Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Reluctant Widow


The Reluctant Widow was pretty awesome. I had a total shout of mental laughter when I recognised the Jane Eyre governess premise. But oh how Heyer took it to such beautifully ridiculous heights. Bwee hee hee. She's so clever. *fangirls madly*

Loved our heroine, the strength and slight vulnerability of her. Particularly intrigued by the lack of physical detail given to our hero but omigod he was too too marvellous. He was so maddeningly reasonable that both our heroine and I reacted with the same choking indignation. Oh that was brilliant. Darling Heyer.

The Napoleonic spy intrigue was enough of a subplot for me to tolerate without getting bored. And the other characters made for a lovely mix of contrasts and humanity. Not to mention the dog! *squee* I finally realised what it is about Heyer writing animals that I love so much, that works so well. She writes them like she writes humans. There's no difference.

And I loved how bookish our heroine was! Actually, I'm fairly certain by now that Heyer's favourite Austen is Sense And Sensibility. Cos this is at least the third that references it. The other two named the novel. This one caused me no end of giggling with our heroine constantly accusing our hero of lacking all sensibility, to the point where he repeated it back to her. Too funny!

But omigod that final scene was so effective. I mean, written with such skill that I yelled about five times in my head "Kiss her! If you kiss her, she'll believe you! JUST KISS HER!" And then he did and it was perfect, resolved the scene to perfection.

Also, quite possibly one of the best last lines in a novel ever. *nods*

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Unknown Ajax

Whoops, I forgot for a few weeks there about Our Heyer. No matter, back on track now.



I had the damnedest time trying to read The Unknown Ajax. It just wouldn't hold my interest. I think I may have overdosed on Heyer's style to the point of taking it for granted. I glossed and skimmed rather than lost myself in every single sentence.

But oh man, totally awesome hero and fabulously smart heroine. And their conversations were the most delightful absurdities. Loved that, loved that, loved that. The rest of the characters and smuggling history and claustrophobic setting I could have done without.

And this wasn't helped one bit by the Spelling Mistakes (!!!) I found. At one point there was even the wrong name given to the hero! *boggles* Damnit, I'm going to have to actually go through the re-read with a black pen, aren't I? Bah.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Regency Buck


This was exactly what I wanted in terms of hero and heroine battling in magnificently fiery misunderstandings. Until towards the end when she suddenly lost all her energy and became rather stupid. I didn't like that one bit, didn't like the way Heyer allowed him to take over the narrative and drive the action. Damnit, our heroine could have just easily figured out the mystery and taken matters into her own hands. So I was quite miffed with that and found the recapping at the end quite unnecessary which even ruined the big declaration scene. *pout*

I did love finally seeing Beau Brummell --- god, Heyer makes him out to be utterly fascinating, I had such a different idea of him over the years, just like our heroine --- and all the royalty and the Pavilion at Brighton. Some excellent characterisation with the supporting players and I particularly loved the way she drew Mr Taverner. I was in two minds about him almost all the way and only the fact that it was a Regency romance gave me any certainty about who our heroine would end up with.

Faaaasscinating writing, Heyer. Flawed but fascinating. And seeing as this was published in 1935, yep, on with the evolution.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Foundling


The Foundling was too much like Charity Girl in terms of guy separated from girl for nearly threequarters of the narrative for me to enjoy it. Which was a damned shame cos they were so sweet and shy that I would have loved to read a novel where they spend the whole time in close proximity, learning to come out together. As it was, I quite liked how he gained his independence and found himself.

But argh, digressing from both main characters to the supporting ones just bored me to death. Too much too long, not innarested! Pretty much made me realise how long it's been since I've read a Heyer wherein boy battles with girl, tempers flying and intellects clashing. But hope springs and all that.