Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Venetia by Georgette Heyer

At five-and-twenty, Venetia Lanyon despairs of ever meeting the handsome hero of her romantic dreams. Then her long-absent neighbor, Lord Damerel, returns home to Yorkshire. An infamous rake, he is the most scandalous man in all of England and he has set his amorous sights on the lovely Venetia.

Determined to woo and win the fair Venetia, Lord Damerel pursues her with a passionate abandon that is soon the talk of the town. But Venetia has no intention of losing her heart to the rakish lord until she is sure that beneath his swashbuckling ways and shocking manners lies a tender heart belonging to her.

My thoughts: L-O-V-E I-T! Just lovely! Damerel is a veery charming and seductive scoundrel, I must give him that! Georgette Heyer is the Mother of Historical Romance as we know it today, for without her and the authors before her, there wouldn't be basis for Julia Quinn, Mary Balough, Madeline Hunter and so on, in my humble opinion.

Julia Quinn and Georgette Heyer are compared to Jane Austen, but I saw many differences between them. For an instance, Heyer and Quinn don’t focus on the social matters and daily issues that were important to Austen. On the other hand, Quinn gets the sexual a little bit more intense than Heyer and OBVIOUSLY – since that during 1814 and everything after that, a female author writing was scandalous enough, imagine writing about sexual scenes! – Austen, but the romance is there all right. Another difference that I've noticed - although it's more of a statement - Jane Austen always had a head start because she lived in the period that Quinn or Heyer had to do their homework and research about it.

Heyer was a delight to read. It’s been a while since I last cheered for a historical novel. As I said in late posts, there’s been a pattern in these new books, so I’ve been finding difficulties to enjoy my reading. But this time was different. Heyer was from the 20’s so the innocence was still kept while reading it, but it wasn’t so bucolic as in the novels from the nineteenth century.

Venetia is a strong headed girl that likes her independence. Living in the same neighborhood for 25 years and never leaving because of her recluse father, her only friends were her younger brother Aubrey, a sharp-tongued 17-years-old boy with a hip disability but a big brain; Lady Denny, a long family friend and protector of Venetia; Edward Yardley, just a presumptuous asshole that thought that owned Venetia; Oswald Denny, nobody; the servants and no one else. But the arrival of Lord Damerel shook things up, for he is known for having eloped with a married woman. Their first meeting was… how can I say it… interesting. But I won’t say why. ;P

Anyway, as the story goes on, you realize that the romance isn’t the focus. Yeah, I know, I wasn’t expecting it myself. Damerel don’t try to seduce her, don’t try to get her to his bed, don’t try to “ruin” her virtue, nothing! They become friends, her brother becomes friends with him too, and soon they are all in such good terms, that you forget that Lord Damerel was in the past such a “bad person”.

After all this you think “ok, they are friends now then they fall in love for each other and then they get together, right?” WRONG! Damerel dismisses her! And so she goes to her aunt’s house in London, to escape from seeing him and the new Lady Lanyon that arrives in Yorkshire, with her mother claiming that she is married and pregnant with Venetia’s older brother’s child.

What I liked most were the plot, obviously, and the couple. Damerel may be a rakish, but he has good judgment to know that a relation, especially a romantic one – their friendship was already seen with bad eyes – would be Venetia’s doom. But she couldn’t care less! She has her mind made, she loves her independence, and she loves him! Look at the F**** she gives for the talk of the town.

I really liked this. I want the rest. That’s all I’ll say in the end.


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