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Bath Tangle

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  6,750 ratings  ·  471 reviews
The Earl of Spenborough has always been noted for his eccentricity. Leaving Fanny, a widow younger than his own daughter Serena is one thing, but quite another is leaving his daugther's fortune to the trusteeship 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 ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published October 7th 2004 by Arrow (first published 1955)
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Average rating 3.85  · 
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 ·  6,750 ratings  ·  471 reviews

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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,
Bath Tangle was another Georgette Heyer's delightful story. We have here couples that have to overcome romantic entanglements, with every character paired with the wrong person. Bath Tangle indeed! But what I most enjoyed was Heyer's sense of humor and her vivid portrayal of the genteel everyday life of the time.
Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂

I haven't read this title for about 27 years, & my memory of Bath Tangle is that, other than the three GH wrote before her death, this was her least enjoyable romance.

I thought I was going to be proved wrong at the start. After all, I wasn't overly fond of The Foundling & A Civil Contract in my younger years, & both are now 5 reads for me.

And I really enjoyed the start. Serena, 25 & unmarried is orphaned by the unexpected death of her father. This results in a huge change of
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
Mar 06, 2016 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
Apr 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance-hist
Frolicking fun.

Both Serena and Rotherham are pistolwhips, which makes for fiery interactions. No wilting wallflower could possibly be expected to standup to the gothic ferocity Rotherham exudes. Serena, fearless and equally terrifying to others in her own way, has no such problem. I think perhaps Shakespeare was thinking of them when he said, "Thou and I are too wise to woo peaceably."
'I am not picking a quarrel. It would surprise you, I daresay, if I told you that I rarely quarrel with anyone
Feb 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed reading this again very much. The story is interesting. The reason for the four stars is I couldn't warm to Ivo and Serena as much as I would have liked. I did like Fanny but she was a bit wishy washy at times. There are a lot of 'tangles' in this book but it lacked the comedy of her other novels.
Abigail Bok
Jan 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Lady Serena Carlow is the indulged daughter of an earl--though if that description makes you think she is pampered and petted, you'd be far off the mark. No, her father treated her like the son he never had, and she grew up as his companion and equal. Serena rides to hounds and hosts political parties and in general leads a free and public life. Her mannish ways are tolerated because of her elevated rank and the protection of her father, but her life has not been free of scandal: a few years ...more
Lady Wesley
Dec 13, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: aud-rev, listened
The audio version of this book, narrated by Sian Phillips, bumps it up to four stars for me. I liked all of the characters, but every Heyer fan should read (even better, listen) to this book just to become acquainted with Mrs. Floore, the immensely wealthy, admittedly vulgar grandmother who protects her granddaughter from the girl's social-climbing mother.

Lots of banter and zingers. Great fun.
Oct 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Years and years ago I devoured Georgette Heyer books, bringing them home from the library in stacks of as many as I could find and carry. My favorites then were SYLVESTER, VENETIA, and REGENCY BUCK and one of my least favorite was BATH TANGLE. In recent years, of course, we are fortunate enough to find her novels in reprint. So I've been taking that trip down memory lane, only to find out that I was giving BATH TANGLE a bad rap. The interaction between H and h that I found so unromantic in my ...more
Jun 14, 2015 rated it it was ok
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
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,
Like I have hoped after first chapter, this book is one of the best of Heyer's romances.

Great characters, well chosen. A delightful idea for a plot. One big tangle. Really, awesome.

I have had so much fun. To the end I was wondering how it will goes. There was a big mess and so many people involved. And, constantly, I couldn't wait when Rotherham would appear and what would he say.

Perhaps some characters are hard to like for some readers but they all are important part of the story. And, I love
2019 Review
It sure takes a while for things to get started. The eventual hijinks and misunderstandings make it a worthwhile read but I was surprised how long it took before I really got into it. Still, I love Ivo and Serena and wish we saw more of them.

2018 Review - 4 Stars
Charming as ever. Serena is cut in the mold of Sophy or Frederica, but with less cunning and more of a temper. I quite love her.

Original 2013 Rating - 3 Stars
Seema Khan
Dec 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is why I just love Georgette Heyer! She makes you go on even when you have no taste for an incessantly obstinate heroine! She has no match for her ingenuity in the breed of HF writers.

The plot was interesting, and I was happy that it wasn't one with typical twists and turns, though to give me credit (;p) I had guessed what Rotherham was about right from the beginning, being such an ardent GH fan that I am and being prepared for the unexpected.

Like all her eccentric heroes, I loved
Namera [The Literary Invertebrate]
I can see why this isn't generally one of the most popular Heyer novels. The hero and heroine spend most of the book apart, and they have quite extraordinarily bad tempers. They even annoyed me, and I'm pretty much as blunt and bad-tempered as they are.

But with that said, I still loved their skirmishes, and I can well believe that they love each other. That they never stopped loving each other, in fact. The book's also pulled off by Heyer's trademark humour and attention to detail. Well worth
Miranda Davis
Dec 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: GH fans
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
This wasn’t as good as usual OR I wasn’t in the mood for it. Either way, I found Serena very annoying!
May 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Susan in NC
Jul 26, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reread
2/2019: second read, this time with the Heyer Fan Group on GR; this was one of the first Heyer’s I read years ago, and have since read several more of her books. My review below still holds, this is still 3.5-4 star read, but not among my very favorite Heyer romances - since I have read more of her books, I’ve seen her handle these types of characters and situations more deftly. But it is still a witty, charming, fun story - I have yet to read a Heyer novel that I didn’t enjoy!

Here, Heyer gives
Nov 24, 2012 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
Sep 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
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 ...more
Mar 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A fiery and hilarious romantic comedy about two people with the horridest temper discovering that they are, after all, made for each other. It's absolutely fantastic and I just could not put it down! One of the best Heyers in my opinion, because both the hero and heroine had such strong personalities (that's rather an euphemism).

I have to say it is a great SHAME that Heyer is such an underrated writer. I suppose it must be the feminine covers and the fact that there is (shock, horror) KISSING
ᴥ Irena ᴥ
Mar 18, 2019 rated it liked it
I loved the heroine. The way her character is represented works so well here. Her younger stepmother Fanny needs exactly someone like her. Everyone in Serena's life becomes more alive when she's near. However, it soon becomes clear that she'd only work well with the type of hero Heyer gave her, although (view spoiler) ...more
Oct 10, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Heyer Completists
Lady Serena Carlow, only child of the late Earl of Spenborough, was shocked to learn that her father had named Ivo Barrasford, Marquis of Rotherham, as her guardian. A strong-willed man with a temper to match her own, Rotherham was also Lady Serena's erstwhile fiancé, and the two never met but that they quarreled. Outraged but resigned, Serena soon took up residence with her very young step-mother, until a chance encounter with a man from her past set in motion a seemingly hopeless tangle of ...more
Sherwood Smith
This is what I think of as the best of Heyer's Bath plots--older heroine and younger one each dealing with romantic complications. Though the alpha hero is a standard Mark I, this one exhibits more of a sense of humor than most, and Serena, the heroine, matches him toe-to-toe for alpha traits and temper.
L A i N E Y
Dec 05, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, regency
Our main couple had broken off their engagement before the novel started. That was such an intriguing premise, wasn't it? Oh all the possibilities!

Unfortunately, even after finishing the book I still couldn't tell WHY they broke up the first time. That really bugged me for some reason.

Review coming.
May 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Regency chicken soup...

When Lord Spenborough dies in middle-age, he leaves a youngish daughter and an even younger second wife. Lady Serena, the daughter, is desperate not to have to live with her aunt, and Fanny, the young widow, is equally reluctant to return to the home of her parents. So they decide to live together, with Fanny as an unlikely chaperone for her headstrong step-daughter. Lord Spenborough has left an unwelcome surprise for Serena in his will, though. He has named as her
Feb 19, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, historical, romance
This one seemed to wander for a while before the story picked up. It concluded nicely, though. You can't really go wrong with Georgette Heyer for Historical Romance.
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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. Rougier later became a barrister and he often provided basic plot outlines for her thrillers. Beginning in 1932, Heyer released one romance
“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!” 11 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.”
More quotes…