Audiobook, read by Sian Phillips; length: 11 hours, 60 minutes
"...I should be very happy to think I need never say another word to you
for as long as I live -- and of all things in the world there is
nothing nothing! so abominable, and contemptible, and cowardly, and
ungentlemanly as persons who walk out of the room when one is addressing
Lady Serena Carlow to Ivo Barresford, Marquis of Rotherham, who is walking out of the room while she is talking to him.
I have to say, that due to other reviews I read about this book, I was a little reluctant to give this one a go. Many people said, that they could not like the hero and the heroine of this book and I was therefore afraid, I would not enjoy this book at all.
But I was very much mistaken. While it is true, that Serena and Ivo are a little different from Heyer's usual main characters, I still fell in love with both of them immediately.
Bath Tangle starts shortly after the late Earl of Spenborough has died unexpectantly, leaving an unmarried headstrong daughter of 25 years and a widow younger than his daugher.
Since the Earl of Spenborough has no male heir, his title and the major part of his wealth and land goes to a distant relative. No surprises here for all involved parties, until at the testament reading it is disclosed, that the late Earl has appointed Ivo Barrasford, Marquis of Rotherham to be his daughter's trustee, until she finally decides to marry.
Unfortunately said Marquis of Rotherham is not only an old friend of the family but also a former fiancee of Serena - needless to say, their betrothal did not end well.
Awkward situation? - You could definitely say that. But also the beginning of a humorous, fast paced and entertaining story.
Yes, Serena is a spoiled child, headstrong and impulsive with little regard for other people - but she is all of that in such a charming way that you immediately forgive her and feel for her. She stands her ground, is fearless and quite shockingly unromantic - but nevertheless enchanting.
She quarrels with the "odious Marquis" whenenver she gets the chance but as soon as someone else tries to abuse him, she takes his side and shows a great deal of understanding for him.
Ivo on the other hand is not a beau, no Nonpareil, no rake - just a grumpy, quarrelsome, hottempered person. If it was not for the insights that Serena gives us into his character, it might be hard to sympathize with him, but Serena helps us understand, what his amiable qualities are.
That's what I loved about their relationship - they know each other so well, that they don't have any illusions about one another. They love one another because of their quirks.
So, I have to say, I wasn't expecting it, but Bath Tangle has made it into my Top10 list of Heyer books. Definitely a keeper!
The audiobook itself was great also. Sian Phillips is a wonderful narrator, she makes the characters and the story come alive. The audiobook is an unabridged version, so you can enjoy every last of Heyer's wonderful characters and dialogues.
Sian Phillips sounded like a Grand Dame and thanks to her, I now know how to pronounce "Spenborough" :)