Sunday, October 16, 2011

Bath Tangle

Bath Tangle by Georgette Heyer (1955; NY: Harlequin, 2004).

Serena, the willful and beautiful daughter of the late Earl of Spenborough, sorely misses her beloved father and expects to live quietly with her father's young widow, Fanny.  Her father, however, seems to want to exert control from beyond the grave and leaves Serena's inheritance in a trust to be managed by the Marquis of Rotherham, the very man to whom Serena had been engaged several years before, but whom she had broken off with a month before the wedding.  Serena claimed he was too arrogant and overbearing to be a suitable husband for her.  Serena and Fanny end up in Bath, and the tangle ensues when Serena becomes secretly engaged to a previous beau and Rotherham announces his betrothal to a shy young debutante.

Heyer is a master of the Regency romance genre, and Bath Tangle is no exception.  While lacking in the social satire and timelessness of Austen's masterpieces, to which Heyer's works are frequently compared, this novel moves trippingly along with strong, well-drawn characters who propel the drama to its inevitable (and utterly predictable) conclusion.  Recommended for lovers of historical romance.

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