Monday, April 19, 2010
TBR Challenge: The Quiet Gentleman
I read this month's book early in the month, unlike last month. I'm actually doing pretty well in my challenge reading for this one. Last year, I think I'd given up by this time. (Yeah, I know. It's only the 4th month. *hangs head in shame*) But I'm keeping up this year, so far.
I'm not sure how I'm doing on the topics, but I am clearing some books out of my stacks/shelves. So, this month, my book was THE QUIET GENTLEMAN by Georgette Heyer.
This was a nice quiet read--despite the fact that there was a mystery in it. The Gentleman of the title returns home from the wars. He's inherited the title after his father died-apparently his mother ran off with a footman, or some such, then quickly died, so dad could re-marry. Since the new earl (or whatever) resembles his mother a great deal, Dad never liked him, and when the oldest son went off to fight Napoleon, everyone hoped he might just, accidentally, of course, die, so the younger son, by the second wife, could inherit. But he didn't, and now big brother's come home to take up the reins. And none of the family--especially his younger brother--is happy about it.
There's a cousin, and a neighbor's bluestocking daughter who's staying for a visit while the parents are away, and the stepmother, and another very pretty neighbor who's something of a flirt. The younger brother's had his eye on the pretty neighbor, and when her head is turned by the new earl's showing up, little brother has a temper tantrum or two. Then the earl is warned away from a dangerous bridge. And he flirts some more with the neighbor, and bubba has another tantrum. And they go to a party, and have a party, and somebody shoots at the earl, and--well, it's a nice little story, and truthfully, not as exciting as it sounds here.
I enjoyed it, but there were large stretches where nothing much happened. Often I enjoy Heyer's "nothing much," but this seemed like less "much" and more "nothing" than I usually get in her books. It poked along a little too pokily, maybe, than what I prefer. Or maybe it was that we got so very, very little of the internal goings-on of the Quiet Gentleman and his family. I prefer to get a lot of what's going on inside peoples' heads--more emotion and thoughts and such, and we don't get a lot of that. I think some of it is deliberate, so that the happy ending is more of a surprise--but I don't read romance for the surprise. I read it for the journey. So, while I liked the story overall, it's not one of my favorite Heyers.