Back to Top

Tag Archives: Read Along

Doh! I forgot to post the winner of the Kyoto Fashion Book.

Jo’s Daughter

Email me yourfull mailing address and I will get the book into the mail for you. Though, realistically, not until after RWA.

Read Along

Through the magic of Carolyn being in Charge, I give you three Layton books to choose from. All of them have Kindle versions. Vote for your choice in the comments

To Wed A Stranger
Is it possible? The breathtaking Lady Annabelle has actually agreed to marry, sight unseen, a gentleman of her father’s choosing — the self-proclaimed “exceptionally average” Miles Croft. The ton is aghast! After scandalously toying with so many hearts, why is the exquisite Annabelle chaining herself to the new Viscount Pelham, a complete — albeit most attractive — stranger? Could it be that her own heart has been irreparably shattered, and she wants nothing more to do with romance?

Yet there is certainly nothing “average” about their wedding night! There is magic in Mile’s touch, and the smoldering ecstasy it ignites threatens to consume them both. Dare Annabelle dream this is the one passionate and enduring love she ached for in secret, but never dreamed she’d be worthy of? Might this tender, mysterious lover truly be the scarlet lady’s redemption — and could she be Mile’s as well?

The Devil’s Bargain
Katherine Corbet abhors injustice — and is happy to assist the disturbingly attractive Sir Alasdair St. Erth quash the brazen schemes of a marriage-minded opportunist. But appearing on the arm of the dark, dashing rogue at London balls as his interest will never be more than a sham — no matter how Katherine’s aching heart yearns for more.

This naive country miss is ideal! With Katherine’s unsuspecting assistance, Alasdair can at long last take his revenge on an old, hated enemy — though it pains him to use such an innocent in this unscrupulous manner. Worse still is the longing she inspires within him, a passionate need to taste the sweetness of her lips. Alasdair knows his vengeful plan could destroy a fragile, blossoming love. And when he finally releases Katherine from his devil’s bargain, will he truly be able to let her go?

The Choice
There was no back blurb, so here’s a review descritpion:
One of romance’s most gifted authors, Layton (The Cad) here tells the story of the ethereally beautiful Gilly Giles, desired by many but deemed unmarriageable because she has neither fortune nor family (although she is, mysteriously, a nobleman’s ward). When the malevolent rake Dearborne, seeking vengeance because Gilly has spurned him, announces to a crowded ball that he has seen her in a strange man’s arms, Damon Ryder, newly returned from making his fortune in America, preserves Gilly’s fragile reputation. Thinking quickly, Damon claims that he and Gilly are engaged; they must maintain the farce at least through the social season. During this time, Damon falls in love, and Gilly blossoms into full womanhood. Alas, two other men complicate affairs. One is the nobleman whom Gilly thinks she loves, the other a libertine eager to take advantage of her confused emotions. This is a top-notch Regency, told with flair and fraught with sexual tension.

Woot!! The read along begins. I am SO looking forward to everyone’s thoughts and remarks.

I’ll jump right in with some of my initial thoughts, in no particular order, right after I confess that I finished the book a couple of days after I started it. At the moment, I am pretending I have read only to chapter 7.

Favorite lines

There were a lot that I loved, including the very first line:

“A fox got in amongst the hens last night, and ravished our best layer,” remarked Miss Lanyon.

This happened out here at Jewel central except the fox ate all most ALL our layers. And one of the roosters. Also, no Lord Damerel has shown up so far.

But really, the use of the word ravished absolutely floored me. What kind of proper young Miss says that? And then, what does that sly comment reveal about her? She used ravished when she could have said ate. The sentence is utterly sexualized, and not just because of the ravishing. The fox inserted itself amidst numerous hens and yet, despite this orgiastic behavior, it took only the best. What a sly fox!

Heyer chose her words carefully and this sentence proves it. It’s a lovely set up for the framework of the novel. Damerel = the fox. Venetia = the best layer.  [Do you agree? Disagree? Am I full of baloney on this one?]

From the first sentence we know the speaker is clever, amusing and perhaps bold. We can also guess that she is among friends. A young lady of the Regency clever enough to turn this phrase won’t utter it unless she knows it will be properly received.

So, I can firmly say that I fell in love with Venetia (the character) from the very first sentence.  I want to be Venetia when I grow up.

Oh, the build up to Damerel’s appearance! I was getting impatient for him to show up, and honestly, in my copy, he physically appears on page 30 which isn’t all that long to wait. I would have skipped pages to get there only I loved Venetia too much to do that.

And then he kisses her! What?! I was astonished. I didn’t expect that he’d act PRECISELY as he’d been described. He didn’t behave with a noble bone (ahem!) in his body. And Venetia, she handles him so beautifully — true to her spirit. Poor Damerel, a goner before page 36.

By the end of chapter 7, the henhouse has been moved to Priory. Oh, my!

A Few Quibbles and Questions

I found the language to be a bit dense at time and so full of slang that some phrases I only guessed at by context. Sometimes there were several in a row, all denoting pretty much the same idea so, (whispering) I felt perhaps Heyer might have been showing off her research.

Another issue that kept coming up for me was the name of Edward’s estate: Netherfold. Am I the only one with a dirty mind? Or who kept thinking of Netherfield in Pride & Predjudice? To my mind, the former name emasculates Edward while the latter name simply makes the P&P estate seem far away. Once again, I think Heyer (and Austen) chose carefully.

I think there were similarities to P&P. There aren’t many (in terms of plot) but for me, they were quite marked — the language for one. I felt I could be reading Austen, which is never a bad thing. One similarity I saw was the impact of an ineffectual father and then elder brother who lays the real responsibilities on the competent daughter/sibling and who may well end up paying a price for their inattention to her. Though at least she had money as Lizzy Bennett did not.

I think that’s more than enough to get us started. What did you think? Favorite lines? Agreement or disagreement with anything I’ve mentioned? Things that struck you as you read?


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | 28 Replies


The Riskies are reading Georgette Heyer’s Venetia.

We’re shooting to read 7 chapters a week, but we’re open to adjusting numbers up or down so don’t freak if that seems too much or too little. Just let us know in the comments how things are going.

I’d love for our discussion to go … anywhere at all within the bounds of nice. The goal is to have fun talking about what we liked or perhaps didn’t like.

Sometimes it’s good to acknowledge even the obvious: The written word does not carry the same information you get when you’re in a face to face discussion — a lot of additional information gets lost. So, I hereby declare that we are all to interpret everything as having been meant in the best and nicest possible way.

Below I’ve listed a few things to think about while we read. Don’t think about the ones that don’t appeal to you and YES! Bring up your own reactions and thoughts. It’s perfectly fine to wait to see what others say. Remember, this is FUN!

Language (word choice, sentence structure etc)
What do you think of Venetia and her family?
Was there a place where you thought, Wow, this just rocks! Where and why?
Was there a place where you thought, Wow, this isn’t working for me. Where and why?
Favorite character
Class distinctions
What assumptions about gender are embedded and exploded in these chapters?
Given the opening, just how do you feel about foxes? (OK, so maybe I started reading already.)
How is Heyer’s story different from historical romance written in the 21st century?

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 16 Replies

For anyone new to the blog or just serendipitously dropping by, the Riskies are doing a Read Along. Over the next couple of weeks we’ll be reading Georgette Heyer’s Venetia and discussing in the comments. Anyone and everyone is welcome to join. The only requirement is that you read Heyer’s Venetia.

We’ll start reading next Wednesday, March 10 so now’s the time to be picking up the book if you haven’t all ready.

Next week, I’ll post some things to think about as we’re reading. You will NOT be obliged to actually think about these things if you don’t want to.

Venetia has 21 chapters, so if we read 7 chapters a week, we can be done by the end of the month. Let’s start with that as a reading goal.

Don’t stress or drop out if that goal doesn’t work out for you. You can still chat about what parts you have read. You’re not obligated to post big long comments, but of course we will love you if you do just as we will love short comments.

I’m looking forward to learning about people’s opinions, reactions, AND analysis. If you don’t want to analyze, don’t. If you do, that’s awesome!

Don’t forget, we have some prizes available, and if you don’t comment, you have ZERO chance of winning.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | 9 Replies
Get every new post delivered to your inbox
Join millions of other followers
Powered By