the convenient marriage,jpgHmmm. I’m supposed to like this. I’ve been told by countless Austen fans that Heyer is too fab for words. Lovely, lovely regency romances. This was my first Heyer book, and I have to say that The Convenient Marriage was not in fact too fab for words.

I was mildly entertained, but ultimately disappointed with the lack of character development and relationship development between the main characters. The 35 year old rake decides it’s time to get hitched. The would-be bride has someone else in mind, but of course, her noble family while still enjoying the benefits of a good name has a ne’er do well heir spending the family money, necessitating her marrying the rake. Her much younger sister decides to sacrifice herself instead and offers her to the rake–who for some reason takes her on.  Through the wrong character’s eyes (in other words, people who could not possibly know what they know about other people’s thinking) we find out that he “needed” to marry into their family–but we never relaly understand why, and that he fell for the youngest sister–who knows when or why. She evidently takes a shine to him, again, why–who knows–we’re never told.

Both characters are fairly likable, especially the rake. He has an interesting manner of seeming relaxed and laissez-faire and flippant while really being in complete control at all times.  Sadly, there are likely less than 20 pages of the book where the rake and the sister interact. So you can’t see why they like each other for themselves either.

It was too long for what it was, too many plot turns that didn’t add to the pleasure of the read, too little discussing “the convenient marriage.”

All that said, there were a few passages that were very well-done and made me want to keep reading. Based on that confirmation of great writing ability and the raves of others, I’m going to read her Cottillion before I put her to rest forever. It’s reputedly her best. I hope to enjoy it.