Sunday, December 20, 2009

These Old Shades

Heyer, Georgette. 1926. These Old Shades. HQN. 334 pages.

A gentleman was strolling down a side street in Paris, on his way back from the house of one Madame de Verchoureux.

My mom's favorite Heyer. I've spent most of my life--well, my adult life--hearing about how wonderful Georgette Heyer is. How These Old Shades is the Best Book Ever. So I was excited to get a chance to read this one. To find time to squeeze it in this busy holiday season. What is it about? And did it live up to my expectations?

These Old Shades is historical romance. (This is not a Regency romance, however, for those who think of Heyer as only a writer for that period.) It stars a bad boy-in-need-of-reforming named Justin Alastair (His Grace of Avon). When our hero first meets the will-be-heroine, she is dressed as a he. Leonie has been living as Leon for several years--since she was twelve or so. He buys her. She becomes his page. And oh-how-she-loves him, idolizes him as her rescuer, her savior. But he--at first--is thinking only of revenge, of payback, of finally getting "justice" on a wrong several decades old. When will his thoughts turn to'll have to read this one yourself and see how this romance (deliciously) develops.

It is a fun little book. A completely satisfying and giddy-making romance. So did it live up to my expectations? Mostly. I can't say it's my favorite Georgette Heyer. I've read so many this past year--so many that just felt oh-so-right and oh-so-fun. But I am glad I read it. I am glad I get to share my thoughts with my mom. I *do* think this would be a fun novel to start off with. To introduce someone to Georgette Heyer. I think it is one of her best. One of the more accessible ones as well.

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Kathy Martin said...

Which Heyer was your favorite? I started with The Nonesuch when I was in HS which really wasn't a good starting place for my first historical fiction romance. I have read all of her books. I really love Devil's Cub and The Grand Sophy. I recently bought some of the new editions published by Sourcebooks Casablanca to replace my old copies. They are really lovely books.

Becky said...

I have enjoyed almost all the Heyer I've read. Arabella, The Grand Sophy and Frederica were all *really* good for me. But These Old Shades is certainly in my top five, I think, so far. It's just really hard to make a best-of list that is consistent.