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The Reluctant Widow

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

The Reluctant Widow (1946) Georgette Heyer

The Reluctant WidowSet in England in 1813.

Elinor Rochdale fell upon hard times when her father fell into ruin and shot himself, and has been a governess in recent years. She has come to take a new position as a governess, but ends up in the wrong carriage, where it is assumed she has answered an advertisement to become a bride to a dissolute wastrel.

‘I hope it need not signify, sir. I assure you, I am not without experience.’ ‘

You can hardly have had experience of what now lies before you,’ he retorted.

A dreadful suspicion crossed Miss Rochdale’s mind. ‘Good heavens, he is not – he surely cannot be – deranged, sir?’ she exclaimed.

‘No, he is quite sane,’ he answered. ‘It is brandy, not madness, to which the greater part of his propensity for evil is attributable.’

‘Brandy?’ she gasped.

He raised his brows. ‘Yes, I thought you had not been told the whole,’ he said. ‘I am sorry. I intended – and indeed ordered – otherwise.’

Although this is presented as a romance, it is actually a mystery, with a splash of romance thrown in at the end.

“(T)here’s an important memorandum gone astray, and they’re all in an uproar over it. By what I can make out, it’s to do with his lordship’s campaign for this spring, and there are only two copies in existence. You may guess what Bonaparte would give to have an inkling of what Wellington means to do, whether he will march on Madrid a second time, or strike in some new direction!’

The story is a rollicking adventure, and silly at times, and the younger brother, Nicky, lightens up some of the darker parts.

Publisher : Sourcebooks Casablanca
Rating: 8/10

Categories: 8/10, British, Covers, Female, Good, Historical, Mystery, Re-Read, Romance     Comments (0)    



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