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. -- Sourcebooks
A CONVENIENT MARRIAGE, and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book.
I'm not usually a big reader of romance books (unless you count the occasional chick lit book) so I wasn't quite sure that I was going to like A CONVENIENT MARRIAGE. I just figured that I should try one of these Heyer books that everyone seems to be talking about. When I read the book description, I have to admit that I was skeptical -- it really didn't sound like a book that would appeal to me. I couldn't have been more wrong. A CONVENIENT MARRIAGE was just a wonderful book.
I thought the storyline in this novel was extremely creative. Horatia, the youngest sister in Winwood family offers herself in marriage to the Earl of Rule to allow her older sister to marry her true love. She and the Earl agree to have a marriage of convenience, and Horatia does her best to be a good wife; however, she still finds herself in some uncomfortable situations. While Horatia does seem to appreciate her husband, she fails to realize his genuine feelings towards her. It takes awhile for them to "get on the same page," and the confusion and adventures that occur along the way are just incredibly entertaining.
I couldn't help but like Horatia, although I did get frustrated with her actions and sometimes wanted to shake her. She was such a unique girl/woman who wasn't afraid to speak her mind. She did do some rather stupid things, but I kept reminding myself that she was only 17 years old and very naive. In addition, I tried to understand that she was thrown into an entirely new life -- she married an older and very wealthy man whom she really didn't know at all. Nonetheless, Horatia was such an interesting character and I can see why the Earl was enamored by her.
Not only did I like Horatia, but I absolutely loved the Earl. He was such a wonderful male character. I found him to be smart, charming, witty, and best of all patient with Horatia. Time and time again, he saved Horatia from her own careless actions and always seemed to forgive her. It was almost as if he could read her mind and anticipate her next move. I just thought he was such a romantic man.
Of course, I was rooting for Horatia and the Earl to realize not only their own feelings, but also each other's feelings. There were many twists and turns and zany mishaps along the way, but I felt very satisfied with the ending of this book. I was happy to see that the married couple "lived happily ever after." I'm starting to think that I appreciate romance stories more than I thought!
While I was a little surprised by how much I enjoyed this story, I was absolutely blown away by how much humor was in this story. For some crazy reason, I wasn't expecting this book to be so funny -- I guess I thought a romance set in Regency England would be "stuffy." I was just incredibly wrong. This book was a hoot! The characters (especially Horatia's brother) and their escapades were extremely funny, and I found myself laughing a great deal.
After reading A CONVENIENT MARRIAGE, I definitely will be recommending it to many of my friends; and I certainly want to read more of Ms. Heyer's books. I am so glad that I have a few more of her novels on my bookshelves. She has written something like 56 books over a 53 year period (that's pretty incredible to me); and her books include romances, historical fiction and even mysteries. According to the Sourcebooks website, she is supposedly known for her "research, historical accuracy and her extraordinary plots and characterizations." Based on this one novel, I agree; and I am definitely looking forward to reading some of her historical fiction novels in the near future.
A big thanks to Danielle from Sourcebooks for sending me a copy of A CONVENIENT MARRIAGE.