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My Year of Georgette Heyer | Book the Second: The Nonesuch

And so the time has come for the second installment in our Georgette Heyer series this year. I moved almost immediately from The Convenient Marriage to The Nonesuch, which I borrowed from my trusty Beth's extensive Heyer shelf. I knew next to nothing about it, but loved the title and hoped (rather shallowly) that the titular character proved somewhat more lively than the man on the cover. Spoiler: he does, albeit in a somewhat restrained manner. As befits a paragon of his stature. Truly, the way the entire countryside rhapsodizes over this man. It's endlessly amusing. It's also a good thing he takes it all with a humongous grain of salt. And that Ancilla gives as good as she gets. 

The banter between the Nonesuch and Miss Trent (I categorically refuse to call him Waldo) is the unrivaled highlight of the novel. I was gratified we got a good deal more than we did in The Convenient Marriage. Although, Heyer's dialogue is so perfect, I will always wish for more. And while we're enumerating wishes, I will offer up my fervent wish that the entire production had not been so thoroughly railroaded by one Miss Tiffany Wield. She's appalling, everyone knows she is appalling (with the thankfully brief exception of Lindeth), and she gets entirely too much page time for my blood pressure. This was not meant to be her show, and I resented all the perfectly good courting time between the shelf-bound governess and the Nonesuch being swallowed up by her weaselly machinations. Fortunately, the Nonesuch, Ancilla, Lindeth, and lovely, lovely Patience are there to carry the day and ensure the Huge Misunderstanding didn't gather too much steam for my suspension of disbelief.
"I don't dislike you. If—if you thought me stiff when we first met it was because I dislike the set you represent!"

"I don't think you know anything about the set I represent," he responded coolly. "Let me assure you that it is very far removed from Mountsorrel's, ma'am!"

"Of course—but you are—oh, the Nonesuch!" she said with a quick smile. "Mountsorrel and his friends copy you—as far as they are able—"

"I beg your pardon," he interrupted. "They don't—being unable! Dear me, I sound just like the Beautiful Miss Wield, don't I? Some of them copy the Corinthian rig—in the exaggerated form I don't affect; but my set, Miss Trent, is composed of men who were born with a natural aptitude for athletic sports. We do the thing."
Ahem. Another favorite exchange:
"A look of such piteous entreaty was cast at me—"

"No!" protested Miss Trent. "Not piteous! I didn't!"

"Piteous!" said the Nonesuch remorselessly. "Your eyes, ma'am—as well you know!!—cried Help me! What could I do but respond to the appeal?"

"Next you will say that it went much against the pluck with you!" said Miss Trent, justly incensed.

"No service I could render you, ma'am, would go against the pluck!"

Her colour mounted, but she said: "I should have guessed you would have a glib answer ready!"

"You might also have guessed that I meant it."
I do love a solid rejoinder. And any time Ancilla is "justly incensed." And in this second outing with Heyer, I definitely enjoyed our hero and heroine spending more actual "in-room" time together. Though I still bemoaned the lack of closeness beyond conversation. By the time he finally puts his arm around her. I SWEAR.

That said, another proposal scene utterly nailed. This one of the devastating variety, sure, but still. Guys. Woman knows her way around a proposal scene. It was the saddest scene in the book and it remains my favorite—tightly written, taut with emotion, and so much left to be said. Sigh.

On to the next! Will it be The Grand Sophy? Frederica? Devil's Cub? Who knows which way the reading winds will blow?

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Angie's Best Books of 2016

Let's just lay our cards on the table, shall we, and agree that, on the whole, 2016 was an abysmal year.
And I'd just like to personally invite it not to let the door hit it on the way out.
This is me being as charitable as I can possibly be at this point. 
That said, I want to send a glorious shout out to the wonderful books that have come out this past year, and to all the authors (and readers) who have not given in to the anxiety, depression, anger, and fear that I know so many of us have felt throughout the past twelve months (or more). It is the last day of the year, and I have poured all of my gratitude (and hope for a better one to come) into my annual list of my favorite reads of the year. Just 17 this year. Fewer than the past few years, which indicates a healthy dose of necessary rereading in this year that has been what it was, as well as the fact that I just didn't get to as many new releases.


(in the order in which I read them)
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My Year of Georgette Heyer | Book the First: The Convenient Marriage

This is not a drill. I repeat, THIS IS NOT A DRILL. I believe I am, in fact, upon the brink of accomplishing something that I have been meaning to do for years. I want you all to be the first to know that I just read my first very Georgette Heyer. That's right. I actually did it. After years of promising myself and countless others (many of you) that I would do it, I finally managed it! And I can tell that I'm about to dive headlong into a full-fledged binge.

After consulting all of your past comments on which Heyers are your favorites and why (and after some serious counsel from Beth and a well-timed trip to our local Barnes & Noble), I chose to start with The Convenient Marriage. I had no idea it would turn out to contain, without question, one of my favorite proposal scenes ever. The kind of proposal scene that makes you feel like nothing could ever go wrong after it. It takes place very early on, and it made me laugh and sigh repeatedly with delight. I know I will be …

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Yeva holds a lot of things in. She loves her family—her father, her sisters—and so she sits obediently in the baronessa's chambers. She pretends to make small talk and embroider bits of cloth with the other ladies. She smiles politely at the young man who is said to be courting her (and doesn'…