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33 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the most hilarious books I've ever read.
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...
Published on 6 Nov 2000

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars way too far fetched - but the characters are hilarious particularly Nicky!
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...
Published 12 months ago by Goddess of Blah Book Reviews


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33 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the most hilarious books I've ever read., 6 Nov 2000
By A Customer
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars way too far fetched - but the characters are hilarious particularly Nicky!, 30 Aug 2013
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
By 
M. Ambrose "mick_ambrose" (Huddersfield, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Reluctant Widow (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
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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
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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3.0 out of 5 stars Not Her Best - Total Lack of Romance!, 13 Aug 2014
This review is from: The Reluctant Widow (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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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A lady encounters spies and lies in an obscure manor, 28 May 2001
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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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pure frothy, frivolous fun!, 16 Jun 2008
By 
Roman Clodia (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Reluctant Widow (Paperback)
This is the first of Heyer's non-romances I have read and while I wasn't completely sure about it in the first chapter, the book improves enormously once all the preliminaries are out of the way.

Elinor gets into the wrong chaise and instead of arriving at her new governess job, she instead finds herself in a gothic and run-down mansion where a well-dressed and spoken gentleman persuades her to marry his dying cousin so that Carlyon himself cannot be accused of wanting him dead to inherit his estate. Elinor does it (without quite knowing why) and by morning finds herself a widow with an old house and an estate.

It's from here that the plot really takes off: Carlyon's university-age brother Nicky (who accidently murdered Elinor's husband!) discovers a secret staircase into the house and a nest of French spies desperate to find a hidden memo detailing the Duke of Wellington's battle plan and romps in to solve the mystery adopting Elinor as cousin along the route while protecting her with his large and very disobediant dog.

Carlyon and his brother John also take it upon themselves to find the document, while Elinor and her game old nurse Beccy act suitably female alternating between scolding the men and articulating their fear. The arrival of Francis Cheviot, another cousin, who might, despite his fear of colds and care of his clothes, be involved in the French plot only adds to Elinor's problems.

The plot romps along merrily with assorted spies, murders, people being hit over the head, hidden letters and hiding places with a bit of romance thrown in too and an obligatory happy ending. This won't surprise you or win any prizes but it will make you giggle on a wet Sunday afternoon with a feel-good, old-fashioned and yet still funny story.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 6 July 2014
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regularly re-read
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 3 July 2014
By 
S Gee (Hampshire England) - See all my reviews
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An enjoyable read. A must if you are a fan of the regency novels
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The Reluctant Widow
The Reluctant Widow by Georgette Heyer (Paperback - 7 Oct 2004)
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