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The Reluctant Widow by Georgette Heyer

The Reluctant Widow (original 1946; edition 2008)

by Georgette Heyer, Cornelius Garrett (Narrator)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
1,145427,136 (3.87)1 / 111
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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English (41)  German (1)  All languages (42)
Showing 1-5 of 41 (next | show all)
An especially good Heyer, though absurd as always. Includes a fun mystery. ( )
  rvhatha | Nov 3, 2015 |
The set up was rather improbable but overall the story was enjoyable. ( )
  mlorio | Oct 24, 2015 |
The Reluctant Widow is a Regency Era-set thriller, about a governess on her way to a new position who gets in the wrong carriage and finds herself on the adventure of a lifetime. Instead of a matron and a handful of spoiled children, she meets a Lord Carlyon, who is expecting a wife for his wastrel of a cousin. Since she's there, he offers the position to her, and thinking him crazy she refuses—until events force her to give in just in time for widowhood.

There is a lot of that in this book. Carlyon's will is an unmovable object and everyone else complains loudly about it but always gives in. It gets rather tiring, and I'm not sure I'd want him to be my romantic hero. And then again he isn't really one until the last chapter of the book anyway.

Overall, the book is uneven, but fun in its own way. It's not one of Heyer's best works, but it's not her worst either. Recommended for fans of Heyer and historical thrillers. ( )
  inge87 | Oct 10, 2015 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 41 (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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Average: (3.87)
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3 56
3.5 29
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