|The Quiet Gentleman|
Date: 10 January, 2006 — $4.99 — Book
Here we have another of Heyer's Regency romances, and this time the protagonist is a congenial Earl, whose arrival back home is to the dismay of his stepmother and half-brother, who long felt that the earldom was their by default. Gervase wants to win them over, however, but that might be a problem as attempts on his life start taking place. Somewhere along the line the book becomes a bit of a mystery— but only a bit, as the perpetrator can quickly be deduced by a bit of inverted logic. Because really, if the obvious person cannot be blamed, that only leaves one real suspect.
The romantic interest is anything but romantic. Practical Drusilla helps when necessary, does the right thing, and steadfastly refuses to swoon in a crisis... much to her dismay, when she realizes that she has fallen for the Earl. A wonderfull bit of humor comes up when her anti-royalist parents (friends of Mary Wollenstonecraft, the early feminist, anti-establishment mother of Mary Shelley, author of Frankenstein) hear of her inclinations; her father is gruff and disapproving while her mother is jubilant that she's in the good graces of an Earl. When Drusilla's father expresses astonishment that an anti-royalist author could be so overjoyed at the favors of a peer, she quickly admonishes him that he is confusing theory with practice!
As you can imagine, it all ends happily. This is a romance, after all. I do wonder, however, at the speed of its consumation; Heyer neglected to give us the signs of favor that the characters could evidently see. Pity.