Thursday, May 1, 2014

Faro's Daugher: Review

Poor Lady Mablethorpe is having a bout of the vapors. Her innocent, young, soon-to-be wealthy son has announced his intention to marry the beautiful twenty-five-year-old Deborah Grantham. The only difficulty? Miss Grantham is the niece of Lady Bellingham, the owner of a gambling establishment. And, even worse, Miss Grantham actually presides over the gaming tables--flirting with the gentlemen and playing them off one another in the hopes of driving them to leave even more of their wealth behind.

The distraught mama enlists the aid of her nephew, Max Ravenscar, to, at best, persuade young Lord Mablethorpe of his folly and put an end to the love affair or, if necessary (heavens she hopes not as she reaches for her vinaigrette), to buy off the shameless hussy at any cost. Mablethorpe is thoroughly besotted and there is no hope of changing his mind, so Ravenscar meets with Miss Grantham to try and make a deal. But--inexplicably--Deb Grantham refuses the more than handsome offer of 20,000 pounds and is thoroughly insulted by the insinuation that she would take advantage of an innocent. She determines to make Ravenscar pay for his injustices to her....and she and Ravenscar are plunged headlong into a battle of wits and wills to see who will get the better of whom.

Georgette Heyer was the queen of the Regency Romance. She did her research well and the reader is completely immersed in the age from the first sentence to the last. The conversations are pitch perfect and the descriptions of the gaming house, Vauxhall, and the Park (where everyone who's anyone goes to be seen) are delightfully on target. Despite the fact that historical romances tend to run in a somewhat formulaic manner to brooding, pompous, I'm-going-to-be-a bachelor-forever-so-there Heroes and strong-willed, feisty Heroines and even though the two declare throughout the book how much they despise each other, so we all know what will inevitably happen--despite all that, Heyer writes fantastic stories with characters that keep you reading for the fun of it. Her books have it all: witty dialogue, the life and doings of the ton, creditable characters that are some sometimes a bit larger-than-life (but not too, too much larger), a great concern with social standing which always, always puts a twist on the romance in question. She's my go-to author for historical romances and I love reading her books. ★★★


fredamans said...

She does sound like a great author, but I have yet to read anything of hers. I should... I like how she phrases things.
Great review!

Becky said...

Georgette Heyer is one of my favorite authors!