Monday, May 18, 2009

Review: A Convenient Marriage

Summary: 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. -- Sourcebooks

I guess I've been living under a rock because I feel like I'm one of the only book bloggers who hasn't read a book by Georgette Heyer. I have a few on my shelves, but it wasn't until a few days ago that I finally decided to pick one up and see what all the buzz is about. I chose to read
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.

14 comments:

Shannansbooks said...

you are not the only blogger that has not read Georgette Heyer. I am not a romance novel person either.

bermudaonion said...

I haven't read any of Georgette Heyer's books either. I really didn't know she wrote romance - I always thought her work was "girly" historical fiction. I'm glad you enjoyed this one.

Red lady-Bonnie said...

I've not read anything by Georgette Heyer and I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed this one. I'm going to have to add it to my evergrowing wishlist!

Molly said...

Well, add me to the group as well -- I have not read any of her books either. While I am not a romance person, I understand that she has also written some Regency period mysteries, which I think I will read first. Behold, Here's Poison and Why Shoot a Butler are two that I will probably start sometime this summer.

Meghan said...

I've just read this as well and plan to post my review sometime soon. It was one of the funnier Heyer books that I read and I agree that Rule was a great character who perfectly balanced Horatia's naivete.

Dar said...

I'm glad you enjoyed this one Julie. I just recently started reading Heyer myself-I read Cotillion-and enjoyed it. I have a few more of hers coming up. I can't believe I never read anything of hers before.

Nise' said...

I'm another blogger who has not read Georgette Heyer yet! I have every intention of doing so!

lizzyJ said...

Have not read Georgette Heyer, did not even know who she was until I started blogging. Looks like a good book

Beth F said...

I haven't read Heyer either because I'm not a romance novel reader. But I understand that she also writes historical fiction.

Belle said...

I haven't read Heyer either. I'm not big on historical fiction but the romance part of this book sounds interesting.

Natasha @ Maw Books said...

You're not living under a rock. I haven't read any Heyer books either. They don't have any appeal to me so I don't think I'll be reading them anytime soon.

Alyce said...

I haven't read this one, but I'm in the middle of reading Frederica by Heyer right now, and I'm really enjoying it.

Jen - devourer of books said...

You weren't the only one, I only recently read one of her books too (and I also enjoyed it, even though I'm not in to romances). At least you had some of her work on your shelf, I don't think I'd even heard of her until February or so!

Jenny Girl said...

Again, I also haven't read any Heyer yet either. She's on my list. Glad you liked the book and was pleasantly surprised.