The Earl of Rule is a great catch. When he proposes marriage to Miss Elizabeth Winwood, she should be delighted, but she isn’t. She’s in love with someone else. Elizabeth’s younger sister Horatia has the perfect solution; she’ll offer herself to Rule instead, since he really only wants a Winwood, not any specific one of them. Despite Horry’s pronounced stammer, Rule is enchanted with her and agrees to marry her instead. Determined to be the perfect wife, Horry leaves Rule alone and engages in her own sometimes scandalous relations with the ton. A series of clever, humorous mishaps and slow realizations lead the married Rule and Horatia to come to terms with the fact that they are perfectly suited for each other.
I’m realizing that I love Georgette Heyer. This book is laugh out loud funny at times. It’s a literary caper that just continues on and on with a sweet underlying romance that left me with a smile on my face. There is so much fun going on in this book. There is Horry being rebellious by befriending Rule’s enemy, then hitting him on the head with a poker when he tries to kiss her. That had to be the funniest scene in the book, not to mention the scenes that ensued from complications of the failed seduction!
I also just love the way Heyer writes. She takes us straight back to Regency England and I can feel it in the prose as well as in the historical details. The romance is clean and relatively free of sexual passions, but that doesn’t make it any less real. The development of the fondness between the very young Horatia and her older, more experienced husband is endearing and engaging. I wanted them to discover the happiness that lay just beyond their current reach.
Overall, this book is exactly what I look for in a historical romance. It’s funny, it’s sweet, and it’s believable. I wouldn’t ask for more! I’m so excited to read more by Georgette Heyer. Thanks so much to Danielle and Sourcebooks for reprinting this wonderful author and sending me this review copy.