Publisher: Cornerstone Digital
Release Date: February 28th, 2011 (first published 1963)
Rating: 5/5 Stars
After two books, Heyer is now one of my favourite authors. There’s a wonderful wit to her work, and characters who are delightful and frustrating and funny. She has this way of really drawing a couple together, and planting seeds for those around them. If you like Regency Romance with witty, intelligent characters and plenty of moments of poking fun, reading Georgette Heyer feels like coming home – you can really see the way her inspiration has filtered through to modern Regency.
Kit Fancot knows when his twin brother is in trouble, and, sensing something amiss, he returns home from diplomatic service to discover Evelyn has disappeared. On top of that, his mother is struggling with her debt, and Evelyn is due to attend a dinner with his fiancée Cressy and her formidable grandmother. Lady Fancot convinces Kit to impersonate his brother, like they used to, for one single night, so Cressy’s grandmother can approve the marriage and besides, Evelyn can’t be gone for more than a few days more now, can he?
Of course things don’t go to plan, and Kit is forced to impersonate his brother for longer than he anticipated. You really feel for Kit, especially when some of the mess his family is in becomes more apparent. He wants to help them, but lacks the means to do so, all he can really do is try to ensure the marriage proceeds. But this is a Regency Romance, and Kit is our hero.
As for the other characters – Heyer surrounds Kit with women, from his well-meaning mother who cannot stop spending, to Cressy Stavely, to the Dowager Lady Stavely. Heyer knows when to poke fun – and what to poke fun at – and when to back off, and there are wonderful moments where the hypocrisy of certain characters is playfully highlighted.
The women in these books stand up for themselves, and here it is emphasised by her grandmother that Cressy must ensure she honestly likes the man she marries; her grandmother seems harsh and cruel at times, but she wants her granddaughter to be happy, and away from her difficult situation at home. There are some great moments with Kit’s mother, who is an absolute delight in so many ways. She comes across incredibly clueless at times, yet wonderfully intelligent at others, finding ways to slightly push buttons to get what she wants. She adores her sons and, in turn, is adored by them, who both just want to see their mother happy.
I absolutely adored how much of a presence she had, and even as an ‘older’ woman, she had her suitors and admirers, as well as being much loved by all who knew her. Every scene she was in had an extra spark.
If you like Regency Romance or want to dip your toe in, Heyer’s work is not to be missed, and truly not a bad place to start. Warm and fuzzies guaranteed!
Thank you to Cornerstone for providing me this ebook via NetGalley.
Read my review of Georgette Heyer’s Regency Buck