Released on May 6, 2014
Length: 12 hours 36 minutes
Vintage Reviews–Going back to where we started!
A while back, I had a conversation with Anna @ Herding Cats Burning Soup blog. It started out with a discussion about how many of our older reads were getting hazy in our minds and that we didn’t even have notes or reviews on them to help jog the memory. From that was born the idea of doing an occasional (and by that I mean quarterly at most) re-read to catch up with some of those oldies, but goodies. So watch for the occasional Oldies review at our respective blogs and feel free to join in.
This was a re-read of a favorite book by one of my favorite authors. I decided to try an audio version for a slight change and to see how much I liked listening to the story as opposed to reading it. I found the whole a delightful experience. This author’s writing of character’s monologue and dialogue could have been meant to be read aloud.
[quote]“Who are you?” he demanded abruptly. “I took you for a village maiden-probably one of my tenants.”
“Did you indeed?”…
“Fair Fatality, you are the most unusual female I have encountered in all my thirty-eight years.”
“You can’t think how deeply flattered I am!” she assured him. “I daresay my head would be quite turned that I didn’t suspect amongst so many a dozen or so might have slipped from your memory.”
“More like a hundred. Am I never to learn your name? I shall know whether you tell me or no!”
“Without the least difficulty! I am very much better known in this country than you, for I am a Lanyon of Undershaw!” Chap 1 Damerel and Venetia from Venetia[/quote] The story is set in York and London during the Regency era of England right after the Napoleonic Wars. Venetia is a young woman who lives on a small country estate in Yorkshire. She is twenty-five and considers herself ‘on the shelf’ though the beautiful woman has two eager suitors. Venetia isn’t interested in the brooding puppy love of Oswald, son to her dear friend and neighbor, Lady Denny, nor the staid assumptions of Edward Yardley her deceased father’s choice of suitor. Venetia is a woman of sense, humor, and imagination and she longs for something more even though she probably won’t ever have it while taking care of her younger brother until he goes off to university and caring for the estate that is now the possession of her older absentee brother.
Into her tranquil life comes a rogue of the first order, Lord Damerel. Damerel misspent his youth and his middle age and has a shocking reputation wherever he goes. He comes to rusticate on his estate only to be struck by the fair delight of Venetia Lanyon. He has a thought toward seduction especially when he is given the opportunity after giving aid to her younger brother after a riding accident. But Venetia stymies him with her openness, humor, and sunny eagerness to have him for a friend. It grows into something more as time passes and Damerel knows that he cannot have her because he would ruin her. And if he didn’t already know this, the neighborhood in York and her distant relations make it quite clear. The only trouble is convincing Venetia.
This was a favorite from the moment I started reading it for the first time years ago. My love affair with this story is due to the fabulous, engaging, delightful heroine. Most of the story revolves around her and she is written so deftly that alone and without her romance, she captured the attention and feelings.
As to the narration, Phyllida Nash told this story as if she wrote it. She nailed the voices, personalities, emotions, and general story. I will definitely be looking for more books narrated by her particularly if they are Georgette Heyer’s.
All in all, this reunion with a favorite book from the past was a fond and heartwarming one. I can easily recommend both story and audio edition to other lovers of this author and Regency Romance in general.
I decided to take it a step further with this re-read idea and really go for some ‘blasts from the past’ that may not even be in print anymore. First up, I went with the Queen of Regency Romance, Georgette Heyer.
Have you read any Heyer books? Got a favorite?