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Topic: Georgette Heyer guidance, please, for romance newbie

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Subject: Georgette Heyer guidance, please, for romance newbie
Date Posted: 11/24/2010 1:50 PM ET
Member Since: 11/24/2005
Posts: 5,638
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Background: I am relatively new to reading romance. Gracious, the genre has changed a lot since the 1970s. I recently read Flowers from the Storm and enjoyed it. I did not enjoy the first three books of the Outlander series (I don't like Claire much and I pretty well checked out when he beat her). I've read most of the In Death series although I'm less enthusiastic about the recent books. I think I like Regencies and Victorians more than contemporaries. I can put up with plot holes as long as the dialog is good. Over the top violence bothers me but strong language and sex scenes don't.

I keep seeing books written by Georgette Heyer. According to a website dedicated to her, the books don't have to be read in any certain order. True?

She was prolific. Can you please recommend a couple of your favorites for me, as a place to start? 

I know I could flip through Goodreads and such, but I've come to rely on the opinions of PBS members. 

Thank you very much. 

Date Posted: 11/24/2010 3:02 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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here's some links from previous discussions




some have suggestions mixed in with other comments about Heyer. I cna't remember off-hand which ones were recommended but I've heard Frederica was good ...that was on another forum seems like. I read one and didnt' care for it all that much..didn't like the heroine! think it was The Convenient Marriage..others probably like it..it was cute I guess but still didn't like the heroine! I don't hink hers have ANY sex at all in them..I don't recall any in the one I read.

there are tons of other books I could recommend though - mostly contemporary - but there are tons of historical authors recommended here as well!

Date Posted: 11/24/2010 3:09 PM ET
Member Since: 11/24/2005
Posts: 5,638
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Thank you! Clearly I didn't go back far enough when I looked. I appreciate it. 

Last Edited on: 11/24/10 3:09 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/24/2010 3:33 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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you're welcome..I'm sure others will stop cooking and eating long enough to reply when they can LOL! I'm bored... I just searched by subject since I knew there had been some talk - that's what had me checking out one of her books at the library..hmm might see if they have any when I go today and give her another shot. at the time I was more into sex in mystories (loved robyn carr's virgin river and the grace valley trilogy that takes place befefore those!)

Date Posted: 11/24/2010 3:40 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2006
Posts: 6,436
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Almost all of Heyer's books are stand alones.  And yes, they are sex-free.  They are best read for language and humor, IMO.  Faro's Daughter is a good one if you want a more traditional romance, Cotillion if you want something completely different. :-)

Date Posted: 11/24/2010 4:07 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2009
Posts: 337
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Only series ones I can think of (and they stand alone really) are These Old Shades and Devil's Cub.  All of her books can be read by themselves.  (And if you did read the other threads you know TOS is my absolute fave :)   ).  I just started reading GH's mysteries : those are pretty good too

Susanna: I really enjoyed the virgin river series:  I will have to look for the grace books

Date Posted: 11/24/2010 4:43 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2008
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One of our regular book reporters here said that Heyer's book A Civil Contract was brilliant.  I have collected quite a few of her books, but am saving them for 2011.   I thought these were exceptional of the many I have read this year.  But you already read the very best, IMHO, Flowers from the Storm.  And I did love Kinsale's books, The Hidden Heart and The Shadow and the Star.

The Passion of Emma,   Author: Penelope Williamson

Broken Wing    Author: Judith James

The Promise of Jenny Jones    Author: Maggie Osborne

this last one is a Western, but I loved it.  Her book The Best Man was also really fine.

Date Posted: 11/24/2010 6:18 PM ET
Member Since: 12/7/2005
Posts: 1,003
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The ones I've reread the most over the years are Frederica, These Old Shades, Devil's Cub, Black Sheep, The Toll Gate and Arabella.

Date Posted: 11/24/2010 6:44 PM ET
Member Since: 11/24/2005
Posts: 5,638
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Oooh, and my list grows and grows! Thank you so much! I'm looking forward to this. 

Date Posted: 11/24/2010 9:08 PM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2009
Posts: 9,174
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Marlilyn,  Felicia one of our members blog has a great deal about Heyer on it. http://scalingmounttbr.blogspot.com/  I have An Infamous Army on my TBR, there has been several discussions  about her work on the Historical Fiction forum, in fact Linda over there has picked several  of Heyer's novels for the coming years challenge.

Date Posted: 11/25/2010 5:16 PM ET
Member Since: 11/24/2005
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Excellent. Many thanks! 

Date Posted: 11/26/2010 9:40 PM ET
Member Since: 1/23/2009
Posts: 468
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If you are interested in historicals on par with the quality of Kinsale's Flowers from the Storm, I would recommend Judith Ivory, Sherry Thomas, Meredith Duran, Connie Brockway and Elizabeth Hoyt to start with.

Date Posted: 11/28/2010 5:18 PM ET
Member Since: 4/20/2009
Posts: 768
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I want to second Margaret M. re Judith Ivory and Sherry Thomas, arguably my favorite historical romance authors; writing is wonderful, stories and characters have depth and complexity, with a little darkness.  My favorirte from Thomas is still probably the first book (Private Arrangements).  I'd have a hard time choosing Ivory fav (probably my least favorite is The Proposition).   I also love Connie Brockway and Elizabeth Hoyt.  I have also recently read and liked 2 books by Judith James (mentioned earlier).  But all these writers are perhaps a little more 'serious' than Heyer.

If you're looking for something a little lighter, with humor that is somewhat reminiscent of Heyer, but still well-written, you may want to try Loretta Chase or Eloisa James, perhaps some of their earlier series (Chase's Carsingtons, Regency Noblemen, Trevelyan Family; James' Essex Sisters & Desperate Duchesses).

All authors I mentioned write in the Regency or Victorian time periods, and all have a little sex with their history, except for Chase's Regency Noblemen and Trevelyan Family series.

Last Edited on: 11/28/10 5:19 PM ET - Total times edited: 1