Thursday, August 18, 2011
Review: THE QUIET GENTLEMAN by Georgette Heyer
If you Regency fans out there haven't yet read The Quiet Gentleman by Georgette Heyer, you're in for a treat with this romance filled with comedy and danger.
The earl of St. Erth has come home--not that anyone wanted him to. Banished by his father because he was a constant reminder of the wife who deserted him, Gervase has spent his years at war. His stepmother and half-brother hoped a bullet would find him. After all, war is dangerous. But St. Erth is home, to a sullen family, a motley assortment of hangers-on and the no-nonsense Drusilla, a guest of the family. Matters worsen when Gervase and his brother compete for the same lady. And then the accidents start. Or are they accidents? Does someone want the earl dead?
The Quiet Gentleman is the type of romance I like, plenty of regency and with something else, in this case comedy and mystery, contributing to the action. I also love a secret identity story, and The Quiet Gentleman is one without masks. Gervase, blond, blue-eyed (I LOVE blond heroes), his manner unassuming, gives the impression of a lightweight. But he's no pushover, as the other players in the story soon discover.
The danger mounts with the page count. And not only the serious danger from a killer, but that most dreaded of comic regency dangers, rabid mothers seeking the earl as a matrimonial prize for their daughters. And, in a refreshing change, the heroine is the antithesis of the beautiful but not-much-else female.
I haven't read Georgette Heyer in a while, and I'd forgotten the sheer pleasure of wallowing in everything Regency. The history, the customs, the situations, the clothes, and most of all the language. Granted, I don't understand some of the thieves' cant, but that's part of the fun. If you really want translations, page through the 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue.
They don't write regency romances like this any more. In these days of wallpaper, if you want a more authentic regency experience, read Georgette Heyer's The Quiet Gentleman.
Thank you all,
ARC provided by Sourcebooks