A Convenient Marriage By Georgette Heyer Before Georgette Heyer found the Regency period she wrote Georgians - and this is one of them. The Conveninent Marriage is set in the last couple of decades of the eighteenth century - when coach roads were still muddy morasses, highwaymen lurked on the outskirts of London, and men and women were corseted, laced, fringed, feathered, bewigged, powdered and patched to within in inch of their lives. The book starts right into the thick of things - The Earl of Rule is looking for a wife and it looks as though he will offer for society beauty, Lizzie Winwood. Lizzie is not enamoured of this idea - she wants to marry some worthy suitor whom she actually loves. Luckily it is her practical, straight talking younger sister, Horatia (better known as Horry) who steps into the fray instead. The interview in which Horry presents the revised plan to the Earl of Rule is hysterical. Horry is still rather young, and the Earl (who I instantly fell in love with) finds that he needs to rouse himself out of his usual langour to save her from herself. In the midst of all this there is a fiendish plot afoot to break up the marriage, Horry's well-meaning brother Pelham attempting to help Horry, a spare highwayman or two and some good old fashioned romping. The characters are generally so likeable and fun. The only problem I had is that Horry has a stutter - and they just don't make good reading (I think). A fun, quick read. Mass Market Paperback: 408 pages Publisher: Harlequin; ASIN: 0373834454 The Nobody By Diane Farr What a great debut novel from Diane Farr! Its fun, witty, there is sparkling conversation, and wonderful little historical touches which don't intrude into the story and good story line to boot. I think Farr has got a natural talent for writing really good mass character scenes - the opening scene to this book which is around the Breakfast table was hilarious. The story is about heroine Caitlin, or Catie who is propelled into London society but does not make a hit at all - in fact she is referred to rather scathingly as a nobody - however a chance encounter in the darkened street with a rakish gentleman changes everything. The man turns out to be Lord Kilverton and there is a definitely a spark between these two, but he has been rash enough to betroth himself to serpent tongued and socially high-brow Serena. I loved the story and Farr's light handling of it. Mind you, I've never enjoyed laboured angsting or modern heroines dressed up as Regency Misses who pepper some romances. I think Farr captures the age and the humour of the sort of Regency I like. Light, good-humoured fun - and with a hero and heroine I really enjoyed. Due to unexpected demand, Signet has gone back to press on this book and it is available again. You can find it at the online bookstores or by ordering from Signet at 1-800-788-6262. Mass Market Paperback: 224 pages Publisher: Penguin Putnam Inc. ASIN: 0451197712 An Honorable Thief By Anne Gracie The thing I like most about Anne Gracie as an author is that she takes the romance genre by the neck and manages to shake out a great story that conforms to all the things I love about romances - but does it in a marvellously unexpected way. This is a satisfying and romantic story but just when you think you have sussed it all out, there is a quite unexpected twist - this happens more than once during the story - We meet Kit Singleton, newly arrived in London for the season in 1816 - an heiress of some standing. At the same time there is a burglar sneaking into the houses of the wealthy - and Hugo Devenish meets this burglar unexpectedly. Unexpected on both sides when he is knocked down by this slight fellow - who sounded perculiarly Chinese. Hugo suspects Miss Singleton is the key to the mystery and can't explain why. Miss Singleton isn't helping him, she has a sacred pact - vengeance she has sworn in her father's honour on his death-bed. There are no easy resolutions in this book but the action never seems contrived simply as plot devices. The only quibble I have with Gracie's latest work is that the slang doesn't feel as Regency as it ought to and there are characters that seem more Victorian than Georgian - such as Sir William Marsden. I would have given this book 5 stars if it had been set in a Victorian setting for that reason. However one thing Gracie doesn't let us down on is a great story and that is definitely the most important thing! Mass Market Paperback: 296 pages Publisher: Harlequin; (July 1902) ASIN: 0373292163 Anne Woodley is an Amazon top 500 reviewer as well as the patroness of Janeites, the Internet discussion, as well as mistress of the Regency Ring. Her excellent page, The Regency Collection is a treasure trove of information.