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4.7 out of 5 stars
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 13 November 2005
Arabella is one of my favourite Heyer books and part of its charm are the amusing conversations that Beaumaris has with the little dog Ulysses. The central idea that because Arabella isn’t interested in Beaumaris, that piques his interest and makes him pursue her, works quite well except it’s never entirely clear what it is about her that DOES attract him. Yes, she’s pretty – although younger than his usual lady, but she is also innocent and unworldly and therefore makes mistakes that he appears (rather surprisingly) to find charming; she foists young orphans, mongrel dogs and penniless brothers on him (not usually guaranteed to snare your man) and she withholds the truth of her fortune from him – not knowing that he already knows it.
Beaumaris starts the book seeming jaded, bored – the typical rich Heyer hero (although untitled this time), but he seems to become more and more amiable as the book goes on, going against his better judgement in order to humour her in many areas (such as Jemmy the Climbing Boy that he takes in). His conversations with the dog are fantastic though – Heyer occasionally includes dogs in her books and she always gives a wonderfully affectionate and amusing portrait, such as Lufra in the book Frederica and Bouncer in The Reluctant Widow.
The book is a great fun read, with lots of interesting characters well-drawn. For me the only real disappointment is that we never really know quite why Beaumaris falls in love with Arabella, apart from her innocence and freshness, and also why he is so sure that she does really like him when she has given him so little encouragement.
Despite these negative comments, read it and enjoy it. It’s well worth it!
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on 16 July 2000
I found a battered copy of this on the crewroom floor at work and as I was at a loose end I read it . I was hooked on Georgette Heyer from that moment . On her way to London Arabella seeks shelter in Mr Beaumaris' house having no idea who he is . He thinks it a ploy on her part and she overhears his not very flattering opinion of her . She decides to pay him back by pretending to be an heiress who would never be interested in him , little knowing that she will meet him everywhere in London and her heiress tale will spread like wildfire . Conseqeuntly , she has all the fortune hunters after her but the only man she really wants is Beaumaris . She can never marry him and keep up the pretence but how can she tell him the truth and not loose him ?
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on 23 May 2000
This is my all-time favourite Georgette Heyer novel and indeed one of my favourite novels full stop. It is a fairytale combination of a sweet, lively and infinitely likeable heroine in Arabella and a hero which is the closest I've found to Mr Darcy in the appealing hero stakes in Mr Beaumaris. The storyline is charming, the characters captivating - this is definitely one which you will look forward to re-reading.
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on 28 July 2004
This has to be one of her funniest, the characters are so full of life and yet it is all done so lightly, with no heavy handedness. The hero and heroine are, as ever, very interesting characters, and I personally find the hero's unrepentant mischievousness much more appealing than any plaster saint.
Though the 'conversations' with his dog has to be the highlight of this book.
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on 26 June 2012
As always, a good story (love story towards the end is slightly thin) but the translation from paper to electronic book leaves something to be desired in the proof-reading. Some of the errors jump off the page, others take a re-read to make sense of.
It's high time that the purveyors of such electronic goodies learned that a rip-off is a rip-off, be it on paper or on electric media.
Apart from that, a good read.
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on 25 February 2015
I enjoyed this, the second Georgette Heyer novel I've read. The main character is impetuous but very likeable, I found her a bit of a kindred spirit in the way she has to rescue all waifs and strays which cross her path! There's plenty of wry humour and more than a small touch of Jane Austen in the style of narrative and the characters drawn, but I mean that as a compliment not that the author is treading old ground. Reading this was a pleasant way to spend a rainy afternoon, when you just can't beat some Regency romance!

My real complaint with this book has nothing to do with the author, but the publisher which allowed innumerable printing errors in the last third of the book. There were missing words, typo's, and poor formatting throughout the final chapters which were a massive distraction. Shame on whoever proof-read before this was printed.
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on 13 June 2016
A book which tells the story (among others) of little Jemmy. An ugly, gap-toothed, cockney, orphan who is beaten and abused by his master.

Happily, it all ends well when Mr Beaumaris gives the boy to a childless man who'll know how to keep him in order
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on 2 August 2001
Arabella, beautiful and spirited penniless Yorkshire girl has chance of one Season in London. Initial meeting with society leader, Mr. Beaumaris, leads to misunderstandings but eventual happiness. Set against the background of Regency London, this books lifts the curtain on the harsher side of London life, contrasting it with the pampered social round of the well born. Amusing, witty and a tale well told - a good read.
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on 9 October 2009
I am somewhat disconcerted to see that this gets such lukewarm reviews from other reviewers, as I would probably say that it is my favourite of all the Georgette Heyers! So why is that? Well, unlike the other reviewers I have no difficulty at all in seeing why Beaumaris falls in love with Arabella - I adore her too! Not only is she (of course) stunningly beautiful (one of the dark beauties, not the "guinea gold" ones, in case you are interested), but she is plainly very intelligent (her ready understanding of the new world that her trip to London enters her upon, and her playing those rules to her best advantage) and most importantly she is a very good person, with strong principles for which she is prepared to fight (the scene when she rescues a chimney sweep who falls into her room is hilarious, and touching). I for one can readily see that for a basically good man, beset by temptations to selfishness and selfindulgence, a very beautiful and forceful conscience would make an excellent wife! Beaumaris' process of softening, through exposure to Arabella's unspoilt nature (and the charming blandishments of Ulysses) is a pleasure to follow.
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on 2 June 2015
This is the very first of Georgette Heyer' s regency romances that I ever read. I think I must have been about 13 and I was utterly enchanted. Throughout my teens I read and re-read her books over and over again. It is delightful to rediscover them after all these years. A guilty pleasure indeed.
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