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May 26, 2009

Review: "The Convenient Marriage" by Georgette Heyer

"The Convenient Marriage" by Georgette Heyer
Product ISBN: 9781402217722
Price: $13.99
Publication Date: February 2009 through Sourcebooks
The Burton Review Rating: 4

The blurb:
"Horatia Winwood is simply helping her family: When the Earl of Rule proposes marriage to her sister Lizzie, Horatia offers herself instead. Her sister is already in love with someone else, and Horatia is willing to sacrifice herself for her family's happiness. Everyone knows she's no beauty, but she'll do her best to keep out of the Earl's way and make him a good wife. And then the Earl's archenemy, Sir Robert, sets out to ruin her reputation...
The Earl of Rule has found just the wife he wants; unbeknownst to Horatia, the Earl is enchanted by her. There's simply no way he's going to let her get into trouble. Overcoming some misguided help from Horatia's harebrained brother and a hired highwayman, the Earl routs his old enemy, and wins over his young wife, gifting her with a love that she never thought she could expect."

I love this author! Georgette Heyer has been around for a very long time, yet with the reissue of her many novels she is attracting a new generation. The Convenient Marriage is my third Heyer, and second romance that I have read of hers. The blurb above really tells the gist of the story, so I am not going to reiterate it here; with all the the simplistic and predictable events we still get pulled in a fantastic way. It is full of quaint scenes and fun romance set in earlier times, in Jane Austen fashion, but what I enjoy the most is the fact I find myself grinning to myself as I read her books. The Convenient Marriage is no exception to the grinning, sometimes it is laugh out loud funny with the hi-jinks of the heroine and her brother and his bosom buddies. There is a slew of interesting characters with Horry and her sisters and of course the obligatory numbskull character Mr Drelincourt who is upset the Earl of Rule has decided to marry after all these years which puts him further down the line in the inheritance.
Here is a fun teaser from the book:
p. 164:
"While the waiting -woman collected her scattered jewels and garments she sipped the chocolate, pondering her problem. What had seemed a mere prank twelve hours earlier had by now assumed gigantic proportions. There was first the episode of the curl."

Horatia is stuttering fool, her brother is a drunk gambler, and the older man she married is besotted with her yet she is too immature to realize it. Her new husband, The Earl of Rule, is portrayed as a doting and tolerant man with none of the typical 'rake' or roguish ways so typical of a Heyer romance. This romance is complete with a sword fight, kidnapping, parties and pinching diamond shoes. Since this is actually one of Heyer's earlier romances from 1936 she was still honing her writing skill and perhaps had not perfected the Heyer Genre as this is not one of her most popular books. I admit that it was a teensy bit slow in one or two parts but I really did enjoy the comical aspect of it and I do not hesitate to recommend this to anyone interested in the Jane Austen/Regency Romance genre. To try and explain the scrapes that the characters got into reminds me a lot of the Three Stooges with a leg up on the intelligence factor, and this book is the epitome of a comically charming period romance.