Monday, November 1, 2010
Arabella by Georgette Heyer
"An enchanting debutante and the eldest daughter of an impoverished country parson, Arabella Tallant embarks on her first London season. Armed with beauty, virtue, and a benevolent godmother, Arabella is sure to be a success, as long as her notoriously impetuous temper does not interfere.
But when Robert Beaumaris, the most eligible Nonpareil of the day, accuses her of being yet another pretty female after his wealth, Arabella allows herself to be provoked--into a deceitful charade that might have unexpected consequences."
(from the publisher)
Arabella is one of Heyer's most charming tales -- I was so absorbed in the details of the excitement of the debutante's launch into London society that I hated to see the story come to an end! No one brings Regency England alive better than Heyer as she expertly blends cant, etiquette, fashion, and the world of the ton into her novels.
In this Cinderella-type story, pretty Arabella, the daughter of a country vicar, can't beleive her good fortune when she receives news that she is going to London to be launched into society with the help of her adoring godmother. With high hopes for a successful season, Arabella sets out on her adventure of a lifetime, but unfortunately, her carriage breaks along the way. She and her chaperone must seek shelter at a hunting lodge, and it is here that she meets dashing Robert Beaumaris, the wealthiest and most popular bachelor in London's high society.
Beaumaris infuriates Arabella when she overhears him speaking to his friend about her "staged" carriage accident. Arrogant and accustomed to fortune-seeking ladies, Beaumaris assumes her accident was all a part of a plan to meet him. Arabella's temper gets the better of her, and she proceeds to play the part of an heiress and lets Beaumaris know in no uncertain terms that she has no need for either him or his money.
This is a new situation indeed for Beaumaris -- an attractive debutante that is not falling all over herself to seek his attentions! He simply cannot resist getting to know this unique and spirited young lady better. He begins attending all of Arabella's parties and balls, and his presence at her functions creates quite a stir and results in Arabella being considered the belle of the season!
How these two come together (because you know the prince and princess always have a happy ending in fairy tales, right?) is a cute and witty story. Have no fear, Arabella turns the tables on Beaumaris, and it's not long before she has him jumping through hoops! This is one of Heyer's most endearing heroines, and I know I will want to read Arabella again and again.
Author: Georgette Heyer
Genre: Regency Romance