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message 1: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie (booksareagirlsbestfriend) | 8 comments I am very excited to have just found this group! I discovered Georgette Heyer nearly a year ago when I was 12 and although I love the books of hers I have read so far, I have only managed to read three. So, I decided to hold a 2011 Georgette Heyer Challenge on my blog Books Are A Girl's Best Friend. I was wondering if any of you would like to participate as you are all fans.

Here are the levels and rules for the challennge:


Inquisitive- read 1-3 GH novels in 2011
Fascinated- Read 5 GH novels in 2011
Captivated- Read 10 GH novels in 2011
Obsessed- Read 15 GH novels in 2011
Addicted- Read 15+ GH novels in 2011

The challenge runs from 1st January 2011 and ends 31st December 2011. You can join at any time within these dates

Anyone can participate

Any of Heyer's novels count for the challenge whether they are regency, crime or thriller (however, most of her books are regencies.)

You can find out more and sign up on my blog post here: http://bestfriends-books.blogspot.com...

I am also looking for Heyer fans to write some guest posts for my blog on any subject to do with her or her books. If anyone would like to offer, I would be delighted!

I am looking forward to being part of this group :)


message 2: by Kim (new)

Kim (kimmr) | 215 comments Hi Stephanie

I'm up for the challenge. I have read GH's Regency novels (I'm not so keen on the mysteries!) many times in the past few decades and I'm on a bit of a Heyer-reading spurt at the moment, which I expect will continue until I get through them all again. Will audio books count? I've just discovered them and have loved listening to my favourites.


message 3: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie (booksareagirlsbestfriend) | 8 comments Hi Kim,
I'm so glad you'd like to take part, thanks for signing up on the Google Docs form. Yes, audio books do count! It would be wonderful to hear your thoughts on them. I haven't read any of her mysteries yet but they don't appeal to me as much as her regencies. Which is your favourite Heyer novel?


message 4: by chinami (new)

chinami | 108 comments Hi Stephanie, you have got a lovely blog. It is wonderful to see so many ppl starting challenges to revive the almost lost world of Heyer. Which book actually set you into the heyer world?


message 5: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie (booksareagirlsbestfriend) | 8 comments Thanks Veronica! Yes, I hope that they introduce new people to Heyer. My godmother introduced me to her when I was looking for clean historical fiction books. The first Heyer I read was Arabella, which really introduced me to the London season and I love the hero and heroine. It's one of my favourite books now. It is listed in The Ultimate Teen Book Guide, which is fantastic. I've also read The Grand Sophy and Cotillion now and I have Frederica on my shelf to read next.


message 6: by Kim (last edited Dec 14, 2010 09:00PM) (new)

Kim (kimmr) | 215 comments Stephanie wrote: "Hi Kim,
I'm so glad you'd like to take part, thanks for signing up on the Google Docs form. Yes, audio books do count! It would be wonderful to hear your thoughts on them. I haven't read any of he..."


Which Heyer book is my favourite is very difficult for me to answer, because I love so many of them. If I could only take one Heyer to a desert island, I suspect it would be Venetia. It's the only one of the romances which can actually make me cry and I seem to know great slabs of it off by heart! The others in my Heyer favourites short list (in no particular order) are Sylvester, The Foundling, The Grand Sophy and Frederica. I also have a particular soft spot for Friday's Child, mostly because it was the first HeyerI read when I was about 13. It is my mother's favourite and she gave it to me to read, so I have a sentimental attachment to it. I am also very fond of Cotillion, which I've only read once or twice before. I'm listening to the audio book at the moment as I commute to work and it's making me laugh out loud! Oh, and I probably should add Devil's Cub to the favourites list. I think it was the second Heyer that I read - way back when - and I still like it very much indeed!


message 7: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 3895 comments I just rec'd a box of Heyer's from a friend of mine a few weeks ago. I'm saving them for after Christmas, and oh, yes, they will definitely put me into the "addicted" category!


message 8: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie (booksareagirlsbestfriend) | 8 comments Venetia is one of her books I want to read next, it sounds very moving! It can be hard to decide which one to read next with such fabulous choice but I'm very lucky to be able to read them all for the first time.
I think I will always feel the same way about Arabella as you do about Friday's Child, there's always something special about a first.
Audio books are wonderful travelling and I can imagine Heyer is perfect to listen to for journeys. I really need to get a set of them.

Karlyne- A whole box- lucky you! That will be a lovely Christmas treat to start reading them. I hope you enjoy reading/re-reading them. I'm sure you'll reach the addicted category :)


message 9: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 3895 comments I think I'll try to put all of my books into order by the year she wrote them, maybe sub-categorized by Regency, mystery, history and then all the others. And, I think I'll start with the Regencies -- perfect winter reading!


message 10: by Gigi (new)

Gigi I would definitely love to do this challenge!!


message 11: by chinami (new)

chinami | 108 comments Stephanie wrote: "Venetia is one of her books I want to read next, it sounds very moving! It can be hard to decide which one to read next with such fabulous choice but I'm very lucky to be able to read them all for ..."

I would really advocate venetia although i have neither read Arabella nor Friday's child i believe they are awesome. Venetia is so poetic and the hero, he's wonderful.


message 12: by J. Rosemary (last edited Dec 21, 2010 01:52PM) (new)

J. Rosemary Moss (jrosemarymoss) Fun challenge! I'll sign up for 'Captivated.' (Heading over to your blog . . .)


message 13: by Kim (new)

Kim (kimmr) | 215 comments I've finished Cotillion and am now listening to Faro's Daughter. Not in my all-time favourites list, but very enjoyable nevertheless. Happily, it is read by Eve Matheson. She has the most superb voice for Heyer and really brings each character to life. I am amazed at how listening to audio books has made these novels with which I am so familiar seem fresh and new!


message 14: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie (booksareagirlsbestfriend) | 8 comments Karlyne- That's a good idea, otherwise it can be very hard to decide which one to read next!

Gigi and J.Romemary- Thanks for signing up :) I hope you have fun with the challenge. Also, thank you for spreading the word by posting about the challenge on your blog JR.

Veronica- Venetia is definitely going on my list of books for the challenge then- thank you for recommending it.

Kim- The right voice is always so important with audio books and can make all the difference. Eve Matheson must be very talented. I'm glad that you're enjoying the audio books and that you are experiencing Heyer in a fresh way!


message 15: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 3895 comments I am very happy to hear that Miss Heyer's books are on audio. Life is good!


message 16: by Angie (new)

Angie Taylor | 6 comments I think I have already reached the addict stage, but I would be happy to reread as many as I can this year. I'm so happy to hear they are on audio book. I may just have to revise my Christmas wish list or head on over to the library before it closes for the holidays. Merry Christmas all you Heyer fans!


message 17: by chinami (new)

chinami | 108 comments Having read 24(am very proud)Heyer novels, i can call myself a Heyer addict.
Wish you all a heartfelt Christmas and prosperous New Year.


message 18: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie (booksareagirlsbestfriend) | 8 comments Angie- Re-reads count towards the challenge so you're welcome to do that :)

Merry Christmas to you all too, I hope you enjoy spending time with family!


message 19: by Graceful-Hippo (new)

Graceful-Hippo (Gracefulhippo) I'm going to sign up for 'fascinated.' I haven't read Georgette Heyer's mysteries, so this will motivate me!


message 20: by Jemidar (last edited Jan 02, 2011 01:49AM) (new)

Jemidar | 36 comments Since I've had to drop out of another Heyer Challange I was doing (have had to unexpectedly look for somewhere else to live!) I'll be glad to join this one once we have moved and am all settled, and my books are unpacked. I'll aim for Captivated but probably end up Fascinated :-).

I too discovered Heyer's Regencies in my teens but can't now (too many years have passed!) remember which ones I've read so I'm starting again and intend to read the whole canon. I've recently discovered her mysteries and love them, and intend to start tackling the historicals soon, so I'm sure this challange will keep me motivated.


message 21: by MashJ (last edited Jan 02, 2011 03:46AM) (new)

MashJ | 28 comments Karlyne wrote: "I am very happy to hear that Miss Heyer's books are on audio. Life is good!"

I heard a magical read of The Grand Sophy on audio- read by John Westbrook I think. He was hilarious doing brilliant voices especially for the women.


message 22: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 3895 comments Hey, Graceful Hippo, you made me laugh out loud this morning. I couldn't remember "Fascinated" at all, and since I'm a a real fan of her mysteries, I thought, "Could there be one I don't have?!" And then, gigle, giggle, I remembered that "fascinated" is a category....


message 23: by Kim (new)

Kim (kimmr) | 215 comments Well then, it's four days into the challenge period and I thought I would report. I have finished two Heyer novels since 1 January. Seems excessive, I know, but I'm only cheating a little bit! Since I discovered audiobooks late-ish last year, I've listened to most of my favourite Heyers, and now I'm on to the others. I started listening to Black Sheep some time after Christmas and finished it while driving way home from a friend's place in the very early hours of New Years Day. Then in the past three days I've listened to Lady of Quality. Neither of these are among my favourites and Lady of Quality (the last romance published before Georgette Heyer's death) is often criticised for being essentially the same novel as Black Sheep. This is the first time I've read one after the other. I wanted to be able to compare and contrast. I won't go into the plots of either novel here. Suffice to say, there are considerable similarities. Both novels are set in Bath. The heroines of both are older (ie. in their late 20s!), financially independent and chafe under the expectations of their relatives. The heroes are also older(late 30s for Miles Calverleigh of Black Sheep and undisclosed, but presumably early 40s for Oliver Carleton of Lady of Quality) and not good looking, but for all that are not particularly similar in temperament. Oliver Carleton is the stereotypical Heyer-Hero Mark 1 (as Georgette Heyer herself referred to the brusque, bad-tempered type). Miles Calverleigh is much more complex a character. Both feature lively young women and caring, but irritating relatives. While superficially similar, the plots are in fact quite different. However, there is in both novels a common theme of an intelligent woman resisting familial and societal expectations. In my view, Black Sheep is the better written work of the two. While still full of Georgette Heyer's characteristic wit (and featuring what may be her most annoying secondary character in Maria Farlow) Lady of Quality is much longer than it should be, if for no other reason than its repetitiveness. Characters have a tendency to tell each other things in great detail which have already been set out a few chapters (or a few pages) earlier! However, I enjoyed it anyway. I'm fairly easy to please, I suppose! When I misplaced my iPod for a period yesterday, I pulled Lady of Quality from my bookshelf and started reading from the point I had got to in the audiobook. I discovered that I much preferred listening to the audiobook than I did reading the book. I have to listen to every word in an audiobook and I have a shocking tendency to skim when reading books I have read before. I suspect that the fact that Eve Matheson read Lady of Quality improved the overall experience immeasurably. Her readings of Georgette Heyer novels are just superb! Anyway, I hope that there are others out there enjoying an excursion into Heyer's world. I go there every few years and never fail to enjoy myself!!


message 24: by chinami (new)

chinami | 108 comments Kim wrote: "Well then, it's four days into the challenge period and I thought I would report. I have finished two Heyer novels since 1 January. Seems excessive, I know, but I'm only cheating a little bit! Sinc..."

That was a very rational way of putting it. Most of the good regency fiction has its downside in its own characterization. xD
Since my local library has neither of the two, i guess I'll have to begin this year's regency with Corinthian or the Conqueror; been a while since i read them first.


message 25: by Kim (new)

Kim (kimmr) | 215 comments Veronica wrote: "Kim wrote: "Well then, it's four days into the challenge period and I thought I would report. I have finished two Heyer novels since 1 January. Seems excessive, I know, but I'm only cheating a litt..."

I haven't read The Conqueror, so I can't comment. (Maybe this is the year I will finally bite the bullet and read the full Georgette Heyer canon and not just re-read the Georgian / Regency novels!). However, I do have a bit of a soft spot for The Corinthian, even though I generally prefer Heyer's older heroines. I find both main characters charming.


message 26: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 3895 comments I almost have my Heyer's unpacked and ready to read, but I have to finish my January Narnia-fest. Not a problem, since I've been doing this for years and practically can recite them!
I'm trying to remember without getting up to look, but is The Conqueror a regency? I stuck it with the historical novels...


message 27: by Kim (new)

Kim (kimmr) | 215 comments Karlyne wrote: "I almost have my Heyer's unpacked and ready to read, but I have to finish my January Narnia-fest. Not a problem, since I've been doing this for years and practically can recite them!
I'm trying t..."


Definitely historical. As I recall, The Conqueror is William the Conqueror.


message 28: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 3895 comments I looked it up and it is indeed William! It's been a very long time since I read it, but I do remember parts of it. An interesting read, but definitely not frothy and witty like the regencies!


message 29: by Kim (new)

Kim (kimmr) | 215 comments I've not read it before. I've always stuck to the Regencies. I've read An Infamous Army and The Spanish Bride which combine the historical and the Regency, but I've never been tempted by the real historical novels. I suspect that I may have read the detective novels, but if so it was a very long time ago and I've not been tempted to re-read them. This may well be the year!!


message 30: by chinami (new)

chinami | 108 comments That was how i felt about Conqueror first, it was there in my bookshelf for around 25 years and even after having read a few Heyer novels i never as much touched it. But when i did read, i never regretted it. I am going to read for a second time to see if i feel the same.


message 31: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 3895 comments Well, almost done with Arabella and I'm finding it a lot of fun. I do hope the brother doesn't turn out to be too silly. But, as far as the other minor characters go, I like the mongrel. And, I'm liking Arabella's resolve and finely-tuned conscience.


message 32: by Kim (new)

Kim (kimmr) | 215 comments Karlyne wrote: "Well, almost done with Arabella and I'm finding it a lot of fun. I do hope the brother doesn't turn out to be too silly. But, as far as the other minor characters go, I like the mongrel. And, I'm l..."

I love Arabella. Particularly the mongrel!

In the past couple of weeks I have listened to The Unknown Ajax on audiobook. I read it a long time ago, but it's not one I have re-read and I very much enjoyed listening to it. Hugo Darracott is a fabulous hero, pretty much in a class of his own as far as Heyer heroes are concerned.

I have now started listening to The Masqueraders. Also not on my all time favourites list and therefore not something which I have read twenty times before! Enjoyable so far, although I find GH's 18th Century language less engaging than her Regency slang (too many Egads! for my taste!). Still, the characters are fun.

I really am on a Georgette Heyer kick. Usually this only happens when I am feeling sick or low in spirits, neither of which is the case at the moment. It's either the challenge spurring me on, or else the discovery of audiobooks, which have definitely enhanced the re-reading experience!


message 33: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 3895 comments The "saving the brother" motif is one I'm not crazy about (maybe because my brother and I were never close), but I guess it is a valid way to get the heroine to realize how wonderful the hero is! And in "Arabella"'s case, brother Bertram certainly was very sympathetic - dumb, yes, but he was young and unexperienced and, to his credit, the panic he felt oops! no spoilers here! Suffice it to say, A Good Read!
PS I'll be starting Devil's Cub next, which if I remember rightly, is the favorite of several of you? Kim, I now have a copy of the Unknown Ajax, but since I'm going alphabetically through my new copies, it may be a week or two or three before I get to it!


message 34: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 3895 comments Before I start Devil's Cub, would someone check to make sure that I have all the pages? It's a very tattered copy & the last sentence reads, "But I find you extremely rude, all of you!" It makes sense to be the end, but maybe not?


message 35: by Jemidar (new)

Jemidar | 36 comments You're about a page from the end, I'm afraid :-(.


message 36: by Beccie (new)

Beccie | 1 comments I must have a very similar old, tattered copy. That line is on the bottom of page 250 of mine, but there is a page 251.
Please read These Old Shades before reading Devil's Cub. You have to get to know Avon, Leonie, Fanny and Rupert before reading about Vidal. It's one of only 2 or 3 instances where Heyer re-uses characters. These Old Shades is hard to find these days, which is sad because it's one of my all-time favorites.


message 37: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 3895 comments I own These Old Shades, so I actually have read it several times! And, I'm pretty sure I've actually read Devil's Cub sometime in the way, way distant past, because it is familiar, in a vague way, to me. I'll have to see where I can find the last page, but, in the meantime, I've started False Colours & I am liking Kit very much. Where is Evelyn? Don't know yet, but I'm guessing he'll have a very good excuse for being MIA!


message 38: by Kim (new)

Kim (kimmr) | 215 comments Karlyne wrote: "The "saving the brother" motif is one I'm not crazy about (maybe because my brother and I were never close), but I guess it is a valid way to get the heroine to realize how wonderful the hero is! A..."

I admire your discipline, Karlyne (and the fact that you have a reading plan!). Apart from starting the year by reading Lady of Quality and Black Sheep so that I could discover just how similar or different they really are, I have since been reading Heyer in an entirely random fashion. So far, they have all been audiobooks on my iPod, which, as I've said before, is an entirely new concept for me. I started the re-reads last year, so I've already got through my self-acknowledged favourites. If those books are going to form part of the challenge, I guess I will have to re-re-read them later this year! In the meantime, it's great to re-discover the likes of The Unknown Ajax and The Masqueraders and to find that I probably should have re-read more often over the years. They sit there on my bookshelf, but aren't nearly as well-thumbed as so many others. Karlyne, I feel sure that you will enjoy them once you work your way down to the latter part of the alphabet!


message 39: by MashJ (new)

MashJ | 28 comments Beccie wrote: "I must have a very similar old, tattered copy. That line is on the bottom of page 250 of mine, but there is a page 251.
Please read These Old Shades before reading Devil's Cub. You have to ge..."


Jemidar wrote: "You're about a page from the end, I'm afraid :-(."

I don't think it should be that hard to find. Amazon has is available second hand for 1p +P&P.


message 40: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 3895 comments Arabella, False Colours, Faro's Daughter, Powder & Patch, Regency Buck. So far I think I'm plumping for Faro's Daughter as my favorite of these "new" novels, but I'm starting The Reluctant Widow later, and, as I'm pretty sure I've never laid eyes on it before, we'll see... (It's also very tattered and torn, but it seems to be intact all the way to the end!)


message 41: by Kim (new)

Kim (kimmr) | 215 comments Karlyne wrote: "Arabella, False Colours, Faro's Daughter, Powder & Patch, Regency Buck. So far I think I'm plumping for Faro's Daughter as my favorite of these "new" novels, but I'm starting The Reluctant Widow la..."

Karlyne, of that particular list, I think that Faro's Daughter is probably my favourite too, although I have to say that I'm also quite fond of False Colours. I started The Reluctant Widow (audiobook version) yesterday. I've read it before, but not for ages. Will be interested in your impressions.


message 42: by Jemidar (new)

Jemidar | 36 comments I've chosen my books for the challenge but probably won't get under way for another month or so as we are (still!) moving house. They are in no particular order:-

My Lord John
The Conqueror
Royal Escape
Venetia
Frederica
Devil's Cub
Penhallow
Footsteps in the Dark.

I haven't read any of them before except for Devil's Cub. I wanted to read more of her mysteries as I've enjoyed the couple that I've read so far, and I also wanted to try a few straight historicals. The list may change as the year progresses, and I may even add to it if I get these read ahead of schedule. My aim is to read between 6-10 this year :-).


message 43: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 3895 comments I am loving The Reluctant Widow; if it continues at this rate, it may take a place in the top 10!


message 44: by Kim (new)

Kim (kimmr) | 215 comments I just finished The Reluctant Widow and liked the audiobook version much less than I liked reading the book in the past. The reader made Carlyon intolerably pompous and Elinor a complaining nag. I seem to recall that when reading the book (admittedly a while ago now) I saw Elinor's complaints about her situation as being tinged with irony and humour and Carlyon's self-assurance as attractive rather than annoying! This is the first time in my excursion into the world of Heyer on audiobook that I have found listening less enjoyable than reading. Still, the novel is another testament to Heyer's skill at portraying young men and dogs. Nicky and Bouncer are simply delightful!


message 45: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 3895 comments Oh, Kim, you're so right; Carlyon was not a bit pompous and Elinor was not a nag! He was indeed self-assured but that came from his being intelligently in charge of his siblings and fortune, etc. He was one of the most likeable of Ms. Heyer's heroes, I think! And I found Elinor quite funny because she refused to admit out loud that being a governess to Mrs. Macclesfield would be a horrible fate and kept harping back to it as though it would be a desirable career. I can see that if her character had been read without any insight into the humor of her situation, she would come off as a nag. A quite stupid nag, in fact. But that would be missing the whole point of the novel! Inflection in a voice makes all the difference, doesn't it?

I also liked the way that Francis Cheviot continued to be a fop while being a dangerous character: very multi-faceted!

And, Nicky and Bouncer were definitely delightful. I don't want them traipsing through my kitchen and leaving bones under my bed, but in the abstract, I completely loved them!


message 46: by Kim (new)

Kim (kimmr) | 215 comments Karlyne wrote: "Oh, Kim, you're so right; Carlyon was not a bit pompous and Elinor was not a nag! He was indeed self-assured but that came from his being intelligently in charge of his siblings and fortune, etc. H..."

Voices in audiobooks do indeed make such a difference. Of the Heyer novels I've listened to so far, I have infinitely preferred listening to those read by women. The women appear so much more adept at voicing convincing male characters than the men are at voicing female characters. I've now started listening to The Quiet Gentleman, another of the mystery / romances which I've read but not re-read. Unfortunately, it has the same reader and I already have a problem with the hero! I may have to give up on the audiobook and go back to the traditional paper version, which will be annoying because I'm listening to Heyer novels while commuting and reading other books at other times.

Do you know which Heyer you'll be tackling next?


message 47: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 3895 comments I'm in the middle of "Sylvester" now and I'm finding that it reminds me of Jane Austen -- not the style but the young heroine/author makes me think of what Jane might have been at the tender age of nineteen. Then, too, I'm reminded that Georgette Heyer published her first book at nineteen!

I'm liking that the characters are less perfect and more unaware of their imperfections than usual. Of course, if they stayed unaware they'd just be big bores, but the changing that's going on makes them loveable.

And The Quiet Gentleman is one of my other favorites, so if the reader on it is turning him (the quiet gentleman himself) into an annoying prig, then cut him (the reader) loose!


message 48: by Kim (last edited Feb 06, 2011 04:16PM) (new)

Kim (kimmr) | 215 comments Karlyne wrote: "I'm in the middle of "Sylvester" now and I'm finding that it reminds me of Jane Austen -- not the style but the young heroine/author makes me think of what Jane might have been at the tender age of..."

Sylvester is a big favourite of mine, consistently in my top five Heyer novels. I love the fact that both Sylvester and Phoebe become more self aware, but do not change their essential characters. Sylvester, one imagines, will always retain his pride (and the type of arrogance which goes with it) and Phoebe will keep her quick temper. You can expect that they will continue to bicker, no matter how much they love each other. (I hope that's not too much of a spoiler for you!!). I also (as usual)love the secondary characters, particularly the Duchess. She is one of the relatively few really likable mothers in Heyer's novels, and her relationship with her son is delightful.

I've just about finished The Quiet Gentleman. Notwithstanding my early concerns, the reader didn't annoy me as much as he did in The Reluctant Widow. He did make Gervase sound a big priggish, but I could look past it! Such a nice hero, and the heroine so refreshingly practical and unsentimental. I've found listening a very pleasant experience, even though I worked out (or maybe just remembered!) the identity of the villain quite early in the piece.

Not sure where to go to next. I was thinking about April Lady, so that I could compare it to The Convenient Marriage, which I listened to a few weeks ago. I haven't read it for quite a while, so other than remembering that it has pretty much the same plot as The Convenient Marriage, I don't remember much about it. Or maybe it's time I bit the bullet and tackled one of the historical novels. The fact that you found The Conqueror interesting, Karlyne, makes me feel positive about it, because we seem to have similar tastes!


message 49: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 3895 comments Well, I think Sylvester has to go in my top five, too, Kim! I loved the way that Sylvester himself was shocked to find that maybe, just maybe, he really was arrogant and indifferent at times. There certainly was an element of Mr. Darcy in him, and I liked him all the more for it.
I found Phoebe's character puzzling at first. I thought it odd that anyone with a temper like hers could be so easily overset by her stepmother. But then I realized that that's a very human contradiction; I find myself running away from bullies (because I have the means to do so), but I am also very outspoken and hot-tempered when I see others being bullied. So, Phoebe is not so much odd as human!
I loved Sylvester's mother, too. Comparing her to the twins' mother in False Colours makes me have a renewed faith in motherhood. The twins' mother was charming but wearing; Sylvester's was loving and uncomplaining although actually ill. I prefer selfless loving to charming anyday.

I've just started The Unknown Ajax, and I already think I'm going to love it, too. The unknown heir who's going to step right in and inherit over the heads of the "logical" heirs is the theme of Downton Abbey (just aired on PBS), too. I see lots of plot twists and fun ahead.

After I finish up Ajax I may revisit some of the historical novels, starting with The Conqueror. No doubt good for historical knowledge questions on Jeopardy at least.

Oh, and the last time that I read The Quiet Gentleman, I kept looking for clues to see how quickly the villain could legitimately be spotted, and I was impressed with Miss Morville's intelligence! I really liked her, too.


message 50: by Kim (last edited Feb 08, 2011 01:25AM) (new)

Kim (kimmr) | 215 comments Karlyne wrote: "Well, I think Sylvester has to go in my top five, too, Kim! I loved the way that Sylvester himself was shocked to find that maybe, just maybe, he really was arrogant and indifferent at times. There..."

I'm so glad that you like Sylvester, Karlyne. My mother introduced me to Heyer about forty years ago by giving me Friday's Child to read. She's blind now and we started putting audiobooks on CD for her. I gave her Sylvester to listen to at Christmas because she hadn't read it before, but she didn't like it very much. I found this really disappointing and almost started questioning my taste in Heyer novels! So it's a relief to find someone else who appreciates Sylvester. The scene where he tells his mother how things have gone badly is one of the few scenes in a Heyer novel where I can feel almost moved to tears!

I started listening to Cousin Kate yesterday because it was the only Heyer audiobook already on my iPod that I hadn't listened to. I've only read it once before, but so long ago that I don't remember it at all. I was looking forward to seeing whether I liked it or not. However, on my way home today I realised that what I was listening to must be an abridged version. Talk about a disappointment! Now I think I will have to give up listening to the audiobook and track down the novel, as I'm pretty sure it's not on my bookshelf. Still thinking about what I will go to next. Maybe you could let me know when you're ready to start The Conqueror and I could start it at the same time? It would be nice to have someone to discuss it with, particularly as I've never read it before.

Isn't The Unknown Ajax great? Hugo is such a hoot and so different to any other Heyer-hero I can think of. If you aren't there already I'm sure you will really enjoy the climax. I realised after reading The Quiet Gentleman that the theme of the unwelcome heir is something it shares with Ajax, but while I really enjoyed both books Ajax is certainly very much the funnier of the two.


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