Bath Tangle by Georgette Heyer
Publication Date: July 2011
Genre: Historical Romance
Pages: Paperback, 368pp
(Received from Sourcebooks for an honest review)
Purchase: Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, IndieBound
Excerpt from Bath Tangle
A Delightful Tangle of Affairs...
The Earl of Spenborough had always been noted for his eccentricity. Leaving a widow younger than his own daughter Serena was one thing, but leaving his fortune to the trusteeship of the Marquis of Rotherham - the one man the same daughter had jilted - was quite another.
When Serena and her lovely young stepmother Fanny decide to move to Bath, Serena makes an odd new friend and discovers an old love. Before long, they're all entangled in a muddle of marriage and manners the likes of which even Regency Bath has rarely seen.
Beloved author Georgette Heyer wrote over fifty novels, historical romance, historical fiction and mysteries. Her expertise on the Regency period as garnered her books high acclaim and attention. Recently Sourcebooks Inc. has begun releasing several of Heyer's books to a new audience, including Bath Tangle. This is a novel that reads like a comedy of errors, with rollicking fun and engagements switching around more quickly than the tides. Packed with romance, rich period detail, and impeccable research. If you've never read a Heyer book, it's time to start!
Serena Carlow finds herself in the terrible position of losing her father, her home and perhaps her heart. When the Earl of Spenborough dies, he leaves a bereaved daughter, a wife younger than his daughter and no heir. The house will go to a cousin, leaving Serena and her young step-mother Fanny to fend for themselves. And when Serena finds out that her former fiancee is left in charge of her money, she is beside herself. Why did her father choose the Marquis of Rotherham to oversee her trust? When Serena and Fanny retire to Bath for some much needed rest, circumstances are set in motion that have all the wrong people getting engaged and no one talking about their true feelings. Suddenly, it seems like the ton has descended on Bath and no relationship is safe.
Bath Tangle showcases not only Georgette Heyer's great research skills but also her humor. This is a book where all the wrong people are getting together and the people who really love each other are not. It is obvious to the reader who should be together and who shouldn't, but the characters of the book seem happily oblivious. This is the most humorous book by Georgette Heyer I have ever read and I found myself laughing out loud several times. I can't imagine how she worked out such a complicated but hilarious plot. Readers will find it comical, engaging and just a barrel of fun to read.
Serena isn't your typical Regency woman, she's headstrong, very spirited and she has a fiery temper. She sits a horse as well as any man and she isn't afraid of the peers of the realm. In fact she jilted the Marquis of Rotherham and lived to tell the tale. Though everyone else in the book seems to be terrified by Ivo, Serena isn't bothered by his arrogant behavior and down right bad attitude at times. The sparks fly between them from the beginning and the reader will easily see that it's because they don't suit each other, it's because they do. Ivo is another great example of Heyer's knack for characterization. He isn't the easiest of characters to like, but it's obvious that he and Serena should be together. So when he ends up with a young woman who doesn't want to be with him and Serena is trying to rehash and old love story, it's interesting to see what brings them back together in the end.
Heyer's choice of words has always been interesting to me. She uses an older style of language that readers may not be familiar with, but it has an elegance about it. And then there are those words that are just fun to read like, tyrannical, ninny-hammer, impetuous and abominable. She certainly had a way with expressing herself in her writing that really appeals to me. I love her work and I found Bath Tangle to be one of my favorites. She was most definitely a wordsmith. And today's Regency writers could take a page out of her book, so to speak, by adding some of these touches to their own writing. Heyer paved the way in more than just one way.
I recommend this one to old and new Heyer fans alike. The re-publication of several of Heyer's novels has opened up her work to a whole new crop of readers and I think this kind of book will appeal to not only Regency fans but mainstream romance readers as well. Heyer is a classic writer and it would be shame to miss such wonderful workmanship.
Bath Tangle is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.
I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!
Georgette Heyer wrote over fifty novels, including Regency romances, mysteries, and historical fiction. She was known as the Queen of Regency romance, and was legendary for her research, historical accuracy, and her extraordinary plots and characterizations.