Recommendsday: Books to reread

It’s getting pretty wintery, and when the weather is like this, it often makes me feel like rereading something that’s going to make me feel cozy and warm inside. Please note, that that last sentence was going to be about liking nothing more than to curl up on the sofa with a blanket and a book to reread. But we all know that that’s not just a winter thing. Give me a comfy seat, a blanket and a good book and you won’t see me again for a few hours. Anyway, this week, have some suggestions for books that hold up to more than one reading.

Diary of a Provincial Lady by EM Delafield

So this was one of my picks for escapist books for difficult times back in the early pandemic and I stand by it as being one of the best comfort reads. It is what the title suggests – a provincial lady in the 1930s struggling to keep control of her household. I sometimes describe it as being a bit like the Bridget Jones of its time, but I think that’s underselling it. It’s very low stress, very low stakes and it’s charming and witty. If you liked Miss Buncle and haven’t read this, then why not?

Gone with the Windsors by Laurie Graham

It will surprise you not at all if you’ve been here a while that Gone with the Windsors features on this list. Because I read it so often I own multiple copies and I keep them scattered around the house. If you don’t already know, it’s the story of the Abdication Crisis as seen through the eyes of a school friend of Wallis Simpson, who comes to England to visit her sister. It’s brilliant for just dipping into, or for reading the whole thing. And it still makes me chuckle eleventy billion reads later.

Sylvester by Georgette Heyer

Again, not a surprised that I’d have a Georgette Heyer on this list either, but maybe a surprise that it’s Sylvester. A year or two ago, it would probably have been Regency Buck or Devil’s Cub, but I’ve listened to the audiobook of this at least three times this year and that’s before we talk about the times I’ve picked up the boo, so I’m going to put it here because I do grab it more often than most of them. This has two people who definitely don’t want to marry each other, but then get thrown together a lot – there is the Regency equivalent of a road trip as well as a trapped at an inn situation, an adorable nephew (“Uncle Vester will grind your bones”) and it’s just delightful.

There were a lot of things that I could have included in this, but a lot of them that I’ve already written about relatively recently, so just want to throw in here that I do regular rereads of Soulless, the Rivers of London series and the Peter and Harriet end of the Wimsey series.

Happy Wednesday everyone.


Recommendsday: Fake Relationships

For recommendsday this week, I have for you a selection of fake relationship romance novels. Which I’ll have you know was a bit of a challenge, because I love a fake relationship book when it works and that means they often end up being BotWs. More of those at the end…

Cotillion by Georgette Heyer

I’m going to start with one of my lesser mentioned Georgette Heyers. Cotillion was actually one of the very first I read of hers and writing this has made me think that I need to go back and read it again. Kitty’s Uncle Matthew says he will leave his fortune to her – if she marries one of his great-nephews. Two of them promptly propose to her – but not Jack who is the one she likes best. So Kitty asks Freddy to pretend to be engaged to her for a month – partly to make Jack jealous. Of course complications ensue and it all goes from there. This is at the witty and comic end of the Heyer oevre (think Frederica or Arabella) rather than one of the big emotion romances.

Well Matched by Jen DeLuca

I mentioned this in the quick reviews back in February, but I’m going to give it another quick shout out here: the third in DeLuca’s Ren Faire series is about April who agrees to pretend to be her friend Mitch’s girlfriend at an event with his family which starts a chain of events that threatens to derail her long held plan for what she will do when her daughter leaves for college..

If I Never Met You by Mhairi MacFarlane

Another one I’ve mentioned before – but this time two years ago (I actually read this at the start of our last holiday before the pandemic when we had no idea what was about to happen!). Laurie’s boyfriend has just broken up with her but because she still has to work with him everyday it’s all the office can talk about, Jamie needs a girlfriend to impress his new boss. The two of them come up with a plan to pretend to be a couple to solve both of their problems. This comes with a slight warning that the heroine’s break up at the start is very bleak, but the fauxmance between Laurie and Jamie is really good and well done and the resolution works out really neatly.

And now, fake relationship books that have been Books of the Week (an inexhaustive list): Boyfriend Material, Roomies, the Love Hypothesis, Take a Hint, Dani Brown, Kiss Quotient, The Unhoneymooners,

book round-ups, books

Surviving Coronavirus: Escapist Fiction for Difficult Times

It may not have escaped your notice that times are somewhat stressful at the moment. A lot stressful. And life in the newsroom means that I can’t exactly ignore what’s happening in the world at any given time. Never have I been more glad that I stopped reading dystopian future novels a few years back. I’ve explained before that newsroom life is why I read a lot of romances and mysteries even in normal times – but that is even more true now – as recent Week in Books posts atest. Romance novels and mysteries both have a pact with the reader going in –  in a romance you’ll get a Happily Ever After (or a bare mininum Happy for Now if you’re reading New Adult or something with teen protagonists) and in mysteries the bad guys will get caught. But in uncertain times, rereading old favourites can also  help. So here are a few recommendations from me for fiction to help you out if you’re feeling a bit anxious.

Heartburn by Nora Ephron

paperback copy of Heartburn by Nora Ephron

If you like Ephron’s films like When Harry Met Sally (and to be fair any other rom coms of that type) and you haven’t read Heartburn – then what are you doing? Heartburn is a fictionalised version of the break-up of Ephron’s second marriage – Rachel is seven-months pregnant when she finds out her husband is in love with another woman. Now if that sounds like an unpromising start to a novel to cheer you up, bear with me. This is so, so funny. Rachel can’t decide if she wants her ex back or wants him dead, and in between there is some great cooking. When I was asking Twitter last week for recommendations to cheer me up, this one was suggested and it reminded me how much fun it is – I read it in paperback seven years ago and still have my copy – and regular readers will know that not all books last that long on my shelves…

Venetia by Georgette Heyer

Well-loved copy of Venetia with other Heyer books behind it

I have written an authors I love post about Heyer before – but it’s over my statute of limitations, so I feel justified in recommending Venetia again and more fully here. One of my favourite tropes in historical romance is the reformed rake and this is the uber example of the genre. Damerel has been breaking rules and shocking society ever since he ran off with someone else’s wife when he was just out of university. Venetia lives on the neighbouring estate to the ancestral home that he’s been avoiding since time immemorial. She’s feisty and independent and has been running the household for her older brother who is away in the Napoleonic Wars. When he does return home and runs into her, he’s fascinated – against his will – but it turns out she’s more than a match for him.  It’s romantic but it’s also funny – Damerel and Venetia spar with each other delightfully but there’s also a cast of secondary characters that are made for comic moments. I love this so much I have it as an audiobook as well. Just joyous.

Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld

Cover of Eligivle by Curtis Sittenfeld

I love Pride and Prejudice, but if you’ve already reread that and watched your favourite of the adaptations, this might be the book for you. Sittenfeld moves the story to contemporary Cincinnati and updates the story accordingly. Bingley is a doctor from a wealthy family who became famous on a TV show similar to The Bachelor, Darcy is a neurosurgeon (and anyone who’s watched Greys Anatomy knows about the egos there) the Bennets are a trustfund family running out of cash: Jane is a yoga instructor, Lizzy a journalist for a women’s magazine, Kitty and Lydia are heavily into Crossfit. The update works, the dialogue is witty, there’s hate sex and reality TV and it’s really funny. I’ve read a lot of P&P retellings and continuations and I think this is still my favourite. It was one of my favourite books of the year back in 2016, but I’m counting it as over the statute of limitations because I think it might be what you need at the moment. In picking it up off the shelf (one of the downstairs ones because I like it handy) it’s made me want to read it all over again – although my copy is a big format paperback advance copy, so it’s also made me wonder about buying its on kindle too, because that’s where my head is at at the moment.

Diary of a Provincial Lady by E M Delafield

Copy of Diary of a Provincial Lady - also in front of the Heyers, including Venetia

The Provincial Lady lives in Devon, in a nice house, with a nice husband and (mostly) nice children. Her husband is not a vicar, but if you’ve ever watched the Joan Hickson Miss Marples, she’s a bit like Griselda in Murder at the Vicarage – there’s an image that she needs to live up to, but how does everyone else make it look so easy? Written in the 1930s, it’s wickedly funny and very low stakes and sufficiently different from the reality of day to day life at the moment that I think it makes a lovely escape that doesn’t make you wish about what could have been.  And if you read this and like it, there are sequels – my paperback is an omnibus, which is great, but did mean that I couldn’t justify buying the pretty Virago designer hardback with the Cath Kidston print cover.  Angela Thirkell does a similar thing in her Barsetshire series – the trials and tribulations of various bits of the not quite gentry in the interwar period. And if you want less housekeeping and more village scandal, then try Miss Buncle’s Book by D E Stevenson – in which an unmarried lady discovers that her income is drying up and turns to writing fiction to make some money. Trouble is, that the book she writes is based on her village…

And as well as all of these, there are a few others that I’ve written about within the statute of limitations for a repost that you might really quite like, for example:

To Bed with Grand Music by Marghanita Laski – need an antiheroine in your life? Meet Dreadful Deborah who can rationalise whatever awful thing she wants to do in her quest for a glamourous bohemian life in wartime Britain while her husband is on a posting to Cairo.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid – need some Old Hollywood glamour and scandal? I’ve talked a lot about Daisy Jones and the Six, but this should also not be ignored. Evelyn is a reclusive Hollywood star who grants rare interview to a junior reporter at a magazine – and stipulates that she will only do the interview if it was with her. It turns out that what she really wants is for Monique to write her biography – it’s the opportunity for a life time for Monique but why has Evelyn picked her? Oh and it’s 99p on Kindle at the moment!

And writing this post has made me realise that there are a whole bunch of series that I love that I have not yet written about – and that’s really perked me up and given me some stuff to reread and write about!

Happy Reading – and stay safe.


Book of the Week, holiday reading, new releases, romance

Book of the Week: The Little Bookshop of Lonely Hearts

Such an easy decision for BotW this week – I absolutely loved Annie Darling’s Little Bookshop of Lonely Hearts.  It is so much fun, and ticked so many of my book buttons.

Posy Morland loves her job at Bookends – a crumbling bookshop tucked away in a Bloomsbury mews.  But when the shop’s owner, Lavinia, dies and leaves the shop to Posy her life is turned upside down.  Posy’s got  lots of plans to turn the ailing bookshop around, but she’s also got to contend with Lavinia’s autocratic grandson Sebastian – nicknamed The Rudest Man in London by one of the papers, and seemingly searching for the national title.  With her friends and co-workers to help her, can Posy turn the shop around as well as dealing with Sebastian’s machinations?   And why is she having lurid fantasies?

Little Bookshop of Lonely Hearts proof copy.
  Isn’t my proof copy gorgeous? I do love a good cover – and the proper cover looks lovely too.

The back of my proof copy says it’s for fans of Georgette Heyer (waves) and Jenny Colgan (waves) and for people who’ve dreamed of opening their own bookshops (falls over waving so hard) and I would totally agree.  Posy is a great heroine – she’s likeable, a little bit damaged and totally relatable.  It was great fun reading about her figuring out what to do with the bookshop and trying to stand up to Sebastian.  It’s also crammed full of gems for the romance reader – whether it’s obvious ones (like name checks for historical romance authors) or more subtle ones (not telling, find them yourself).

This whistles along at a tremendous pace, with twists and turns and heaving bosoms in empire line gowns (you’ll understand if you read it).  I was cross it was over so quickly – because I could have spent another 200 pages with Posy and her band of misfits at the  bookshop and as there’s an ad at the end for a sequel, my wish may yet come true.  The back of my advance copy also has the author’s top five novels in it which include Heyer’s Regency Buck – which I adore – Pride and Prejudice (ditto) and a Courtney Milan.  What’s not to love.  And on top of that it has a bookshop list which includes not one but TWO name checks for my beloved Chalet School so basically I think Annie Darling and I would really get on.

I got sent an advanced copy by a publicist who I chat to on Twitter – who had spotted that I love Georgette Heyer.  It’s not out in paperback yet (August 25th) – but it is out in Kindle (£2.99 at time of writing!) and you can pre-order the paperback on Amazon and Waterstones and Foyles will email you when they get it in stock.  I suspect as it’s published by Harper it may make it to the supermarkets too.  I would’ve saved my ravings for closer to the time, but as the Kindle is out and I think that this would make a great beach read I thought I’d alert you all now. Go forth and read it!

genres, romance

Romance Tropes: What I like and what I don’t!

Hello gentle reader.  As you may have noticed, I do quite like a good romance novel.  I’m more of a historical romance reader than anything else, but I do sometimes stray into contemporary and to a lesser extent paranormal.  I’ve been thinking a lot recently about why some books linger on the to-read pile and it’s led to me contemplating what my favourite and least favourite tropes are in the romance genre.  Once you’ve figured out what you like and what you don’t like, it makes it much easier to wade through a genre where there are so many books to chose from.  And it also makes it easier to work out what you might like when you’re trying a different type of romance from the ones you usually read.

Lets start with my pet hates…

Accidental Pregnancies/Secret pregnancies

Oof.  I think this is my absolute least favourite. If an author that I adore writes one of these, I’ll probably read it, but apart from that I give these a wide birth.  I think this is probably all bound up in my own fear of accidental pregnancy, but these do absolutely nothing for me except make me want to scream with rage.  Accidental secret pregnancy plots will have me hurling a book across the room if I happen to encounter them.

Secret Children

Following on from the pregnancy problem, I like secret children only slightly better.  It has to be really good for me to be able to get past the fact that you’ve stopped the child’s father from being a part of their life for x years.  And given that the whole idea of the plot is usually that the heroine will reunite with the father, then the reason’s for the secret tend to be a bit lame/spurious. And as far as contemporary romances go, in the days of the internet and social media it’s easier than ever to keep in touch with people and harder than ever to keep this sort of secret…


Just no. Luckily you don’t find it very often any more (although there is a bit in one of my favourite author’s latest novels, but it’s a late on twist so I just about coped with it) because people have (thankfully) realised that Amnesia is rare, and if you’ve got it, you may well have other stuff going wrong too which is harder to fix.   I can’t think of a single romance with amnesia as a main plot point that I’ve read and enjoyed.  And I’ve been down lists of amnesia romances on Goodreads and it hasn’t jogged my memory either.  I understand there’s a pregnant-with-amnesia sub-genre, which sounds like my idea of hell, although Smart Bitches, Trashy Books have a very witty review of the hilariously titled Pregnesia.

My favourites:

Girls dressed up as boys

Twelfth Night has been my favourite Shakespeare play since we studied it when I was 11 (side note: check out the amazing Globe production of it with Oscar Winner (squee) Mark Rylance as Lady Olivia – clip below!) and I love plots with girls dressed up as boys.  From Leonie in These Old Shades, through Harriet in Duchess by Night, Callie in Nine Rules to Break when Romancing a Rake (and that other Sarah MacLean one which not a traditional “breeches” role and is a massive spoiler if you haven’t read the rest of the series) and many more besides, it’s a plot device that will often get me to pick up a new author.  It’s usually only found in Historical Romance although if you know of any good contemporary ones, please put them in the comments!

Fake engagements

This is one has to be deployed cleverly, because breaking an engagement would ruin the heroine socially so she’d have to have a good reason to do it, but it’s popular device in more recently written historicals, there’s something I love about couples who enter into these for nerfarious reasons of their own and get more than they bargain for.  Because of the above social consequences, it’s not a plot often employed by my beloved Georgette Heyer – I can only think of one fake engagement in her books and that’s False Colours, which almost doesn’t count because Kit is pretending to be his twin brother throughout in a lovely twist.  Julia Quinn’s The Duke and I is a great example

Marriages of convenience

Following on from those fake engagements, I do love a marriage of convenience plot, although conversely I think my least favourite Georgette Heyer is  A Civil Contract – but she does have some crackers too like April Lady and Friday’s Child (my mum’s favourite).  When cleverly executed they can be wonderful fun – Eloisa James’s The Ugly Duchess, Mary Balogh’s At Last Comes Love and Quinn’s To Sir Philip with Love is a fun twist on the idea.  To be honest, it’s fairly hard to mess up a marriage of convenience – there are lots of ways a lady can accidentally get compromised – and there’s lots of reasons why people might enter into one (keep lands, escape an evil guardian, get an inheritance etc).

I do read other stuff of course – I like house parties, rake-y heros, beta heros, guardians and wards (but only the sort who don’t do anything about it until the wards are of age), friends to lovers, best friend’s sibling and much much more.  To be honest, beyond my pet hates above there’s not much I won’t give at least one try (except the Tragic Lives aisle of the bookshop). All recommendations for things that might tick any of my boxes are gratefully received – in the comments below please!

books, romance

Valentine’s Day bonus post

I know – two posts in two days.  I’m spoiling you.  But I couldn’t let Valentines Day go past without mentioning some of my favourite romantic books.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

I don’t care about all the posts about how you wouldn’t actually want to be with Mr Darcy in real life because I love this book.  I started reading my mum’s copy of the book as soon as I’d finished watching the first part of the 1995 BBC adaptation of it and I adored it. I was in the tail-end of primary school and just flat-out loved Lizzy.  My TV tie-in copy is much loved and I read it a lot.  Read it and fall in love with Lizzy as much as you do with Darcy.  And he grows as a person people.  Everyone’s allowed to make a mistake and compared to some of the stuff romance novel heros have in their past, being a bit stuck up and arrogant is not the biggest problem ever!

These Old Shades by Georgette Heyer

And a prime example of how Darcy could be so much worse is the Duke of Avon.  Justin’s nickname is Satanas.  You’re told he’s lost a fortune at the gaming tables and then won back someone elses – someone who then killed themselves.  He kidnapped a woman to try to force her to marry him.  But I defy you not to be rooting for him as he turns Leon the page into Leonie the lady and restores her to her place in eighteenth century French High Society.  And the way he achieves it isn’t exactly all hearts and flowers (although it is totally deserved).  One of my favourite romance tropes is I’m not good enough for him/her and this is just the perfect example of that.  And then when you’re done falling in love with Big Bad Justin, read Devil’s Cub and meet his son Dominic – mad, bad and dangerous to know and watch prim and proper Mary win his heart.  He doesn’t think he’s good enough either.  Swoon.

Stately Pursuits by Katie Fforde

Still my favourite Fforde novel (see my love letter to Fforde here), and you may start to detect a theme in my heros here.  Connor is tall, dark, brooding and moody.  Hetty’s mum’s sent her to look after Great Uncle Samuel’s stately home.  Hetty wants to save it, Connor thinks selling it is the best solution.  Cue fireworks of two different types.  If you like your heros a little bit more beta, try Fforde’s Flora’s Lot and Charles the auctioneer.  He’s engaged and thinks Flora is pushy. She thinks he’s uptight and change resistant.  Another of my favourite tropes – I hate you, I hate you, I can’t stop thinking about your hair as Sarah McLean of Smart Bitches would say.

Busman’s Honeymoon by Dorothy L Sayers

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  This is the most romantic detective story ever.  After 3 books of angst and tension, Peter and Harriet are finally married.  But a body turns up at their honeymoon dream house and unless they can figure out who did it Harriet is worried that Peter will be haunted by it forever.  You’ll appreciate it most if you’ve read the other three books first, but once you have you’ll come back to it again and again.  I’ve listened to it once this week on audiobook already.  If you need more convincing I wrote a whole post about the wonders of Peter in general and Peter and Harriet in particular.

And Finally…

And if this still isn’t quite enough romance for you, try Eloisa James Duchess by Night featuring another of my favourite tropes – girls dressed as boys (see also the aforementioned These Old Shades) or Sarah MacLean’s Nine Rules to Break when Romancing a Rake (I would suggest Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover but that’s the end of a series and a big spoiler for the earlier books) which is another great trope (heroine needs to learn about love, asks rakish man to teach her) or a bit of Julia Quinn.  Try not to get hooked.  American-import romance can be an expensive habit.

Authors I love, books, fiction, historical, romance

Authors I Love: Georgette Heyer

Between the 1920s and 1970s, Georgette Heyer wrote nearly three dozen novels set Regency or Georgian times, along with a string of thrillers.  I love me some Golden Age detective action, but this article is about her historical romances which, in my opinion, are sublime and nearly perfect examples of their type.

My shelf of Georgette Heyers
Hardback, paperback, different styles – my shelf has editions from the 1940s through til the 2000s

My mum had a shelf of Heyers on the landing the whole way through my childhood, but it was only when I was about 16 that I first picked one up (either False Colours or Cotillion, I can’t remember which) and that one led to another, which led to all of the ones she had and then to buying the ones that she didn’t.  When my parents moved house a couple of years ago, mum passed them on to me as she “didn’t have space for them” any more, on the understanding that she could borrow them back if she wanted and that I wouldn’t get rid of them.  Since then though, rather than borrowing them from me, she’s started re-buying them!

I have a lot of favourites, but if I was forced and could only have one, it would be The Grand Sophy. Sophy is feisty, independent, well-travelled and used to running her own life – and everyone else’s.  She arrives back in England to live with her aunt and her cousins after her diplomat father is posted to South America. She finds them in the midst of a family crisis – with one daughter in love with an unsuitable poet and the eldest son engaged to a disagreeable bluestocking.  Sophy proceeds to try to organise the household along more harmonious lines and arrange matches for her cousins and, in the end, herself.

The Grand Sophy
My copy of The Grand Sophy – in what I think is a late 1980s edition

What I love about Heyer’s female characters are that they’re not weak and wishy-washy pushovers, but they also don’t feel like modern women who have been supplanted to the eighteenth or nineteenth century.  Her women aren’t simpering misses sitting around waiting for life to happen to them or for a man to make their life complete, but they’re not doing anything that feels jarringly out of period either.   I have a weakness for American-written British-set historical romances (you know, the ones with the buxom heroines bursting out of their corsets on the covers) which lead a shamefaced existence* on the uppermost shelf of my tallest spare bedroom bookcase – and that’s a problem I find with some (but by no means all) of their heroines.

One of the feistiest and most independent of Heyer’s heroines is Léonie in These Old Shades – who we first meet as Léon the page when he is bought “body and soul” by Justin, Duke of Avon – known as Satanas because of his lack of morals.  Heyer books always have a lot plot and not a lot of yearning looks or heaving bosoms and Shades is a great example of this.  At the start of the book Justin is a thoroughly disreputable character who buys Léon not to free him from a life of abuse and mistreatment, but because he sees a method of being revenged on one of his enemies.  Léonie is in love with Avon almost from the start, but you’re not sure until the very end, after the plot has taken you from France to England and back to France again, whether Avon’s motives have changed at all. Most of Heyer’s books are standalones, but Shades is unusual in that some of the characters have appeared before, albeit with different names and in a less developed form, in The Black Moth – and Justin, Léonie and Rupert all appear again in Devil’s Cub (which I also love) where Justin and Léonie’s son Dominic – who has all of his father’s faults and his mother’s temper but does at least have a conscience – runs off with a virtuous young lady who is trying to protect her sister’s honour.

The Black Moth, These Old Shades and Devil's Cub
My copies of Moth, Shades and Devil’s Cub show some of the range of different editions in my collection!

In Regency Buck (another with a sort-of sequel – An Infamous Army of which more later) another strong minded heroine comes up against a domineering alpha-male and, dear reader, you may start to see a pattern in the sort of heroes that I like.  Preferably tall, dark and handsome, he needs to be bossy, clever and with a bit of a dark side or at the least a temper – like Buck‘s Julian St John Audley, the titular Sylvester or best of all Damerel in Venetia.  But they also need to be up against a smart woman who is prepared to stand up for herself and what she wants.  I don’t want to see any woman being forced into a marriage by a man who holds all the power.  The Heyers that come off my shelf the least are ones like Cotillion (Freddy’s too thick), Friday’s Child (Hero the heroine is too wet), Cousin Kate (Kate’s too stupid to see the trouble coming) and A Civil Contract (Adam needs a good slap).

Inscription in the front of Devil's Cub
My copy of Devil’s Cub has a note from in the front written by my mum

Those are the exceptions though and just looking along the shelf is like seeing group of old friends – they live in the sitting room so I have them to hand if I need them!  If you’ve never read any Georgette Heyer, may I heartily recommend you have a look now – particularly if you are a fan of authors like Eloisa James or Julia Quinn.  They don’t have the sex that modern historicals do – in fact there’s barely any kissing, but they’re still breathtakingly romantic in places and have tight well-structured plots – and a wealth of meticulously researched historical detail (An Infamous Army was required reading for trainee army officers because its descriptions of the Battle of Waterloo are so accurate – it also features Julian and Judith from Regency Buck and a cameo from a much older Dominic and Mary from Devil’s Cub) that I can only imagine the current crop of authors have drawn on.  It also says a lot that more than ninety years since her first book was published and forty years (this year in fact) since Georgette Heyer died, her Regency/Georgian romances are still in print.

Artistically arranged Heyer novels
A selection of my favourites in a charming garden setting!

I like them so much I even have a couple of them on my kindle and as audiobooks in case I need a fix when I’m away from home.  And, while I was taking the photos for this article I discovered I’ve got a couple of duplicates of my own – I think I bought the pretty Pan paperbacks of The Talisman Ring and The Masqueraders when I was living in Essex – in the days when mum had most of the Heyers…

I suggest you start with The Grand Sophy.  Or These Old Shades.  Or Venetia.  Or Regency Buck.  Or Sylvester.  Or April Lady. Or Sprig Muslin. Oh go on, just pick one and dive in.

* Thank you Peter Wimsey for that turn of phrase (From Busman’s Honeymoon, about his collection of press cuttings about Harriet)