Monday, July 5, 2010

Bath Tangle


Bath Tangle. Georgette Heyer. 1955/2009. Harlequin. 336 pages.

Two ladies were seated in the library at Milverley Park, the younger, whose cap and superabundance of crape proclaimed the widow, beside a table upon which reposed a Prayer Book; the elder, a Titian-haired beauty of some twenty-five summers, in one of the deep window-embrasures that overlooked the park.

I wish I could say that I loved this one, but I can't. I just liked it. Perhaps if I hadn't just read Black Sheep or Sylvester, I would be more enthusiastic about Bath Tangle. But while I enjoyed many of the characters in Bath Tangle--our two heroines Serena, the daughter, and Fanny, the stepmother--I just didn't love the story, the plot. I felt the characters never got a good chance to shine. Our hero, the Marquis of Rotherham--and for once I prefer the title to his real name, Ivo--could have been great. There were a few chapters where I thought he was. What kept this one from being great, in my opinion, is that Rotherham was an absent hero, for the most part. And while Serena and Rotherham had great chemistry while they were together, they spent most of the book apart. Each being engaged to another. So though I enjoyed the last two or three chapters, I can't say I loved this one.

So what is it about? Serena and Fanny are mourning. Serena's lost her father--who spoiled her a bit--and Fanny's lost her husband. The two women decide to stay together, to live together. And eventually the two decide to spend part of the year in Bath. Rotherham is the man her father named as a guardian of sorts. He is the man in charge of Serena's finances. He is the man who must give his consent for her to marry. But you should know that Ivo and Serena don't get along. They were at one time close, they were engaged to be married in fact. But she called off their wedding just months before the big day. So now she's a bit concerned as to what this might mean...especially when an old love (Hector) reenters her life.

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews