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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A mature romance
This is a slight oddity amongst Georgette Heyer's books, in that the hero isn't 'on stage' much, and at the end of it (though it's very satisfying) one has some doubts that he and the heroine can possibly manage to stop fighting long enough to settle down to married life! However, the heroine is a terrific character, and the basic premise of the book, i.e. what happens...
Published on 18 Mar. 2001

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the best Heyer book
I was disappointed in this book. The hero and heroine bicker constantly and at length. I often found that I skipped these fights as they went on and on in some detail and with a lack of care for others around them, which for me, just diverted us from the main story which had a number of twists and turns and could have been quite engrossing. Unlike other reviewers I...
Published 11 months ago by a.j.taylor


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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A mature romance, 18 Mar. 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Bath Tangle (Paperback)
This is a slight oddity amongst Georgette Heyer's books, in that the hero isn't 'on stage' much, and at the end of it (though it's very satisfying) one has some doubts that he and the heroine can possibly manage to stop fighting long enough to settle down to married life! However, the heroine is a terrific character, and the basic premise of the book, i.e. what happens when a peer dies without a male heir and his family are shoe-horned out of their stately home by a distant and far less worthy relative, is a fascinating one, handled with great insight and sympathy. One of the things I love about Heyer is the skill with which she fleshes out her characters, giving them faults along with their good qualities and developing her plots from their foibles with perfect logic.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the best Heyer book, 10 May 2014
This review is from: Bath Tangle (Paperback)
I was disappointed in this book. The hero and heroine bicker constantly and at length. I often found that I skipped these fights as they went on and on in some detail and with a lack of care for others around them, which for me, just diverted us from the main story which had a number of twists and turns and could have been quite engrossing. Unlike other reviewers I also felt that there was no real fondness between them which might have made their relationship more interesting. Serena talks of Rotherham as being a passionate man - but there is no feeling that, even when engaged, this passion alleviated their quarrelling. On the other hand Fanny and Major Kirby were both attractive personalities and I could have wished that they had been the main characters
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fireworks Between Serena and Rotherham, 20 Aug. 2014
By 
Judge Tabor "(JMM)" (California) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Bath Tangle (Kindle Edition)
Serena Spenborough is a lovely young lady, a bruising rider, a noted whip and protective of her step-mama, Fanny, who is several years younger than her. When Serena's father passes away, he leaves Serena with a respectable fortune but, to her surprise, he puts stipulations upon her fortune which she finds maddening. He leaves her funds in trust until she marries and has the gall to name the argumentative, rough mannered, Marquis of Rotherham the Trustee of her funds. Further, any man Serena considers marrying will have to have the approval of Rotherham. This might not be considered out of the ordinary, except Serena was once betrothed to Rotherham and she jilted him.

Although she and Rotherham have remained friends, they cannot long be in a room together without arguing their heads off. Of course the reader immediately sees where all this heat will eventually take us and we eagerly await the fireworks and the romance. But, as usual, Ms. Heyer makes us wait and wait and then wait some more.

In the meantime, Serena and Fanny have decided to set up housekeeping in Bath while they are in their mourning period. In this way, they can be out in society a bit without becoming scandalous. Serena never imagines that she would run into the man she fell in love with when she was a young girl - Hector Kirkby - a man her father wouldn't allow her to marry due to his lack of fortune. For Hector's part, he has never forgotten the beautiful Serena and has kept his heart faithful to her through his years in the military - indeed, he is a sweet, handsome, honorable gentleman.

When Hector's and Serena's hearts re-engage, the reader wonders exactly where all this romance will lead. Rotherham comes in and out of Serena's and Fanny's life and eventually is introduced to Hector and gives his blessing to the marriage, having recently become betrothed himself to a young, fainthearted bubblehead named Emily. But, Serena hears strange things about the happenings between Rotherham and Emily and it's soon apparent that Emily is not happy being engaged to the scary Rotherham.

When Rotherham's young ward, Derek, decides he wants Emily and Fanny finds her heart becoming engaged where she never intended, Serena is determined that Rotherham shall have Emily if he loves her and does everything in her power to make it so - obviously feeling guilty because she jilted him years before. Hector finds himself constantly bewildered by the lovely Serena who will not allow him to guide her and protect her in the manner he feels is right, Rotherham and Serena can hardly be in the same room without going hard at it and shortly it is obvious to the reader how the cards will play out. It's just a matter of the main characters in this farce figuring it out so everyone will be happy.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Look beneath the surface!, 17 Feb. 2008
By 
This review is from: Bath Tangle (Paperback)
Lady Serena Carlow has just lost her father, to whom she was a companion as well as a daughter, her mother having died when she was a child. To her astonishment and annoyance her fortune is left in the hands of Lord Rotherham, whom she previously jilted and with whom she enjoys a stormy relationship. Meanwhile her cousin inherits her large family home. So, at the age of 25, the feisty, but kind-hearted, Lady Serena moves to the Dower House with her step-mother, Fanny, who is younger and gentler than she.

The two very different ladies get on well enough, but life is dull for them, so after a few months they move to Bath and here the Tangle of the title begins. New characters appear and what follows is an interesting interweaving of different personalities. Lord Rotherham forms part of this, and although he and Serena rarely meet without arguing there is a depth and understanding to their relationship which I found moving.

In some ways the characters dance around each other as they do in Cotillion, (which is my favourite GH novel). The flavour is different though. Cotillion is a nice cake; its sweetness to be enjoyed. Bath Tangle is a curry: pungent, aromatic, sometimes sharp, sometimes sweet but always satisfying. Yes, Serena and Rotherham are feisty, and I don't like quarrelling, but there is much more to the story than that: the way they understand each other, Serena's grief for her father, the ladies' loss of their home and Fanny having been married to a much older man. Georgette Heyer deals with these issues with sensitivity and maturity. Then there are the other characters: an endearing elderly lady with an innocent grand-daughter, a gentlemanly army officer, a sensitive boy and a socially-ambitious woman. It makes a good mix.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Typically Feisty, 15 Nov. 2007
By 
Mrs. K. A. Wheatley "katywheatley" (Leicester, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Bath Tangle (Paperback)
Heyer specialises in historical romance, but what I like most about her work is that her heroines are never really milksops. They all have spine, and in this book there is spine aplenty! The heroine dominates here, so much so that there is at times little room for a hero. Having said that, it is delightful. Set in Bath, an epicentre of Regency Britain, it combines all the lovely detail of Jane Austen with all the fierceness of a Bronte heroine, written with the humour and brio of a twentieth century woman. She never makes you feel that her characters are out of place, rather that you have been allowed a sneaky look into the lives of real people with tempers and problems and dilemmas. This book also deals with the tricky issue of what to do with an older heroine, no longer of marriageable age, who clearly knows her own mind.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the best of the barrel, but not bad., 29 Jun. 2013
This review is from: Bath Tangle (Paperback)
To begin with, Bath Tangle takes a long time to get interesting. The reader is likely to be as bored as the protagonists (who languish in mourning) in the early stages. Furthermore, I wasn't really taken with the hero. He's kinda of like Justin Alastair...without the charm behind the cruelty. But, in the end, it was well written.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bath tangled, 8 Nov. 2012
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This review is from: Bath Tangle (Kindle Edition)
Disappointing. The constant friction between Serena and Rotherham became a little tedious and Rotherham's behaviour to little Emma was indeed "ungentlemanly" and out of even his character.
Otherwise, a relatively entertaining example of a book written in the authoress's middle years
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful regency farce by the mistress of the genre, 18 Jun. 2010
By 
Marshall Lord (Whitehaven, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Bath Tangle (Paperback)
After reading a fair number of recently published romances set in the Georgian era, it was a delight to pick up this little gem, first published in 1955, to be reminded of how the Regency Romance genre used to be written.

Almost all the classic elements of the genre are here - the irascible and apparently impossible but devastatingly handsome hero, the proud and spirited heroine, assorted less confident female friends or relatives of the heroine who she has to look after, associated decent but not particularly romantic male friends, the social climber with a heart of gold, associated pushy mamas, snobs and nobs, a ridiculous will, romances and misunderstandings, crack-brained attempts to elope, and the glittering facade of Regency High Society.

The book begins as the wealthy 5th Earl of Spenborough has just died suddenly at the age of 50, leaving a daughter of 25 from his first marriage and a widow three years younger than his daughter.

The main heroine of the book is the late Earl's daughter, Lady Serena Carlow, who is described as "a titian haired beauty" who had run her father's large houshold for four years and bears more than a passing resemblance to Elizabeth Bennet except that Serena makes Elizabeth seem like a shrinking violet. Serena is very friendly with but completely dominates her stepmother, the kind-hearted but timid Fanny, who married the fifth earl at the age of 19 and now finds herself in the absurd position of being dowager countess of Spenborough at the age of 22.

As if the shock of her rather's sudden death was not enough, Serena is livid to learn at the acrimonious reading of his will that all the money she inherits has been put into a trust to be administered on her behalf by the Marquis of Rotherham - who she jilted a few years before, breaking off their engagement shortly before the planned wedding. And that Rotherham's consent would be required to any marriage she makes!

The new 6th earl is a distant cousin with different ideas from Serena about how to run the estates. Not wishing to remain at the family seat of Milverly Hall where Fanny had previous been countess and which Serena had previously managed, the two girls remove to the dower house. But after a few weeks of crushing boredom, during which Fanny succumbs to a minor illness which the waters at Bath Spa might help to cure, they decide to rent a house in Bath for six months.

And when they arrive in Bath, where Serena meets a former admirer and both make new friends, a preposterous (but highly amusing) series of romantic escapades begins ...

The style of the book is very old fashioned, which many afficionados of the genre will like but some modern readers may find a little hard to understand. For instance, at one point the expression "making love to her" is given the old fashioned meaning which it lost well before this book was written in 1955. The term used to mean making declarations of romantic love, possibly up to and including passionate kissing: when one of the characters in this book says that another has been "making love to" his fiance she is NOT suggesting that they have pre-empted the wedding ceremony.

As was originally the standard for a regency romance, there is absolutely no sex in the book, though there are plenty of instances where misunderstandings about whether it might have taken place, or might appear to have taken place, leads to farcical results.

If you like old-fashioned regency romantic comedies in the proper, original style, you will almost certainly love this book.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Going against the grain, I loved this!, 22 Oct. 2006
By 
Roman Clodia (London) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Bath Tangle (Paperback)
Mature and yet still witty, funny, moving and romantic - I far prefer the heroine to some of the simpering, pretty, child-women in some of the other Heyer romances and liked the bite of her relationship with her hero. Yes, they bicker, but there was real passion in their relationship and she more than holds her own. Reminds me of jane Austen - a huge compliment to Heyer!
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A battle of wills that keeps everyone on their toes..., 23 Jan. 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Bath Tangle (Paperback)
In this Heyer our heroine Serena has been mistress of her father's house for years and has enjoyed her independence. So when her father dies and leaves her to the guardianship of Ivo Rotherham, the man he had always wanted her to marry but who she had ended up jilting 7 years earlier, Serena is furious. This is one of Heyer's most successful relationships because her characters are so very human! It is irrelevant whether the story is predictable or not, with Heyer's books it is the journey that is most fun!
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Bath Tangle
Bath Tangle by Georgette Heyer (Paperback - 7 Oct. 2004)
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