Kathryn's Reviews > Lady of Quality

Lady of Quality by Georgette Heyer
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bookshelves: regency-romance, romance, historical-fiction, 2012-reads

As I've remarked previously, Lady of Quality basically has the exact same plot as Black Sheep. In both books, a lovely lady who is generally believed to be "on the shelf" (a whopping twenty-eight or -nine years of age) shepherds a similarly lovely girl (a teen) who has a fortune through the turmoils of early romance in Bath. A gentleman with a desperate reputation becomes involved in the heroine's life, and his blunt pronouncements and shocking manners contradictorily endear him to her, despite the warnings of her big brother and the older maiden lady who lives with her. Meanwhile, the heroine's servants, despite having known her from the cradle like her big brother, approve of him. The heroine comes to realize her feelings during a lengthy absence on the hero's part (he has gone to London). She initially resists, but the hero encourages her to marry him, and they become engaged.

Lady of Quality is the later work; in fact, it's Heyer's last Regency romance. I like Miles Calverleigh better than Oliver Carleton and Abigail Wendover better than Annis Wychwood (she couldn't even change the initials? And C-A...R-L-E... in both heroes' names?), so I generally prefer Black Sheep to Lady of Quality. I do like Lady of Quality, though; the dialogue is snappy and the story moves quickly. The degree of independence enjoyed by Miss Wychwood is quite extensive for that time period, and Oliver Carleton has no intention of asking her to reduce that independence - in fact, he likes her willingness to argue with him.

Overall, while I don't love Lady of Quality, it's a serviceable Heyer, and I do recommend it. Just don't read it immediately before or after Black Sheep!

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