from unfriendly to positively murderous.My thoughts:
The Quiet Gentleman is not Heyer's typical romance and really falls into the genre of mystery reading. After arriving at his home, Gervase Frant's experiences a series of "accidents". The main suspect his his younger half-brother, Martin, who has been thoroughly spoiled and is a very annoying young man who has no problem showing his great dis-like for his older brother. In his quiet manner, Gervase works quietly at finding out who is behind the "accidents" along with falling in love in his quiet and gently way.
I was surprised by this being more mystery than romance and was reminded in a small way of her book Cousin Kate (review), though it wasn't quite as nail biting. I can't say it was an earth shattering book or a "you must read" type of book, but I really liked the diversity of the characters, the enticement of the mystery, and the gently romance that was weaved throughout the story.
Can the wrong bride become the perfect wife?
Adam Deveril, the new Viscount Lynton, is madly in love with the beautiful Julia Oversley. But he has returned from the Peninsular War to find his family on the brink of ruin and his ancestral home mortgaged to the hilt. He has little choice when he is introduced to Mr. Jonathan Chawleigh, a City man of apparently unlimited wealth and no social ambitions for himself-but with his eyes firmly fixed on a suitable match for his only daughter, the quiet and decidedly plain Jenny Chawleigh.My thoughts:
A Civil Contract was a delightful surprise to me. Imagine thinking your going to read a fun romance book and instead you get a serious story of marriage! No this story doesn't involve serious attractions to each other, in fact I would say the opposite. Adam is not attracted whatsoever to Jenny. She in turn is determined to make him comfortable. This leads to a friendship between them.
Both Adam and Jenny are very likable people. Adam has to deal with his overbearing, unrefined, but very father-in-law, plus keep the peace between his mama and his new wife. Jenny must deal with trying to be a peacekeeper between her father and Adam, plus try to please all her new in-laws. To make matters worse Adam is still hopelessly in love with Julia Oversley. As Adam and Jenny work through misunderstandings which are very common to a marriage, they slowly become friends and allies and soon Adam begins to realize that Jenny has more to her than meets the eye.
This story had so many layers to it and was truly a lovely story. It is one that I will definitely revisit again, this time in book form.