Venetia

My first read after exams: Venetia by Georgette Heyer. I love Georgette Heyer and have read many of her mysteries and romances, but I have to say, she isn’t that innovative in her plots. It’s always the same story: A rake falls in love with a spontaneous and unconventional girl. The perfect hero (although he’s had a questionable lifestyle) is bored with his life and has become hardened towards love. Venetia was no different. The hero of the novel, the rakish Lord Damerel, comes on a chance visit to his estate which lies next to Venetia’s home. They meet, are intrigued by each other, and soon a happy accident occurs which throws them in each others’ way for an extended period. The inevitable ensues and they fall in love. The next inevitable occurs and Lord Damerel sees how his scandalous reputation will never do for a good and beautiful girl like Venetia. He never asks her to marry him and sends her away. Then the happy coincidence happens that Venetia’s own parentage isn’t as spotless as one would have thought and so they can get married! Yay for everyone!

OK, it may seem that I don’t like Georgette Heyer but I do! It’s just that sometimes, I wish for something a little different. Novels like Cotillion and The Devil’s Cub are beautiful and I can read them again and again, but when I pick up a different novel, I want a different story. In Venetia, we have the same absurd yet likable characters in the form of Venetia’s two hopeful suitors; the same innocent and intriguingly beautiful girl, who is lovable and ‘different’ from all the run of the mill society ladies who have been setting their caps at the hero of the piece. Alright, so Lord Damerel wasn’t as in demand as some of the heroes of her novels are, but he was still rich, and that counts for something in the Heyer world. What always gets me, is that the guy, who has had such a reckless career is actually supposed to be kind, loving and caring underneath it all.

When all is said and done, a Heyer novel is meant to be taken as it is: a Regency Romance. It’s supposed to be delightful and entertaining and not modern in any way. That means, the end in view is always a happy marriage with proper considerations to money. Georgette Heyer includes a wealth of detail in her novels of the Regency Period. If that’s what you’re looking for, then Venetia is as good as any other. Although not one of Heyer’s best, any Georgette Heyer fan would swoon at the hero’s feet. He is all that is expected from a Heyer hero. But if you want variety, try Cotillion or April Lady.

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