Published: June 2011 (1951)
Source: From the publisher
Unscathed from the wars, Gervase Frant finally returns to his father's estate to claim his title as the new Earl of Stanyon. But his stepmother's resentment and his half brother's open disdain put a chill on Gervase's welcome. Now he must establish himself as the new head of the house… and ignore his family's rising hostility.Then Gervase's eye is caught by a lovely young woman—the same woman already much in favor with his half brother. Now the brothers face direct competition as they bid for the lady's attentions. But as Gervase struggles to maintain a gentlemanly balance, he begins to find himself the victim of repeatedly cruel accidents. Soon it becomes increasingly clear that someone wants the new Earl of Stanyon dead….
My second Heyer book was a bit different because there was a big mystery in it, still it was not one of her true mystery novel. There is romance, mystery and the stillness that is proper manners.
First I was not sure about this one, mostly cos I felt Gervase was going after the wrong woman. Well I feared so. Though that fixes itself because he is a very quiet gentleman. A proper and nice man, a bit too nice actually. But then I do think Heyer seemed to like second chances and being all nice and all.
Back to the story. Gervase comes home. His younger step-brother resents him because he wants to be lord of the manor and get the pretty girl. Soon strange things start to happen. Who wants to kill Gervase? And that is the question. The way she continued to spin things did have me wondering even if I guessed it (ok I did not settle, I had options).
Martin the step-brother was very young and rushed into things. Still I never disliked him. Cousin Theo was all nice and managed things around the place. Miss Morville I liked from the start and hoped Gervase would fall for her. Miss Bolderwood was the beauty everyone fell for but yes just too pretty and nice (not the smartest cookie in the jar). Lucy (not a girl, just a nick-name) was Gervase's friend and fell for the local beauty too. But before you think everyone fell for her, I think I can spoil things and say that Gervase did not. It's not really a spoiler since he kind of realizes it at once. It was a full cast of characters who all brought something to the book.
And again, everyone is just so proper and it is fantastic. The style is truly Austen and the language so too. I can't help to giggle when a certain young woman cries that someone tried to make love to her. Oh the phrasing is just wonderful. She meant kiss, nothing more.
Still I did feel it was a bit slow at times, but I enjoyed it none the less.
Heyer is just fun.
Heyer is just fun.
Hm, does not fit...
My flash fiction for the week