Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Conveniently Awesome

Title: The Convenient Marriage
Author: Georgette Heyer
Format: Hardcover (not pictured)
Genre: Georgian Romance/Romantic Comedy
Date Started: August 12, 2009
Date Finished: August 13, 2009

Rating: A

Description (from Wikipedia): Horatia Winwood, a stammering girl barely out of the schoolroom, takes the place of her beautiful older sister (who is romantically involved elsewhere) in entering into a marriage of convenience with the wealthy Earl of Rule. The tentative understanding between the new husband and wife is complicated when Rule's old enemy, Lord Lethbridge, takes an interest in his young bride, in order to exact revenge over a scandal of several years earlier.

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Georgette Heyer, who set the foundation for the Regency romance novel, did an amazing job with this book. It is the perfect mixture of romance, intrigue, and comedy. I loved this book so much, I read it again before sending it back to the library.

Horatio Winwood is my favorite atypical heroine. She is the opposite of the usual romance novel's leading lady. Instead of being a busty blond with large cerulean eyes (I hate most romance novels for their ridiculous women who all look like Dolly Parton or Pam Anderson), Horry is a short, rather young girl with dark hair, gray eyes, eyebrows that refuse to arch, and a pronounced stutter. She bounces back between feistiness and timidity, depending on the situation she's in, and she seems to be a magnet for trouble.

When she marries the Earl of Rule, Horry does it out of love for her sister. As the book progresses, Horry slowly comes to realize that she is falling in love with her husband, while he has been in love with her almost the entire time. But this book isn't just about the romance between the couple. It's also a story of the folly of revenge, as well as a comedy as you watch the Georgian equivalent of the Three Stooges (Horry's brother, her brother-in-law, and her brother's best friend) attempting to "quietly" fix up all of Horry's problems.

Another reason I enjoyed the book is because it was an amazing romance novel without the smut. When you hear the words "romance" and "novel" put together, most of the time the image conjured in your mind is that of a Harlequin romance whose cover sports a Fabio look-a-like. The entire book is spent describing the sexual escapades of the heroine. The Convenient Marriage was a romance novel that focused on romantic love, not lust. And for that reason, I intend to purchase my own copy soon, and pick up some more of Heyer's books. A

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