Jennifer's Reviews > These Old Shades

These Old Shades by Georgette Heyer
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's review
Sep 29, 2011

it was amazing

I don't usually like romances with large age or power disparities between the characters, so I braced myself to dislike this story of a duke who takes in a ragamuffin less than half his age. However, my reserve was as nothing before the power of the heroine, Leonie, who has got to be one of Heyer's best. She coruscates on the page with her charm and bravery--she insists on learning to fence and handles pistols with some aplomb, and although she never gets around to it (of course), I never doubted for a moment she was mentally able to kill without regret the people she aims them at.

Add to this a delightfully melodramatic (in the best of ways) plot replete with kidnappings, dark family secrets, machinations both wicked and wise, self-sacrificing flights in the night, and a truly black-hearted villain to pit the main characters against, as well as a wonderful supporting cast, and this is possibly my favorite Heyer book. If at the end one feels Leonie is rather too good for her Duke, it's not really his fault and there's no helping it--she lives and breathes, and everyone else in the book is merely a well-written fictional character.
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Isabella This is definitely one of my favourite Heyer books. And you're right, even if there's a twinge of discomfort at the clear gulf of power and experience between the Duke and Leonie (one which even makes him feel like he's robbing the cradle, I suspect), it's telling that the story flourishes despite this, and that we become fascinated by their relationship! And of course, Leonie's personality:) Love this book:)

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