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Bath Tangle

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  5,480 Ratings  ·  372 Reviews
Many suitors have vied for the hand of the enchantingly lovely Serena Carlow - but none so unconventional as the dangerously attractive Marquis of Rotherham, a man Serena once jilted and never expects to see again. But now her father's sudden death has left her Rotherham's ward, and she cannot collect her rightful inheritance until she weds . . . with his consent and appro ...more
Hardcover, Large Print, 552 pages
Published April 30th 2006 by Thorndike Press (first published 1955)
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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, main
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.
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 gen
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
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, wher
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
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
May 17, 2014 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
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
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 charact
Olga Godim
3.5 stars
Not the best of Heyer’s novels, it’s a good story nonetheless. The plot is charming, the characters 3-dimentional, and the dialog diverting. The problem lies in a different direction: the book starts long before the story. For about the first third of the book, the author follows our protagonists in their hum-drum everyday lives, setting the stage for the true beginning. The readers yawn and contemplate abandoning the novel. Then the heroine finally moves to Bath, and the real tangle be
Sep 22, 2014 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
Sep 04, 2013 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
Ana Rînceanu
My 23rd Georgette Heyer

Upon the death of her father, Lady Serena Carlow finds herself in the custody of her former fiance Ivo Barrasford. She decides to go live with her very young step-mother Fanny in Bath where she meets her first love Hector and they rekindle their romance. One problem: Ivo's fiance Emily (who was under Selena's guidance to become a Marquise) runs of with one of his other wards, Gerard.

To be perfectly honest, when I started this book I thought this would be a Regency Taming O
Re-read February 5, 2017
Sep 27, 2012 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
Clare Cannon
Jul 06, 2012 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
Oct 31, 2008 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
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
Oct 09, 2007 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
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.
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.
Donna Weaver
Another one I loved. I wouldn't normally be fond of someone as bossy as the (real) love interest, Ivo. But Serena's as cranky and temperamental as he is, so I think they're a good match.

Funny that the guys cottoned on so quickly. And what a mess Ivo makes for himself.
May 23, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
May 31, 2010 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
Linda Banche
Nov 05, 2011 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
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
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
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Bad Romance Titles 4 37 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
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  • Indiscretion
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  • The Private World of Georgette Heyer
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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, and he often provided basic plot outlines for her thrillers. Beginning in 1932, Heyer released one romance novel and one thriller each year.

More about Georgette Heyer...

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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!” 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.”
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