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Topic: Georgette Heyer suggestion?

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Subject: Georgette Heyer suggestion?
Date Posted: 11/22/2009 6:30 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
Posts: 1,376
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So, I rarely read romance (despite the hundreds on my shelf -- they weren't mine), but several of my favorite authors in the SF/Fantasy field listed Georgette Heyer as a strong influence on their work and I do like romantic SF/fantasy, so I took the plunge and gave her a try. I started with A Civil Contract because it was specifically mentioned by a couple of my favorite authors and the premise very much appealed to me -- the couple gets married out of convenience at the beginning of the book and then the novel is about them learning to love each other. (Mild spoiler coming up.) What I really loved about it was that it DIDN'T end exactly happily. . . they learn to love each other, but it's not the grand sweep of passion that I associate with romance novels; it was more a strong friendship and the acknowledgement that their lives would be much less rich without the other person in it.

 

I loved it. I enjoyed Heyer's wit and characters (though they were rather broadly stereotyped -- but their interactions were priceless so I didn't mind) and I absolutely ADORED the maturity in the romance, the fact that it wasn't a simple happily ever after sort of ending.

 

I would love to read another Heyer novel now. . . but I can't find one that seems to have at all that same feel. The rest all seem rather. . . um. . . melodramatic. I looked up her other arranged marriage novels thinking they would be the best bet, but they feature plot points such as intrigue, assassination, racking up gambling debts, etc. What I loved about A Civil Contract was its quietness, its sheer prosaicness, with the setting up house and farming and whatnot. . . the fact that there were no big melodramatic events getting in the way of the slow, cautiously sweet romance.

 

So can any of you recommend a Heyer novel that I should enjoy, given my feelings about A Civil Contract? Or, another romance novel that might fit the bill? Or, another novel in any genre that might fit the bill? I have enjoyed some of the classic romances. . . Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice, etc., and I read SF, fantasy, and mystery regularly.

Date Posted: 11/22/2009 7:10 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2006
Posts: 6,436
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Hmmm. ACC is certainly one of a kind. I suggest you try Venetia or Frederica next.

Date Posted: 11/22/2009 7:21 PM ET
Member Since: 1/23/2009
Posts: 468
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Off topic - but you might really enjoy Morning Glory by Lavyrle Spencer! Check it out.

Date Posted: 11/22/2009 8:13 PM ET
Member Since: 11/13/2005
Posts: 1,950
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Arabella, is my favorite, but though I haven't read A Civil Contract, I have always had the idea that it was less...er...frothy? Anyway, Arabella, is sometimes silly, but always, always witty.

The Grand Sophy is my second fav, although I believe that it usually ranks higher in most Heyer fans esteem.

According to the votes at AAR the favorites look like this:

 

Georgette Heyer
bouquet.jpg
April 2006
Devil's Cub
The Grand Sophy
Frederica
Venetia
These Old Shades
Arabella
The Masqueraders
Sylvester, Or the Wicked Uncle
Faro's Daughter
Cotillion
The Nonesuch
The Unknown Ajax
Date Posted: 11/22/2009 8:19 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
Posts: 1,376
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Thanks for the input folks! I knew you'd all be able to help. . . feel free to keep 'em coming!

 

BTW, what is AAR?

Date Posted: 11/22/2009 8:43 PM ET
Member Since: 11/13/2005
Posts: 1,950
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AAR is the website All About Romance. http://www.likesbooks.com/

They have unbiased, meaningful reviews (not just "It was great. The hero was hot." kind of reviews) and great content. A good resource if you are looking for particular settings,  backlists, reader polls, or interviews, etc.

ETA.. and a note since you said you don't usually read romance, despite the name, they do review lots of other genres, primarily romances, but they still have fantasy, straight paranormals, urban fantasy, historical fic etc.



Last Edited on: 11/22/09 8:47 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/22/2009 10:41 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
Posts: 1,376
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Harrumph. There goes an hour and half of my time. . .

 

LOL, thanks for the link. . . I love exploring new sites about books! :)

Date Posted: 11/22/2009 10:59 PM ET
Member Since: 11/13/2005
Posts: 1,950
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HeeHee

Need some more time-suck?

Afew other favorites for excellent book commentary and reviews

Dear Author http://dearauthor.com/wordpress/

and

Smart Bitches, Trashy Books http://www.smartbitchestrashybooks.com/

Date Posted: 11/23/2009 12:35 AM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
Posts: 1,376
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LOL! But I'm supposed to be cleaning in preparation for hosting my first thanksgiving. . . not wantonly indulging my book fetish online!

Date Posted: 11/23/2009 1:34 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2008
Posts: 6,543
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I just spent an hour getting all the possible different issues of A Civil Contract put on my wish list.  I may just buy it from Amazon,LOL.

Date Posted: 11/23/2009 7:08 PM ET
Member Since: 12/21/2007
Posts: 1,642
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If you like Pride and Prejudice, I'd recommend you read the Fitzwilliam Darcy Gentleman trilogy by Pamela Aidan. It's wishlisted on here but I managed to at least get the first in the series from my local library. It's Pride and Prejudice through Darcy's POV, and I think it matches Austen's writing style far more than some other Austen-type books I've read before.

Date Posted: 11/24/2009 1:00 AM ET
Member Since: 10/9/2008
Posts: 77
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These Old Shades is the only Heyer I've given a 5 Star rating to... well so far anyway. Arabella is next with a 4 to 4.5 Star rating.

 

Edit: I lied, second is Faro's Daughter with a solid 4.5 Star rating. Then Arabella. :P



Last Edited on: 11/24/09 1:01 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 11/24/2009 12:42 PM ET
Member Since: 1/20/2007
Posts: 7,052
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I would suggest The Masqueraders for what you're looking for- the love between two of the main characters- Pru and Sir Anthony is wonderful. It does take place after the Jacobite Rebellion, so there is some intrigue, but Heyer outdoes herself with their interaction.

Date Posted: 11/24/2009 7:57 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2009
Posts: 337
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I think my favorite is These Old Shades, and then Devil's Cub; Convienient marriage; Grand Sophy.... I do like GH: go back and reread them every so often. I'm going to have try Venetia again: I read it a long time ago and don't remember it much

Date Posted: 11/26/2009 3:52 PM ET
Member Since: 10/9/2008
Posts: 77
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I started a poll a few months back (May) on this subject actually. So if you want to see collective data on what others feel are the best Heyers check it out (vote too because the more who vote the more accurate the results!) Her 40 titles (that are not mysteries) are there and you can choose up to 5 favorites.

What are the best Georgette Heyer Romances? Poll:

Link.