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The Reluctant Widow [Paperback]

Georgette Heyer
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)

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Book Description

17 Sep 1998
By chance, Elinor Rochdale is swept up in a thrilling adventure. Overnight the would-be governess becomes mistress of a ruined estate and partner in a conspiracy to save a family's name. By midnight she is a bride, by dawn a widow. "From the Trade Paperback edition."

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow Books Ltd (17 Sep 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099435683
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099435686
  • Product Dimensions: 17.3 x 10.7 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,081,085 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Author of over fifty books, Georgette Heyer is the best-known and best-loved of all historical novelists, making the Regency period her own. Her first novel, The Black Moth, published in 1921, was written at the age of fifteen to amuse her convalescent brother; her last was My Lord John. Famous for her historical novels, she also wrote twelve highly acclaimed mystery novels. Georgette Heyer died in 1974 at the age of seventy-one.

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Review

"Triumphantly good... Georgette Heyer is unbeatable" (India Knight Sunday Telegraph)

"My favourite historical novelist" (Margaret Drabble)

"A writer of great wit and style ... I've read her books to ragged shreds" (Kate Fenton Daily Telegraph) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Book Description

One of the best-known and most beloved historical novelists, Georgette Heyer has captured a whole new audience's heart. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
34 of 38 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I read this one again and again, with a grin on my face, and to the accompaniment of giggles, chuckles and tears of laughter. This is Heyer at her most clever and witty. On the surface, it appears to be another light, romantic adventure, but without losing credibility or delight, and never belittling her story or hero/heroine, Heyer manages not only to pull fun at her genre, but her plot, her characters and her own writing. Even her characters can't help but join in! Nothing is what it seems, no-one says what they think (except Nicky, who blithely and naively skips through the pages without realising he is part of a tremendous satirical romp), and the whole is a delightful, witty, clever froth. This is fun!
If you like this you must read 'The Talisman Ring': Sarah Thane is as delightful as Elinor, and the plot as outrageously funny.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Her Best - Total Lack of Romance! 13 Aug 2014
Format:Paperback
One of my least favorite novels by Georgette Heyer. What can I say except to say that I found few redeeming qualities in the romance - if one could call it that - between the main characters, Elinor Rochdale and Ned Carylon. The absolutely best part of the book was the character of Nicky, younger brother of Ned, who wound up staying with Elinor in the run down home she inherited from her deceased husband to whom she was married to for about one minute.

The escapades that Nicky and Elinor get into as a result of a secret passageway, thievery, gunshot wounds, a big bouncy dog, and unwanted guests are all that make this story the slightest bit enjoyable. If you want romance, I suggest choosing another one of Ms. Heyer's books. This one has pretty much zero romance except for a couple of pages.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
way too far fetched - but the characters are hilarious particularly Nicky!

I loved the supporting characters in the novel, particularly Nicky and Bouncer.

However, overall though the hero, Lord Carlyon was just too "perfect" - they describe him as a "complete hand" and "all knowing" but at times he was annoying and I could feel the heroine's frustration.

Elinor Rochdale, the reluctant widow and heroine in this chick lit is a bit too much of a "poor me" Orphan Annie at times. She's from a "good" family but has to earn her living and is bowled over by his lordship. It was rather tiresome.

There were loads of glaringly obvious plot holes. And the hero and heroine fall in love too quickly. Additionally, the hero wants the heroine to marry his cousin in order to avoid inheriting his cousin's (non-entailed) estate. But surely if he marries the heroine its back in his hands anyway? And if society will be convinced that the widow paid off all her deceased husband's debt with the money (from the estate) than surely they can believe that would be the case for the hero too. There were also other awful plot holes but i don't want to spoil the story.

Synopsis:
Stepping into the wrong carriage at a Sussex village, Elinor Rochdale is swept up in a thrilling and dangerous adventure. Overnight the would-be governess becomes mistress of a ruined estate and partner in a secret conspiracy to save a family's name.

By midnight she is a bride, by dawn a widow.

A typically thrilling and sweeping tale of romance and tragedy, The Reluctant Widow is Georgette Heyer at her best - the undisputed queen of historical romance
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars one of my favourites 23 Jun 2005
Format:Paperback
This is one of my favourite Heyer books. I loved the adventure! Nicky is a brilliant, from his first burst into the book - and his arguments with John are fantastic. And the kite! Once you have read it you'll understand. The motives of Lord Carlyon seem odd, to say the least and Elinors reasons for searching for a job as a governess seems strange. You'll have to read the book to find out what they are. However all ends well in the end and this lighthearted romp took me away from reality for a day. Since I first read it five years ago, after picking it up from one of my Granny's shelves, I have read it several times. I recommend it to all Heyer fans!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Adventure 20 Dec 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is the second Regency book I've read and thoroughlly enjoyed it. Full of adventure and a little bit of romance thrown in. Lots of characters both like and odious. Very well written although took a little bit of perseverance during the first 30 pages or so, but after that it read very well.

Elinor is a very pround person who finds herself boarding the wrong coach and subsequently her destination isn't the one she'd intended. Before the night is out she is married and widdowed and in charge of a house that needs much work doing to it.

Very good read. Would recommend.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great book, dreadful editing 15 July 2012
By AJW
Format:Kindle Edition
This review relates soley to the kindle edition. This is a great book and I was pleased to find it was available in Kindle format. However, given the publisher's pricing, I hadn't anticipated the appalling editing. Wrong words (including gender), poor punctuation and an inability to use "their" and "there" in context all detracted from the book. For the price tag, this should all have the same rigour as the paperback.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The herione innocently answers an advertisment for a governess but is taken up by the wrong chaise. What follows is in the best tradition of Georgette Heyer's Regency novels with the added twist of a spy mystery. Rivetting!
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