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37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why should true love find a way?
One of Georgette Heyer's more intriguing tales. While the hero has obvious attractions (wealth, title, charm), why should a 35-year old with a beautiful mistress change his way of life for a 17-year old with a stammer, who is, at best, 'sufficiently pretty'? While having an excellent cast of supporting characters and an excellent sub-plot of long-burning hatred and...
Published on 20 Feb 2004

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3.0 out of 5 stars Cute Premise But Too Many Minor Characters Take Up The Storyline
The storyline is set in the Georgian period as opposed to the Regency period, where people were still powdering their hair, attaching patches to their faces and men were prancing around in high heeled shoes with fancy buckles.

As the title so aptly states, this book is about a marriage of convenience. When the Winwood family decides that their eldest daughter,...
Published 22 days ago by Judge Tabor


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37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why should true love find a way?, 20 Feb 2004
By A Customer
One of Georgette Heyer's more intriguing tales. While the hero has obvious attractions (wealth, title, charm), why should a 35-year old with a beautiful mistress change his way of life for a 17-year old with a stammer, who is, at best, 'sufficiently pretty'? While having an excellent cast of supporting characters and an excellent sub-plot of long-burning hatred and revenge, it's the slow and subtle development of the hero and heroine's characters and relationship that makes me pick this book up again and again.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful heroine, 3 Jan 2010
By 
Damaskcat (UK) - See all my reviews
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Lizzie Winwood has caught the eye of the wealthy Earl of Rule but she is in love with the impoverished Edward Heron. Her youngest sister Horatia - usually known as Horry - arranges to take her place. One of the sisters must marry a wealthy man because of the family's impoverished state. Horry - though young - is very much a person in her own right and she captivates the ton as the fashionable Countess of Rule. But there are people who wish her ill - Lady Massey - Rule's cast off mistress, Robert, Lord Lethbridge - with a score to settle with Rule, and Crosby Drelincourt - the Earl's cousin who hopes to inherit his estate if the Earl does not have children.

The scrapes in which Horry finds herself are not wholly of her making and her brother - Pelham, Viscount Winwood and his friend Pomeroy are on her side in trying to untangle situations without Rule finding out what's going on. But friends and enemies alike contrive to underestimate the languid Earl. Can the Earl and his young Countess find happiness when there are so many people ranged against them? I loved the witty dialogue and the interesting characters. Horry is not the typical Romantic heroine - she has a stammer and is not particularly pretty but she has character. While the ending may be predictable, how the hero and heroine get there is a fascinating and fast-paced story.

Though not set in Heyer's usual Regency period - this 18th century novel still has her trademark lightness of touch and believable characters. Some of it is laugh out loud funny and the down to earth heroine and intriguing hero are always interesting. Even the villains - who are not all bad - are believable. This book is one of my personal favourites.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars laugh-outloud funny, delightfully witty, 1 Aug 2009
By 
HedgingLulz (Milton Keynes UK) - See all my reviews
This is so far the best Georgette Heyer I have read, it does indeed have something of PG Wodehouse and as most of her books, you will read it over and over and over again, enjoying the witty dialogue and the elegant prose.

Yes, you do have to suspend reality to understand why Rule marries Horry, but who cares?

By the the middle of the book I was already in love with the Earl of Rule, the most wonderful Heyeran hero I've come across (I've only read 10 or so of her books yet). I laughed outloud with some of the wonderful duel scenes. In terms of the plot it seems as though this is a much funnier, well thought and better written version of the "April Lady" plotline. Pelham is 20 times funnier and lovable than Dysart, and having a villain to spice things up much more engaging than Lady Letty's hysterics. You do not want to slap Horry (which I did Nell), except for the stammer... and Cardross mopping after Nell and pouting is not match to Rule's daring and wit.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars couldnt put it down, 25 April 2011
By 
Lindymck (Falkirk, Scotland) - See all my reviews
slow to start and i wasnt sure where the story was going but i was very surprised. but this book reminded me why i love heyer's books. story which has everything, romance, highwaymen, duels at dawn and countless parties etc. but these all add to the story which had me laughing and shouting at the characters at the same time. one of her best!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Richard Armitage reading a Georgette Heyer classic! *swoon*, 10 Aug 2010
This review is from: The Convenient Marriage (Abridged Fiction) (Naxos Classic Fiction) (Audio CD)
I had not read THE CONVENIENT MARRIAGE before this new Naxos Audiobooks recording happily landed on my doorstep. I will confess all up front. I did the unthinkable. I read the complete plot synopsis on Wikipedia before I delved into the first chapter. *horrors* Don't even think about following my example. It will spoil the most enjoyable aspect of this novel - surprise!

THE CONVENIENT MARRIAGE is one of Georgette Heyer's more popular Georgian-era rom-com's, and for good reason. It has all the requisite winning elements: a wealthy and eligible hero, a young nave heroine, greedy relatives, a scheming mistress and a revengeful rake. Add in a duel, a sword fight, highway robbery, abduction, switched identities and scandalous behavior, and you are in for comedic high jinxes and uproarious plot twists. As I laughed out loud at the preposterous plot machinations in the synopsis, I thought to myself, "How does Heyer do it? How can she take us on such an outrageously wild ride and make it believable?" I was soon to find out.

Handsome and elegant Marcus Drelincourt, Earl of Rule, is comfortable in his bachelorhood. At thirty-five his sister Lady Louisa Quain urges him to marry, suggesting the beautiful Elizabeth Winwood. She is from an aristocratic family of good pedigree but little fortune. With two unmarried younger sisters, prim Charlotte and impulsive Horatia, and their self-indulgent elder brother Pelham (about as much help to his family as a rainstorm at a picnic), she must marry well. Lady Winwood is thrilled when the Earl agrees to marry Elizabeth and save the family from destitution. Seventeen-year old Horatia is not. Presenting herself at the Earl's doorstep she boldly offers herself to him in exchange for her elder sister who is in love with Lieutenant Edward Heron. Horry proposes a marriage of convenience to Lord Rule with the promise that she will not interfere with him after they are married. She does not bring much to the bargain. Not only is she poor, she does not possess her sister's beauty, and she stutters. Intrigued by this young, brave girl, he is tempted and soon sees the logic, agreeing to her proposal.

The new Countess of Rule wastes no time in becoming the sensation of the bon ton dressing to the nines, attending parties, the opera, gambling huge sums and getting into all sorts of scrapes while her husband continues to pay attentions to his mistress Lady Caroline Massey. With patience and fortitude, Lord Rule councils his stubborn young bride against excess and the dangerous liaisons of Baron Robert Lethbridge, a known rake with a history with the Drelincourt family.

Determined to teach her husband a lesson for his interference, she defies his wishes attending a masked ball. Escorted by Lethbridge, he sees their friendship as the perfect opportunity to ruin her reputation and punish Drelincourt for thwarting his elopement with his sister Louisa years before. Horry tempts Lethbridge with cards, bending his resistance by scandalously agreeing to offer a lock of her hair if he wins. Unbeknownst to Horry, her husband has followed her to the ball, overhears their conversation and intercedes by stepping on her dress and ripping it. While she is away he disposes of Lethbridge and exchanges his costume with his own. Returning, Horry loses badly at cards and must give Lethbridge/Rule his winnings. Penitent, she concedes the bet which is met with a stolen kiss. Furious, Horry rushes away running into Lady Caroline Massey who recognizes her. Certain that her husband's mistress will reveal to him that his wife was at the ball, she confesses all to him first. The Earl in turn reveals his charade. Discovering that he has fallen in love with his wife, how will he court and convince her that love is much better than a marriage of convenience?

Heyer's characterizations just sparkle and shine. This May/Decemeber relationship presents great opportunity for difference in opinion and blunder. If Horry had not been an impulsive, stubborn seventeen-year old there would have been little conflict and no story. Lord Rule's patience in dealing with his teenage bride commanded respect, endearing us to him by opening up the possibility of the love relationship that we hope for. This delightful romp was made all the more enjoyable by this new audio recording by British stage and screen actor Richard Armitage. This is his third foray into Georgette Heyer for Naxos Audiobooks. His skill at unique characterization and resonant, velvetly voice transports the listener like Cinderella to the Ball. Unfortunately, once the story ends, so does the enchantment. My solution was to start it again. For me, a new audio recording combining fanciful storyteller Georgette Heyer and the sultry and seductive voice of Richard Armitage is like la petite mort. Hopefully they are not few and far between.

Laurel Ann, Austenprose
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very entertaining!, 8 Nov 2010
This review is from: The Convenient Marriage (Abridged Fiction) (Naxos Classic Fiction) (Audio CD)
This is the first book of this type I have "read" - both genre (historical romance) and format (audiobook). Although I found the story fairly predictable (and probably had I been reading the unabridged format might well have moved onto something else before finishing), the abridged audio version was an absolute pleasure, leaving me wishing it was unabridged! Richard Armitage is a rare talent, and he proves this talent goes further than his onscreen presence with his readings. The range of accents and voices kept me entertained where the story faltered, and had me laughing out loud at times (his Crosby reminded me of the voice Tim Mcinnerny used as Lord Percy in Blackadder). I found his reading uninhibited and natural, and will definitely purchase his other work, but I hope that he will work on more meaty books sometime too.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining!, 30 July 2010
By 
Sarah Stephen "oxongriffin" (Cambridge/Oxford, UK; & elsewhere) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I absolutely loved this extremely delightful and charming novel. It is well-written and exceptionally descriptive, with a liberal dose of humour (evocative of Sheridan's `The School for Scandal'). Another feature which I admired is the historical accuracy (which, unfortunately, is not met by many contemporary `historical' fictions)- the fashion, entertainments, geographies, and even the language stay true to the Georgian era.

The prestigious and noble Winwood family, albeit impoverished (thanks to the ill-effects of gambling), have much to be thankful for when the wealthy and handsome Earl of Rule offers to `address' the eldest and most beautiful daughter Elizabeth. Elizabeth unwillingly accepts to hear Rule's addresses for she is deeply in love with a childhood friend, Lt. Edward Heron, who hails from an excellent but more impoverished family. Her predicament compels the youngest Winwood sister Horatia (or Horry) to save her sister by `sacrificing' herself. She secretly visits Rule to propound an alternative solution to the dilemma (which he wasn't aware of, in any case): Rule should marry her instead of Elizabeth (or Charlotte). Of course, she (being tiny, dark haired, and with thick, straight, and dark eyebrows..... oh, and a stammer) is a far cry from Elizabeth, but she presents solid reasons. Although it did seem as if their age difference (he is 35, she is 17) might pose a problem, Rule (who is amused, especially by her candour and foibles) eventually assents. The two reach an agreement on a purely marriage of convenience, with Horry promising not to interfere with his life, provided he becomes Lt. Heron's patron.

Soon after, Rule and Horry tie the knot, honeymoon in Paris, and return back to London. And the hilarious drama begins, with a few individuals keen on creating discord for the newly-weds: Rule's mistress, the beautiful and scheming widow Lady Caroline Massey, who certainly hoped that she would be the next Countess of Rule; infamous nemesis Lord Robert Lethbridge, who yearns for revenge against Rule; and Rule's cousin and heir presumptive, the truly comical, vain, and cowardly Crosby Drelincourt, who was hoping to succeed to the earldom.

Admittedly, there are some drawbacks. The characters are not explored in depth, there are quite a few times when the plot is unconvincing (including, the growing romance between Marcus and Horry), and the ending is quite predictable.

But if you need a light, humorous, melodramatic, and engaging novel to cheer you up and take you back to the Georgian times, don't look any further!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For audio version - great fun!, 8 Aug 2010
By 
Denise hale (CHELTENHAM, Glos United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Convenient Marriage (Abridged Fiction) (Naxos Classic Fiction) (Audio CD)
The Convenient Marriage was less predictable and far more fun than I expected. Listening in the car I tend to miss bits so have to listen through a couple of times, thus the points I pulled out as negatives on first listen, which were mainly centred on character definition, I realised were actually present. Understanding the characters early on is important in order to understand why they willingly take on this arrangement. Without visuals, or lengthy reading, the adaptor has to let one character, or sometimes the narrator, describe the characteristics of another character. Here it's Rule's secretary, Gisborne (where have I heard that name before?*) who outlines his employer's character. With Horatia it is through the narrator and the reader's own feelings of her actions. Whilst I liked the hero I sometimes found the heroine uncomfortably child-like, especially given the age difference. Maybe, this is part of her appeal for other readers and for the hero.
The story begins with the marriage of the hero and the heroine. In these days of "Sex and the city" I couldn't help but wonder if it is consummated but Heyer's novel is not concerned with sex and it is the development of love which is important. Only Horatio's sister provides any clue when she anxiously enquires whether Rule is "kind to her", Horatio's reply is positive.
I did enjoy the background historical details which the writer provided. I also enjoyed the duals, the gambling and the fashionable outings. I felt there was more action in this book than the previous Georgette Heyer audio book I had Iistened to (Venetia). There was also quite a cast of male characters, which test the narrator's skill for providing a different vocal characterisation for each, he succeeds :-)
*Gisbourne is of course also the name of the character that Richard Armitage, the narrator, played in BBC's Robin Hood series. As mentioned above Richard uses his skills as an actor to create the characters for the listener so that his rendition is more of a radio play than a straight reading which, for me, I makes the story more absorbing. Although it would be no hardship to listen to Mr Armitage's own voice for over 5 hours.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Cute Premise But Too Many Minor Characters Take Up The Storyline, 9 Aug 2014
The storyline is set in the Georgian period as opposed to the Regency period, where people were still powdering their hair, attaching patches to their faces and men were prancing around in high heeled shoes with fancy buckles.

As the title so aptly states, this book is about a marriage of convenience. When the Winwood family decides that their eldest daughter, Lizzie, must needs sacrifice herself in marriage to the handsome, wealthy, rakeful Lord Rule, she cries and cries because her heart has already been given to another man. Since the next sister, Charlotte, will not under any circumstances marry, it falls upon little Horatia (Horry) to offer herself up to Rule. She surprises him at his home a few days later and asks if he would be willing to marry her instead of Lizzie, explaining why Lizzie doesn't want him. Horry is a small, cutesby with a stutter and Lord Rule is captivated by her with his only qualm being that she is 17 years of age to his 34 years. Horry assures him she will not interfere in his life in anyway.

Two people aren't happy about the upcoming marriage - one is Rule's fussbudget heir and the other is his current mistress. Then, there is another man - Lord Lethbridge, who has a grudge against Rule related to issues in their respective pasts. There is also Pelham, Horry's wastrel brother, who shows up to get his pay-off once he finds out his sister is marrying into money. All in all, we have an abundance to characters to make us laugh, cause difficulties for our H/h and so on.

I didn't particularly care for this story, although - again, I could have loved the characters. But... Horatia turned out to be such an airhead, gambling too much, spending too much money on clothes and so on. Also, Lord Rule obviously continues to see his mistress - the Widow Massey - after he is married to Horatia. That never cuts it with me even though he and Horatia had obviously not consummated their marriage - at least, one assumes they haven't. Ms. Heyer is very vague about the sexual aspects, but the reader is certain that his relationship with Mrs. Massey continued on after the marriage.

At some point, just when you think Rule and Horry might actually make a real marriage, all sorts of problems arise and then the minor characters take over the storyline. I honestly just skimmed through those pages. Just when one would like to see some romance take place, we are treated to "The Three Stooges." Not my favorite way to make the story pick up. I can't see my way through to give this book more than three stars even though Lord Rule finally began to wake up to what he and Horry might have and from then on, he was awesome. Too little - too late for my enjoyment.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic Regency-Heyer, 1 Feb 2002
By A Customer
This is a Classic Georgette Heyer story: a feisty female heroine, a misunderstanding in love and of course a happy ending (sorry, hope I didn't spoil anything!). As stories go, this one is a little flimsy, however the characters are likeable enough with plenty of the Heyer wit to keep you reading. Enjoyable, but not un-put-down-able!
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The Convenient Marriage (Abridged Fiction) (Naxos Classic Fiction)
The Convenient Marriage (Abridged Fiction) (Naxos Classic Fiction) by Georgette Heyer (Audio CD - 26 July 2010)
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