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12.08.2008

Review: Regency Buck by Georgette Heyer

Taking a little step outside my norm with this one. A big thanks to the lovely Danielle Jackson from Sourcebooks Casablanca for asking me if I'd be interested in reviewing a Heyer!

As a reader I tend to enjoy a lot. I generally prefer things with elements of the supernatural but as a child I LOVED historical fiction. Being American I was always quite interested in the historical eras and events of my nation but I also loved more ancient and culturally exotic ones as well. Celts and Romans, pirates and crusaders, samurai and gypsies. What I've strangely always struggled to get into are westerns and regencies. I don't know why. LOL But I am always open to trying something new even if I'm not sure it will be my cup of tea.

If I was going to read a regency novel it seems only suiting that I go with the traditional Austen but when have I ever gone along with the most likely route? ;) Chances are had Danielle not contacted me about Georgette Heyer's novels I'd not have ever picked one up. Fortunately it wasn't a total flop! Read on... -- Rhi


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Regency Buck by Georgette Heyer
Historical Romance, Regency
Paperback (SOURCEBOOKS CASABLANCA, 416 pages, $13.95)
ISBN# 1402213492
An altogether unsatisfactory arrangement
After their father's death, Miss Judith Taverner and her brother Peregrine travel to London to meet their guardian, Lord Worth, expecting an elderly gentleman. To their surprise and utter disgust, their guardian is not much older than they are, doesn't want the office of guardian any more than they want him, and is determined to thwart all their interests and return them to the country.
With altogether too many complications
But when Miss Taverner and Peregrine begin to move in the highest social circles, Lord Worth cannot help but entangle himself with his adventuresome wards...

Author Site: http://www.georgette-heyer.com/ (unofficial)


Romantic Tug-o'-war! (4 stars)

Orphaned and left in the care of a man who wants as little involvement with them as possible, Miss Judith Taverner and her younger brother, Peregrine, have decided to move to London against their guardian's instructions. As it turns out, Lord Worth has become their guardian somewhat by mistake (a typo in legal documents) and he is not much older than the siblings. Having come from the country London offers all sorts of diversions from plays and balls to cock-fighting and gambling. While Judith establishes herself as a fashionable, eccentric young beauty, Peregrine manages to get himself into little bits of trouble and even to find a lady he'd like to marry. But looming over all is the abominably disagreeable Lord Worth guiding the fortunes and favors of his young wards' lives.

As the tale progesses the Taverner's cousin becomes a good friend and strange occurances lead Judith to believe someone might be trying to harm her brother. But who would want to harm her brother and why, since she would be the one to benefit from his death? There in lays the mystery even as her guardian seemingly attempts to turn away suitors and makes himself look rather suspicious indeed.

Of all the books for me to pick! I couldn't possibly offer a deep synopsis without spoiling so much of the story. What makes this book enjoyable though was not the characters nor really the plot. I had read that Heyer was noted for her historical accuracy and research which showed so plainly I almost felt as if I were a foreigner in a strange land. For some I could see that being terribly off-putting but as long as it's not too bad I enjoy it. It made me want to look into many of the things that were mentioned that I did not understand.

If you're looking for a raunchy page-turner this one certainly wouldn't fit the bill. It was quite refreshing actually. Regency Buck is the sort of chaste romance you can share with your teenaged daughter or your octegenarian grandmother without fear of offending sensibilities. The back and forth between Judith and her many potential suitors will leave you guessing who the lucky fellow might be but as with any romance it shouldn't be too hard to guess the correct one. The chemistry between Judith and her chosen is one of the other truly enjoyable parts of this novel, I think any Austen fan would agree. So will I read another Heyer someday? Ya know... she wrote many historical fiction tales based off of real people (I'm guessing she was the Philippa Gregory of her time?) that I think might be even more to my interest than this regency romance. ;)

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