Amy's Reviews > The Convenient Marriage

The Convenient Marriage by Georgette Heyer
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Jul 07, 11

bookshelves: georgette-heyer
Read in July, 2011

This was the book that started it all!! In a really round about way. xD And by all I mean my obsession with Georgette Heyer. I found it on a Best Regency Fiction list and thought it sounded ridiculous. I laughed quite hard and sent it to Hope. But Georgette Heyer kept popping up and eventaully I got Arabellaand loved it and then The Grand Sophy and loved that....
So you see, in a very round about way, this book first introduced me to Heyer. Unfortunetely, it isn't her best.

Plot
Take the novel the Scarlet Pimpernel, remove the Pimpernel part of Sir Percy, change Marguerite from a French actress to a stuttering 17 year old English girl, turn Chauvelin English...and wallah! You have The Convenient Marriage . It isn't a bad book, really, just not Heyer's best.
Determined to save her sister from an unwanted engagment, Horatia Winwood takes matters into her own hands and proposes to the imposing and wealthy Lord Rule. It is to be a marraige of convenience, like the French, with each doing as they please. But things start getting out of hand as the reckless and gamble loving Horatia defiantly becomes friends with the dangerous Lord Lethbridge. Scandols threaten to hover on every side as Lord Lethbridge gambles for a lock of Horatia's hair and then she loses a brooch in his house...
On top of that Lord Rule finds himself falling in love with his young bride, but she, believing him to be still enamoured with his mistress, refsues to be won over.
Insert a few 'Will the two ever find happiness?' and 'How many duels can be fought over the honor of one silly 17-year-old?' and you get an idea of the plot.

Thoughts
I'd say one of the biggest problems with this book is the plot. Of course, Heyer isn't exactly known for tame plots, but it still feels unbelievable. Maybe because the plot isn't so outrageous and wonderfully woven as others. Even Arabella keeps you laughing and half-guessing, despite its rather predictable plot. The Convenient Marriage just doesn't tie in well. There is a duel here...oh! and now a kidnapping. Throw in a hold-up. Now a party. It doesn't flow well. Lord Rule is a typical Heyer bad-boy, but still kind of "meh". Horatia got on my nerves. I wonder if this book was written early on. I see flickers of Frederica in it, a little Arabella, and some of These Old Shades.

This book was almost completely saved by Horatia's brother, the Viscount Pelham. He's quite hilarious. Half the time drunk, the other half crazy, he's a noble brother always sticking up for his younger sister's honor and willing to be of service. The true hero of the story, IMHO.
There are def. better Heyer books, but this isn't a bad one. Just not as interesting as some of her others. Some of the plot elements felt weak.The characters were frequently annoying. Little things xD
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Quotes Amy Liked

Georgette Heyer
“The Viscount stepped into the room. "Came to see if you was dead," he said. "Laid Pom odds you weren't."
Lethbridge passed his hand across his eyes. "I'm not," he replied in a faint voice.
"No. I'm sorry," said the Viscount simply. He wandered over to the table and sat down. "Horry said she killed you, Pom said So she might, I said No. Nonsense."
Lethbridge still holding a hand to his aching head tried to pull himself together. "Did you?" he said. His eyes ran over his self invited guest. "I see. Let me assure you once more that I am very much alive."
"Well I wish you'd put your wig on," complained the Viscount. "What I want to know is why did Horry hit you on the head with a poker?"
Lethbridge gingerly felt his bruised scalp. "With a poker was it? Pray ask her, though I doubt if she will tell you."
"You shouldn't keep the front door open," said the Viscount. "What's to stop people coming in and hitting you over the head? It's preposterous."
"I wish you'd go home," said Lethbridge wearily.
The Viscount surveyed the supper-table with a knowing eye.
"Card-party?" he inquired.”
Georgette Heyer, The Convenient Marriage


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