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Reading too much Heyer is a bit like eating too much sugar in one sitting – I feel slightly sick and usually get a headache. I like Heyer (and sugar), but a little goes a long way. I think this is one of her best romances.

Here’s the blurb on the back …

A fateful mistake…

When Elinor Rochdale boards the wrong coach, she ends up not at her prospective employer’s home but at the estate of Eustace Cheviot, a dissipated and ruined young man on the verge of death.

A momentous decision…

His cousin, Mr Ned Carlyon, persuades Elinor to marry Eustace as a simple business arrangement. By morning, Elinor is a rich widow, but finds herself embroiled with an international spy ring, housebreakers, uninvited guests, and murder. And Mr Carlyon won’t let her leave …

This novel combines intrigue and romance in a compelling page turning manner (and there is not too much regency slang, which I always find a tad annoying). It is light and sparkling and very easy to read.

Elinor is on her way to her new post as a governess and steps into the wrong carriage – she ends up at Highnoons where it is thought she has answered an advertisment to marry Eustace Cheviot. The advertisment was placed by Mr Ned Carlyon – Eustance’s cousin – as a way of not inheriting Highnoons (the Grandfather’s will was unusual). Mr Carlyon thinks Elinor should marry Eustace despite the mistake because Eustace won’t live for long – he is a disolute young man – and once he is dead she can live a life of relative comfort with than drudgery as a Governess. They then hear (Via Mr Carlyon’s younger brother Nicky) that Eustace has been accidently stabbed (By Nicky) and probably won’t live out the night. They rush to the inn where Elinor and Eustace are married, Eustace writes his will in Elinor’s favour and dies before morning.

Elinor is settled at Highnoons and receives a visitor late at night who claims to have let himself in the side door (not being aware that Eustace is dead). How did he get in? All the doors and windows were locked and what was he looking for? Hence the mystery.

I enjoyed reading this novel. If you haven’t read any Georgette Heyer this would be a good one with which to start.

Here are some links …

http://janitesonthejames.blogspot.com/2008/11/reluctant-widow-by-georgette-heyer-book.html

http://www.georgette-heyer.com/

http://www.heyerlist.org/

2 Responses to “The Reluctant Widow – Georgette Heyer”

  1. Laurel Ann says:

    I am reading Heyer’s Frederica and loving it. The Reluctant Widow is o my list too. Thanks for the insights.

    Cheers, Laurel Ann

  2. […] like Georgette Heyer novels (here is one I read earlier and here). They’re fun and a quick read and obviously well-researched. […]

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