Well. How’s everyone doing? I still want to be Venetia when I grow up.

Venetia and Damerel have met and he is, of course, doomed. My goodness, but those two are really suited to each other. Sigh.

Chapter 8 pits Damerel and another of Venetia’s admirers, young Mr. Denny. The VERY young Mr. Oswald Denny. I couldn’t help admiring Oswald’s passion even while I was laughing at his complete mistake of everything with respect to Venetia’s feelings for him. Such a teenage boy.  Venetia, I do think, could have handled Oswald better. In this, I think, she was quite naive (see question posed at the end).

How much of himself does Damerel see in Oswald? Do you think the comparison is apt? And yet, as Heyer notes, Oswald sees more clearly than Edward Yardley.  Is Heyer saying something about youth or making a sideways stab at Yardley being more or less a pompous @ss. After all, if Oswald can see that Venetia and Damerel are head over heels, why doesn’t Edward Yardley? (Because he is  P.A., that’s why.)

 In this week’s chapters, Damerel and Venetia seem pretty solidly in love, though they don’t quite fess up to each other or themselves, and there’s way too much of the book left for them to just go on like this. I thought the brother would show up, but in these chapters, that doesn’t happen.

Instead, disaster strikes in the form of the unexpected arrival of the absent brother’s wife (!!) and her horrible mother. There is no better foil for Venetia’s goodness and nobility than this awful woman.

And what is the result of placing Venetia in the clutches of this woman? Well, it becomes absolutely positively plain that Venetia must do something. Anything would be better than staying. Heck, marrying Edward Yardley would be better than staying at Undershaw.

One of the results is some of my favorite bits of this book. Damerel, in the grip of very strong emotion;

You remained, and always will, a beautiful, desirable creature. Only my intentions were changed. I resolved to do you no hurt, but leave you I could not!

And then just a little later:

 When you smile at me like this, it’s all holiday with me! O God, I love you to the edge of madness, Venetia, but I’m not mad yet– not so mad that I don’t know how disastrous it might be to you– to us both! You don’t realize what an advantage I should be taking of your innocence.

Holy Mackerel!! Or, as I like to say, ::swoon::

At the conclusion of Chapter 8, Venetia is about to do the unthinkable: go to Damerel’s house alone. She is aware of the impropriety, but she trusts him and needs his advice. And you, know, there really isn’t anyone else for her to turn to. No one in her circle of acquaintances is suitable to hear her tell the truth about her situation and the choices she sees open to her. Only Damerel will do. And she’s right.

What did you-all think? Favorite scenes? Observations? Spill.

On Twitter, some of us were debating whether Venetia is naive. I would agree that naive is perhaps not quite the right word. So what is?

Opine in the comments.