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[ profile] seperis writes about These Old Shades and Devil's Cub in a rather difficult to read but fun post and makes me want to reread the latter (not a fan of the former, the couple grate on me even if the actual plot is kind of fun). XDXD;

Assistance by dak, Sherlock BBC, AU, John is Moriarty's slave until he isn't. I am not that fond of slave AUs as they usually are super depressing or romanticize a horrible situation, but this one did good about providing an appropriately broken slave John who learns to have hope again.
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I witnessed an amazing moment of group stupidity just now. I was waiting to cross a six lane street where it intersects a four lane street. Just as the light changes, I see an ambulance making its way on my side of the street. It looks like I might be in the way if I start crossing if the ambulance goes straight instead of turning to the four lane street, so I decide not to cross. Some others do the same. Many others, however, decide to cross. Some rush across. Others walk normally. Then they realize the ambulance is coming AT THEM. So what do they do? Freeze! Like about ten people, all freezing, so that they more or less completely block their side of the street. The clear side. The other side of the street is taken up by cars waiting at the stop light. The ambulance honks at them. They freeze for like a whole 30 seconds, at least. Long enough for a person standing next to me (safely out of the way on the curb) to comment, "Hello, move out of the way!" The frozen idiots finally unfreeze and scramble out of the way and the ambulance manages to keep moving.

I don't think I could ever be an ambulance driver. I might run over these kinds of people.

I've been meaning to mention Sprig Muslin, yet another Georgette Heyer book. I did end up somewhat enjoying it, but it was annoying in that the romance is not even close to the main point of the book. Also, annoying head-strong girl takes up a lot of the oxygen. The guy, Sir Gareth Ludlow, spends most of his time trying to control a wild young girl with an amazing imagination who has run away from her grandfather in order to force him to allow her to marry the guy she's in love with. Sir Gareth does ask the shy Lady Hester Theale to marry him, but she refuses. But when something happens to Gareth Lady Hester comes to help him out. When I first read the book I was tired of reading about another headstrong wild young girl with absolutely no idea of how the world actually works troubling the good adults who try to help her. There are just too many of these girls around, in my opinion. Also, not enough romance. But the book redeems itself from being complete crap mainly for two scenes. I LOL'd hard. )

more GH...

Feb. 12th, 2011 08:39 am
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A Civil Contract is a very odd book. I thought it was good, I really enjoyed reading it, but I don't love it. It's about a guy in the army fighting Napoleon who goes back to England when his father dies. He inherits the title and all, but finds out that his father had been very, very bad with the money and that he was basically ruined. Instead of selling everything, including his beloved ancestral home, he decides to marry the daughter of a very rich merchant. It's a loveless marriage of convenience, but the guy makes a good go at it. The book isn't a romance romance, as he's actually in love with another woman whom he can't marry due to his craptastic financial situation. It's very...domestic. The woman he does marry is very good at the home stuff and is very good at making him feel very comfortable. The problems come from the love he has to forget, as well as trying to repress his ingrained snobbery and dealing with the culture clashes when dealing with his wife's father. (The father loves things to be new and shiny--blingy! While the husband is much more into tradition and elegance.) My problem with the book? I didn't get into the wife. She's not a bad character and really is rather admirable, but...just not exciting to me. I felt invested in the husband's feelings, but the wife's were so concealed I couldn't feel anything remotely similar for her.

Speaking of romances, has anyone watched The Inheritence, a made for television piece loosely based on a novella by Louisa May Alcott? Sounds somewhat cheesy, but it may be somewhat good cheese...
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I rewatched Up, teared up at the beginning montage of the life of Carl and Ellie as well as the moment much later when Carl flips through Ellie's adventure book and finds the to do part actually filled out. I also forgot how awesome Doug the dog is. So cute! So dumb! So cute! "I do not like the cone of shame." ♥♥♥ The DVD extra re: Doug actually made me feel sorry for Alpha et al. If I was a dedicated and serious kind of dog I'd want to send him on an extra special mission too. ^^;

Onto more GH....OMG I tried to read April Lady and failed. It's like the worst of Friday's Child and The Convenient Marriage blended together. The main character is a married lady who adores her much older and very rich husband, but has been told by her mother not to expect such things as love so she hides her feelings. Her husband had fallen for her but doesn't really express his feelings. She ends up in all kinds of scrapes partly because of her (totally worthless and irritating) wild young sister-in-law and partly because she's an idiot who lies and makes things worse. One or two lies, okay, but...she just takes it too far. I couldn't sympathize with her at all. Basically, I was not charmed by anyone. And the half-sister should've been put down.

Bath Tangle failed for me as well. It's about the daughter and wife of an Earl who unexpectedly dies. The daughter's considerable fortune is held in trust by her father's old friend whom she had been engaged to marry but had jilted quite close to the wedding date. The widow is young (younger than the daughter) and sweet. Frankly, I liked the widow better. The daughter is supposed to be all strong-willed and high-spirited, and she is, but not in a way that I liked. I was like, just get together with the guy already!! And the guy, the old a jerk. I really got the impression that he really wallows in privilege. He can act like an asshole because he's rich and high-ranked, he doesn't even bother to be superficially civil. I liked the widow and her beau so much better.
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More GH...First Powder and Patch, an early work set in the era of Louis XV. It's about an ernest if slightly bossy young gentleman living in the country with no love for town polish. The girl he loves, as well as his father, contrive to get him to go and become polished, which he resentfully does. He goes to Paris with his uncle and sets about to learn all that there is to learn, and becomes quite good at it all. He comes back to England to claim his lady, though it doesn't go so smoothly. I rather enjoyed this book despite the large amount of French in it (and I thought These Old Shades was bad!) until the last bit. Then this book then managed to annoy me. )

I also read the short story collection Pistols for Two. I didn't expect to really love it, as I have no great love for short stories, but a couple of the stories were pretty good. "Bath Miss," about the guy who picks up the granddaughter of an old friend of his mother's from her school in Bath and gets into some adventures thanks to the innocent girl was rather adorable. So was "Full Moon," which was about a girl who tries to run away and elope because she thinks her father will make her marry an old fogey but instead is rescued by the very man she's running away from. I laughed at the end, where the guy basically has to cover up for her escape by being really daft and makes the father think he's totally nuts!

I heard a delightful interview by the author of an article called Jefferson's Moose in the February Scientific American on the SA podcast, check it out here. It's about a famous French naturalist who comes up with the completely crazy theory of American biological degeneracy which becomes something of an obsession with Thomas Jefferson and other founding fathers, as well as later American naturalists, to disprove. James Madison assists him in collecting data, so he writes letters to him about such things as the measurements of weasel's sexual organs (with charts!). I want to read the article now, as well as the book the author of the article wrote about on the subject.
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Read two more GH books, The Foundling and The Toll Gate. They were both great, though romance is not the point of either. What made them good was their main characters, guys who are NOT selfish assholes who learn to be nice (to at least the lady they fall in love with if no one else).

In The Foundling, Gilly, the Duke of Sale, is an orphan from birth. He's smothered in the well-meaning tyranny of concern by his uncle and servants. He's 24 and wants to assert himself, but he's too kind-hearted to be mean enough to do it. He even proposes marriage because it's been understood for a long time that he'd marry a particular lady and he hasn't the heart to make her look bad by not doing it. One day he decides to ditch everyone and everything and be an ordinary guy by going off to help a cousin who is being blackmailed. It turns into quite an adventure, but he finds that he's up to the challenge. He manages not by being amazingly dashing or incredibly arrogant, but by being nice and likeable and able to talk to everyone. I just wish he'd gotten someone better to marry as his betrothed is rather insipid. I liked his relationship to his cousin (not the one he helped out, but another one who's more like a big brother to him), as well as to his very autocratic but well-meaning uncle.

The Toll Gate is about the rather happy-go-lucky Captain John Staple who takes a wrong turn on the way to his friend's place and ends up at a toll gate manned by a young boy. He stays the night and ends up keeping on as he discovers there's something going on. He also falls in love. He tries to pretend to not be a gentleman and doesn't really manage, but he does solve the mystery and get his lady. He's a likeable guy and I enjoyed the adventure. The lady's grandfather and the protective servants were pluses. The lady was just okay. She seemed okay, but I wasn't particularly wild about her.

Still trying to read An Infamous Army and failing. I think it's too grand in scope, it's not keeping me interested. Will keep trying until I have to return it to the library...
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I've been having some problems sleeping, so I decided to shut my cat out last night in order to prevent her pouncing on my legs and waking me up completely (and giving me pain). She doesn't bother me while I'm asleep, but when she senses that I'm even sort of awake she attacks my legs. It hurts. And totally wakes me up. But when I heard the scratching at the door I couldn't do it. I got up and let her in, and she meowed and shoved her face in my face and curled up next to me. It's worth the pain and the scars and the inability to go back to sleep, right?

I've been ignoring the upcoming royal wedding in general, but I couldn't help but read an article in today's newspaper because it concerned what Kate Middleton's title will be. I recently looked up the whole Peerage thing thanks to all the GH reading, so the topic interested me. The title will be determined by the Queen. As Prince William doesn't really have a title title yet, it is speculated that he'll probably get a Dukedom or an Earldom so she'll be a Duchess or a Countess. She could end up as "Her Royal Highness Princess William of Wales," which would be rather sucky. It reminded me of how the annoying sister-in-law in Slyvester was Lady Henry Rayne and how odd it sounded. Looking for an article to link to, I came across articles about changing the rules of succession so that it doesn't privilege the male children before the female children (and exclude Catholics). While I don't really care as I'm not a citizen of the country, I hope they bother to do it. Surely they can overcome any lame arguments by asshole sexists. Japan seemed so ass-backwards back when there was talk of changing their stupid law which doesn't allow females to become Empress. (But then I didn't pay too much attention to that either. Once again, not my country. ^^;)

More fanfics:

Just How by Lovelikethemovies, Generation Kill, Brad/Nate, Nate and Brad one fine morning. Sweet and short.

A Matter of National Security, Sherlock, J/S, Mycroft meddles. For everyone's sake.

Lab Book by sam storyteller, Sherlock, S/J, Chrismas Eve, lots of cute moments on the way to the two getting it on. Loved the freaky deduction by John! He's been around Sherlock too much.

Autopsis by [ profile] spikeface, Sherlock, S/J, Sherlock is kinda nuts. There is violence and sex. (Not sure I like it, but I want to remember it and so it goes into an LJ post. I just don't bother with bookmarks for some fandoms, posting in LJ is my substitution for bookmarking. ^^;)

Reversal of Fortune by [ profile] mad_poetics, Merlin, Merlin/Arthur modern AU in which Merlin is the rich boss and Arthur is the assistant. So sweet!

Bunch of pornathon request fics by [ profile] mad_poetics, Merlin, mostly Merlin/Arthur, the tentacles one is pretty good but the second challenge that can not be described is too awesome for words.
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Been reading Sherlock fics. Man, wading through the crap, the not-my-cuppa, and the inexcusably ridiculous is tiring. :P

the ones I liked enough to note )

I accidentally ran across Georgette Heyer fanfic! Sadly, they just can't capture the writing and the dialogue, but they're still kinda fun. The ones worth mentioning:

Much Ado by twistedchick, Friday's Child, the gang together.

What Maketh the Man by valderys, Cotillion, Freddy to the rescue again!

Advantage by Skud, The Grand Sophy/Hornblower x-over, Sophy/Archie, I mention this only because it has sex and thus made me boggle.

A Marriage of Inconvenience by sexybee, The Grand Sophy, Charles and Sophy are married, and Sophy is being Sophy. It's rather sweet.

Clean Linen by cimorene, The Unknown Ajax and April Lady, Claud Darracott/Felix Hethersett, Claud POV. I don't really see the ghei in GH, but I'm not adverse to Claud swinging that way and as I haven't read April Lady I have no opinion on Felix. The story was amusing because it features nearly the whole Daracott family getting into trouble thanks to Richmond and everyone pitching in to solve the problem (and squash the scandal).

I was amused by the How Rich is Fitzwilliam Darcy post in a personal finance blog and how people try to figure out his wealth in today's terms.
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I thoroughly enjoyed The Masqueraders, which is about a brother and sister who cross-dress in order to protect the brother due to his involvement in the failed Jacobite Rising. They've grown up running around Europe with their father, doing disreputable things like running gaming halls and pretending to be all kinds of people. What makes the book work is the sister, Prudence, who plays the young man Peter for most of the book. She's inherently less the actor/adventurer than her brother Robin (aka Kate), who is very much like their stupendous father, and as a man she has to be active and put herself out more. She has to deal with the very respectable Sir Anthony Fanshawe, who takes "Peter" under his wing. Complicating the situation is their father, who shows up claiming to be the long lost brother of a recently deceased Earl. The best things from the book are the father for being awesome and the relationship between Sir Anthony and Prudence. Robin has his own romance and adventures, but they are not nearly as interesting (or sweet) as his sister's.

more happy thoughts )

I did not care much for Regency Buck. It's about a brother and sister who go to London in defiance of their guardian and live it up. The brother is a target for murder and the sister a target for fortune hunters, but they are protected by their reluctant guardian. It reminded me of other GH works, but it was not nearly as engaging. Plus, all the historical figures dragged the book down for me. I couldn't help but wonder if they were actually like how they were portrayed in the book. The brother was insipid and his romance a bore. The sister was just okay. She compared unfavorably to somewhat similar females (like Frederica or Sophy or even Arabella). Their guardian also reminded me of many GH heroes, particularly Lord Rule from The Convenient Marriage. I thought there was too much telling of how he did what he did, which lowered him in my eyes. Overall, just kinda meh. I now don't really care to read An Infamous Army since the characters from this book are in that one, too. :P

In contrast, I loved Arabella. Arabella is sent by her mother to London to make a good match since she is very beautiful and the family is not that well-off. On the way she runs into a very eligible bachelor who thinks she's a schemer out to get him (like all the other girls). She overhears him. Upset that he should say such things about her, she pretends to be an heiress. The eligible bachelor decides to make her the rage in London by paying attention to her. Her lie also gets out so she's pursued by fortune hunters. Along the way the eligible bachelor realizes she doesn't take any of his attention seriously and decides to make her fall in love with him, but then falls for her for real. The bachelor is kind of a bastard, as he's selfish and mean at times. But what makes him loveable to me is his interaction with a mongrel dog Arabella saves and gets him to adopt. He is so droll, it's hilarious.

two+ scenes I particulalry love )
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What does the "Well, I don't know what I wouldn't too" mean in the exchange below? I can't make heads or tails of it...

Tell you what, Sherry: if I had a wife, which I'm deuced glad I haven't, I'd rather have one like your Kitten than all the Incomparables put together.'

'You would?' said Sherry, staring at him.

'I would,' said Mr Ringwood firmly.

'Well, I don't know but what I wouldn't too,' said Sherry...

from Friday's Child

GH mixed up

Jan. 7th, 2011 07:01 pm
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I came across a hilarious Japanese review of The Grand Sophy. First off, she starts off by saying:「 “素晴らしきソフィー”というより、“策士ソフィー”。」I laughed when she called Sophy 腹黒: 「腹黒なんだよ、ヒロインのくせに!」

It's just fascinating which GH books people like and dislike. I stumbled across an LJ post by [ profile] seperis in which she disses Lady of Quality, which I happened to love. I totally agree with the defense in the comments. While I'm happy she adores Cotillion (as everyone should), this great unadulterated (except for the anti-semitic part) love for The Grand Sophy by the masses continues to baffle me.

I've been rereading books as I've been returning them to the library, and fell in love with Cotillion's Freddy all over again. Now that I've read a lot of her books, I can see how Jack is much more the typical hero. He's smart, he's selfish and mean, he's good-looking. His only problem is that he hasn't met the woman who is a match for him that he can fall in love with and change him for the better.

I have a much better opinion of The Corinthian and Faro's Daughter upon rereading them. I still find the hijinks at the end of the former silly beyond all belief, but I think the sweet relationship between the couple manage to hold up in spite of it all. I love the conversation in which Richard bitches about all that Pen has put him through (and Penn rebuts each complaint). The best bit:

Richard: "...You drew a portrait of me which led everyone in the coach to regard me in the light of an oppressor of innocent youth--"
Pen: "Not the thin, disagreeable man. He wanted me to be oppressed."
Richard: "He was a person of great discrimination."

Faro's Daughter was still Just Too Much on many levels (especially Deborah screeching over Ravenscar), but Ravenscar driving away Deborah's brother in disgust was pure gold. Also, Deborah's aunt was hilarious.

I've tried to read The Quiet Gentleman and False Colours, and can't get into either one of them. I haven't been able to read either of them straight through--I read the beginning then skip to the end, then read bits in the middle. I guess I didn't care for the premises of either one?

I've been having fun reading reviews of GH books over at Austenprose as they celebrated her works last August.
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I haven't been online much lately as I've been reading reading reading. Mostly I've been continuing to read Georgette Heyer as the books have become available. A lot of the copies have been early editions (sometimes even first American editions) which have charming covers that actually relate to the content of the books! I took pics of the covers of the books I'm mentioning in this post...

Frederica reminded me a bit of The Grand Sophy in that the titular character is a managing female concerned with a family with children. I like Frederica better, though, because I think Frederica, the book and the character, seem more realistic. Sophy is just to magically good at knowing what's good for everyone and getting things done. Frederica deals with what's been dealt her and doesn't always succeed. I could feel for Frederica. I also liked the guy she falls for, as well as her two youngest brothers. Some of her other siblings? Not so much. But I can see such a bright and happy future for the characters I do like, so it's all good. XD;

my favorite parts as far as I can remember as I've mislaid the book presently )

I adored Sylvester; or The Wicked Uncle. It featured a truly plain heroine and a lot of genuine conflict between the heroine and hero. They really rip into each other at times, instead of the more controlled banter in many other Heyer novels. The girl is Phoebe, a plain girl who'd had a very unremarkable first London season but had managed to write an amusing novel based on the various people she'd met during her season. The guy is Sylvester, the Duke of Salford, very rich, very consequential, very eligible. He wants a wife and goes about looking for one. He looks into Phoebe because she's his godmother's granddaughter. She wants nothing to do with him as she'd had a bad impression of him from her season and had made him into the villain of her soon-to-be-published novel (mostly due to his eyebrows). When he visits her home, she thinks he's going to ask for her hand and runs away with her childhood friend (and almost brother) Tom. Thanks to an accident they end up holed up in an inn, which Sylvester also chances upon. He helps them out, even helping Phoebe get to London to her grandmother's house. Sylvester is offended that she'd run away from him (and not running away with her "true love" as initially supposed) and decides to make her fall for him. In London he pays her a lot of attention. They seem to be getting along pretty well, but the publication of her book messes things up royally. There's a kidnapping by the two most worthless people ever and an intervention by an awesome mother before things are sorted out.

my favorite parts, which I can quote because I do have this book with me )
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I thought I would not be able to get through The Nonesuch because the hero's name is Waldo (All I can think of is "Where's Waldo?," not some paragon of athletic prowess, when I see that name) and because a very spoiled brat features prominently in the story, but I did manage to get through AND enjoy it. Sir Waldo is a rich guy who inherits a run-down estate from an eccentric relative. He visits the estate with his young cousin Lord Lindeth. The neighborhood is excited about the presence of such a famous (in London) figure, and they throw tons of balls, parties, etc. The undisputed beauty of the area is Tiffany, an orphaned heiress who is unbelievably selfish and spoiled. She lives with her aunt and uncle and cousins who can't manage her at all. The only person who can is Miss Trent, her "governess/companion." Miss Trent was born into a good family without a lot of money who had decided to work for a living instead of marry someone she didn't care for. Young Lord Lindeth falls for the gorgeous Tiffany, but Miss Trent and Sir Waldo do their best to manage the spoiled brat and prevent Lindeth from getting serious with her while also falling in love themselves.

Tiffany is incredibly spoiled and very irritating, but she gets what's coming to her in the book. Her tantrums end up repelling everyone, even her admirers. And Sir Waldo manipulates her into showing her bad side by playing with her, alternately flirting with her and treating her more sternly. Miss Trent also has to resort to unconventional methods to contain/divert the brat. I didn't find the romance particularly satisfying, though the anguish brought out in Miss Trent because of the difference in her and Sir Waldo's situation was for the most part nicely done.

Black Sheep is very similar to A Lady of Quality (it came first, though, so I suppose I should say LoQ is similar to BH?) in that it is about a single lady living in Bath who comes to know the disreputable uncle of someone she has to deal with and falls in love with him. BS, however, contains more shadiness. LoQ's disreputable uncle has some politeness issues and is known for his extravagant mistresses, but BS's uncle was actually sent away to India by his father for his follies. And in BS the uncle is an uncle to a shitty fortune-hunter nephew who is scheming to marry the lady's heiress niece. LoQ's uncle is an uncle to an innocent niece running away from attempts to pressure her into marrying. I particularly liked how ruthless BS got at the end. Not overly so (not in the grand These Old Shades or The Black Moth way), but enough.

more )
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The Black Moth felt like a Sweeping Romance. The hero is a disgraced (though innocent!) nobleman turned highwayman (for funtimes and playing Robin Hood, not for the want of money, of course) who saves the heroine as she's being kidnapped by the villain. The two are smart, sympathetic characters, but a bit boring. The villain, who is apparently somewhat of a predecessor of the Duke of Avon from These Old Shades, is actually more fun to read (though...that last chapter? Made me roll my eyes). The most interesting interactions were between the hero's brother and his wife, actually. I didn't like them, but they had a messed up relationship. But overall, lots of fun with people getting held up, kidnapped, fighting duels, honorably denying one's heart's desire, all in all acting very much like people out of a Sweeping Romance.

I enjoyed The Reluctant Widow, which to me is a bit of a mystery thriller and not much of a romance, though I had some issues with it. It's about a lady who's father had lost all his money though gambling and killed himself. She's going to a new situation as a governess, a job she loathes. She accidentally ends up at another house where a gentlemen is waiting for a woman who is supposed to marry a very worthless man, his cousin. The lady wants to leave, but she's "convinced" by the gentleman to marry his cousin. The cousin dies that night, leaving the lady a widow. There's a mystery dealing with Very Important stolen papers that takes up the bulk of the book. The mystery itself was pretty fun to read, though my biggest problem was that the gentleman is too right all the time. I was waiting for him to be wrong or not be sensible, but he persists on doing it all the way through! The lady wasn't spirited or clever enough to push him off balance, sadly. Though I appreciated the gentleman's declaration of love at the end, I felt like there wasn't enough support provided in the rest of the book to set up the scene (besides the expectation from the reader that they would get together).

I attempted to read Charity Girl and couldn't finish it. Wow, talk about a stupid book. I highly recommend not bothering with this one.

The Unknown Ajax is plain awesome, not for the romance but for the dysfunctional family dynamics and the final, perfect comedic insanity that is the end. I also loved the glimpse into the minds of the servants, and the bitter (BITTER) rivalry between two of the valets was particularly great. When Lord Darracott's oldest son (and the oldest son's son) dies, he's forced to deal with his second son's son as the guy has become his heir and he can't do anything about it. The second son had married a weaver's daughter. Lord Darracott, a mean, selfish, autocratic asshole, assembles another son and his two sons and the son and daughter of yet another dead son to "welcome" the yokel from Yorkshire who'd been in the Army until recently. Major Hugh Darracott shows up and starts acting like the yokel they think he is. Anthea, the granddaughter Lord Darracott wants married to Hugh to prevent him from marrying badly and to help keep him in line, at first treats Hugh badly as she doesn't want to be forced to marry anyone but learns to like Hugh. The other members of the family come to terms with Hugh as well, culminating in a huge farce in which they all scramble to Hugh's tune to save their family honor. I am so ordering this book.

I was surprised at how much I loved Lady of Quality as I've seen little mention of this book online. I think people want more exciting stuff to happen? Personally, I found this to be the book with the most romance thus far and was more than satisfied seeing the romance develop instead of seeing the characters run madcap on some mystery/adventure/whatever. Annis is a stunningly beautiful woman with an excellent fortune who, at 29, has basically given up on marriage. She'd had scores of gentlemen after her and a bunch of very good offers, but she'd turned everyone down because she couldn't see herself married to any of them. On the way to her house in Bath from her ancestral home (now taken up by her brother and his family), she runs into a young gentleman and girl with a broken carriage. She helps them out and finds out that the girl was running away from home. When she learns of the girl's circumstances, she offers temporary refuge at her Bath home. This brings the girl's guardian, her uncle, to Bath. He's, per Annis's brother, "the rudest man in London" and has a reputation. He's pretty blunt and rather put out by the whole situation, but he immediately shows signs of being interested in Annis. He does not court her as the typical gentleman does, but Annis finds herself thinking about him. I really liked the slow development of her feelings as the book progresses, as well as her relationship with her brother and his wife (loving and affectionate, but not without problems). The end was truly lovely. The only thing that really mars the book is the distant female relative Annis has live with her--that woman is a little shit that I wish had been completely cut out of the book. Otherwise, I was enchanted by how unexciting the story was. All the excitement (besides the brouhaha over the girl running away from her home) comes from the internal changes and struggles of the characters, and they don't get insanely angsty or convoluted.

the part that made me sigh happily )

I came across a more extensive lexicon here.
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My newest batch of Georgette Heyer consisted of older and/or wiser heros and heroines. It was nice seeing the couples balance out and be a lot more sensible in general.

First up, Cousin Kate. It's about a girl, Kate, who has no money and no parents. She's been let go from her governess position and ends up staying with her married former governess while between things. While she's contemplating all kinds of completely inappropriate jobs, her former governess writes to Kate's paternal aunt in the hopes that she will help Kate out. The aunt comes and sweeps Kate away to her residence where her unwell husband and son live. It's a Gothic story, so there's a bit of mystery, a bit of horror, some death, etc. Not my cup of tea, frankly. Enjoyable as Kate is very practical, as is her eventual beau. The romance is an afterthought, though I do like that scene in the carriage. Also, the former governess and her family are wonderful.

The Grand Sophy is indeed enjoyable if a bit over the top. Sophy is the only child of a diplomat who has taken her all over Europe. Her father leaves her with his sister in London so that she may find a husband. His sister's family is pretty messed up, and Sophy decides to fix it. And she does. She's a sweet and likable person, just completely unrealistic in so many ways. She's way too sure of herself and doesn't get much in the way of set downs. Makes me think of Mary Poppins, except she's not magical. The other people seem so much more real, even Sancia (who cracked me up every time she showed up). I was shocked to find a character In Sophy's father who actually worked! I know, I know, men of this class "work" in that they manage their money and estates but it seems like most of the hard lifting is done by their underlings. It seems like 85% of their time is spent doing leisure activities like hunting or gaming and maaaaybe 15% doing "work."

more comments )

I almost never read through The Talisman Ring because the beginning was so tiresome. I'm glad I made myself keep reading as it got much better. There are two couples, a fun and witty older pair and a young and silly younger pair. The young guy is actually on the run for a murder he claims he didn't commit, and they all decide to help him prove his innocence by finding proof, the talisman ring of the title. The plot, such as it is, is silly. The young guy is reckless, the young lady has foolish romantic notions of adventure. The older guy dampens their enthusiasm by being unreasonably realistic, but he comes through when he's needed. The older lady plays chaperone for the younger and is playful but not foolish. The book is worth reading for the older couple's courtship. The younger ones are….meh. Also, the other characters are hilarious. The older lady's brother, the inn keeper, the Bow Street Runners (doing their "Dooty"), and the villain (in his loo mask!) are fabulous.

more comments )
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One fabulous side benefit to having upgraded my ipod touch is having a camera all the time with me. I loved the effect of looking down at the city below bathed in the light as the sun set yesterday so I took a pic. The camera's not that good at low light, but it will remind me of that moment. XD;

I've been reading and enjoying more Georgette Heyer, but I've been too tired to write anything decent on them. One thing that's making me sad: The Unknown Ajax, which seems to be pretty well-liked, is out-of-print, not carried by my library system, and seems to be really expensive used. So, can't read it. GAH.


Dec. 9th, 2010 06:05 pm
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I read volume 2 of Super Lovers by Abe Miyuki and remain dissatisfied and confused, as well as vaguely icked out. Where is this manga going? Are the two main characters really destined to be lovers? I wish she'd kept them platonic or just had them become a couple already. I think it'd have been fun as a story about loving siblings rather than the odd unsatisfying dirty-feeling semi-pedophilic whatever it currently is. I think it'd actually feel less dirty if they'd become a couple instead of just stopping at making out. (I don't know if the artist is trying to pass off deep kissing as a normal greeting for Canadians. I hope not.) I have a feeling I'm just recycling complaints from when I read the first volume. I still can't believe Hakkenden is on hiatus for this. GAH.

On the Georgette Heyer front, Faro's Daughter amused me despite its utter ridiculousness. A guy tries to buy off a girl who works at her aunt's gaming place to prevent her from marrying his rich and titled young nephew. The girl had never planned on marrying the young thing, but she's so incensed at his rudeness she spurns his money and vows revenge…And so we get two very obstinate people who claim to despise each other trying to "defeat" the other one. It's really over the top, but the rages the girl gets into after each encounter with the guy are so hilarious I'm okay with it all. Can't say I particularly liked either character very much as they acted irrationally most of the time, but I don't think the point of this book is to empathize with these people. XD;

parts that particularly amused me )

Did you know that there was a musical version of Little Women? I just read in the newspaper that a local theatre company is staging it now. Even though I don't remember liking the book (the irritating sisters irritated me too much, I think) I'm curious…
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I've just read Devil's Cub, a sequel of sorts to These Old Shades, and preferred it so much more than its predecessor. My god, it makes such a difference when the main characters are more lovable! Though this book also grated on me with its excessive snobbery and classism, I could let pass the problems for the charm of the story and the characters. One of the things that drove me nuts in These Old Shades that I'd forgotten to mention in my previous post was how much the essentialist idea that birth will out regardless of upbringing pissed me off. I know you have to overlook this kind of attitude when reading books like this, but when it's shoved in your face so strongly it's infuriating. In any case, the sequel is so much better. The bad boy son is bad, but the lady (after the initial mishandling of the situation) deals with him so well he becomes rather endearing. The Marquis of Vidal pointlessly shoots a guy and is forced by his father to leave England. He decides to take the pretty but stupid bourgeois girl he had been seducing to France with him. She and her mother think she can trap him into marriage. Her much smarter older sister Mary knows better, so when she intercepts Vidal's note she decides to take her sister's place at the rendezvous and get Vidal to forget her sister. Unfortunately, when Vidal gets mad he gets mad, and he forces Mary to go with him instead of her sister. It's only when it's rather too late for her reputation that he realizes she's a lady you shouldn't ruin…

The two of them are great together once Vidal stops treating Mary like a trollop. I like how the spoiled rich boy who's always gotten everything has do some chasing. The older characters who appeared in These Old Shades run around as well and are great fun. Mary's meeting with Vidal's father in particular was a good read.

more blabbing )


Dec. 6th, 2010 01:37 pm
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If you wanted to introduce Georgette Heyer to someone and were, for a really good reason, to be limited to Venetia, These Old Shades or The Grand Sophy, which one would you go with? As I've only read one of them I can't judge.
insaneneko: (Default)
I've read a bunch more romances this week, almost all Georgette Heyer. Lots of fun for the most part.

I was feeling a bit unhappy and picked up Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier to read. Oh, what a bad choice. This is not a happy book. My mom owns it and had been reading it recently, so I was a bit curious. I didn't want to read it in translation when I could easily obtain and read it in the original language, so I borrowed it from the library. My mom compared it to Jane Eyre, and I can see the resemblance. I...liked it about as much as Jane Eyre, which is not much. It's too depressing and also a bit crazy. My biggest problem was the main character, the second Mrs. de Winters. She is SO blah. I can tolerate a lot of crazy and a lot of stupid, but not with such a blah main character. I need to care about the characters for me to swallow crazy melodrama. The opening sentence and the last paragraph are pretty awesome, but otherwise I could've easily lived without reading it. One bit of trivia from the wikipedia on the book that amused me: The book was to be used as a code source by the Germans in WWII. It's just so incongruous. ^^;

I had to remedy my mistake in picking up an unhappy book when I needed cheering up, so I immediately started reading April's Lady Friday's Child by Georgette Heyer. This is a truly silly book filled with rather silly people. It's about a reckless young Viscount who, on a whim, elopes with a very young and penniless childhood friend. His wife adores him and thinks the world of him. She follows his (not so good) example time and again and gets into all kinds of scrapes. He, who'd never had to care about anything much, finds himself having to guide her and regretting all the reckless and silly things he says and does because his innocent wife believes in him utterly. The last part is quite satisfying, not in the least because they both do manage to grow up a little bit more.

I then read These Old Shades, which is quite a bit better overall than April's Lady Friday's Child. It's set at an earlier time period, during the reign of Louis VX of France, in France and England. An English duke runs into (is run into by) a boy, whom he takes on as a page. Turns out the boy is a girl, and someone he suspects he can use to get sweet, sweet revenge on an old enemy. He takes her back to England to groom her into a lady, but they end up back in France for the whirlwind final act that includes taking the town by storm and getting that long-overdue revenge. The duke is older, the girl is young, and he acts as her strict guardian. He's been a bad, bad man who plans to do more bad things, she's a high-spirited wild-child who loves to dress as a boy and fence, and they naturally end up falling in love. It's very dramatic and glamorous and also rather dark. But very entertaining. Sadly, I didn’t take to the characters. They are fun to read about, but they felt really artificial...Maybe too perfect?

The Corinthian is about an orphaned girl with a large fortune being pressured by her aunt to marry her repulsive cousin who decides to run away to see her childhood sweetheart. Dressed as a boy. She makes a rope out of sheets to escape out the window, but it doesn't quite reach the street. Luckily for her, a drunk gentleman is walking home just then. He catches her. He decides that he can't just let her scamper off, so he takes her to his home. When he learns of her tale, he decides that he really can't just let her scamper off. He'll take her to see this childhood sweetheart himself. So...the next day they set off on an adventure. The first half of the book is truly charming. The girl is young and happy and totally enjoys the trip. The gentleman is refined and resourceful and a very good chaperone. The interactions between the two and the people they meet along are very fun. Unfortunately, the story derails into silliness. I think too much was piled in, one incredible thing after another. The very end was nice, but I can't quite say I was happy with all the derailing craziness in the middle.

The Convenient Marriage is my favorite of this bunch, almost rivaling Cotillion. In this one the very eligible Earl of Rule (LOVE that name!) offers to marry the very lovely eldest daughter of a very good family without much money (thanks to the family curse of love of gambling...and really bad luck XD;). Unfortunately, she's in love with someone else who doesn't have the money the family needs so it looks like she'll have to accept. The youngest daughter Horatia (Horry), however, figures out the perfect solution. She goes over to the Earl's residence and explains the whole business, that her oldest sister is in love with someone else, her second sister doesn't want to marry anyone, and that the family really needs his money. And she offers herself. She's very frank in the way that young, strong-willed girls can be (and the whole conversation is hilarious to the extreme). The Earl accepts her proposition, and they marry. Of course things don't go smoothly. They are quite apart in years (he's apparently about 35 and she's 17).The Earl has a mistress, and an enemy. The enemy decides to use the young Horry to get some revenge on the Earl...And things get a bit complicated. In any case, I love this book a lot. Fabulous dialogue with lots of understated drollness. I can't believe how many lines I want to quote! I rather liked all the characters, even the bad ones. Horry is adorable....See the excerpt from their initial conversation below.

Horatia seemed determined to make a clean breast of her blemishes. "And p-perhaps you could become used to my eyebrows?"

The smile lurked at the back of Rule's eyes. "I think, quite easily."

She said sadly: "They won't arch, you know. And I ought to t-tell you that we have quite given up hope of my growing any taller."

"It would certainly be a pity if you did," said his lordship.

"D-do you think so?" Horatia was surprised. "It is a great trial to me, I can assure you." She took a breath, and added, with difficulty: "You m-may have noticed that I have a -a stammer."

"Yes, I had noticed," the Earl answered gently.

"If you f-feel you can't b-bear it, sir, I shall quite understand," Horatia said in a small, anxious voice.

much babble )

I so need more. MORE! Are there other very good Regency romance novelists? Please let me know! I need to overdose on happy silly stuff right now and these books have been just the thing.


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