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The Reluctant Widow by Georgette Heyer

The Reluctant Widow (original 1946; edition 2008)

by Georgette Heyer, Cornelius Garrett (Narrator)

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1,123397,318 (3.89)1 / 108
Title:The Reluctant Widow
Authors:Georgette Heyer
Other authors:Cornelius Garrett (Narrator)
Info:Chivers Audio Books (2008), Mp3
Collections:Your library, Kerry's, Audiobooks, 2015 Reading, 2012 Reading
Tags:Fiction, Audio, Regency, R2012, R2015

Work details

The Reluctant Widow by Georgette Heyer (1946)

  1. 20
    The Talisman Ring by Georgette Heyer (konallis)
    konallis: Both novels combine romance and social comedy with most nefarious goings-on; _The Talisman Ring_ is the more comedy-oriented and farcical of the two.

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Showing 1-5 of 38 (next | show all)
Charming funny Regency from Georgette Heyer. I read this a long time ago and just re-read it. It is still charming and funny but I think I have changed. The hero is a little too overbearing for my taste today although that is what the heroine says about him too. But he has his virtues. The humor is what saves this book. I also noticed more than ever in this book how Heyer uses dialog to flesh out the characters. Their manner of speech shows very clearly who they are. ( )
  phyllis2779 | Aug 7, 2015 |
I like a lot of Georgette Heyer, but I can’t especially recommend The Reluctant Widow. The premise sounded interesting -- young woman gets convinced to marry a dying man and inherit his encumbered estate, and is then caught up in a mystery of what someone’s searching for in the deceased man’s house. But in practice, most of the characters annoyed me.

It’s not that these characters have especially different traits from characters in other of her books; it’s that they’re turned up to eleven. The hero is *too* autocratic and I-know-best-so-I-won’t-explain; the heroine is *too* proper and oh-you’re-so-odious; the younger brother is *too* devil-may-care. When my reaction to the heroine getting bopped on the head and knocked unconscious is “woohoo!”, and when I’m rooting for the apparent villain rather than the hero and heroine, yeah, that’s a sign that it doesn’t work for me. ( )
  castiron | Jun 19, 2015 |
A playful romp set in Regency England. Fun, tongue-in-cheek character descriptions and events. An entertaining light-hearted novel. I didn't really feel the chemistry between Elinor and Carlyon, but given that the love interest appeared to be a bit of an afterthought in the final couple of chapters, that didn't matter very much. ( )
  cazfrancis | Sep 30, 2014 |
This was a fun diversion. Heyer is yet another author I discovered through LT. She wrote dozens of books and this is one of her Regency Romances, i.e. a Jane Austen era romance, as I like to think of it. It was great - implausible but entertaining plot about an attractive woman whose father has died leaving her no money. On her way to take a governess position, she mistakenly ends up at the home of Lord Carlyon who convinces her to marry his dying cousin. The story turns into a quasi-mystery, even treading into espionage. It was pretty silly, but the dialogue is fun and the characters were good and it was just comfortable to read.

I'd pick up more of these from the library or used but I won't necessarily seek them out. I read Faro's Daughter a year or two ago and it was much worse than this one, so I'm glad I read one of the better ones so I understand now why so many people enjoy her books! ( )
  japaul22 | Jun 8, 2014 |
A most gothic Heyer! I approve heartily. (To quote the heroine: "How forcibly it puts one in mind of all one's favorite romances!") And you know, Elinor was fairly Jane Eyre-ish for a Heyer character: flinty but funny, practical but warm, tough but sensitive. The plot edged away from gothicism and toward something more typically Heyerish as the plot went on...but one can't have everything. ( )
  thatotter | Feb 6, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 38 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Georgette Heyerprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Garrett, CorneliusNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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It was dark when the London to Littlehampton stagecoach lurched into the village of Billingshurst, and a cold mist was beginning to creep knee-high over the dimly seen countryside.
“…Only consider, cousin! A man who must needs come creeping into a house by a secret stair can be up to no good!”

“Very true. There is a want of openness about such behaviour that strikes one forcibly, and makes me at least disinclined to pursue the acquaintance.”
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Book description
"You are asking me to sell myself, to marry a dying man for the advantages it may bring me..."

Elinor Rochdale was married at midnight and a widow at dawn. Overnight she became heiress to a house of secrets and partner in a dangerous conspiracy to save a family name...

She took on the autocratic Lord Carlyon, his rash young brother Nicholas, and the sinister Francis Cheviot, to foil a dastardly plot by the agents of Bonaparte himself...
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0061001554, Paperback)

Georgette Heyer is best known for her witty and charming Regency romances, but she is also responsible for a handful of mystery novels. On occasion, mystery would find its way into her romances, embroiling her well-born heroes and heroines in adventures that were alternately chilling and hilarious. In The Reluctant Widow, Eleanor Rochdale, a young woman of good birth but straitened circumstances, sets out to accept a position as a governess and ends up plunged into a tangle of foreign intrigue instead.

Eleanor's adventure begins when she inadvertently mistakes the carriage waiting at the coach stop for one sent by her prospective employer, Mrs. Macclesfield. She finds herself carried to the estate of one Ned Carlyon, whom Eleanor mistakes for Mr. Macclesfield. Carlyon, meanwhile, believes Eleanor to be the young woman he hired to marry his dying cousin, Eustace Cheviot, in order to avoid inheriting Cheviot's estate himself. Somehow, Eleanor is talked into marrying Eustace on his deathbed and thus becomes a wealthy widow almost as soon as the ring is on her finger. What starts out as a simple business arrangement soon becomes much more complicated as housebreakers, uninvited guests, a shocking murder, missing government papers, and a dog named Bouncer all contribute to this lively, frequently hilarious tale of mistaken identities, foreign espionage, and unexpected love set during the Napoleonic Wars.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:21 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"When Elinor Rochdale boards the wrong coach, she ends up not at her prospective employer's home but at the estate of Eustace Cheviot, a dissipated and ruined young man on the verge of death. His cousin, Mr Ned Carlyon, persuades Elinor to marry Eustace as a simple business arrangement. By morning, Elinor is a rich widow, but finds herself embroiled with an international spy ring, housebreakers, uninvited guests, and murder. And Mr Carlyon won't let her leave ..."--Publisher's website.… (more)

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