Friday, December 25, 2009

These Old Shades

Heyer, Georgette. 1926. These Old Shades. HQN. 334 pages.

A gentleman was strolling down a side street in Paris, on his way back from the house of one Madame de Verchoureux.

My mom's favorite Heyer. I've spent most of my life--well, my adult life--hearing about how wonderful Georgette Heyer is. How These Old Shades is the Best Book Ever. So I was excited to get a chance to read this one. To find time to squeeze it in this busy holiday season. What is it about? And did it live up to my expectations?

These Old Shades is historical romance. (This is not a Regency romance, however, for those who think of Heyer as only a writer for that period.) It stars a bad boy-in-need-of-reforming named Justin Alastair (His Grace of Avon). When our hero first meets the will-be-heroine, she is dressed as a he. Leonie has been living as Leon for several years--since she was twelve or so. He buys her. She becomes his page. And oh-how-she-loves him, idolizes him as her rescuer, her savior. But he--at first--is thinking only of revenge, of payback, of finally getting "justice" on a wrong several decades old. When will his thoughts turn to love...well...you'll have to read this one yourself and see how this romance (deliciously) develops.

It is a fun little book. A completely satisfying and giddy-making romance. So did it live up to my expectations? Mostly. I can't say it's my favorite Georgette Heyer. I've read so many this past year--so many that just felt oh-so-right and oh-so-fun. But I am glad I read it. I am glad I get to share my thoughts with my mom. I *do* think this would be a fun novel to start off with. To introduce someone to Georgette Heyer. I think it is one of her best. One of the more accessible ones as well.

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

1 comment:

Aarti said...

Personally, I'm not really a fan of These Old Shades. I think Avon is kind of slimy, and Leonie is, to me, the epitome of an annoying Mary-Sue character. I much prefer Vidal and Mary to these two.