Sir Gareth Ludlow is just about ready to settle for marriage with Lady Hester, a plain woman who falls below his standards (according to his sister). Despite her protests, however, Gareth sets out to propose marriage.
Along the way, he encounters young Amanda wandering unattended. Honor-bound to restore her to her family, the gallant Sir Ludlow finds he has more than he bargained for with his young charge and her runaway imagination. (from Goodreads)
This is a fairly unusual Georgette Heyer romance in that it’s mostly NOT a romance. Instead, it’s the Amanda Show. (Not that one.)
Amanda actually reminds me of another character: Letty, from April Lady. Both Amanda and Letty are DETERMINED TO BE MARRIED for reasons that actually kinda make sense, but the way they go about getting married is ridonkulous. However! Though I intensely disliked Letty (the brat), I found myself almost admiring Amanda. Here’s why: Letty spends most of her time whining and throwing fits (and then later running away). Amanda, meanwhile, acually comes up with reasonably solid plans and then proceeds to execute them. Does she put herself into ridiculous situations? Yes! But they WORKED. She’s got moxy, and she’s basically a Regency action heroine. I like her!
That said, she (and her antics) takes up the majority of the plot. The romance between the two other main characters, then, turns into a side plot, and though it ends happily (of course), it’s not as WHAM IN THE HEART romantic like I’ve gotten used to from Georgette H. It’s more of a slow, “oh you’re adorable and I love you I think” kind of developing romance.
Which is fine! I actually really liked the two leads and I liked that they got the chance to really know one another better over the course of the book. I suppose I was just expecting the focus to be on the romance and instead I got…Amanda?
Anyway, though it’s a little different from the other Georgette Heyer books I’ve read, it’s still full of her signature wit, thoroughly developed-into-people characters, and romance. (Also historical accuracy!) She’s rapidly turning into one of my favorite authors, and I totally recommend trying out her books if you haven’t before.
Read: June 29-30, 2013