So Adrian's uncle, Max Ravenscar, tracks Deborah down and decides the best way to handle her is to offer to pay her money - a lot of money - to send Adrian packing. When you look up the word "contrived," there's a picture of a Regency romance there, or should be anyway. And I'll confess that when I like the main couple and the plotline, I'll do contrived plots with the best of them (like Knave's Wager, one of my guilty pleasures). But mostly this story revolves around the big feud between Max and Deb. So if you love this kind of battle of the sexes plotline, complete with farcical events like a kidnapping, a cultured woman dressing up like a tart and acting low class to embarrass the guy and his family, gambling away of fortunes, etc., this might be a really great read for you.
Max Ravenscar, the Hero, is appalled when he learns that his young nephew plans to marry a gaming house wench, and he lets her know in no uncertain words what he thinks of such a union. Max normally had good control of himself, but Deborah was out to get him. To think that it all started because Max thought she was going to marry his nephew! There is not as much language as one would exspect from a book where much time is spent in a gambling house. I will reread it just for the priceless moment in the cellar This book began by reminding me of Vanity Fair, because of Deborah being in tight straits.
& the pace on this one never lets up!Deb may be quick tempered, but she is also loyal, kind, inventive (!) & when her aunt needs help with her gambling house, she doesn't hesitate to step in, even though she must have realised that she was putting paid to any chance of an eligible marriage & leaving herself open to far less savoury offers. It made me wonder if either of GH's own brothers had done anything to upset her at the time of writing!
One of the best Heyer books. What was shocking to me the most - that I was surprised two times how the story turned out. Because, I love Heyer romances, but they are very predictable.
I smiled the entire time it took me to read this novel, the battle of the sexes of the first order set in Regency England. When he learns that his younger cousin, twenty-year-old Adrian, is in love with a girl from a gaming house, a painted harpy (in his opinion), and contemplates matrimony, Max is aghast. She is as proud as Max, but unfortunately, her family hit the hard times, and she has no choice but to help her aunt in her gaming establishment. With the exception of magic, the male protagonists in both stories could be described by exactly the same words: arrogant, wealthy, powerful, autocratic, absolutely unaccustomed to any resistance. But unlike the hero in the modern story, Max would never resort to cruelty towards Deb or any other woman, no matter how much he dreams of wringing her neck. It doesnt influence neither Debs nor Maxs decisions or actions.
In any case a little lord with a bad case of puppy love gets into his head that he wants to marry her, and even though she never had any intention of accepting, his older, scowly cousin Mr Ravenscar, decides to save little Adrian from the alleged fortune-hunter/gaming wench.
Reading it now, I find the hero such a jerk that his only saving grace is a sense of fairness and a sense of humor--and the conviction that despite a totally disgusting phrase near the end, the heroine will give him beans, as Wodehouse says.
Lady Bellingham opens her home to select gaming parties as a way of making ends meet; preserving the illusion that people attend by invitation only allows her to maintain a façade of respectability. Deborah is quick-witted, intelligent and practical, although at twenty-six years of age, she is pretty much on the shelf, and the fact that she presides over her aunts gaming salon renders her ineligible as a wife for any man of good breeding. She cannot possibly countenance Adrians marrying a common hussy and while he is not yet of age, his birthday in two months time will see him finally independent and able to bestow his person and his considerable fortune anywhere he pleases. What Max has no way of knowing is that Deborah has not the slightest intention of marrying Adrian.
This was book #250 for the year and also the perfect way to complete my GR reading challenge. It also made up for that crappy holiday book I read earlier today.
2.5 This isn't the first book with this theme I've read so far. I haven't read Heyer before so I am certain that there are other books that I might like a bit more.
Beginning in 1932, Heyer released one romance novel and one thriller each year. Heyer remains a popular and much-loved author, known for essentially establishing the historical romance genre and its subgenre Regency romance.