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Bath Tangle

3.79  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,853 Ratings  ·  327 Reviews
Lady Serena Carlow is an acknowledged beauty, but she's got a temper as fiery as her head of red hair. When her father dies unexpectedly, Serena discovers to her horror that she has been left a ward of Ivo Barrasford, marquis of Rotherham, a man whom Serena once jilted and who now has the power to give or withhold his consent to any marriage she might contemplate. With her ...more
286 pages
Published January 1st 1971 by Pan Books (first published 1955)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Anne
Update: Listened to the audiobook narrated by Sian Phillips in March 2015 and totally loved it. She had exactly all the right intonations and I loved how she voiced Serena. The last battle was super well-done too! ;)

*spoiler alert*

Oh, I loved this one. I really, really, really did. It was sheer entertainment from beginning to end, and I embarrassingly laughed out loud several times. A great many people had told me prior to starting that they hadn't liked this book as much as other Heyer's, main
...more
Lyuda
Mar 08, 2016 Lyuda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’ll open no gates for you, my girl! you’ll take any fence I take, and we’ll clear it, neck and neck.

Wonderful story with marvelous dialog and Heyer's trademark witticism. The book is not as popular or as universally loved as some of her other titles. And, actually, if you’re never read the author, I wouldn’t recommend it as your first encounter but, please come back to it later.

The plot is a clever mix of romantic entanglements, comedy of manners, and vivid portrayal of everyday life of gen
...more
Jacob Proffitt
While I like Serena a lot and the chase she leads Ivo is a lot of fun, the book has two weaknesses that put it on my "read less often" list. First, Ivo isn't even present through most of the book. He pops up like a jack-in-the-box from time to time, but he doesn't stay long and his actions aren't terribly enlightening. Heyer's skill is such that even as little as we see him, we can see where he stands (even if Serena doesn't), but that isn't really enough to carry through those long gaps of his ...more
_inbetween_
Heyer's novels are the only ones I'd initially given five stars, but daren't now (all re-reads). Bath Tangle is one of the more obvious romances, and it's still not obvious at all, he and she still seem apart more than together and there is never a word of "love" spoken - just ingeniusly shown whenever either of them meets others how they fit, and how they care for each other, and what makes them special and likable.

But i_f's comments about Charise made me dislike Serena for the first time, wher
...more
Kavita
With a large cast of characters, the story is about love tangles with everyone paired up with the 'wrong' person. Most of the action takes place in Bath, a place I particularly enjoy reading about in Heyer's books. She makes it sound like such fun there, without the tiresome formality of London.

The story starts off with the Earl of Spenborough's funeral. His estates goes to a cousin, since his only daughter, Serena, cannot inherit. But she does inherit a fortune, kept in trust for her with the
...more
Miranda Davis
THE unabridged AUDIOBOOK
I wasn't as familiar with this GH Regency romance as others I have read and re-read happily (Frederica, Arabella, Grand Sophy, Unknown Ajax, Sylvester, Venetia, etc.) but it's a corker!

Not one star-crossed pair but three sets of lovers disentangle themselves after much brinksmanship and hilarious, distempered arguments. The main duo, a fiery, independent, self-possessed earl's daughter and her lifelong neighbor, a marquis to whom she was once betrothed but jilted uncerem
...more
Allison
3.5 Stars, for now rounded up. This ended on a 4 star note, but took a while to get there. The beginning was slow, and conversations were boring in places. It didn't even arrive in Bath until about page 60, which is where things finally started to move forward. What kept me reading was the opening scene, which hooked me on one relationship after only one exchange between the two. Once I was interested in what would happen between them, the anticipation kept me waiting and hoping for the entire b ...more
Alice
Mar 24, 2014 Alice rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: regency
And what a complicated tangle it was! I was literally grinning when I read the last pages of this book. Serena and Rotherham has me laughing from start to finish!
(*May contain some spoilers*)
In most of Heyer's books we read the comedy and we laugh and we listen to the banter of two characters that we know will fall in love by the end but until then are simply at odds with each other to keep the reader amused. Bath Tangle was the first Heyer I've read that I could really sense a depth of charact
...more
Nikki
Sep 22, 2014 Nikki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance
I'm not entirely sure how to rate this, because I did enjoy it a lot, but it's still not on par with The Talisman Ring or The Grand Sophy for me. Having finished it, I was just a little relieved that all the tangles of the love interests were sorted out, and that everyone got to where they intended to go (though, I would almost have enjoyed it more if someone had made an irrevocable mistake, even if it were just Gerald and Emily; the way it came out was too good to be true, and Rotherham far too ...more
Maria
Oct 19, 2015 Maria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: georgette-heyer
Lady Serena Spenborough wants nothing to do with Ivo Barrasford, Marquis of Rotherham, one of her father’s best friends and her former betrothed. But her father thinks differently and after his death, Lord Rotherham becomes her Trustee and, if Serena will want to marry, he will have to give his consent. This is preposterous to Serena but unfortunately she must accept her father’s will. After a while she goes to Bath with her stepmother (who is younger than her) and meets a man whom she has not s ...more
Debbie
Sep 04, 2013 Debbie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical, romance
"Bath Tangle" is a Regency romance. At first, I didn't think I'd like this novel much because the apparent "romantic couple" had genuine quarrels that even they decided wouldn't lead to a happily married life together. Both had tempers and were used to speaking their minds.

But as each makes a romantic match with another (as in, "oh, how romantic sounding! Of course you should marry!"), the story explores how a romantic match doesn't necessarily create a good match. There were others so obviousl
...more
Katharine Ott
"Bath Tangle" - written by Georgette Heyer and published in 1955. I can see why Heyer is so well regarded for her period regency romance novels. She paints a vivid portrait of English upper class life in the early 1800s, although here we only get to know a small company as the story begins with the reading of a Will. Abundant conversation is the focal point and I really enjoyed the old-fashioned, effusive, and politically correct (for the most part) way the characters expressed themselves. I was ...more
Becca
May 22, 2014 Becca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
It was perhaps fortunate that right before I read Bath Tangle for the second time, a dear friend told me that I should write more reviews in which I abridge the plot of the novel, and in so doing attempt to be humorous; whether or not I succeed is up to others to decide. In any case, this seemed like the perfect novel to abridge. I suppose I need not say to beware of spoilers. I will of course follow my summary with a few rather more sensible notes on the plot and characters, but for now…

Bath T
...more
Clare Cannon
Jul 06, 2012 Clare Cannon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult, adults

This Heyer builds more slowly, and since it is not a highly sentimental novel those looking for feel-good romance might tire of it early on. However, there is plenty of wit and humour, as well as some very wise thoughts about love, and the absence of sentiment leaves the reader free to enjoy these other aspects and perceive the wisdom more clearly.

The spirited heroine is by no means the angelic creature her childhood sweetheart believes her to be. She has a feisty temper and impulsive nature, e
...more
Res
Oct 18, 2007 Res rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance
The one where the hot-tempered Serena and the hot-tempered Rotherham try in vain to believe they're not in love with each other.

I didn't care for this one. You have two men who enter into disastrously ill-advised engagements -- isn't this what that whole ponderous system of chaperonage is supposed to prevent? Hector's strategy (planning to meekly sacrifice his whole entire life, as though any intelligent woman would want to be married to a man who loves someone else) is bad, and Rotherham's (the
...more
Jenn
Nov 09, 2013 Jenn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance
I'm such a huge Georgette Heyer fan (I just re-read Devil's Cub and These Old Shades this week for a comfort read), that it pains me to give any of her books less than 4 stars, but this book drove me crazy. Heyer often has main characters that come across as unpleasant at first, but improve upon better acquaintance. However, I only vaguely liked the ridiculously named Ivo by the end and I detested Serena. She was such a manly harridan from start to finish - ugh! I liked the minor characters but ...more
Sharon L
This was quite a fun comedy and I agree they totally fit each other. However, it's the sincerity of the feelings that I have trouble to believe to.
Sorry, but at the end of it I'm really not sure why the two of them ever separated. Also, I have a feeling that if he hadn't lost it told her how he felt and kissed her, they won't be together.
simply put the romance for all the couples here falls quite flat.
It is Serena's character and Ivo's characterization that make this book so much fun.
Tweety
What can I say?
I love Georgette Heyer but I hated Bath Tangle. Serena was abominable. She lost her temper at every little thing and came across as spoilt. There is whit, if that is what you are looking for. But if you are looking for likable characters pick something else. Try Arabella or The Convenient Marriage.
Maria
Tangle indeed! Six characters get into a mess by becoming engaged to the wrong party, or not engaged to the right party, at any rate. Reading how everything gets sorted out in the end is wonderfully entertaining. I can't say that the two lead characters are my favorites. Both are a bit headstrong and inclined to get their own way, and I don't like seeing people lose their tempers so easily, but Ms. Heyer pulls it off beautifully, in spite of that. Mrs. Floore, on the other hand, is absolutely pr ...more
Melanti
The main couple's arguing reminded me of Beatrice and Benedick - too wise to woo too peaceably, and all that - though with a hard edge rather than a bantering tone. They mean what they say - it's not all in jest. They just know how to deflect and diffuse each other's temper. There were some amusing conversations and funny situations but overall, the dialogue wasn't Heyer's wittiest.

Ivo is not a nice person by any means, and some of Serena's assumptions about his current relationship make me wond
...more
Blodeuedd Finland
What a mess, or should I say tangle. I can't spoil anything but it gets messy when people fall in love, or think they are in love. The title sure suits the book.

Serena has quite the temper and is not afraid to say what she thinks. She is a real whirlwind. I can't help to like her because she is just so different. She moves to Bath with her step-mum, who is younger and a very timid thing. Fanny can't see any faults with Serena (and trust me, she does have faults.) Then we have Rotherham who is an
...more
Linda Banche
Nov 05, 2011 Linda Banche rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Regency Bath is in a tangle--a tangle of mismatched couples in Georgette Heyer's rollicking farce of a regency romance, BATH TANGLE.

The Earl of Spenborough has died, leaving his twenty-five year old unwed daughter, Serena, and a wife younger than her. And to make matters worse, the earl has left Ivo, the Marquis of Rotherham, the man Serena jilted years ago, as trustee to her fortune.

Serena finds her plight unendurable, but what can she do? With a year of mourning to endure and nowhere to go, th
...more
Terri
Jul 03, 2011 Terri rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bath Tangle is a cross between a Shakespearian comedy/farce and the love story of Scarlett and Rhett in Gone With the Wind. And while I hate romances involving two-strong willed people (they spend the entire "romance" fighting and since nothing has changed by the end, one can only assume their married lives are a misery), I couldn't put this book down. Serena is so unbending and "fly up to the boughs" over the least little thing there were times I wanted to shake her, but for the most part, I wa ...more
Malin
May 29, 2010 Malin rated it liked it
For those who may not have heard of her, Georgette Heyer was a British novelist who in her long career wrote 30 historical romance novels and 12 crime thrillers. She was greatly inspired by Jane Austen, and is probably the reason why Regency romance is now a genre onto itself. Heyer's romances, unlike today's modern, quite often very raunchy stories, are more in the vein of Austen, in that the characters are created with wit and charm, and the dialogue sparkles. The hero and heroine may kiss at ...more
Katherine
I have read about half a dozen of Georgette's novels and this is my favorite!! I was intrigued from the very beginning and as always the main character Serena is a strong outspoken woman who cares not for the opinion of the gossiping crowds of Bath or anywhere else for that matter. After her father dies Serena's wealth and even her choice of marriage mate must be approved by the trustee appointed by her father. Her trustee Ivo Rotherham is known as a harsh man and to make matters worse he is Ser ...more
Kelli
Jun 11, 2012 Kelli rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the more intense stories of Heyer's than I've read before. Usually, with Heyer, I savor the story but Bath Tangle is literally a tangle of characters in complicated situations, where you are not going to be easy until the characters (particularly the two main characters) are placed right where they belong. I found myself ripping thru the pages to figure out what was to be done with each blanched engagement. And how Heyer was going to masterfully fix Lady Serena and Rotherham's sit ...more
Sbuchler
Jun 02, 2010 Sbuchler rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sbuchler by: Mama
Genre: Regency Romance

This is not one of Heyer’s best romances. The concept is good – 10 years ago the heroine (Serena) jilted the hero (Ivo) after the wedding invitations had already been sent out. Fast forward to the current day: Serena’s father has just died. He leaves Serena’s very considerable fortune in Ivo’s hands, stipulating that Serena should receive the same allowance that she had hitherto received, until she is married. If she marries with Ivo’s permission, her husband gets her full
...more
Emily
Jan 04, 2014 Emily rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: regency
While I enjoy intelligent heroines capable of making their own choices, the young ladies described in this book were frustratingly willing to make ridiculous decisions and engage in endless political conversations. I found myself in sympathy with the ditzy young widow more often than I would have liked, convinced that the book would have been much more entertaining if it was given from the antihero's point of view. As in other weaker works by Georgette Heyer, she seemed to be frequently tempted ...more
Lightreads
Regency romance. The one where our willful red-haired Earl's daughter is outraged to discover upon her father's death that her inheritance is entrusted to the man she jilted, whose permission she needs to marry.

This is interesting to me because it's doing some really mature work on a craft level. The hero and heroine spend the vast majority of the book apart, and we get a lot of back-and-forth about a handful of secondary romantic entanglements, while the main romance is told almost entirely in
...more
Katie
So Georgette Heyer, as I've said a lot lately, is one of my authors, where I'm pretty much guaranteed a good read. This book ended up surprising me through by how very much I shipped the main couple! I pretty much always like them, but I got super-invested in this one! (And, weirdly, they seemed to share less "screentime" than usual. Maybe that helped somehow?)

On a technical note, I thought some of the writing in this book was more awkward than Heyer's usual style (which made me think that maybe
...more
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Bad Romance Titles 4 36 Dec 29, 2012 11:41AM  
  • The Captain's Inheritance (Rothschild Trilogy #3)
  • Georgette Heyer's Regency World
  • Lydia (Regency Trilogy, #3)
  • Miss Lockharte's Letters
  • Danse de la Folie
  • The Fortune Hunter (Lord Rival, #2)
  • Lady Elizabeth's Comet (Clanross, #1)
  • Indiscretion
  • Reforming Lord Ragsdale
  • Harstairs House
  • The Private World of Georgette Heyer
  • A Precious Jewel (Stapleton-Downes, #2)
  • Brighton Road
  • The Unflappable Miss Fairchild (Rogues and Rakes, #1)
  • The Five-Minute Marriage
18067
Georgette Heyer was a prolific historical romance and detective fiction novelist. Her writing career began in 1921, when she turned a story for her younger brother into the novel The Black Moth.

In 1925 she married George Ronald Rougier, a mining engineer, and he often provided basic plot outlines for her thrillers. Beginning in 1932, Heyer released one romance novel and one thriller each year.

Hey
...more
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“I liked that young man, did not you? There was something particularly pleasing about his manners, which I thought very easy and frank. He has an air of honest manliness, too, which, in these days of fribbles and counter-coxcombs, I own I find refreshing!” 9 likes
“Are you well? You look a trifle peaked.'
'If I do, it is because black doesn't become me. I mean to lighten my mourning, and have ordered a charming gray gown.'
'You are mistaken.'
'What, in going into half-mourning?'
'No, in thinking black does not become you.”
8 likes
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